Big Kansas Rainbow Trout

Big Kansas Rainbow Trout

Northeastern Kansas isn't graced with the resplendent  trout waters that Matt Straw so gracefully writes about. In fact, it's likely that Straw and many other anglers of his caliber would find our waterways to be rather dispiriting places to ply.

Nevertheless, we make do, and we occasionally catch a few rainbow trout at a several of our reservoirs during the cold-water months. For instance, Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas, and I spend about four hours on Mar. 5 doing what we call bass fishing for trout. On this outing, we caught 18 rainbow trout that ranged in size from two pounds to more than four pounds. (For more information about our bass fishing for trout tactics, please consult this blog: https://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/02/22/bass-fishing-for-trout/)


This morning Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas, and Guide Lines Guide Service, who frequently fishes with Desch and me, sent me the following account he wrote about a 14.28-pound rainbow trout that was caught by one his friends:


"Jay Melkus of Topeka , who is an on-call nurse for Grace Hospice, boated what may be the new Kansas record rainbow trout.

Melkus and Steve Dawdy of Topeka were fishing Lake Shawnee during the evening of Mar. 7.

The wind had howled all day, but it had begun to lay by late afternoon, which gave Melkus and Dawdy a few hours to fish and probe some of the lake's rocky shorelines.

On this outing, Melkus wielded a six-foot, six-inch St. Croix rod and a Pflueger President reel spooled with Trilene four-pound-test monofilament line.


To the line, he affixed a weighted bobber. Three feet below the bobber, he attached one of his hand-tied 1/80-ounce marabou jigs in a fawn-brown hue.

He presented this jig-and-bobber combo to the trout by executing a 25-foot cast towards a rocky shoreline. Then he retrieved it by slowly cranking the reel handle. At times his jig was virtually motionless and almost in a suspended state.

He and Dawdy were having a delightful time as they tangled with six handsome rainbow trout.


At 6:30 p.m., the delightful spell turned electrifying when Melkus' bobber slipped below the surface and a 20-minute donnybrook ensued.

As Melkus battled this behemoth, he was well aware that he should not rely on the drag mechanism of his spinning reel. Instead, Melkus, who is a veteran and talented angler, implemented the classic back-reeling maneuver when the trout made its frequent, electrifying, soul-stirring and nearly overwhelming surges. This procedure allowed the line to smoothly peel off the spool of Melkus' spinning reel.

After boating the fish and taking several cellphone photographs, Melkus and Dawdy stared at the fish and one another in disbelief for what seemed like hours. Eventually they decided to get the fish properly identified, measured and weighed. Thus, they put the monster on ice for the night. Straightaway on the morning of Mar 8, they headed to Herman's Meat Market, where its congenial employees weighed what will certainly be the new Kansas record rainbow trout.

Melkus' trout weighed 14.28 pounds. It measured 30.5 inches in length with a girth of 18.75 inches.

The state record was broken twice last year in a matter of weeks. Will Melkus' trout withstand the test of time?"


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bug-Repellent Clothing from L.L. Bean

Bug-Repellent Clothing from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean No Fly Zone and Insect Shield apparel won't let bugs ruin a fishing trip. With Jeff Miller of L.L. Bean and Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean's Jeff Miller shares a room-full of new gear for 2020 with Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

Simms

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north or south, will help you pinpoint their predictable locations year after year. Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

The segmented body and unique paddle tail of the Hyper Worm combine to emit a strong vibration in the water. Midwest Finesse

Lake Fork Trophy Lures' four-inch Hyper Worm

Ned Kehde - May 12, 2020

The segmented body and unique paddle tail of the Hyper Worm combine to emit a strong vibration...

It is manufactured in four sizes: three inches, four inches, and five inches. Midwest Finesse

LIVETARGET Lures' Slow-Roll Shiner

Ned Kehde - June 09, 2020

It is manufactured in four sizes: three inches, four inches, and five inches.

The caudal peduncle and caudal fin generate a significant amount of gyrations and undulations. Midwest Finesse

Venture Lures' Heckler

Ned Kehde - June 24, 2020

The caudal peduncle and caudal fin generate a significant amount of gyrations and undulations.

The head, torso, and tail are constructed of solid and flexible soft plastic. Midwest Finesse

Berkley's PowerBait Power Swimmer

Ned Kehde - June 15, 2020

The head, torso, and tail are constructed of solid and flexible soft plastic.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now