Two New Fishing Records Close Calendar Year
Nashville – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reports that
two new state fishing records were established to close out the
calendar year in December, including one that surpasses a mark that
was established last April. The new records are for spotted bass
and gizzard shad.
Preston Taylor, III of Bristol, used a T.D. minnow to catch a 3
lb., 3 oz. gizzard shad from the Holston River in Sullivan County.
Taylor landed his trophy at noon on Dec. 13 and the fish measured
19.5 inches in length. Taylor’s catch surpassed the previous record
set by a Knoxville resident, Roy Hawk, who caught a 3 lb. gizzard
shad that was 17 ¾ inches long on April 3, while fishing on the
South Fork of the Holston River.
Jack Paul Watson, of Tellico Plains, is the new state record
holder of the spotted bass, making his catch on New Year’s Eve
morning on Parksville Lake in Polk County. Watson used a floating
fly on a 6 lb. test line to land his 5 lb., 14 oz. trophy that was
23 1/4 inches in length.
Watson’s spotted bass was a prime example of the species and
TWRA confirmed that the fish was a spotted bass using genetic
analyses. Many black bass anglers have been vying to be the one to
catch the next state record spotted bass. Watson’s record fish
passed that state mark which stood for almost 20 years. Gary Martin
had a 5 lb., 8 oz. spotted bass catch on Feb. 4, 1989 on Center
The criteria to be considered for a state record fish along with
the new record application and instructions, state records and
fishing license information are in the 2009 TWRA Tennessee Fishing
Guide which will be available later this month. Information is also
available on the TWRA Web site at by clicking on “Fishing” located
on the left side of the home page.