Rockford man lands likely world-record trout

WORLD RECORD BROWN?—Tom Healy (right) of Rockford holds the 41.45-pound brown trout he recently caught on the Big Manistee River. It is believed that this is a world record brown trout. At the left is fishing guide Tim Roller of Cadillac.

WORLD RECORD BROWN?—Tom Healy (right) of Rockford holds the 41.45-pound brown trout he recently caught on the Big Manistee River. It is believed that this is a world record brown trout. At the left is fishing guide Tim Roller of Cadillac.

Fish featured on ESPN, Field and Stream

It’s been said that Manistee is one of the best places to fish in the world. That may have been proven true on Wednesday, September 9.

Tom Healy of Rockford reeled in a potential new world record brown trout with his 41.45-pound catch Wednesday morning on the Big Manistee River. Multiple online sources credit the current world record holder to Howard “Rip” Collins, for his 40.25-pound brown caught in 1992 in Arkansas.

“It was fitting that Tom would catch this fish,” said Wednesday’s river guide Tim Roller of Cadillac, the host of the television show Tim Roller’s Wild Adventure, who was one of two others who witnessed the catch. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the cameras with us today.”

The DNR’s Master Angler state records page lists the current state record brown trout as a 36.81-pound fish caught in Benzie County in 2007 by Casey Randall Richey. The three next-biggest browns are all listed as catches in Manistee County. Healy’s catch drew a crowd around the Pier Pressure charter boat office on River Street, where the three fishermen brought the fish to be weighed on certified scales. Bob Woodhouse, who is also from the Grand Rapids area and fished with Healy Wednesday, received credit for coming up with the idea to fish near Manistee. Woodhouse agreed with Roller that Healy “is an excellent angler.”

Woodhouse said Wednesday’s trip wasn’t really a special occasion. “Tom and I fish together all the time,” he said, “probably for over 10 years now.”

The group knew they had a lunker right off the bat. “At first we didn’t know what we had, but we knew it was a big fish,” Healy said.

He added that, although under such circumstances it’s difficult to keep track of time, it probably took 15 minutes to land the fish. “It was a fun morning,” Healy said. “We caught some salmon, then we caught this and said, ‘It’s time to quit.’”

However, the crew wasn’t about to get out the fillet knife. “I’ll get him up on the wall,” Healy said. “He’ll look good.”

Admiring a mounted fish at Pier Pressure, Healy said, “Look at that sucker there, and he’s 10 pounds lighter.”

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