West Virginia angler catches record bowfin

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) announced today that an angler has caught a state record bowfin on the Ohio River in Mason County, making this the fourth state record catch confirmed since December 2023.

“There’s nothing quite as exciting as finding a trophy at the end of your line and we’re thrilled that West Virginia anglers keep reeling in record catches and showing the world that our state is truly a world-class fishing destination,” said WVDNR Director Brett McMillion.

The record fish, a 10.60-pound, 30.20-inch bowfin, was caught and released on March 12 by Lauren Noble from Letart in Mason County using a small crankbait. Noble’s record bowfin was certified by WVDNR District 5 fish biologist Jeff Hansbarger.

News of Noble’s record-breaking catch comes less than a week after the WVDNR and Gov. Jim Justice announced that state-record redbreast sunfish and tiger trout were caught at New Creek Lake in February. A record blue catfish also was caught on the Ohio River in December 2023.

Noble’s catch surpasses the previous weight record holder, a 9.25-pound bowfin caught by Matt Stender in 2006. Donald Newcomb III continues to hold the 32.25-inch length record he established in 1994.

To learn more about state fish record categories, check page 23 in the West Virginia Fishing Regulations Summary, available to download at WVdnr.gov/fishing-regulations. To learn more about the Master Angler Program, see page 9.

All anglers 15 and older must have a West Virginia fishing license, which can be purchased online at WVfish.com. Anglers are reminded that a trout stamp is required when fishing for trout. They are also encouraged to upgrade their fishing experience by opting for a physical license card when they purchase their 2024 fishing license.

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