UPDATE: Polk Co. teen breaks TWRA rainbow trout record
A teen from Polk County has broken a 14 year Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency record by catching the largest rainbow trout in the state of Tennessee on Friday.
UPDATE: A teen from Polk County is the new state record holder when he caught the largest rainbow trout on record in Tennessee on Friday.
John Morgan, 15, invited Channel 3 to join him fishing on Tuesday to tell us all about his unforgettable experience.
"It's a rush, it's just got thrill in it," Morgan said.
Morgan went with his grandfather to a friend's private pond on Friday to help with a snapping turtle problem.
The deal was this: if Morgan trapped the snapping turtle, he was allowed to go fishing.
"We fished for probably an hour and a half without any luck, then I said five more minutes Papaw, he said alright," Morgan said, "I cast it back out and the trout hit it the first cast after I got the turtle out of the pond."
Morgan said he knew right away he was dealing with a big one.
"I fought it for about 20 minutes," he said, "Every time I would get it close the bank it would just take more drag and about a 20-yard run."
Finally, Morgan saw his prize. After a tough struggle he brought this rainbow trout out of the water.
He caught an 18 pound-8 ounce fish that's 32 inches long.
"I thought, this is a potential state record fish and we brought it back here right after that and weighed it, tried to contact the TWRA," Morgan said.
The TWRA confirms Morgan's catch is the new Tennessee state record and his name will be added into Tennessee state fishing history.
An accomplishment Morgan always hoped for.
"I first got into fishing when I was three or four years old, caught my first fish and just loved the thrill of it," he added.
And he already has the perfect spot picked out for his mantled prize.
"I plan on hanging it right below my six-point skull that I killed this past deer season," Morgan said proudly.
The previous record, a 16 pound 15 ounce fish was set in 2002 by Ronnie Rowland at Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir.
PREVIOUS STORY: A teen from Polk County has broken a 14-year Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency record by catching the largest rainbow trout in the state of Tennessee on Friday.
The fish John Morgan, 15, of Benton, weighed in at at 18 pounds and 8 ounces. The fish measured a whopping 32 inches long and 22 and a quarter inches in girth. The previous record, a 16 pound 15 ounce fish was set in 2002 by Ronnie Rowland at Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir.
Morgan caught the new state record fish in a farm pond owned by his grandfather’s friend. He had agreed to help remove a snapping turtle from the pond and was invited to bring a fishing pole along. Morgan didn’t know that this favor would lead to a new state record. After 45 minutes, Morgan had fished a little, caught the turtle and decided to fish for another ten minutes before leaving. He cast again and after a twenty minute struggle, he had the new state record fish on shore.
A sophomore at Polk County High School, Morgan fishes several days a week, mostly in the Hiwassee River. “I just love being outside, hunting and fishing,” stated Morgan. Morgan has already dropped the fish off at a taxidermist and is excited to cast a line again.
TWRA Region 3 fisheries program manager, Mark Thurman shared, “We’re very excited for this young man to find himself in the record book. With so many records being broken these days, we look forward to seeing what the next state record fish is.”
TWRA reminds all anglers about the benefits of fishing private ponds. Always ask for permission or better yet, help the pond owner.