New West Virginia State Record Chain Pickerel Caught

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A new West Virginia state record chain pickerel was caught on Sunday, October 13th. The Premier Angler staff recently had a chance to speak with Matt Born of Reedsville, WV, who landed the record fish.

Born was fishing Upper Deckers Creek near Reedsville in Preston County, WV. This is a familiar stomping ground for the local resident, who has caught quality fish there in the past.

“I got a few trophy fish citations out of it for pickerel and bluegill,” said Born. “I fish it almost every week year-round if I can get to it.”

For an avid chain pickerel angler, it seemed that setting the new West Virginia state record has been within reach for some time.

“We have almost beat the record a few times before and I love to catch chain pickerel,” said Born.

While fishing Upper Deckers Creek with custom-made spinners, Born knew he had hooked another sizable fish. What he didn’t know, however, was just how big it actually was.

“I really didn’t think I had the new state record on,” said Born. “I knew it was big, but it wasn’t until I got it on the bank and put the tape measure on it before it hit me that is was state record size!”

As West Virginia awards state records for both length and weight, Born had two opportunities to earn a place in the books. Before October 13th, both records were held by Steve Denma, whose 6.19 lb., 27.75 in. chain pickerel was caught on Tuckahoe Lake in 2001.

While Denma’s fish still holds strong as the heaviest recorded chain pickerel caught in the state, Born now joins him on the list. At 27.87 in., the new record fish managed to secure its place as West Virginia’s longest by the narrowest of margins.

Born even took to the tape numerous times to make sure he had finally landed “the big one.”

Measuring the West Virginia State Record Chain Pickerel
photo via Matt Born

“Man, I must have measured that fish ten times to make sure it was the real deal,” Born said.

The day could have turned out much differently for Born, however.

“I got super lucky that it didn’t break off, as I was not running a steel leader that day,” said Born before crediting the durability of his 6 lb. SOS line.

Know of any record catches we may have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

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