B.C. fisherman reels in a whopper while on call with surgeon

Murray Zelt caught a 27-pound lake trout on Horse Lake on Jan. 27. (Jeff McMichael photo - submitted)Murray Zelt caught a 27-pound lake trout on Horse Lake on Jan. 27. (Jeff McMichael photo - submitted)
Murray Zelt credits his lucky t-shirt from his grandson Zayden for his ice-fishing success. (Photo submitted).Murray Zelt credits his lucky t-shirt from his grandson Zayden for his ice-fishing success. (Photo submitted).
Murray Zelt caught a 27-pound lake trout in Horse Lake. (Photo submitted).Murray Zelt caught a 27-pound lake trout in Horse Lake. (Photo submitted).

Murray Zelt’s grandson has dubbed him “Papa the Fish Whisperer.”

Zelt lived up to that name this week when he hooked a 27-pound lake trout in Horse Lake.

“It’s a trophy type of fish for sure, a fish of a lifetime,” Zelt, 57, said. “I’m on Cloud 9.”

Zelt, who had surgery over Christmas, was slated to go to Kamloops for a follow-up medical visit on Wednesday, Jan. 27 when he got a call asking if he could do the consult over the phone due to COVID-19.

He agreed and since he was up early, decided to go ice fishing. He chose Horse Lake because it had good cell service and he could do the consult from the ice. He’d been fishing for an hour and hadn’t got a bite but as soon as the surgeon called “my reel starts screaming.

“I could tell it was pretty special,” he said.

The surgeon, also a fisherman, was on the phone encouraging him. After the call ended, it took him another 15 minutes to get the fish out of the water. Local Jeff McMichael was fishing nearby and helped lift it through the ice. Fortunately, there were two holes close together as it would have been a tight squeeze getting it out of the standard eight-inch ice fishing hole.

READ MORE: Hooked on fishing in South Cariboo

“We were both like kids in a candy store when we got it on the ice,” Zelt said.

After a quick look and some photos, they slid it back into the water. “It’s probably as old as I am. Fish that big are 40, 50 years old,” he said. “They’re not that good eating when they get to that size.”

Zelt, an avid fly fisherman, had never really fished for lake trout before. Two days earlier, he was excited to land a 14-pound lake trout on the same lake. He partly credits his lucky t-shirt from his grandson Zayden – emblazoned with the words Papa the Fish Whisperer – for his streak.

As he watched the lake trout pull away from his hand and swim into the depths, he said it was doubly rewarding that his doctor had encouraged him to go outside and be active as part of his healing. He later texted the photos to his surgeon as the two “really hit it off,” he said.

“To be rewarded like that I feel truly blessed. I’ll probably never beat that in my lifetime but I’m content.”


@kellysinoski
kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House

Just Posted

Jimmy Seymour was recognized for his outstanding work as the solid waste operator for Stz’uminus First Nation. (Submitted photo)
Top Jimmy: Ladysmith-area man takes your trash, leaves a smile

Jimmy Seymour uses his job as solid waste operator to spread kindness through Stz’uminus First Nation

Proprietor of Sweet Truck, Morgan Ray, as she hands off her baked goods to a customer. (Photo courtesy of Avrinder Dhillon Photography)
Vancouver Island baker eyes move back from food truck to bricks and mortar

Storefront offers more stability amid growth in sales: Ray

Emissions from the City of Abbotsford's vehicles make up the largest share of the municipality's emissions.
File photo
Vancouver Island councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay’s Will Cole-Hamilton pushing for building emission legislation

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Thousands protested in Victoria following the death of George Floyd in the U.S. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. not exempt: New report documents 150 years of racism and the fight against it

Booklet marks province’s 150th anniversary with call for transparency, change

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

A mobile home fire prompted a quick response from firefighters Saturday around 3:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Mobile home up in flames at Duncan RV Park

One patient burned, EHS on scene

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Works crews have begun to install roads and other infrastructure to service the Nigel Valley redevelopment project that will bring nearly 800 new housing units to Saanich over the next several years. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Prep work begins on massive Nigel Valley development in Saanich

Construction of first two developments expected to begin fall 2021, B.C. Housing says

Gregory Ould, co-founder and executive director of Blanket BC, drops off warming blankets to Our Home on Eighth shelter in Port Alberni during a tour of Vancouver Island on Feb. 19, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Blanket BC delivers warmth, hope to Vancouver Island’s homeless

Gregory Ould donated blankets, toques in five communities

Duncan Christian’s Grace George lines up a shot during the three-point portion of the BC School Sports Pandemic Basketball Challenge after taking a pass from Cam Stevens. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan Christian leads the way in pandemic basketball challenge

School tops participation numbers for second time this year

The shadow cast of the Satyr Players production of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’: Linda Dohmeier as Dr. Scott, Olivia Erickson as Columbia, Brandon Caul as Rocky, Christopher Carter as Brad, Charlie Prince as Eddie, Branden Martell as Riff Raff, Jenna Morgan as Magenta, Megan Rhode as Janet and Adrien Kennedy as Dr. Frank-N-Furter (clockwise from left). (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
VIU student actors go online for 25th-annual ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’

Satyr Players theatre company to broadcast pre-recorded shadow production

Most Read