Near-record lake trout catch tilts scales in Henderson Harbor

Frank Dziczek, left, stands next to Capt. Scott Durant on Tuesday after they caught a 36-pound lake trout together. Provided photo

HENDERSON HARBOR — A nearly 40-pound trout that was caught this week knocked on the state record’s door, but more importantly it gave Henderson Harbor more notoriety as a premier fishing spot in the north country.

Capt. Scott W. Durant has been a fishing guide in Henderson Harbor for more than 33 years, and the biggest catch he’s witnessed occurred in his Milky Way Fishing Charters boat on Tuesday.

One of his clients landed a 36-pound lake trout at around 7:30 a.m. after having left Henchen Marina. It was the client’s first time on Lake Ontario. The fish was caught between the Stony Point Lighthouse and Sandy Pond, where the water is between 150 and 160 feet deep.

“I told the guy who caught it that it’s a once in a lifetime fish,” he said, “and then I changed it to that’s probably a once in two lifetimes fish.”

Capt. Tom Ewing, who’s been a charter guide in Henderson Harbor for nearly 40 years, said he was out fishing the same morning and saw Mr. Durant’s boat when they landed it.

“That has to be one of the biggest lake trout I’ve ever heard of being caught here,” he said.

Mr. Durant said it was a group of three truck drivers from Pennsylvania who were with him. It took them between 20 and 30 minutes to reel the monster trout in. As of 2020, the state record for lake trout was a fish caught in Lake Erie that weighed 41 pounds, 8 ounces. In Lake Ontario, though, the record appears to be around 39 pounds.

“I think it’s probably the biggest Lake Trout that has ever came into Henderson Harbor,” Mr. Durant said. “This was just a freak of nature.”

Mr. Durant estimated the fish was roughly 25 years old, and he said his client, Frank Dziczek, wasn’t going to eat it but instead take it back home to be mounted.

“Stuff like this helps Henderson Harbor,” Mr. Durant said. “It gives a little notoriety.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment


New York state should raise giant trout like that in controlled conditions and then stock the waterways with them. It would be a huge boon to tourism.

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