A Virginia woman enjoying a chilly day out fishing on her vacation in Colorado unexpectedly reeled in a record-breaking arctic char, officials said on Friday.
Dr. Lindsay Regali, of Charlottesvile, was fishing at Dillon Reservoir with her husband, Luke, on Nov. 6, when she reeled in a 23.5-inch arctic char, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a news release. Regali told officials she was initially joking with her husband about the number of fish he was able to catch, compared to her catches.
“I was laughing and joking around because I realized I had finally caught one that I knew was bigger than his. I realized it was big but had no idea how big until we got it in the boat,” Regali said.
The fish broke a new state record, coming in 4.15 pounds and 23.5 inches in length. The previous record was held by Marshall Brenner in 1994, who reeled in a 10.5-inch arctic char weighing 3.75 pounds, according to the agency.
The physician calls herself a “casual angler” and said fishing at the Colorado reservoir was “almost surreal.”
“I immediately texted my parents from the boat and sent them a picture. I knew my dad especially would think it was pretty cool,” she said. “I still can’t believe it. I just went out there to have fun. I certainly didn’t go out to set a state record. It’s a good story to tell.”
She added, “Mostly, it was just a lot of fun and it was something I’ll definitely want to go back and do again.”
The arctic char is a cousin to salmon and lake trout. People can keep one fish if it is more than 20 inches long, but must toss anything smaller back into the water.