37-Pound Lake Trout Shatters Record

On Tuesday, February 25, Thomas Knight of Meredith, New Hampshire, caught an enormous lake trout while ice fishing in northern New Hampshire. The fish was certified as a new state record, eclipsing the one established in 1958.

After a lengthy battle, Knight was able to bring the fish onto the ice and marvel at its size. An experienced lake trout angler, Knight knew that the prevailing record was 28 pounds and his fish seemed to be much bigger.

After a few phone calls to some close fishing buddies, Knight made his next call to Andy Schafermeyer, a Fisheries Biologist with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. In order to certify a fish’s size as a state record, it must be inspected and verified by a biologist.

The two met and began the process of measuring the characteristics that would certify this fish as the largest lake trout ever caught in New Hampshire.

“I’m not sure who was more excited,” said Schafermeyer. “I knew the fish stood a very good chance of breaking the record.” The two men placed the laker on a certified scale that measured a maximum weight of 30 pounds and the fish’s weight exceeded that.

“At that point, I knew that Knight had caught a new state record, but I didn’t know by how much,” continued Schafermeyer. The quest for a larger, certified scale was on as the two men drove around sharing the excitement of the situation. Finally, at a package distribution center, a scale with the proper state certification was located that had the capacity to measure a large weight.

When the display finally settled on 37.65 pounds, the two men, who had only met hours earlier, shared a heartfelt handshake and pat on the back. As phone calls and text messages poured in, Schafermeyer finalized the remaining inspection and paperwork.

“Most state records, when bested, are done so by only a few ounces. Knight’s fish shattered the old record by over 9 pounds. This fish is now the largest lake trout caught in all of New England. I’m glad he got it, this couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” said Schafermeyer. The fish measured over 40 inches in length with a 27-inch girth. Schafermeyer estimated the fish to be between 50 and 60 years old.

103 on “37-Pound Lake Trout Shatters Record

  1. Jeremy Hillcrest

    Nice fish, but throw it back.
    Laker that big would taste like sh*t.
    Take som measurements and see if it can live another 10 years and make more fish.

    1. Greg Vespe

      Guy caught a state record .. that bet a fish that has stood for a long time… give him a break …

    2. BA

      Agree 100%! Put it back in the water. Take pictures if you want a mount and you damn sure can’t eat that thing. Giants like that have weathered the storm and to kill it to get your name in a freaking book! Plenty of “records” have been broken by responsible anglers who would rather have the opportunity to catch again than kill the fish.

    3. John Gula

      He bought his license so he has the right to keep whatever fish he wants.

      1. Studogg

        Great fish!,hang that monster on the wall!!

    4. Chris

      Put it on a wall. Highly doubt it’s still alive . Not many live wells in the winter in people’s vehicles.

    5. Sleepy

      Oh for the love of god. It’s a state Record!! Most of you would have kept it too. This fish has passed its genes plenty of times and has lived a very long life. Nice job on the catch!! I would have done the same

      1. Kris

        That fish is more than likely well past breeding age and has value being kept for that biologist to study. Also its a friggin record SHATTERING trout. Id have kept the damn thing for sure.

    6. Libby05

      I am sure he has no intentions on eating it and with it being a record breaker I’m sure he will have it mounted so he can show off his trophy in pride and when he looks st it he can always he reminded of the day he broke the record. I believe anyone would to exactly that!

    7. Rdavis

      A laker that old would be unsafe to eat because of extremely high mercury levels.

    8. paca

      Dead on man. Just for his own ego and publicity, he takes a hard and well-earned 60 yr. old fish just to stuff and mount it? Disgusting.

  2. Rob

    Great catch. Too bad you couldn’t release it back. Ol’ fish made it that long on its own.

    1. Screamingwolf

      Guy caught the fish of a life time, state record that will hold a lengthy legacy. If he lets it go and you catch it next year, you break the record by half a pound.
      F That , kill the fish you caught mount it or eat it. Guys been fishin before you were born prolly. F the Cry babies TK holds the record pafaakinpow!

      1. Libby05 Libby

        Ignorant all these haters hating saying “put it back” its BS cuz I’m sure if it was ur asss that caught it you wouldnt be putting it back either, you’d do EXACTLY what this man did. Went to have it weighed to heat the record and look into mounting it.
        I’m proud for this man that is awesome and anyone jealousy hating. Take that shit elsewhere….

      2. peter okeefe

        I agree!! I guess freedom to do what you will is gone…sad..so many judges telling him what to do with a fish

  3. Christopher R Tremblay

    Congratulations! That thing is enormous! It looks prehistoric!

