Bass Angler Catches Oklahoma State Record Rainbow Trout

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Bersche/ODWC.

It's better to be lucky than good sometimes.

After setting out for a morning of bass fishing on the Lower Illinois River on April 4, Sallisaw, Okla., resident Paul Glover ended the day breaking a state record.

However, it wasn't a state record bass that Glover caught; rather, an 11-pound, 4-ounce rainbow trout, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation confirmed April 16. Glover's catch measured 29-3/16 inches in length with a width of 16-9/16 inches.

Glover's catch eclipsed the previous record of 10 pounds, 10.56 ounces caught by Mark Reed in November 2013.

"I just got lucky today," Glover told the Tulsa World newspaper. "Normally I would have been bass fishing."

Fishing from one of his favorite spots on the Lower Illinois River, the self-taught fly fisherman cast his 5-weight fly rod with a Berkley Vanish 2-pound-test rigged with a 1/80th ounce gold micro-jig head that he ties himself and attached to a strike indicator.

He drifted the self-tied jig roughly mid-column through the spot until he got a bite. Once hooked, the record-setter put up a struggle for roughly 15 minutes before succumbing to the angler.

"It didn't jump out of the water but it fought hard '¦ I always kind of dreamed about catching a state record down there," Glover said.

The Lower Illinois River has been a favorite mid-winter and summertime spot for Glover over the past 25 years. He and his wife were finding success fishing for bass on Tenkiller Lake in recent visits, but chilly temperatures kept her home the day Glover caught the record trout.

"Unfortunately, I didn't get to fish very long because it was the second fish I caught," Glover recalled. "I didn't know what to do with it. I haven't kept a trout in years. I normally let them go, but this looked like a state record, so I decided to keep it."

Smart man. Glover kept the trout and contacted game wardens to have it weighed on a certified scale.

There is some speculation that the record-breaker may have been originally intended for a private fishery, as Glover's catch was not far from the state's usual stocking point.

Regardless, for this angler, it is indeed a good thing to be this lucky.

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