A West Virginia man caught a 27.87-inch, four-pound chain pickerel on Oct. 13 at Upper Deckers Lake near Reedsville, West Virginia, in Preston County—a state record, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Angler Matt Born, of Reedsville, used an in-line spinner to catch the trophy fish, which is a state record in length only. The previous record was a 27.75-inch fish caught by Steven Demma at Tuckahoe Lake, near White Sulphur Springs, in Greenbrier County, in 2001.
The Chain Pickerel (Esox niger) is a species of freshwater fish in the pike family. It has a distinctively dark, chain-like pattern on its greenish sides. It may reach up to 30 inches long on rare occasions. The average size for chain pickerel, however, is 24 inches and three pounds. The average chain pickerel caught by fishermen is under two pounds.
Anglers who believe they may have caught a state record fish should check the current records in the fishing regulations at wvdnr.gov. Procedures for reporting a record catch also are included in the regulations.