PHOTO: Michigan Fisherman Snaps 43-Year Record With Giant Chinook Salmon

by Jon D. B.

“It’s possible for anyone if I can do it!” This 19-year-old’s first salmon angle ever just broke a longstanding Michigan chinook state record.

Teen Luis Ricardo Hernandez Martinez hails from Ortonville, Michigan. He’s an Outsider to his core. All Outsiders have to start somewhere, but in Martinez’s case – he’s off to one hell of a start.

Armed with a Moonshine raspberry carbon spoon lure, the young man has officially set a new Michigan state record! While troll fishing under the guidance of Icebreaker Charters Capt. Bobby Sullivan, Luis caught an absolutely gargantuan Chinook salmon weighing nearly 48-pounds!

His catch came early on the morning of Saturday, August 7 near Ludington on Lake Michigan proper. His monster Chinook clocks in at 47.5 inches long. The total weight? 47.86 pounds.

“I never expected a catch like this would happen,” Martinez tells the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources. “It’s possible for anyone if I can do it!”

“I would like to extend a great ‘thank you’ to Capt. Bobby, as it was he who made this catch possible for me,” Martinez adds of his harrowing captain.

“Luis did an amazing job, executing perfectly everything I asked him to do in order to bring this fish in,” praises Captain Sullivan.

Michigan Chinook Salmon State Record Shattered by First Timer

“A new state record for Chinook salmon was caught over the weekend, breaking a 43-year record. Congratulations to Luis for landing this monster. It was also his first salmon ever,” posts the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to their official Twitter Monday.

Luis’ Chinook takes the place of Ray Essex’s 1978 salmon: a 46.06-pound whopper measuring 43.5 inches long, the Dept. states. Essex caught his fish a good 5 decades ago in Grand Rapids via the Grand River in Kent County.

For the new record set by 19-year-old Luis Ricardo Hernandez Martinez this weekend, the Dept.’s Jay Wesley verifies it on behalf of Michigan state. Wesley is the Lake Michigan Basin coordinator. His verification comes cooperatively with the DNR’s Central Lake Michigan Management Unit supervisor, Scott Heintzelman, who was also present.

In Michigan, state-record fish come courtesy of weight only. In order to qualify, the fish – in this case Martinez’ Chinook salmon – must exceed any current/past state-record weights. Then, an identification must also be made by a DNR fisheries biologist.

For a current list of Michigan’s state record fish by species, mosey on over to this link.

And for much more on planning a Michigan fishing adventure of your own, click right here.

As for Chinook salmon, the species averages about 30-pounds for adult males. They are the largest species of Pacific salmon, and their common name comes from the native Chinookan peoples of North America. If you’ve heard of king salmon, Quinnat salmon, the Tsumen, spring salmon, Blackmouth, or Tyee salmon – that’s also a Chinook!

Congrats again to Luis! An incredible angle – and angler!