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  #1  
Old 01-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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NJSquatch NJSquatch is offline
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Default Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

Chrisper and I drove 45 minutes north to a deep water lake in Sussex County Saturday morning only to find it totally locked up! Made a phone call and drove over an hour to find open water and target deep water predators. The fish were not cooperating and after 3.5 hours decided to shift gears and target brownies.

After 1.5 hours we were literally about to pull the plug and i get a thunk on the drop shot rig. After a good fight we net a healthy brownie that was just short of a skillful angler award At 18.75"



Kept working the weed line and I get another thunk. This fish was lighter but was fighting like mad. Get it into the boat and the fish couldn't contain itself once it saw Chris's purdy's face. After it was done we looked at the fish are like what the hell is this thing??? We both concluded it was some kinda mutant brown trout with full pectoral fins and a deformed dorsal.



Scene Of The Crime



After conferring with JDTrout and the internet the fish turned out to be a male landlocked salmon sporting his spawning colors. My first Landlocked!

This was one of the 300 recently stocked fish. Given the vastness of the reservoir this is literally a needle in a haystack/unicorn type catch. Doing the math the stocking resulted in ~1 fish for every 2 acres of water! Will definitely be a memorable catch for some time.

Never give up!
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Last edited by NJSquatch; 01-14-2019 at 08:56 PM..
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2019, 12:52 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

Way to make it happen guys!!! Iím amazed you found an LL in there. Awesome catch Squatch!!! YEA BUDDY!!!
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

nice smallmouth.. don't know what to make of that "scene of the crime" photo are you sure that's a LL it looks like a brown trout that dorsal fin is normally found on stockies but it is usually the pectoral fins that are ground down. nice day to be out there. no ice no problem for you guys.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

Excellent SMB, and congrats on the first LL. Awesome you found one despite the rarity
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

Nice job with the SM, cold water fishing is tough and hate to say it but that looks very much like a brown trout.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

Now if it's a brown where is it from? Creek tributary?
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

Were you guys jigging?.. Nice job at rescuing what could have been a skunker of a day. Thats a brown trout..

Best way to tell is the tail.. The Ll has a more forked tail than a brown.. Also a more pronounced dorsal, and the skin coloration is much more silvery, with none of the gold color of a brown trout.
last but not least the salmon "speckles" are always black, not of varying colors like a brown might have, and they aren't round spots like a brown, they are more jagged shaped with a lot of definition against the skin color.. bob
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:06 AM
dakota560 dakota560 is offline
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Default Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

Interesting picture. You should send it to F&G and see what they think. From researching it on line, few points. LL salmon mouths come to middle or rear of eye, brown trout extend beyond rear edge. LL's markings usually end at or above the lateral line and have no makings on the adipose fin or upper tail which your fish doesn't appear to have. LL tail is more forked as others have mentioned, brown more squared. If I had to guess I'd guess it is a colored up salmon but as Bob pointed out what's unusual is no black markings. Males can have red markings, I've attached a picture of the land lock I caught late last year which had a lot of red in it but notice the markings are all above the lateral line. Yours has all red, no black which is odd. To me the biggest issue is the mouth not extending past the eye and a slight forked tail but as others have pointed out coloration is a bit unusual although I've seen brownish spawning male LL's but they've all had some degree of black marks.

Below is a link that explains differences between various trout including browns and Atlantic Salmon.

https://seagrant.sunysb.edu/glsportf...ntario2012.pdf

Again I'd send the picture to F&G and let them weigh in. Possible you discovered a new species, maybe they'll name it a Land Locked Squatch. Either way, nice catch!
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Last edited by dakota560; 01-15-2019 at 11:36 AM..
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

Here are some more shots. Click on the thumbnail to bring up the high res image.


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  #10  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Plan B Unicorn - 1/12/19

i honestly don't know...i thought it was a salmon seeing it in person til i saw the red dots then i thought it was a brown, but then Justin told me salmon get the red dots this time of year too so i went back to thinking it was a salmon...don't look like a brown trout face either, eyes and mouth.

all i know is it jizzed all over my damn arm and reels...
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