Washington Angler Sets New State Record For Tiger Muskies

OLYMPIA – David Hickman of Richland has set a new state record for the largest tiger muskie caught in state waters, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed today.

The 37.88 pound fish measured 50.38 inches in length and was caught in Curlew Lake in Ferry County on July 26 using a white spinner bait.

“Sometimes you can tell by the shape and width of the head that a fish is big,” said Hickman. “I wasn’t thinking about whether it was record-sized, I just kept thinking ‘I hope my line doesn’t break.'”

“Sometimes you can tell by the shape and width of the head that a fish is big,” said Hickman. “I wasn’t thinking about whether it was record-sized, I just kept thinking ‘I hope my line doesn’t break.'”

The new record exceeded the previous record tiger muskie’s weight by more than six pounds. That record was held by John Bays of Chehalis on a fish caught in Mayfield Lake, Lewis County in 2001. Tiger muskies are aggressive predators that are bred to be sterile. WDFW manages the hybrid for trophy fisheries with a low daily limit and a high minimum size.

The previous tiger musky record was set before Washington imposed a minimum length limit of 50-inches on tiger muskies. Several years ago, a 52-inch tiger musky was caught and released from Curlew Lake. If that fish had the same physical proportions as the new record fish – it would have weighed about 41 pounds 10 ounces.

Two sculpin records also fell this summer.

On July 1, Shaylynn Bird Sullivan from Sierra Vista, Arizona, caught a 0.45 pound prickly sculpin from the Columbia River in Chelan County. The fish was caught trolling shrimp approximately a quarter to half mile below the Rocky Reach Dam. The previous record was a 0.41 pound fish caught by Jeff Frederick in Priest Rapids Lake, in Grant County in 2008.

Nine-year old Josiah Brenner of Vashon also broke a state record when he caught a 0.76 pound Pacific staghorn sculpin out of Tramp Harbor in King County on Aug. 3.

Brenner caught the staghorn while fishing with herring. His fish was half a pound heavier than the previous record, which had been set by John Moore in 2000 out of Padilla Bay in Skagit County.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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