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.
Leah Johnson's state record rainbow trout - NC WRC Photo
Johnson caught her record-breaking rainbow, which measured 34½
inches in length and 23½ 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
The previous North Carolina state record rainbow trout, caught by
Terry Gregory of Franklin on Dec. 20, 1989, weighed 16 pounds, 5
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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