Kansas fisherman awaits DNA testing to confirm he broke record for biggest trout
DE SOTO, Kan. — Josh McCullough had always talked about catching a big fish, and catching a big fish is what he did.
McCullough pulled in the potential record-setting rainbow trout Feb. 23 at Kill Creek Lake in Johnson County, Kan.
After pulling in the 15.72-pound trout, McCullough says he took the fish to a grocery store and had it weighed on a certified scale. McCullough will know for sure if he broke the previous Kansas state record of 15.43 pounds later this month, following an imposed 30-day mandatory waiting period and DNA testing of the fish.
Johnson County Parks and Recreation stocked Kill Creek Lake with 700 pound of rainbow trout on Feb. 12. McCullough says there were rumors that a few 12 pound trout were among the fish added and he was hopeful he’d catch one.
“I’m not sure how long my fish had been in the lake, but I told my friends I was going to catch a big one,” McCullough said. “I didn’t expect to catch one this big.”
McCullough says he was fishing the bottom of the lake when he thought he snagged a turtle. It wasn’t until he started reeling in his catch that he realized it was a big fish. McCullough, 22, a Spring Hill resident, a husband and father of two children who fishes as often as he can. “I get to the lake yearly, I usually fly fish, but I was fishing the bottom that day,” said McCullough.
McCullough’s dad Mark McCullough was fishing the other side of the lake when the big catch happened and initially didn’t believe his son had caught such a large fish. Mark, also an avid angler, pulled in a big catch last year… a largemouth bass. Mark’s Facebook page reflects his prized catch, but Josh would be lying if he didn’t admit his own recent profile picture showing himself holding his pending record setter didn’t give him a certain sense of pride, “I kind of one upped my dad’s profile picture.”
Josh’s fish is currently on ice, he plans to have the 28 1/2 inch mounted after the record becomes official.
If you’re wondering, the largest recorded catch of a rainbow trout in Missouri is 18.1 pounds. That fish was caught in the Roaring River in 2004 by Jason Harper.