July 31, 2023
Who says lightning doesn't strike the same place twice? It happened in the fishing world earlier this year in Tennessee, and now it's happened in West Virginia where a channel catfish angler has broken his own state record.
According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Allen Burkett of Moorefield caught his first state-record channel catfish last June using a chicken-liver to land a whiskerfish that weighed 36.96 pounds and broke a 17-year-old record for the species.
On July 20, 2023, Burkett went and did it again, using bluegill cut-bait to land a new West Virginia record weighing 37.5 pounds to break his own record.
So impressive was the fishing feat that it was announced on July 26 by the WVDNR and Gov. Jim Justice. Amazingly, both record whiskerfish catches were caught from the bank of South Mill Creek Lake in Grant County and both were measured and weighed by WVDNR District Fishery Biologist Brandon Keplinger.
Interested in grabbing your own West Virginia state record? The WVDNR tells anglers who believe that they have caught a potential record breaker to report the fish to the agency for verification. Even if the fish isn't a state record, it could land an angler a trophy citation.
Tennessee Youth Shatters Cutthroat Record
According to a news report from Nashville TV station Fox 17, a 10-year-old Tennessee youth has smashed the state cutthroat trout record, but he also smashed it thanks to a recent catch.
In the late July news story, Palmer Tipton is credited with the catch according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), landing a cutthroat that weighed 4 pounds, 12 ounces to beat the previous state record by more than two pounds.
With the apparent new state record cuttie being caught in the South Fork Holston River below Boone Dam, cutthroat trout—which are not native to Tennessee waters, but are readily found throughout streams in the central and northern Rockies—were originally stocked by Tennessee officials in some cold tailwater rivers back in the 1950s and 1960s with little reported success. More recent tailwater stockings are obviously working as Tipton's smiling catch proves.