KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One of the largest fish in the recorded history of Tennessee was recently reeled in on Cherokee Lake.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said Saturday the record for the largest paddlefish ever caught in the state using sportfishing methods was broken when angler Chad Collins reeled in a 120-lb behemoth with a total length of 75.5 inches and a girth of 41.5 inches on Cherokee Lake.
Cherokee Lake has been the site of the past two record-breaking paddlefish using sportfishing methods. The previous record was set on April 13, 2021 when Leonard Jech caught one weighing in at 109 pounds.
Fishing records are broken into two categories. Class A is comprised of records using Sportfishing methods like bait fishing or fly-fishing. Class B records reflect fish caught using methods other than Sportfishing such as trotline or speargun.
The state record for largest paddlefish caught using alternative fishing methods was set in 1982 when John Johnson caught a 120-lb paddlefish on the Center Hill Reservoir by snag fishing. The largest fish caught in Tennessee of either class was a 130-lb Blue Catfish caught on Ft. Loudoun Reservoir in 1976 by three fishermen using commercial gear.
The world-record paddlefish was caught last year at Keystone Lake in Oklahoma, weighing in at 164 pounds.
TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds certified the record-breaking catch.