See the record-breaking rainbow trout that was caught at a Maryland battlefield

The catch happened in Antietam Creek, the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

BOONSBORO, Md. – A new angler wears the crown for landing the biggest rainbow trout in Maryland history.

The 17.44-pound fish caught in Antietam Creek, the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, shattered the old record trout of 14.2 pounds, which was held for 37 years.

"We are extremely impressed by the weight of the fish, which bests the old record by over 3 pounds, a record that many of us in the department thought would never be broken," Erik Zlokovitz, recreational fisheries outreach coordinator for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, said in a statement


The nearly 3-foot-long fish floored the new record-holder, too.

"I knew the fish was a very large trout, but I did not see how big it was at the beginning of the fight," fisherman Jean-Philippe Lartigue said in a statement. "I finally saw the fish, and it made two very long runs to the opposite side of the creek and was hard to move. I also had to keep the fish away from some bridge abutments, which could have cut the line easily."

Lartigue said the fish was so large that he didn't have a net large enough to pull it from the river. After 30 minutes, he was finally able to grab the monster by the jaw, hooking it with his fingers. The trout fought back and dug its teeth into Lartigue's finger, leaving him with a nasty bite.

The massive fish won't be mounted on the mantle as Lartigue made a meal of it.

The rainbow trout is a native of America's West Coast from Alaska to Mexico, according to the International Game Fish Association. It was introduced to the Atlantic coast then transplanted around the world.

The world record rainbow trout was 48 pounds caught in Lake Diefenbaker in Canada in 2009. The world record length is 37 inches, caught in New Zealand in 2020.


His father taught him all he knows

Lartigue is no stranger to fish. He said he spent his career as a fisheries biologist consulting for African governments. He credits his father for teaching him to fish for trout with long rods and natural baits in his childhood home in France.

"The long rod helps to control the drift and presentation of natural baits in swift stream currents," the Department of Natural Resources stated.

The rod was 12 feet long, crappie-style with a spinning reel, an 8-pound test monofilament line, a small spit shot weight and a No. 8 hook baited with a worm he dug out of his backyard, according to the DNR.

Catch happened on a historic battlefield

Antietam Creek, where the fish was caught, is part of the battlefield where the decisive Battle of Antietam happened on Sep. 17, 1862, during the Civil War.

The North was able to stop the South's invasion of Maryland, which was one of the greatest threats to the nation's capital, according to Britannica

More than 22,700 Americans lost their lives, marking the bloodiest day of the Civil War.