Harry Hurst has reeled in many fish in his day.
The 64-year-old Moravia man fishes regularly, including in numerous tournaments with his granddaughter, Kearstyn Sweeting. But the fish they caught on Skaneateles Lake Friday morning was one they will never forget.
The 41.5 inch, 27 pound trout is a strong contender to be the biggest inland trout caught in New York state this year.
"I've been fishing for a long time and I've never caught a fish like this," Hurst said with a laugh.
Hurst and Sweeting, 15, had just set up on their 26-foot Regal boat and began trolling around 6:15 a.m. Hurst dropped his homemade lures to a depth of about 75 feet.
Roughly 15 minutes later, Sweeting noticed they had a bite. The trout began to run toward the bottom of the lake, and tested Hurst and his line.
After a 30-minute struggle, Hurst had the trout on his boat.
"When I finally got him up to where I could see him, I almost had a heart attack," Hurst said.
Hurst contacted the state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 7 office in Cortland, and is following the procedure to submit his fish for consideration as the biggest inland trout caught this year, which will be awarded after the end of the calendar year.
The fish, which was weighted at the Modern Market in Moravia, will eventually be mounted. It won't be a state record, since that includes the Great Lakes like Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, but it still makes for a nice trophy.
"I'm still excited," Hurst said Friday afternoon. "I was so surprised when I looked over the back of the boat."