Polk County teen John Morgan set a new state record with a giant rainbow trout catch.

“We’re very excited for this young man to find himself in the record book,” said Mark Thurman, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region 3 fisheries program manager. “With so many records being broken these days, we look forward to seeing what the next state record fish is.”


The 15-year-old beat out the 2002 record with his catch, which weighed18 pounds, 8 ounces.

The fish measured 32 inches long and 22.25 inches in girth.

Ronnie Rowland held the previous record with a 16-pound, 15-ounce fish he caught at theFt. Patrick Henry Reservoir.

Morgan caught the new state record fish in a farm pond owned byhis grandfather’s friend, according to a news release.

He had agreed to help remove a snapping turtle from the pond and was invited to bring along his fishing pole.

He caught the turtle and then fished a bit. He decided to give himself 10 more minutes of fishing fun, and that turned into a 20-minute struggle with the giant fish.

Morgan is asophomore at Polk County High School and fishes several days a week, mostly in the Hiwassee River.

“I just love being outside, hunting and fishing,” Morgan said, according to a prepared statement.

Morgan has already dropped the fish off at a taxidermist and is excited to cast a line again.