PRATT, Kan In Kansas trout waters, it’s not uncommon to drop a lure and get a bite after a few minutes, but to drop a lure, get a bite, and reel in a 15.72-pound rainbow trout is almost unheard of. That’s what angler Josh McCullough of Spring Hill experienced on Feb. 23.
Fishing at Kill Creek Park Lake in Johnson County, McCullough had no idea the hook he had just fitted with a piece of Berkeley Gulp corn bait would land him a fish for the books.
When McCullough’s catch surfaced, he knew this was no ordinary fish. As he landed the trout, McCullough quickly realized that fish on the end of his hook could very well be a new record. McCullough grabbed his gear, snapped a few photos with a phone, and then did what any angler should do when potentially holding a new state record fish – he took it to a certified scale to get weighed.
The 28.5-inch long fish tipped the scale at 15.72 pounds, a mere .29 of a pound heavier than the former state record rainbow trout weighing in at 15.42 pounds caught by Nicole Wilson. Wilson made the books in 2012 with her catch from Lake Shawnee in Topeka.
Before a new state record can be accepted, the following steps must occur:
-The fish must be identified and witnessed by a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism district fisheries biologist or regional fisheries supervisor
-The fish must be weighed before it is frozen
-The angler must submit an official Kansas state record fish application, accompanied by a sharp, color photo of the fish
-The angler must undergo a mandatory 30-day waiting period following application
Only species listed on the KDWPT state record list will be accepted. A tissue sample may also be required.