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A big fish makes a huge splash in Red Lake

A woman from Red Lake, Ont., had an exciting day when she caught a fish weighing more than 22 kilograms, or 50 lbs. 

Sam Boucha caught a fish last week that weighed more than 50 lbs.

Brad Sadkosky, left, Sam Boucha, middle, and Brad Molloy, right, pose for a photo with the big fish they caught with all three holding it up.

When most people go fishing, they always anticipate a big catch.

For Sam Boucha, the fish she caught was more than she was anticipating and beyond – with it weighing more than 22 kilograms, or 50 lbs.

Last Friday, Boucha and her boyfriend, Brad Molloy, decided to go ice fishing for some trout, as she had the day off and her child was in daycare.

Boucha said their sled wasn’t running great that day, so they decided to stop at a different spot than they normally would and had caught a few fish.

She noticed a rod she had set up went down, and when Boucha went to check it, she said it felt like “dead weight.”

“I’ve caught a 35 lb trout before and this was something similar, so we’re pretty excited,” said Boucha.

“[We] ended up reeling in a 57 and three-quarter inch, 31-inch girth, 57 plus pound trout – like it was unreal.”

Boucha said it took close to an hour to reel in the fish, with she and Molloy eventually having to drill a second hole to get the fish out because it wouldn’t fit through the one they already had.

Sam Boucha holds a huge fish while out on the ice.

Boucha said during the drilling, the fish had split the hook and wasn’t on the line anymore, so she had to put her arm down the hole to hold the fish with her bare hands.

“I was frozen,” said Boucha. “We had a shack to warm up in afterwards so it was nice, but yeah it was bare-handed, arm down the hole to my shoulder, holding on to that fish until the second hole was drilled.”

When she finally did see her catch, Boucha said she was ecstatic. She called it “unreal” and a team effort to get the fish.

Boucha said the fish did end up dying on them while getting it out of the hole, and the official weight is somewhat a mystery due to it maxing out the 50 lb scale they had.

“But just with the calculations of the length and the girth says it put over 57 pounds and it was heavy, like I could barely hold it.”

They brought the fish home and had it measured, and Boucha said she is also planning to get it mounted to put in either a family cabin or her home. She also donated the pectoral fin and an ocular bone to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for research and to get the fish’s age.

Boucha said people are excited and happy for her big catch – though some are upset the fish is dead. But overall, the experience has been positive, and she’s received some great comments on social media.

“[One] was from a family friend here in Red Lake and he was like, ‘You’re a fishing goddess.’ I like that.”


Jasmine Kabatay is an Anishinaabe freelance journalist from Seine River First Nation in northwestern Ontario. She is based in Toronto and has written for the Toronto Star, VICE News, and was a national columnist for Metro News (now StarMetro.)

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