'Massive' brown trout sets W. Va. record

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Saturday, August 4, 2001

'Massive' brown trout sets record

MICHAEL A. SAWYERS, Cumberland Times-News Staff Writer

BARNUM, W.Va. -- The Maryland brown trout record was shattered Friday morning when an Elk Garden man hooked and landed an 18-pound, 3-ouncer from the North Branch of the Potomac River just downstream of Barnum.

"It was pretty exciting," said Gary Kuhn. "I didn't think it was that big, but when we took it to Pap's (Bait Shop) the scale there only went to 15 pounds."

The North Branch is a Maryland river, but anglers from either state may fish there legally using their resident licenses. Kuhn eventually took the 33-inch fish to B.J.'s Convenience Store on Savage River Road in Garrett County where it was weighed and officially verified as a state record by Ken Pavol, biologist with the Maryland Freshwater Fisheries Division.

Kuhn's brown trout, described by Pavol as "massive," broke the record of 13 pounds, 7.5 ounces that was set in the same river in March by Cumberland resident Eddie Martin.

Kuhn said he was fishing in deep and swift water at a location known as the School House Hole when the brown trout hit a No. 9 Rapala plug about 7 a.m.

"I threw it across and just kept popping it back to me," he said. "I only had a 4-pound test line so it took me about 45 minutes to get him. I had my drag set real light. He had the whole Rapala in his mouth."

Kuhn said his friend Mike Davis of Elk Garden waded in and netted the big trout, using a wide net that Kuhn keeps in his bass boat.

The Web page for the U.S. Geological Survey showed that the North Branch at Barnum was flowing at just under 600 cubic feet per second Friday morning.

The North Branch of the Potomac River also is home to the record brook trout of 6 pounds, 1.75 ounces and the record cutthroat trout of 7 pound, 9 ounces. The record rainbow trout of 14 pounds, 3 ounces came from Savage River Reservoir.
 
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