BOISE - A Nampa man is still in shock after catching a rainbow trout in the Boise River weighing nearly 20 pounds Tuesday.
"My adrenaline was pumping, I couldn't breathe. It was pure shock," Jason Waidelich said describing the moment he caught the fish.
The trout measured 34 inches long, 23 1/2 inches around and weighed 19.25 pounds on an official USDA scale.
"The only time I've ever seen a trout that big is in the aquariums at Cabela's," Waidelich laughed.
Art Butts, the restoration and conservation coordinator for Idaho Fish and Game, said he's never seen a fish this big in the Boise River.
"In all the fish I've handled, and every time we do a survey, we probably touch between 300 and 500 fish every time we do it," he said. "I've never touched a 30-inch long plus fish in my survey."
He said the typical size of a trout that most people catch in the Boise River is between nine and 15 inches long.
"Anything over 18 people start getting really proud of," Butts said. "Getting anything over 30 is extremely rare. We don't see it very often."
Something Waidelich knows. He tries to fish everyday and was even in the same spot a week earlier.
"We'll catch a couple of little perch, some trout, you know, whatever," he said.
He had his ultralight reel with a four-pound test and a size eight hook; not exactly ideal for catching a nearly 20-pound fish.
"It was close too," he said. "I barely jaw hooked him right on the top of the jaw."
Waidelich still can't believe it.
"Never in my life did I expect anything that big," he said. "This is a fisherman's dream."
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