Sudden change in fortune results in record trout for Wyandotte fisherman

Lonnie Gilbert was ready to call it a day.

After fishing for two hours March 22 at Wyandotte County Lake, he had only two small rainbow trout to show for his time. And that wasn’t enough to persuade him to stay much longer.

“I was going to give it 10 minutes, then go home,” said Gilbert, 22, who lives in Kansas City, Kan.

You can probably guess where Gilbert’s story goes from there. Not long after he conceded defeat, the Little Cleo spoon he cast into Spillway Cove came to an abrupt stop. When he set the hook, a huge trout shot to the surface and made an acrobatic leap.

“That was the biggest trout I have ever seen,” he said.

After a short fight, he worked the fish to the shore. That’s when another fisherman provided an assist.

“I didn’t have a net,” he said. “But a guy clear on the other side of the cove did, and he ran over to help me.”

The trout weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces, bettering the former lake record by 4 ounces. Now Gilbert plans to have a replica mount made of his catch.

“I caught a 4-pounder the week before, and I thought that trout was big,” Gilbert said. “This one was more than two times that big, and it really put up a fight.”

Hope for snaggers

The first two weeks of the Missouri paddlefish snagging season were disappointing, with abnormally low water temperatures and a lack of flow in tributaries delaying the spawning run.

But the rain this week could change things in a hurry, fisheries biologists with the Department of Conservation say.

Warming water temperatures and the flow produced by the precipitation could get the fish on the move at Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Reservoir, Table Rock Lake and their tributaries.

“The increase in flow from the rains should get the fish moving,” Trish Yasger, a fisheries biologist for the Department of Conservation, said in a report. “Continue to think warm spring rains.

“As water temperatures and flow increase, snagging should improve.”

Prep bass tournament

High school fishing teams from the Kansas City area will be casting for bragging rights when they compete in the Panther Classic bass tournament April 27 at Smithville Lake.

The event, sponsored by the Park Hill South Elite Anglers bass-fishing team, will be open to high-school age fishermen. Teams will consist of two young fishermen accompanied by one adult boat captain.

There will be an entry fee of $50 per boat. The event will be based at the Little Platte boat ramp, with fishing from safe light to 2 p.m.

To register, call Clay Lenhert at 816-914-5330 or email him at lenhertc@parkhill.k12.mo.us.

Outdoors intro

This won’t be your common girls day out.

The Cabela’s Outfitters store in Kansas City, Kan., will introduce women to the outdoors in a special program from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Ladies Day Out event will feature classes on turkey hunting, fly fishing, land management and firearms. The free program will include lunch and gifts to the first 100 women to attend.

Fish story of the week

If we had printed this item on April 1, we probably would have been accused of trying to pull an April Fools prank.

But no, this really happened — or at least, so insists a Florida kayak fisherman.

Adam Fisk was fishing on the Atlantic Ocean near Boynton Inlet when something slammed the bait on one of his rods and began stripping out line. So began a wild adventure.

The fish, a hammerhead shark that Fisk estimated at 11 feet long, towed the kayak for almost eight miles. That ride lasted almost two hours.

Fisk ended the fight by cutting the line, but not before he took about six minutes of video, which he posted on YouTube.