Peppers Ghost Story – Irish Legendary “Brown Trout”

This post was last updated on July 16th, 2021 at 11:37 am

Peppers Ghost large browntrout Salmon in the Natural history museum of ireland
This “trout” (actually a salmon) can be found at the Ireland Museum of Natural History in Dublin. It weighed 30.5 pounds and was caught over 150 years ago.

This past week I was fortunate to take a trip to Dublin Ireland. I made it to the National Museum of Natural History and was able to finally lay my eyes on a couple spectacular fish specimens that are housed at that stunning museum.

The Story

It was the 1st of September in 1861, District Inspector J.W Pepper of the Royal Irish Constabulary was out fishing with a copper colored spoon and hooked into a large fish with light tackle. He claimed to have fought the large fish for 50 minutes before it succumbed. It was a big fish weighing in at 30.5 pounds and it measured over 42 inches. This “brown trout” stood as Ireland’s record for close to 100 years. In 1964 a doctor (A.E.J) went to the Department of fisheries and examined a scale from the fish. He later determined that this fish was in fact a salmon.

Placard found over the legendary 150 year old fish in dublins museum of natural history

” This fish was taken in the Doorosbeg-Mountcharles area of Lough Derg by District Inspector J.W. Pepper of the R.I.C. on 1st September, 1861. Weighing 30.5 lbs. (13.835kg.) its length was about 42 inches (106.7 cm). Caught on a copper spoon it took 50 minutes to play before being lifted from the water.

For many years it was thought to be a record sized trout, but doubts were also expressed as to its authenticity. In 1964 Dr. A.E.J. Went of the Department of Fisheries carefully examined its scales and pronounced it a salmon.

The record Irish salmon weighed 57 lbs. and was taken in the river Suir in 1874. With the deletion of Peppers Ghost from the record book, the Irish record trout is that taken in Lough Ennell, Co. Westmeath in July, 1894, which weighed 26 lbs, 2 ozs, (11.8 kg ). It is displayed on the ground floor of this museum.

Presented by Mrs. M. Quinn NMI 5. 1960. “

26 pound 2 oz ireland record brown trout found in the Museum of Natural history Dublin
The current Irish record brown trout caught in 1894, which weighs 26 lbs 2 oz. This trout is on display in Dublin Ireland at the Museum of Natural History.

And of course, here is that beauty of a trout mentioned in the quote above. It was a real honor seeing these wonderful fish that are both over 100 years old. If you ever decide to go to Dublin, I strongly recommend visiting this museum. If you are interested in seeing some more record sized brown trout, visit this link.