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State Record Rainbow Trout Caught in Jackson County

North Carolina State Record Rainbow Trout

Leah Johnson's state record rainbow trout - NC WRC Photo

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced that Sapphire angler Leah Johnson landed a new North Carolina State Freshwater Fishing Record, after hauling in a 20-pound, 3-ounce rainbow trout from Horsepasture River in Jackson County on Jan. 28.

Johnson caught her record-breaking rainbow, which measured 34 inches in length and 23 inches in girth, using a Rapala lure on a Shakespeare Microspin rod with a Wally Marshall reel.

The fish was weighed on certified scales at Ingles in Brevard and verified by Powell Wheeler, a fisheries biologist with the Commission.

The previous North Carolina state record rainbow trout, caught by Terry Gregory of Franklin on Dec. 20, 1989, weighed 16 pounds, 5 ounces.

According to International Game Fish Association records, the largest rainbow trout on record weighed 42 pounds, 2 ounces and was caught from Bell Island in Alaska in 1970.

To qualify for a state record, anglers must have caught their fish on a hook and line, must have their fish weighed on a certified scale witnessed by one observer, have the fish positively identified by a qualified expert from the Commission and submit an application with a full, side-view photo of the fish.

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