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 weighed 18 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 the Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir.
Morgan caught the new state record fish in a farm pond owned by his 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 a sophomore 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.