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Laurel family enjoys story of state record fish

Bridger 7.jpg
Posted at 9:09 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 11:09:02-04

There's a lot of big fish stories out there, but this is a tiny fish story.

A Laurel teen caught a 5-inch-long Rocky Mountain Sculpin in an irrigation ditch last week, and it's a Montana state record.

It weighed .063 pounds, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Bridger Burroughs, 14, caught the Sculpin on an orange plastic worm.

While on a bike ride, he stopped and first spotted the big fish while looking at minnows in the clear water.

"For whatever reason, I grabbed the fence post and put it on a rock and then kind of leaned on it and it swam out," Bridger said. "So I saw it. Then I... knew it was pretty big."

He went home and after dinner, grabbed his fishing pole and went back with his younger brother.

"Kept casting at it and eventually I caught it," Bridger said. "Put up a really nice fight."

Bridger brought the fish to his dad and they had a good idea it was a special catch.

"We looked at it and the normal Sculpin we see are about a fourth of that size," said Ryan Burroughs, Bridger's dad. "So we knew it was something we needed to check out."

And they want to keep where it was caught a secret.

"So basically it's a Yellowstone County irrigation canal," Ryan said.

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Ryan keeps his son's fishing hole a secret. That trust has been built through family fishing trips.

"It's awesome," Ryan said. "We go out, my wife and my four boys. And we get out whenever we can. Rarely do you get that in life anymore. So you can go out, turn everything else off and just enjoy being out there."

"No matter if you're catching stuff or not, just having a good time," Bridger said about fishing with his family.

And they will always have the big fish story about getting into the state record book.

"We're not going get a lot bigger on that," Ryan said about the 5-inch fish. "But it'll definitely be a story that we'll always carry on and talk about by the campfire."

"I catch a lot of bigger fish like bigger trout," Bridger said. "But I mean still I'm in the record books. Pretty cool."