Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – One of the largest fish in recorded Tennessee history was recently brought back to Lake Cherokee.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said Saturday the record for the largest paddlefish ever caught in the state using sport fishing methods was broken when angler Chad Collins brought home a 120-pound monster from an overall length of 75.5 inches and a girth of 41.5 inches on Lake Cherokee. .

Cherokee Lake was the site of the last two record-breaking paddlefish using sport fishing methods. The previous record was set on April 13, 2021 when Leonard Jech caught one weighing 109 pounds.

Fishing records are divided into two categories. Class A is made up of records using sport fishing methods like bait fishing or fly fishing. Class B records reflect fish caught using non-sport fishing methods such as trotting or speargun.

The state record for largest paddlefish caught using alternative fishing methods was set in 1982 when John Johnson caught a 120-pound paddlefish in Center Hill Reservoir while snag fishing. The largest fish caught in Tennessee of either class was a 130-pound blue catfish caught at Ft. Loudoun Reservoir in 1976 by three anglers using commercial gear.

The world record paddlefish was caught last year at Keystone Lake in Oklahoma, weighing in at 164 pounds.

TWRA fisheries biologist John Hammonds certified the record catch.


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