May 13, 2021
By Game & Fish Staff
The month of April fishing in West Virginia ended with two heavy state records caught.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reported the records were caught during the final week of the month — a muskellunge that broke the state length record, and a freshwater drum that beat the previous weight record by almost a pound.
Interestingly, both anglers share the same last name, the agency confirmed.
Chase Gibson of Mount Clare, W.V., broke the muskellunge state record for length with 54.0625-inch musky caught April 30 at Burnsville Lake in Braxton County.
Gibson's catch broke the previous record of 53.5 inches, set in 2017. The record musky weighed 39.64 pounds. Anna Marsh holds the state record for weigh with a 49.75-pound musky caught at Stonecoal Lake in 1997.
John Gibson of Poca, W.V., broke the record for heaviest freshwater drum with the 27.88-pound specimen he reeled in on April 24 at the Kanawha River. The previous record, set in 1989, was 27 pounds.
The record drum measured 35.59 inches, still shy of the state length record of 37 inches, set in the Little Kanawha River in 1954.
West Virginia anglers who believe they may have caught a state-record fish should check the current records in the fishing regulations at wvdnr.gov. Procedures for reporting a record catch also are included in the regulations.