I am beginning to think Roger Hellen has more of a chance of a world record brown trout than the pictures give it after I talked to a butcher who helped weigh it.
Reader Steve Powers first tipped me to a possible world record brown trout caught in Salmon-A-Rama out of Racine, Wis. Friday.
The Salmon-A-Rama site had the photos above and reported Hellen caught a 41.5-pound brown.
If that holds up, it would eclipse the world record of 41 pounds, 7 ounces recognized by the International Game Fish Association. That was caught by Tom Healy on Sept. 9, 2009 in the Manistee River in Michigan.
Hellen's brown was weighed on a certified scale at Brossman's Meat Market while being witnessed by three butchers with at least 23 years of experience each, Hellen and a Salmon-A-Rama official.
``They [first] went to a meat market down the road,'' butcher Jeff Luzich said. ``They didn't have a scale big enough.''
After a phone call, Hellen and the official ``came in with a big cooler,'' Luzich said. ``We asked, `How big a fish do you got?' They said, `Oh, about 41 pounds.' They pulled it out. It was beautiful.''
I saw the Illinois record brown trout (36-11) up close after Deva Vranek caught it off Chicago on June 22, 1997 and it sure looked more imposing and seemed more fat-bellied than Hellen's.
But photos only take you so far, my gut believes Luzich.
The other question is whether it would officially be a tie or a new record. I remember Healy's brown originally weighed 41 pounds, 7.25 ounces. And if I remember right, the IGFA wants its records to be more than a fraction of an ounce to become a new record.
There's always something.