Sunday afternoon April 30th, about 4PM Tom Malone of Crofton, in Christian County Kentucky, brought what he thought was just a real nice Brown Trout to Strange Bait and Tackle in Burkesville to have it weighed.
The fish was weighed and photographed at Strangeís by an employee. About 10 minutes later Chuck Strange walked in and was told of the monster fish. Chuck says he asked the employee "You did get a picture didnít you?".
Turns out the fish is PROBABLY the new state record Brown Trout. It is awaiting certification by the State Biologist. The fish weighed in at 21 pounds even and the weigh in was witnessed by 3 people and 2 pictures were taken. Mr. Malone was filling out the papers when I contacted him at home today, and all that was left was certification by the Wildlife Biologist.
Cudoís go to Chuck Strange for catching this new record. Neither the employee or Mr. Malone new the fish was a record and it was through the work of Chuck at Strange Bait and tackle that the fish will be certified as the record. Chuck tracked Mr. Malone down and met him at the ramp in Burkesville on Monday to make sure that Mr. Malone new he had the record fish and assisted him in getting needed paperwork and other information for certification of the record. Chucks first question was "You didnít clean that fish did you?"
Mr. Malone is a welder from Crofton Ky., as I mentioned above and was on vacation. Seems that last year he went on 2 guided trips with Randall Gibson for stripers and has sort of become addicted to striper fishing in the river with his biggest fish being a 20 pounder.
He purchased the Rat-L-Trap lure he caught the fish on in Clarksville Tennessee. He saw 3 of them and really liked the fact it was almost 4" long and weighed an ounce. The Shad colored lure was purchased for the later Striper Fishing Trip.
Sunday he picked up his Zebco 888 spinning reel and 2 other rods and reels and headed for the Cumberland River. Another rod and reel was broke so he took the old 888 as a back up since there were 3 members of the family and only 2 level winds left. He started throwing the 1 Ounce Rat-L-Trap and says "it sounded like a rock hitting the water", and he "was sure every fish in the river was running for itís life".
About 2PM he hooked into the big fish about 3 miles above the ramp at Burkesville, and worked it down 300 yards of river loosening and tightening the drag on the 10 year old reel as he went. Mr. Malone says all he thought about was "that the darn line was 10 years old and when was it going to break". Shows you the versatility of the Zebco Spinning reels when used properly. After a 20 minute fight that probably seemed like an eternity the fish was landed and later taken to Strange Bait and Tackle near the Boat ramp at Burkesville.
The fish will be sent to a taxidermist and will be shown at Strange Bait and Tackle for a year. I will be getting pictures soon and they will be posted here and on Strange Bait and Tackles Web Page. Keep an eye on the discussion baord and I will update you on the certification and the day I get the pictures of the Fish and the Lure he used.
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UPDATE: May 24th The fish has been certified as a Brown Trout by the Game Warden. The paperwork has to go to Frankfort, and then the fish will probably be recognized as the new record. Watch here for details.
UPDATE: June 8, 2000 a press release from the KDFWR states that the fish caught by Tom Malone is a certifed State Record Brown Trout.