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Angler Catches New Kentucky State Record Yellow Perch

Frankfort, KY — A Tennessee angler fishing Lake Barkley over the weekend caught Kentucky’s new state record yellow perch.​​​

Lynn Bumgardner’s fish weighed 1.58 pounds on a certified scale, eclipsing the old record of 1.44 pounds set in 2010. Bumgardner, of Oliver Springs, Tennessee, caught his fish on the Trigg County side of the lake March 2.​​​

​​​“We were trolling grubs for crappie in Linton Bay on Lake Barkley,” said Bumgardner. “When I caught that one, I knew immediately it was a heavy fish.”

Bumgardner, a television actor by trade, was fishing with an old friend, Lee Andrews, Kentucky field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The two were about to head in for the day when the record yellow perch struck.​​​

“The fish rolled over and I saw the great big belly and I saw the stripes and I knew it was a perch,” Bumgardner said. “I said ‘Lee, I’ve caught the new state record yellow perch.’ I didn’t know if it really was, but it was the largest perch I’d ever seen.”​​​

Andrews checked the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website on his phone and saw the record was 1.44 pounds. “That thing weighs more than that,” Andrews told his fishing partner.​​​

​​​“We weighed it on hand-held digital scales and it was 1 pound, 9 and 1/8-ounces,” Andrews recalled. “I told him if it weighs that much, you do have the state record.”

​​​The anglers took to the fish to the Food Giant grocery store in Cadiz and had it weighed on a certified scale, a requirement to confirm state record status. The 14¼-inch perch weighed 1.58 pounds, a bit less than the inaccurate weight recorded by the hand-held digital scale.

​​​Andrews and Bumgardner, who have fished together since they were teenagers, continued fishing after catching the big yellow perch. Finally, their curiosity got the best of them and they headed to shore with the fish in the livewell.

“We caught one more crappie after catching the record perch, but who cares?” Bumgardner said. “I realized this is a rare opportunity.”​​​

For more information on Kentucky state record fish, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov.​

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