CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — A new state record yellow perch is being verified by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The fish measured 15 and one-half inches in length and weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces.
Trent McCoy caught the fish in Lake Dartmore just north of Crossville on Monday, Jan. 16. The previous record, a 2 pound, 2 ounce -yellow perch was set by Jackie Kersey at Parksville Lake, Polk County in March 2010.
Trent McCoy, a lifelong resident of Cumberland County, has been angling since the age of 11 when his father and uncle took him fishing for bass and crappie. He scheduled this trip with a friend, Robert Malito, to a lake he had caught a large yellow perch in last year. McCoy’s 2016 fish wasn’t a record, but was still large enough that he had it mounted.
The friends were fishing in about 35 feet of water when McCoy thought for an instant that his line had snagged some submerged brush. Then, he felt the hard tug and knew it was a fish. It had latched on to his Charlie Brewer Slider and he slowly reeled in, knowing he only had a 4-pound test line. McCoy didn’t know what was on the line as he reeled, but the first fish of the day was a doozy.
Despite the perch’s size, McCoy and Malito kept fishing. McCoy’s wife encouraged him to bring the fish to the TWRA office the following day, where the weight was taken on a certified scale, paperwork was filled out and biologists confirmed the species. When asked why he liked to fish McCoy replied, “People pay big bucks to find ways to calm themselves. When you’re out looking at God’s creation, you feel blessed and it relaxes you.”
Travis Scott, TWRA Region III Rivers and Streams Manager, took the measurements of the fish and congratulated Mr. McCoy. “Although pending until final paperwork verification, it looks like we have a new record. It’s fantastic to see anglers enjoying our natural resources.”