  4. Dick Peloquin

    That’s a tough call particularly because it’s probably a female. Anyone know how long they can produce eggs?
    I’m a 99% catch & release guy but I think that makes my 1% gray area!

  5. LOU


    1. Vinny Fiori

      It’s a freshwater fish so I dont think a shark or a blue did that to the laker or maybe your kidding

  6. Russ Kinne

    Glad Tom Knight caught himself a record Laker he’ll remember all his life.
    But also glad this old cannibal wont be eating a LOT of young fish anymore!
    Time for him to step down and not kill another 1000 smaller fish.
    One big one is not worth that many little ones.

  7. Paul

    Where was it caught? Was he using a telephone pole auger to drill holes in ice?

    1. Sam

      8 inch hole has a circumference of over 25 inches so prolly an 8-10 inch auger

  8. Mark Chabak

    The Department of Fisheries encourages the taking of lake trout. They decimate the native Brook trout, and other trout species. That fish doesn’t spawn anymore either. So no need to give the guy a hard time for keeping it.

    1. Phil

      2 good points. I didn’t know the first, and wondered about the second.

      1. K

        Lots of studies show that bigger, older fish are more successful spawners than their smaller counterparts… not sure why you’d think this fish wasn’t spawning anymore???

  9. Matt Gendron

    Jeramy really,
    ” throw it back ” hilarious. Awesome fish put it on the wall!! Don’t hate.

  10. Richard

    The poor guy can’t win. If he threw it back, everyone would have said he should have kept it. He keeps it, everyone will say he should have thrown it back. I say hats off and congratulations to him. Think of the hundreds of hours in below zero temperatures he put in and got nothing. Mount that trophy and hang it over the fireplace.

  11. John Daly

    Celebration of the demise of a 60 year old fish? Or a 60 year old record?
    Are Lakers not native species? No need is right. Is it really difficult to merely let them be?

    1. Blanca

      I agree, and for all the people that say throw it back, sad fact is small percentage of fish, after long struggle survive catch and release anyway.

    2. Mike Bolt

      That fish at that age does nothing for that ecosystem other then easy fish, particularly brook trout like was already said

    3. peter okeefe

      perhaps you should learn to practice what you preach to others!!! perhaps its too difficult to let Tom be? its his fish!! he earned it!!

  12. Benjie

    Fish of a lifetime, Congrats, I definitely would have kept it and hung it in the mancave

  13. Chris

    You don’t throw back a state record and trout are delicate especially after a long fight, no way it would survive. Half the trout you hypocrites throw back don’t make it. If you aren’t comfortable killing fish you shouldn’t fish.

  14. beeps

    great catch a great fish so all you a/holes get of this man ass ice fishing and getting a fish of a life time congrats have a bless day and keep fishing

  15. Save the Lake Trout

    Beautiful fish. I have been fishing for over 40 years. I would have taken pictures and let it go. It was a shame to kill it.

    1. Rozziebo

      I’ve been fishing for over 60 years and I would have kept it. That fish wasn’t spawning any longer. Just munching on brookies, rainbows and smallies. Congrats to the lucky angler.

  16. Red

    Don’t know what’s more interesting a fish of that size or actual ice fishing this year lol if he caught this ice fishing I’m pretty jealous lol no ice for Worcester county 🙁 great catch tho

  17. Luv2Fish

    Wow that fish is as old as the previous record! Bravo sir. I would have beat it down in Mass, but we haven’t got any ice! Lol.

  18. Bobbythehunter

    Incredible catch. Congratulations. I don’t think I could have killed it, but you never know til your in the position. I too wonder if he got it through a 10 inch hole and if he did catch it on 6 pound test then I say amazing catch!

  19. Mark Bunce

    Congratulations….In open water that would have been incredible.. but through the ice, unbelievable!!! Don’t bother with the jealous clowns criticizing. Like the man said, too old to spawn, and killing the brook trout.

  20. tom

    They do surveys on a lake in New Hampshire and have caught and realeased lakers around 30 pounds before. I bet it was there.

    1. Bestkillroy

      Lots of valid points made here. I definitely think the most valid one would be the “if you aren’t comfortable killing fish, you shouldn’t fish”…..couldn’t agree more. I’m all for responsible harvesting and conservation, but have we forgotten where this sport came from???? Or why it runs through our blood to do this? “That fish is too big to eat”??? If I can’t get the hook out of a trout and back in the water in less than 15 seconds…..I’m keeping it because I KNOW the odds of it surviving are FAR less than dying. Responisble fishing is a lot more than “releasing all fish” it’s about getting off your lazy ass and making the effort to care for, clean, and cook those fish that an experienced fisherman knows aren’t likely to make it…………..ALSO……”throw it back, it’s too big, it won’t taste good” was a statement that I assure you, was NEVER said…..by ANYONE until this generation. Congrats on the fish bro…..caught a youth largemouth record in SC years ago. Great feeling.

