Huge fish caught in hydro canal

Whopper: The 20.5kg (45-pound) female brown trout caught by Otwin Kandolf at the Ohau B canal.
Whopper: The 20.5kg (45-pound) female brown trout caught by Otwin Kandolf at the Ohau B canal.

The Upper Waitaki hydro canals are yielding bigger and bigger trout, with a staggering 20.5-kilogram (45 pound) brown landed recently.

Fisherman Otwin Kandolf may have set a national record after hooking the female trout in the Ohau B canal on March 8.

His catch follows a national record set by Timaru shearer Evan Johnson, who landed an 18kg (39.7 pound) female trout in October.

Mr Kandolf hooked the fish with a 17-gram silver slice on a 5.4kg (12lb) line. "The fish was that big we didn't really have to fight it that much," he said.

It took about 15 minutes to land but a sizeable set of scales was not handy so Mr Kandolf took it to Twizel resident Mike Darling, who confirmed its weight.

It was also weighed by Pleasant Point resident Bob King.

The fish has been stored in a freezer at his place in preparation for mounting.

Mr Kandolf, a visitor from Tauranga, said he had been salmon fishing at Rangitata the week before and decided to move on to the canals after having no luck.

"We were fishing in the Rangitata for two weeks and only caught two salmon; it was so quiet that we decided to head to the canals.

"I just looked at the fish and saw how ugly it was; it's not a nice-looking fish," he said of his prized catch. Mr Kandolf said it was the first time he had fished the canals and he would likely return to the area next year.

He said he was in contact with Fish and Game officer Graeme Hughes about getting an official weight. Fish and Game referred the Herald to Timaru fishing columnist Peter Shutt, who said the catch was possibly a world record. "I can't tell you if it is at this instant."

He asked if the scales used to weigh the fish were registered.

The International Game Fish Association lists the all tackle record for the species at 20.6kg, caught by Roger Hellen in Wisconsin in the United States in July 2010.

The Timaru Herald