California Angler Releases Potential Record-Breaking Rainbow Trout Out of ‘Respect’

by Hannah Heser
(Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images)

A Northern California fisherman recently caught a huge rainbow trout, which might have beat the state record. But Josh Giordano, the fisherman, chose not to kill the beautiful fish for the sake of a record. This is a sign of respect for not only the fish, but the people of California too.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife lists a 27-pound rainbow trout from Lake Natoma in 2005 as the state record.

Why Josh Giordano Threw the Rainbow Trout Back in the Lake

First of all, Giordano tells the Stockton Record releasing the trout is a sign of respect. “But also in hopes that one of our young upcoming anglers has a shot at becoming a legend or even a record holder,” he adds.

The fisherman then obtained his weight estimate using a tape measure formula. The trout measures about 41 inches with a width of 27 inches. Both of these measurements are significantly larger than the ones similar to the state record.

A few hours later, he posted the enormous rainbow trout he caught at the Thermalito Diversion Pool after a marathon battle. “It was one of the most amazing moments in my life,” Giordano says.

During the long day of fishing, he used a swimbait that ties to a 15-pound leader and 20-pound braid. Then suddenly, the fish bit the line. And it turned out to be something that set the world record. A massive rainbow trout!

“When I hooked this fish, I knew immediately how giant it was when it peeled off 150 yards of line in about 20 seconds,” he mentions to the Stockton Record. “I have never seen the power of a fish like it. The fish continued to jump, tail walk and do things I’ve never seen fish do on the surface.”

Advice From Fisherman

Even though the California fisherman started to get tired while reeling the trout in, he never gave up. Although, neither did the fish until Giordano put in more effort. He finally landed the gorgeous rainbow trout after an hour and 10 minute fight. This is a long time, but it’s definitely worth it when you realize the fish may be a state record.