  21. Bgfish

    If u released it someone the following week could break your record She probably couldn’t produce fertile eggs so on the wall don’t listen to those tree hugging sissy’s Congratulations

  22. Bob Casey

    Congrats on your catch and enjoy the moment!! Seeing the flag pop is one thing, landing that monster is another!! Good for you, great story for the grandkids!!

  23. Rick Baker

    Would like to hear how he pulled it thru the hole and how long it took.

  24. Mark Reynolds

    The Taxidermy Man – He gonna have a heart attack when he see what I brung him.
    Capt. Quint

  25. Bob Casey

    Congrats on your catch!! Seeing the flag pop is one thing, landing that monster is another!! Good day on the ice, great story for the grandkids!!

    1. Ty Penniman

      Congratulations!!! That is an amazing fish. Ignore all the critics. Once you put it on the ice to take some pictures (as suggested) there is no reviving it. After fighting it to the hole it was probably too exhausted to survive. Release the 3-5 pound Lakers. Find a good Taxidemist and enjoy it for years to come. GREAT JOB!!!

  26. KLAC

    Tremendous catch and once in a lifetime fish…….all I can say is GREAT job !

  27. Jim D

    Nice fish, you don’t have to throw everything back, state records have to go through a process


    The stress of being caught and the lengthy fight, make it improbable the fish would survive being released. Take it and be proud. A once in 10 lifetimes catch.

  29. Harold DeLucca

    Congrats Tommy COD, have it mounted that’s where trophy fish go, see you at the bait shop

  30. Daniel Tamburello

    Awesome fish! Congratulations!! When you break a record like that, no need to throw it back, and I am pretty much a catch and release guy 99.99% of the time…

  31. Andy Houck

    Gotta like all the people who claim they would have released this fish ! Congratulations to the fisherman who caught it,probably while they were on their computer reading about catching fish !

  32. Bob G

    People keep smaller fish than for money @ derby. Is that some how different? Awesome catch!!

  33. kevin Wiebe

    The world and Canadian record caught on rod and reel (IGFA) is 72 LBS!!! One also in Canada came in at 82 but was netted. Trolling here in northern Manitoba Canada you catch a 37 pounder every few minutes and toss it back no pictures as its too small wait till their close to 50lb for pictures. LOL still only like to keep sub 10lb’ers for eating such a waste to kill that beast.

    1. Canada IsAmericasHat

      What to take a dump on a nice accomplishment, typical canadian. It’s like us saying your money is cute, but worthless, burn it or use it for TP.

  34. Bruce Dennison

    Congratulations! Now the brookies will get to grow better.
    So how did you EVER get that tank through the hole in the ice?
    Bet you did some fast ice chipping. Nice fish.

  35. William Flikeidi. Also aca

    I’m also a catch and release advocate. But it’s still a tough call . Not likely any reproduction from that old fish.


    Please, that fish had done its time and probably wouldnt have lasted once put back after a long fight. When you get something that big you keep it. Plus lakers dominate most ponds and lakes. Different than keeping migratory stripers

    1. vic putman

      Lakers spawn in late fall early winter. Most likely spawned already. Would be interested in the bio. In NE one must think mercury concentration.
      As fisherpersons we need to respect the fish. And the lake,and the ecosystem which includes ourselves…

  37. Skip Rood

    Some fish.!! Ice fishing is great fun and I go “smeltin” a couple times a winter. “Catch-and Release” isn’t widely practiced by ice fishermen – which is OK, I guess. It’s really a social experience and perfect for kids and families. I admit that I cringe, a wee bit, when I see a 4 or 5 pound brook trout frozen stiff-as-a-board, laying beside an ice-hole. Channel 6 in Portland has a program that shows fish caught through the ice and there are lots of kids and some very lovely landed & very dead fish on display.

  38. Nick

    Shit I’m gonna find me the fattest human I can find kill it and hang it on my wall. The human race is a worthless parasite on this planet. We think we can kill and take what ever we want without no repercussions. Mother nature will get her revenge one day and I pray you all suffer.

