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?"


Recommended for You

Bass

Deep Cranking Confessions from the Pro's

John Neporadny Jr - December 18, 2017

Here's some important crankbait lessons from the big leagues.

Walleye

Spring Walleye Fishing Tackle Choices

Steve Ryan - October 19, 2017

Spring walleye fishing often means large numbers of fish concentrated in small areas.

Boats & Motors

Technical Notes: Calculating Prop Performance

In-Fisherman - May 01, 2019

In-Fisherman Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

X-Factor Smallmouths

The In-Fisherman staff keeps it on the cutting edge, as they use the X-Factor plus topwater lures for smallmouths.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

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...

Other Fish

Best Carp Baits Today

Dan Johnson - June 29, 2018

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

See More Stories

More Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse

Googan Baits' Drag n Drop Worm

Ned Kehde - June 14, 2019

The Drag n Drop Worm has a small four-inch shad-shaped body with a flat bottom.

Midwest Finesse

Big Sexy Baits' Paddle Worm

Ned Kehde - March 18, 2019

Here's a look at the Paddle Worm from Big Sexy Baits.

Midwest Finesse

Catch Outdoors' Catawba Worm

Ned Kehde - August 09, 2019

Ultra-realistic Catawba Worm design complete w/ head, tail, feet & body detail. Available in 7...

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×