PHOTOS: Angler Lands Insanely Fat Rainbow Trout, Potential World Record Catch

by Lauren Boisvert

While fishing in Central New Zealand’s Tekapo Canal on August 15, Rae Bushby hauled in a massively chunky rainbow trout. She was fishing with her 88-year-old father, Robert, her usual fishing partner for the past 16 months. Bushby has only been fishing for a little over a year, but fish don’t judge you by how experienced you are. (They will, however, harshly judge you based on your favorite “Star Trek” series.)

Jokes aside, Bushby was fishing at about 10:30 in the morning on the 15th when she felt something on her line. “On the hook set, the line started screaming out the reel as my rod bent in a very gratifying way,” Bushby told Field and Stream. “I deliberately had very little tension on, as I have lost a few big ‘donkey’ fish from a broken line before. I ran down the canal after the fish thinking I had a good one on…maybe over 10 pounds!”

Also fishing that day was Bushby’s friend, John, about 100 yards downstream. Bushby was running after her line as it tore off down the canal until it suddenly stopped. Bushby thought something snagged it underwater. “I tried putting some pressure on the line, but it didn’t budge, and I didn’t want to break my line off. John said I would have to be patient and maybe the fish would get itself off the obstacle,” said Bushby.

New Zealand Angler Hooks Massivew Rainbow Trout For Possible World Record

She continued, “I reeled my line in as I walked down the canal until I was almost opposite the fish, and John and I waited and speculated on the size of the fish while I bemoaned the fact that it had got snagged. After a couple of minutes, my line started to slowly pull out of the reel. ‘Look, John,’ I called out, ‘My line is moving.’ John said, ‘Rae that’s not snagged, that’s a big fish!’”

Rae Bushby continued to fight the huge fish, slowly gaining line as she used to current in her favor. “After a few more small runs, I managed to reel in the most gorgeous and biggest trout I have ever seen,” she said. Her friend John netted the massive trout just as the hook slid free of its mouth, she explained.

The rainbow trout was 34.6 inches long with a girth of 27.5 inches, weighing in at 30.31 pounds. Bushby potentially had a world record trout. The current world record in the International Game Fish Association women’s 8-pound line class, according to Field and Stream, is a 29-pound, 5-ounce trout caught in Tekapo Canal in 2019 by Emily Allum. Well, now Rae Bushby takes that crown. See the incredible photos from Bushby here.

“My dad and I were flabbergasted that I had managed to catch her on my cheap rod,” Bushby said. “I’m absolutely thrilled with my effort, and that I didn’t lose this donkey of a fish!”