  39. Smoochmiggig

    After reading just some of these comments you just can’t cure stupid. It’s a legal fish caught by a leagal angler

  40. Cull

    That fish was getting to the end of its life cycle i don’t believe that letting it go would make a difference good job nice catch

  41. Greg Newland

    For those saying it is full of eggs I would say that is unlike since they spawn in the fall. I would say probably filled with smelt though for sure. This fish was caught in a smaller body of water so it was probably putting a hurting on the smelt population there.

  42. bill

    blah blah haters..congrats on a beast ..sounds and looks like the man has put in his time congrats to him ..and enjoy your record catch

  43. Kory Stehlik

    Keep that fish, i keep all my steelhead, and salmon here in Oregon! That fish beat the old record by 9 pounds, it should be on the wall before it dies of natural causes, and floats up on the beach!

  44. Kory Stehlik

    That fish should have been kept, it beat the record by 9 pounds, it needs to be on a wall before it dies of old age, and washes up on shore! I keep all my legal salmon, and steelhead here in Oregon! that fish is amazing, good job..

  45. Ty Penniman

    Congratulations!!! That is an amazing fish. Ignore all the critics. Once you put it on the ice to take some pictures (as suggested) there is no reviving it. After fighting it to the hole it was probably too exhausted to survive. Release the 3-5 pound Lakers. Find a good Taxidemist and enjoy it for years to come. GREAT JOB!!!

    1. Chris Burke

      I would have kept that fish in a heartbeat.

      Haters gonna hate no matter what.

      Congratulations on the catch of a lifetime.

    2. Chris Burke

      Haters gonna hate no matter what.

      Congratulations on the catch of a lifetime.

  46. Biologist

    While sentiment is understandable, people need to accept that in biological terms, this is part of the cycle of life. This magnificent specimen undoubtedly passed its genes onto many, many offspring. Now it’s time for a hopefully unrelated individual to move into its niche and spread its genes as well. If this didn’t happen, populations would be heavily skewed (inbred) toward only a few individuals and this isn’t healthy. The fact that trophy animals are a thing of the present rather than a relic of the past (i.e. the once endangered American alligator, white tail deer, etc. as other examples.) is also a testament to modern conservation/game policies and that they’re working.

  47. Jimmy

    Absolutely correct if he’s bought his license he can do as he wishes. A fish that big probably isn’t even fertile any longer. I know that when sportsman’s clubs used to raise northern pike fingerlings the DNR said mid sized pike were the most productive.

  48. Peter Gaworecki

    Everyone should practice catch and release all you need is your cell phone to take a picture lay your rod the ground lay the fish next to it and no one will
    doubt you a replica mount looks just as good as a real one

  49. Chris

    I personally would have put the fish back if it was possible, the fish made it this far in life got that big and old to end it’s reign seems f’d up

  50. Rob Driggs

    Nice fish ! It’s a nice fish and it belongs on your wall .

  51. mike arena

    That is one beauty Tom. I myself would have done the same thing so I could show all my friends. Congratulations

    1. Todd robbins

      Nice fish and what a way for it to be retired to a nice warm wall big old fish don’t survive after a big battle he did the right thing and hats off to him big Todd an Alaska guide

  52. Mike

    I doubt any one denying this angler his time for catching that fish could have put it back in the water, it is a personal choice and all should respect that, common decency…..

  53. Mike

    For someone to chide this anglers success as to his personal decision on that trout!!!, Give me a break ,that is a phenomenal fish and any after thoughts or rearview opinions are absolutely wrong

  54. Matt

    Enjoy the catch!!!!!!!!!! There is always someone telling you what you can and cannot do I just ignore them all

  55. LOU


  56. Paca

    This luck trout goes about 60 yrs avoiding being caught and killed and Knight comes along and reels it in and kills it. Just like that, 60 yrs snuffed out. That’s just wrong. He should be charged with something for taking an historic fish and killing it. I agree with the others. It would have been just as easy to take and justify all the photos he wanted, document it, keeping it alive, instead of stuffing it, taking its life. And for what? Publicity? He could have had it all and let the fish live, instead of taking its life.

    1. LOU


  57. Kay

    Unbelievable Laker, Mackinaw, Dweller of the Deep!! Just for all you haters… Your just jealous because you didn’t brave the elements and get rewarded for it.. Instead of throwing stones you should all toss a line in the water.. You might just get lucky>>

  58. Yippierb

    How many brookies(and other fish) has this fish eaten in the last 50-60 years. Stop crying. Stuff it. Nice job on a great catch.

  59. Shaun

    If he caught that on 6lbs test (like previously mentioned), it’s a line class world record.

  60. Christopher David

    Minnow. History books note a fish of 39 lb 8oz by W.C. Muir in Scotland in 1866. A Ferox.

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