PHOTO: Angler Hooks Record Salmon in Landlocked Lake

by Matthew Memrick

A New Jersey angler’s record-breaking salmon came out of a landlocked lake in September.

Did Joe Satkowski wait to announce the record? Or did the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife take a while to confirm the fish? You have to play it safe after past issues in other states over identification.

Fox News said the Hampton resident used a simple homemade jig to land the catch at the Merrill Creek Reservoir. Satkowski caught the fish on his boat using a 6-pound test line, a Temple Forks Outfitter spinning rod, and a Shimano Stradic spinning reel.

The lake, the deepest artificial lake in New Jersey, is 70 miles outside New York City.

Five Ounces For A Salmon Record 

Satkowski’s salmon stats make for an eight-pound, 10-ounce salmon. It also measured 26 inches long with a circumference of 16.25 inches.

Amazingly, the fish beat out the previous record-holder by five simple ounces at the 650-acre lake.

Fishers say Merrill Creek Reservoir is more known for its brown trout and catfish.

According to the Camden Daily Voice, the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery stocked the lake with 14-inch salmon for three consecutive years starting in 2018. 

Satkowski’s salmon was likely an anadromous Atlantic salmon, and the fish is known for putting up a fight.

On The Water Magazine posted the news of Satkowski’s salmon on Facebook, and the man got a few congratulatory words for his prized catch.

“Beauty even by northern New England standards,” Kurt Lindbloom said. “Congratulations.”

Another man said Satkowski’s was a fantastic light tackle fish and “grats to the angler for a job well done.” 

The praise didn’t stop for the man on a New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Facebook page. A neighbor celebrated the man’s catch telling the world he was now retired and could enjoy fishing, while another was impressed by his 6-pound line and homemade jig.

Finally, one man trotted out a baseball analogy in his admiration for the man’s feat.

“Touch ’em all Joe,” Craig Mazur said. “You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life!”

Some were not as impressed, likening fishing in a man-made lake to fishing in a barrel. But still, you got to go and catch the fish.

Want to know the world record? A Torch Lake, Mich. angler caught a landlocked salmon weighing 26 pounds, 12 ounces in Oct. 2010.  

Another New Jersey Fishing Record

September was the month for fishing in New Jersey.

Manahawkin resident Russ Griffin caught a sheepshead on Sept. 20. The man was spearfishing off Long Beach Island when he picked up the 12-pound, 8-ounce fish. Notably, the fish was 26 inches long and had a 22.5- inch girth.

The IGFA sheepshead record came out of the Big Easy. A New Orleans angler in April 1982 caught the fish, weighing 21 pounds and 4 ounces.