June 30, 2009
Breaking News: Brook Trout Record Shattered
It was just a matter of time before New York produced another “new” state record brook trout, and this time the lucky angler was well-known Utica wildlife artist Tom Yacovella.
Actually, if you know Yacovella, than you also know “luck” had little to do with it. He is a brook trout specialist with a nose for where the big ones live.
The monster female brookie tipped the scales at 5 pounds, 4 ½ ounces on four different state-certified scales. While the 21-inch length is impressive, it is dwarfed by the fishes’ amazing girth of 15 inches.
Yacovella was fishing on Raquette Lake. He was using an interesting three-way swivel with a pencil lead sinker. His lure of choice was a 3½-inch floating Rapala with a shad finish.
In recent months there have been rumors of other potential record brook trout coming out of the Adirondacks which have turned out to be splake. Yacovella’s fish was examined by NY DEC biologists who confirmed it was indeed a brookie.
One way to differentiate between brookies and splake is to count the pyloric caeca (the finger-like projections in the small intestines). Brookies have 23 to 55 pyloric caeca, and splake have 65 to 85. Yacovella’s fish had 37, thus confirming its status.
This is considered a new record in New York as all the old records dating back to the 1800s, including a rumored 14-pounder by well known politician and dictionary founder Daniel Webster caught in the Carmans River on Long Island in 1827, were retired within the past decade. The previous “modern” record was 4 pounds, 15 ounces taken by Jesse Yousey on a Lake Clear Wabbler somewhere in the Five Ponds Wilderness in 2006.
Look for the complete story of Yacovella’s amazing fish in the September issue of Outdoors Magazine.