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Tennessee Fisherman Catches Kentucky State-Record Perch

March 8, 2024 - Blog

Lake Barkley is famous for many things, including outstanding bass and crappie fishing. But Lynn Bumgardner, a visiting angler from Tennessee, may have added a new page to the lake’s reputation by catching a Kentucky state-record yellow perch that weighed 1.58 pounds.

According to a news release from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, Bumgardner was trolling for crappies on March 2 in the Trigg County portion of sprawling 58,000-acre Lake Barkley. He was fishing with his long-time pal Lee Andrews, Kentucky field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, when the big perch struck a small crappie jig.

​​​“We were trolling grubs in Linton Bay on Lake Barkley,” Bumgardner, a professional television actor from Oliver Springs, Tennessee, told KDFWR. “When I caught that one, I knew immediately it was a heavy fish.”

The pair had caught crappies earlier in the day and were almost done fishing when the big perch hit Bumgardner’s lure.

“The fish rolled over and I saw the great big belly and I saw the stripes and I knew it was a perch,” Bumgardner said. “I said ‘Lee, I’ve caught the new state record yellow perch.’ I didn’t know if it really was, but it was the largest perch I’d ever seen.”​​​

Andrews checked the state records and learned that the standing yellow perch record was 1 pound 7 ounces. He insisted that Bumgardner’s fish weighed more than that.

“We weighed it on hand-held digital scales and it was 1 pound 9 1/8 ounces,” Andrews told the agency. “I told him, ‘If it weighs that much, you do have the state record.’”

The pair fished for a bit longer, catching another crappie to end the day. Then they decided to head to shore and have the big yellow perch weighed. They went to a Food Giant grocery store in Cadiz, where a night manager named Braxton weighed the fish on a certified scale.

“Braxton was very excited about weighing the big perch that night because he’s a fisherman, too,” store manager Amber Lehman tells Outdoor Life.

Bumgardner’s fish measured 14 and 1/4 inches long and it tops the previous Kentucky record by just over two ounces. That yellow perch was caught by Klint Thaxton from Kentucky Lake in March 2010.

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Barkley and Kentucky lakes are popular fisheries that span the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. For decades they’ve offered anglers and vacationers a wealth of boating and fishing opportunities. Camping and hunting are also popular around the lakes, particularly on the 171,000-acre Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Spring is prime time for crappies on both lakes, but after Bumgardner’s record catch, yellow perch may become another popular target for area fishermen.

The post Tennessee Fisherman Catches Kentucky State-Record Perch appeared first on Outdoor Life.

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