John Morgan was your average outdoor kid in rural Tennessee, but not anymore as the 15-year-old has made it into the record books for the state’s largest rainbow trout.

The high school sophomore caught the 18 pound 8 ounce rainbow trout at a farm pool owned by a friend of his grandfather’s. He had been asked to remove a snapping turtle and offered to bring a line along. After taking care of the turtle, Morgan threw a line for about 10 inches and sure enough a big one that had been rumored in the pond had bitten the hook. The bait of choice for this record breaker was corn.

Morgan battled the whopper for about 20 minutes before bringing it to shore. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency announced the new record with kind words for the young angler.  

“We’re very excited for this young man to find himself in the record book,” said TWRA Region III fisheries program manager Mark Thurman, according to a press release. “With so many records being broken these days, we look forward to seeing what the next state record fish is.”

Morgan’s mother told the Times Free Press that her son loves the outdoors and fishes at least a couple times per week. 

“He cooks everything he hunts and fishes himself. He fillets everything by hand,” she said. “He’s an outdoor kid. I’m very excited for him.”

So far the largest fish he’s caught on the Hiwassee River was a 25-pound striped bass. For his record breaking rainbow trout, Morgan has already dropped the fish off at a taxidermist.

“I just love being outside, hunting and fishing,” said Morgan.

Photo credit: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

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