Madison woman catches ‘brook trout of a lifetime’ at Moosehead Lake

By Julie Harris, Bangor Daily News Staff

Destiny and Nick Murray love to fish. It’s what they do for recreation as a couple.

For the last 10 years, the Madison couple has visited Maine’s largest lake for a week or so, just to fish. This year was no exception, but the payoff was the biggest yet.

Destiny caught what she described as her “brook trout of a lifetime” on July 1, when she hauled in a 7.4-pound 25.5 -inch-long fish from Moosehead Lake.

Photo courtesy of Destiny Murray
BROOK TROUT OF A LIFETIME — Destiny Murray of Madison caught this 7.4-pound, 25.5 inch brook trout on Moosehead Lake on July 1. She and her husband Nick have fished there for about 10 years.

“I’m still in shock. It doesn’t feel real,” she said. “I was a little scared picking it up. The fish was thrashing and I wanted to get it back in the water.”

The couple likes to do catch and release, and she didn’t want to injure it, she said. It was their second brook trout during this trip. The first one was smaller.

The Murrays were on the water by 4:30 a.m. on July 1 and fished for about five hours before returning to their rented cabin for a bit. They were trolling in their 18-foot boat with two lead core lines and two rods on downriggers, targeting brook trout. 

They went back out around 5 p.m. for a few hours and at almost 8 p.m. on the dot, the rod on one of the downriggers popped up, Destiny said. She grabbed the rod from its holder and set the hook.

Photo courtesy of Destiny Murray
BROWN TROUT — Destiny Murray poses with a brown trout she caught.

The fish took off, rapidly stripping line out as it went. Destiny fought to land the fish, which she thought might be a brookie because of its side-to-side pattern, for 10-15 minutes, she said.

When she saw the fish, she at first thought it was a lake trout as it came closer to the boat, but her husband realized it was a big brook trout, she said.

“I had to sit down while my husband got the hook out,” Destiny said.

They quickly measured the brookie, took pictures and a video, then put it in their fishing net and held it in the water to make sure it would be able to swim off. After a few minutes, it swam away, she said.

The Murrays fished for the rest of the evening, getting a small lake trout and a landlocked salmon after the brookie.

They are looking for a taxidermist who specializes in brook trout replicas so they can have a trophy made of Destiny’s big brookie. They already have replicas of a 5-pound brown trout she caught and a 7-pound brown trout Nick caught on display in their home.

Destiny had fished a little as a child, but her husband has more experience. They have been seriously fishing together for 10 years. They fly fish in the rivers and outlets. They troll, jig and cast in lakes and ponds. The first game fish she ever caught was a bass when she was learning to cast. 

The couple have no children, just two dogs and four cats, and have a lot of time to dedicate to fishing, she said. They love the Moosehead area, but also fish in their central Maine neighborhood.

She would like to see more women and girls get into fishing and do things outdoors.

“I think about [Cornelia] ‘Fly Rod’ Crosby up there [Moosehead] in her dress, fishing. I love to see women out fishing with their husbands or by themselves. It’s great,” she said.

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