There is no question in my mind that the internet with its social media outlets have changed how anglers and hunters in Montana can get their photos of their prized fish and animals out for everyone to see. There are times I know that you must wonder out loud if the big fish that you see was photo shopped or real. That was the case this past week when a large walleye was caught by an angler out of Fort Peck Reservoir that in the text message I received claimed to be a new Montana state record. The angler that caught the fish didn’t send it to me but a friend did after he got the photo from his brother and forwarded it to me. So we put it on our Montana Outdoor Radio Show facebook page asking if anyone knew this anglers and the story about the fish in the picture. From that post we found out the same photo was on the Montana Ice Fishing facebook page with this headline “Catch of a lifetime. 17.66 pounds…34 inches….out of Fort Peck. …congrats Kyle Sando on a great catch” I have not been able to contact Sando to verify when and where he caught this huge fish but one thing is for certain it is not a new state record. That is still owned by Bob Hart with a 17.75 pound walleye he caught out of Tiber Reservoir in November 2007 while fishing from shore in a lawn chair.
This past Sunday we posted a photo of a large trout on our facebook page and once again we asked the question if anyone knew this angler and the story behind the large trout. Was it a new Montana state record? Within minutes we were told that the angler was Shane Fisher of Kalispell, but no details on where the fish was caught. There was speculation that it had been caught out of Ashley Lake. Then Monday Jim Vashro who is a friend of mine and a retired fish biologist from Region One e-mailed this explanation to me on what he knew about the fish,”Hey, Mark. A friend contacted me about the picture of the big rainbow on montanaoutdoor.com. It looks like a 24 pound rainbow caught about a month ago just below Libby Dam. I have a fuzzy picture and it looks like the same guy. This is one of the better fish I’ve seen below the dam in a while. This guy has apparently caught quite a few big rainbows although nothing this big. Not a state record, not from Ashley. It’s interesting how things on the internet get twisted around. I’m also seeing pictures of some nice rainbows (10-15) pounds caught in Lake Koocanusa. Time to dust the boat off. Cheers, Jim Vashro.” The current state record rainbow trout is 33.1 pounds and was caught by Jack Housel Jr. in 1997 out of the Kootenai River by the David Thompson Bridge.
So with the help of social media I apparently have the name of the two anglers, the weight of the fish they caught what body of water they caught the fish in and that neither fish is a new state record. All of this information without having spoken with either of the fisherman. Back in the good old days they would call it hearsay, today it’s the so-called facts you get with social media.
(Written by the Captain – aka Mark Ward)
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