LOOK: Angler Lands Massive Chinook, the Biggest Salmon Caught in Wisconsin for 30 Years

by Sean Griffin

A fisherman from Minnesota ventured over to Wisconsin. On a recent charter trip on Lake Michigan, the man reeled in Wisconsin’s largest chinook salmon in almost thirty years.

Brian Sollars of East Bethel, Minnesota caught a salmon that weight 40.4 pounds. Its length measured at a whopping 44 inches and it owned a 28.5-inch girth.

Sollars reeled in the monster aboard the Kinn’s Sportfishing charter boat named “Midnight.” “Midnight” is captained by Bill Classon. He caught the huge fish early in the morning at 6:15 am on July 31st.

Sollars trolled his Moonshine spoon at about 50 feet in 160 feet of water. They were about 4 miles offshore. Sollars first thought he had snagged some canal grass from Sturgeon Bay when the salmon smacked the line, according to a Facebook post from K/D Salmon Tournament

“At first I didn’t feel anything. It was just heavy, and I told Bill and Carter that it must be weeds,” Sollars recalled. “But then it took off on a long run.” He boated the fish after a fifteen minute battle and netted it on his first attempt.

Facebook users were quick to flood the comment section of the post with congratulations. One user simply wrote, “wow!!”

“Congratulations that is really awesome man,” another user wrote. “Sure you got your citation. I would have him mounted from a taxidermist. Truly amazing, keep up all your fishing and be safe. God bless in Jesus name we pray, amen.”

Angler Sollars Talks His Massive Chinook Salmon

Any experienced angler knows that landing a 40-pound chinook salmon in Lake Michigan is no small feat. Sollar’s salmon is the first to ever weigh more than 40 pounds on a Kinn’s Sportfishing charter. The company has captained thousands of charter trips since being founded in 1969.

The fish marks the heaviest chinook in Wisconsin waters since a 44.92-pound salmon was reeled in near Sturgeon Bay back in 1994. That fish holds the state record.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sollars’ catch marks “the heaviest trout or salmon caught in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan and weighed on a certified scale since July 12, 2010, when Roger Hellen of Franksville caught a 41.5-pound brown trout off Wind Point in Racine County.”

The trip marked Sollars’ second Lake Michigan charter trip. The tank he reeled in was his second catch of the day. The first hooked fish got away during the fight. While he reeled in the enormous chinook salmon, Sollars thought the fish would prevail. “It almost spooled us,” Sollars told Door County Pulse. “I was hoping the fish would stop running at some point, and it did, and I was able to make some progress.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other state agencies stock Lake Michigan with chinooks and have done so since the 1960s. Chinook salmon, otherwise known as King Salmon, are the biggest salmon in North America.

The Lake Michigan record is a 47.86-pounder caught on August 7, 2021, near Ludington, Michigan.