New state-record Chinook salmon tops 47 pounds

Contact: Jay Wesley, 616-490-5090 or Scott Heintzelman, 231-433-9782
Agency: Natural Resources

Aug. 9, 2021

Four men, some wearing baseball caps, pose with a new state-record Chinook salmon on a scale

Using a Moonshine raspberry carbon spoon lure this past weekend, an angler from Ortonville, Michigan, turned in a new state-record fish!

Luis Ricardo Hernandez Martinez was troll fishing with Capt. Bobby Sullivan of Icebreaker Charters on Lake Michigan near Ludington early Saturday morning, Aug. 7, when he caught a Chinook salmon weighing in at 47.86 pounds and measuring 47.5 inches.

"I never expected a catch like this would happen," Martinez said. "It's possible for anyone if I can do it! I would like to extend a great 'thank you' to Capt. Bobby, as it was he who made this catch possible for me."

Captain Sullivan added, "Luis did an amazing job, executing perfectly everything I asked him to do in order to bring this fish in."

This record breaks the previous state-record Chinook salmon - 46.06 pounds, 43.5 inches long - caught in 1978 by Ray Essex, of Grand Rapids, out of the Grand River in Kent County.

The new state-record Chinook salmon was verified by Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, with Scott Heintzelman, the DNR's Central Lake Michigan Management Unit supervisor, also present.

Michigan's state-record fish are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight, and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

To view a current list of Michigan state fish records by species, visit Michigan.gov/StateRecordFish.

For more on planning a fishing adventure, visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.


Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.

  • State-record Chinook salmon 8-7-21: Posing with the new state-record Chinook salmon, caught Aug. 7, 2021, are Capt. Bobby Sullivan of Icebreaker Charters; Luis Ricardo Hernandez Martinez, of Ortonville, who caught the fish; Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and Scott Heintzelman, the DNR's Central Lake Michigan Management Unit supervisor. (NOTE: The scale pictured in this photo is from a local bait shop; the weight shown here is not the state-record weight. The official weight, 47.86 pounds, was measured on a certified scale by the DNR fisheries biologist.)  
  • Moonshine lure: Close-up view of the Moonshine raspberry carbon spoon lure used to catch the state-record Chinook salmon on Lake Michigan.