Maryland fisherman shatters state record after reeling in massive rainbow trout: 'Feels good'

The Bethseda, Marland, man fought the large fish for 30 minutes, he told Fox News Digital

On Feb. 10, a Maryland resident headed out for a day of fishing and ended up breaking a state record.

Jean-Philippe Lartigue, 65, of Bethseda, went out to fish like he always does, but he never imagined he would reel in something as large as his record-setting rainbow trout, he told Fox News Digital.

The former fisheries biologist spent time "consulting with governments in Africa" before retiring and settling down in Maryland, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (Maryland DNR) wrote in a recent press release.


Lartigue has been fishing since he was 10 years old and has had many years of practice, so when he finally felt the fish pull, he knew he was about to land something big along the Antietam Creek, he told Fox News Digital.

Jean-Philippe Lartigue rainbow trout

Jean-Philippe Lartigue has set the new record in the state of Maryland after catching a 17.44-pound rainbow trout on Feb. 10, along the Antietam Creek. (Jean-Philippe Lartigue )

He quickly found himself holding on to the pole very tight as the large fish began to fight, he said.

"Lartigue was fishing with a long, 12-foot crappie-style rod, spinning reel, eight-pound test monofilament line, a small split-shot weight and a No. 8 hook baited with a natural worm bait when he hooked the massive rainbow trout," the Maryland DNR reported.

Lartigue was nervous that if he pulled too hard his line would break, so he battled the fish for nearly 30 minutes.


He was also in a rocky area and wanted to avoid the 8-pound line snagging on anything sharp and snapping, which could have cost him the record-breaking fish. 

Jean-Philippe Lartigue Maryland fisherman

Lartigue knew he had caught something big, but it wasn't until after the 30- minute long battle that he was able to get a good look at his massive catch. (Jean-Philippe Lartigue )

After a well-fought battle, Lartigue did not have a net with him, so he had to get in the water and catch it by hand.

Lartigue went back to his car and with the help of some other fishermen at the site, Lartigue contacted the Maryland DNR and find the nearest weighing station.

Lartigue made his way to Ernst’s Country Market in Clear Spring to weigh his fish on a certified scale which read 17.44 pounds, the Maryland DNR stated in its press release. The catch measured 32 inches.


"We are extremely impressed by the weight of the fish, which bests the old record by over 3 pounds, a record that many of us in the department thought would never be broken," Erik Zlokovitz, the recreational fisheries outreach coordinator, said in the release.

Jean-Phillippe rainbow trout split

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources confirmed Lartigue's catch is a new record after surpassing the former record holder by over three pounds. (Jean-Philippe Lartigue /iStock)

The previous rainbow trout record in Maryland was set in 1987 with the fish weighing 14.2 pounds.

Lartique said he is grateful to the young fishermen who came alongside him and helped him make this and official record.

"They did everything for me and everything went well, very well. I would like to say thank you to all these people," he told Fox News Digital.

Lartigue said he is thrilled about his catch and that breaking the state record "feels good."

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