Connecticut woman hooks 'monster' pike, tying 40-year-old record

Little boy catches first-ever fish in adorable video

A young boy and his father were fishing on Lake Champlain in Quebec when the tiny kid managed to reel in his first fish.

A Connecticut woman taught her kids a thing or two about fishing when she hooked a huge pike during a recent angling adventure.

Leslie Slater was fishing by kayak with her family in Colebrook's West Branch Reservoir when she reeled in the impressive catch, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reported on Wednesday.

According to Slater, all was calm until she felt a “huge hit.”

Leslie Slater recently was out fishing by kayak with her family in Colebrook’s West Branch Reservoir when she reeled in the impressive catch, pictured.
(Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection)

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“It pulled hard right to the bottom. It almost broke my pole in half,” the angler said. “Then with all of the dead weight, I thought that I had lost the fish and snagged the bottom.”

Slater managed to pull the catch into her boat, later revealed to be a 29-pound, 46-inch Northern Pike.

“Never in my life did I expect to see a freshwater fish of that size come out of Connecticut, the adrenaline rush pulling in a fish that size was awesome,” she continued. “I still can't believe I pulled it into my kayak without flipping over or having my toes bitten off.”

Slater managed to pull the catch into her boat, later revealed to be a 29-pound, 46-inch Northern Pike.
(Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection)

Slater had planned to release the fish back into the water, but it couldn't be revived. From there, she was inspired to see if the whopper was a record-breaker.

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The challenge of getting the fish weighed on a certified scale, however, was exacerbated by local power outages after Tropical Storm Isaias and the coronavirus pandemic, state environmental protection officials said.

The proud parent said that the most special part of the success was celebrating it with her loved ones.
(Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection)

Determined, the Barkhamsted woman took the fish to a local deli to get it measured.

“We had many staring at us as we carried in a fish of that size. One deli was willing to weigh the fish but it was too big for the scale, the head and tail hit the counter,” Slater recalled. “The reaction we received from the deli customers was priceless.”

Luckily, state environmental department Fisheries Division biologist Edward Machowski was able to lend a helping hand and assist.

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“I called Leslie shortly after learning of the catch and her dilemma in finding a certified scale,” Machowski explained. “Leslie’s excitement and enthusiasm over catching this monster pike was infectious and I knew we had to help her.”

Ryan Craig, the owner of the Berkshire Country Store in Norfolk, agreed to weigh the pike using his certified scale in the deli, he said.

Slater's pike tied a 40-year-old record set in 1980, according to Connecticut Fish and Wildlife.

The Constitution State tracks fishing records through its Trophy Fish Award program, established in the 1960s. Ambitious anglers can pursue records for both weight and length categories.

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To that end, Slater said the most special part of the success was celebrating it with her loved ones.

“My favorite part of that fishing adventure, besides catching, was that my husband and kids were there to share the experience. That catch will forever be a positive memory of 2020 for me and my family!” she exclaimed.

Mason Trumble, the state Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Conservation, congratulated the angler on her tremendous tie-maker, which will be recognized at the annual Trophy Fish Award Ceremony, planned for the spring.

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