SANDPOINT, Idaho — An 8-year-old girl from Sandpoint accomplished a feat that would be impressive for even the most experienced angler. Sophie Egizi set a new catch-and-release record for Gerrard rainbow trout in Idaho.
Egizi caught the 36.5-inch beast while fishing on Lake Pend Oreille on Oct. 11. Idaho Fish and Game announced the record in early November.
Lake Pend Oreille also holds the certified weight record of 37 pounds for Gerrard rainbow trout set in 1947. Another man recently set a new catch-and-release record of 29 inches for bull trout while fishing on the lake.
Idaho Fish and Game says Gerrard rainbow trout are unique to the Clark Fork River drainage and have long been handled as a separate trout record species due to their notorious size.
Sophie’s dad Bob reached out to KREM via email to share more of his daughter’s story.
The family says Sophie has been obsessed with fish since she was “a tiny little nugget” – and this time isn’t the first that she has caught a gargantuan fish. When she was just four years old, Sophie nabbed a 15-pound black drum while on a fishing trip with her dad and one of his friends.
Sophie told her parents that she would catch a record fish ever since and she made her dream a reality.
“Fast forward to Oct. 11 and as we're walking out of the house, way earlier than Sophie ever wakes up, she's all smiles and smack talk with, ‘…I'm catching a record fish today!!' We laughed at her... Now she's laughing at us,” Sophie’s mom Jessi wrote on Facebook.
Sophie loves animals and nature, her dad said. Her parents say that they believe she will pursue a career as a veterinarian, biologist or environmental activist.
“She picks up trash when she sees it and every year for her birthday she does random acts of kindness, the amount equal to her age,” her dad wrote to KREM.
Sophie and her dad even made a video several years ago where she is pretending to dock fish, and reminds people to recycle and use barbless hooks. Check out the (super adorable) proof below.
Bob Egizi said the family recently moved to Sandpoint from Fort Myers, Florida, adding that Lake Pend Oreille was one of many reasons the family decided to pack their bags and head for Idaho.
“It was a gamble but it was worth every penny. Sophie’s record is just icing on the cake,” he wrote to KREM.