Avid fisherman Tony Corbin of Gerradstown boasts not only just of the size of his fish, but also his dedication to the sport. According to the Journal-News, Corbin hits the water at least twice a week during Spring and Summer seasons.
“It’s all about having fun,” Corbin said.
While enjoying yourself may be the goal, landing a nice-sized fish is always welcome. During a recent excursion to a private pond, Corbin managed to bring in a 17.31-pound rainbow trout. Corbin and his friends knew instantly that they had a contender on their hands.
“When we caught the fish, the question automatically went through our minds as far as how much it weighed,” Corbin said. “So we went on our phone and checked what the state record was and weighed it on the spot and saw we had (the state record) by about two pounds.”
Following protocol, Corbin weighed the fish at the pond and then brought the trout to a local grocery store to confirm. An official from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources was then contacted to authenticate the weight, which would dispose of the state’s former 15.65-pound record.
It was Corbin’s first time at the pond and he naturally chalks up the catch to good luck.
“When you’re at a good place fishing where a lot of people can’t fish, you take it for what it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to have it, but it’s just fishing. I got lucky,” Corbin remarked.
Several years ago the pond was stocked with a number of trout and striped bass. Due to excellent conditions and feed, the fish in the pond were exceptionally large. Corbin and his friends had caught several 12-pounders the same day using bass baits. Large trout, Corbin says, require large baits.
“They are a strong fish, no doubt about it,” he told West Virginia MetroNews. A big fish doesn’t fight for a long time before it tires out, but it was probably 15 minutes because I had to play him pretty good, but on a big fish, once they’re tired, they’re tired and he came up there pretty good for us.”
Several days after the catch, the trout was confirmed by West Virginia officials as the new state record in weight, and fell short of the length record by just a little over an inch. That does not seem to distress Corbin much, who as a taxidermist is looking forward to mounting his prize.
“I’ve mounted some big ones, but never a state record,” he said. “My customers come first, but once I’m caught up on my work I’ll get some time and really work to do a nice job on him.”
Image courtesy West Virginia Division of Natural Resources