Donner Lake, sitting just east of Truckee, California, would not be described as a fisherman’s paradise. Not only is catching anything in the 6,000-feet-elevation lake difficult, but boaters and weekend warriors typically scare off any decent fish. That didn’t stop Marcus Schroers from searching for the catch of a lifetime.
Schroers was able to land a mackinaw weighing 31 pounds, 4 ounces on Donner Lake, nearly breaking California’s mackinaw record. Although he promptly released the monster catch into the lake, he was able to snap an epic photo to prove that big fish do exist in the lake.
Using a DRT Klash 9 swim bait on the foggy morning of June 14, Schroers was able to land his mackinaw trolling at about 40 feet down into the water. His humongous catch remains unofficial since he released it back into the water before a California Department of Fish and Wildlife official was able to review it.
The California record for mackinaw was a 37-pounder caught in Lake Tahoe in 1974. The official Donner Lake record sits at 31 pounds, which was caught in 2009 by then 8-year-old Katie Stout.