On March 2 a giant muskellunge, or muskie, was caught on Melton Hill Reservoir where it touches the Knox County line. The monstrous pike weighed 43 pounds, 14 ounces, measuring 51 3/8 inches long with a 23 ½ inch girth. It is pretty obvious that it will become the new Tennessee state record after certification is completed.
Stephen Paul (pictured) caught his muskie on an artificial lure late in the day around 6 p.m. His friend Dylan Gano was there to help for the whole fight. Paul said that he would have released the muskie but the fish expired as it was being netted.
Previously the largest muskie for the state was 42 pounds 8 ounces from nearly 34 years ago, on April 27, 1987. It was caught by Klye F. Edwards on Norris Lake. The current world record is 67 – 8 from Wisconsin.
Tennessee is on the southern boundary of the muskellunge range, so they grow faster here than in colder climes. Paul’s big fish is estimated to be about 12-15 years old. A 50-inch muskie in say, Wisconsin, would need at least 17 years to make it. For more on this (pending) state record, including photographs, go to http://tn.gov/news/48971#sthash.dYVu3BFK.dpuf