A 16-year old fishing from a charter boat in Lake
Erie has hauled in the biggest lake trout ever documented in
Pennsylvania: 27 lbs, 13.9 ounces. The
fish measured 38 inches long with a girth of 24 inches.
Tom Illar, Jr. of Apollo was trolling a Northern King
Spoon on May 19 when the monster fish took off with the lure. When
the battle was finally done, Illar was holding the biggest trout he'd
ever caught. According to the
Fish and Boat Commission, which certifies the state's official
angling records, the fish was actually the biggest lake trout anyone
has ever taken in Commonwealth waters. Illar's fish broke the former
record of 27 lbs, 10 ounces, set just last year by another Erie lake
trout. Ironically, that mark was established by another teen -
Timothy Strobel of New Stanton, who was only 14 at the time of his
"There are really two things noteworthy about this turn of events,"
said Commission Executive Director Peter A. Colangelo. "First of all,
we've had two lake trout records in as many years. That's encouraging
for anyone who fishes Lake Erie. Even more important is that these
catches were made by youngsters. Youth participation and success is
exciting news for all anglers and the future of fishing itself."