Of course after guestimating as to the weight of the big salmon we captured at Catrine yesterday, we now have checked the weight against an online calculator. I knew it wouldn’t be long until someone questioned the weight I suggested as the photo I posted earlier wasn’t the best. In the rush to deal with this fish, I have to say we didn’t spend quite long enough photographing it. Regardless of what a captor claims, there are always doubters. This fish wasn’t an angling achievement and as such we are here to report facts not fiction.

Anyway, I’ve added a few more shots for all to see. The fish was the largest salmon I’ve ever handled by far. My biggest salmon to date was 17.5lbs and trout was between 18 and 19lbs so my guess at about 25 – 26lbs wasn’t an inexperienced shot in the dark. The fish calculator places the fish between 23 and 25lbs. From memory the fish was 89 cm long with a girth of 54cms. I’ll check these figures and update them in the morning when I get to work if necessary.  Gordon looked this up for me on line while I checked the scales to age the fish so am not sure which calculator he used. These calculators aren’t always accurate so to be safe, I’ll place the fish anywhere between 22 and 25lbs. More accurate than that is impossible as we didn’t weigh it unfortunately but I’d lean towards the middle to upper end if my opinion counts for anything.

Until I get a second opinion on the scales, I’m going to say nothing of its age. It was a hen fish and this was its second trip up the river to spawn. A very distinct spawning mark is visible on the scales from winter 2012/2013. It was in great condition apart from a small damage to the dorsal fin but hopefully this won’t reduce it’s chances of survival.

The photos below are the best we have of the fish.

Obviously a big lump of a fish

Obviously a big lump of a fish

As the fish wasn't tired in any way, holding the fish up for a traditional posed shot was impossible and keeping it from leaping from the net was almost as difficult.

As the fish wasn’t tired in any way, holding the fish up for a traditional posed shot was impossible and keeping it from leaping from the net was almost as difficult.

The wide angle lens doesn't do this fish justice but comparing the length with the depth of the bucket helps put it into perspective. It doesn't help that the

The wide angle lens doesn’t do this fish justice but comparing the length with the depth of the bucket helps put it into perspective. It doesn’t help that the fish is at an awkward angle. A rather hurried photo as the well being of the fish was more important.

 

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5 Responses to Catrine’s big salmon

  1. bob brown says:

    Easy solution Stuart all you need to do is go and catch it next week with the fly rod remember to take your scales with you and a big net. Try a nice wee shrimp fly i am sure it will remember you and rise straight up to your fly when it sees it.
    go on you know it makes sense ha ha

    • Stuart Brabbs says:

      Bob, I think I’ll pass as salmon fishing is far too political for me to get involved these days! I’d rather catch a trout.

  2. George McPike says:

    Stuart I entered the length/girth figures you supplied into the calculator on Ally Gowan’s website. They supply a number of different formulae.

    Gowans – 10.6kg 24.03lbs
    NASCO – 7.69kg 16.96lbs
    Salmon Council of Newfoundland and Labrador- 7.61kg 16.79lbs
    Mean estimate- 8.73kg 19.26lbs

    As you say, it’s impossible to be absolutely accurate without scales. I laughed when I read an article in the Trout and Salmon which mentioned the death of the 19lb salmon these days. Everybody catches 20 pounders!

    I can tell you a 23lb 4oz salmon caught from the River Ayr years ago measured 40 inches (101.5cm) and had a 22inch (56cm girth). This also produces a wide variation in weight from 24lbs to 29.5lbs on the calculators. Then there is the question of accuracy of the scales!

    Either way that hen salmon is a lovely fish. I hope it gets to spawn again!

    • Stuart Brabbs says:

      George, after your last comments, I did the same. As I said before we can never be certain of a weight based on anything but an accurate weighing at the time of capture and this wasn’t done for obvious reasons. The important point isn’t whether it was 16, 18, 20 or 30lbs but that it was a good fish and in the system in Spring. The scale reading clearly showed it had spawned previously and let hope, just as you say that she get’s to spawn again.
      I look forwards to the day when I do catch my 20 lber (on rod and line) but I really hope it’s a wild trout. That would allow me to sit back satisfied that I’ve achieved a lifelong ambition. Maybe this year….

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