Thanks to Yahoo News for this:

When Henry Dyer started reeling in his line, he couldn’t have known that his catch would make history.

Out fishing with a friend on Cherokee Lake in eastern Tennessee on April 13, Dyer reeled in a paddlefish, and it was a monster WTVC reported.

“When I snagged that thing, I thought I’d hung on a stump and then all of a sudden it just took off,” Dyer told WTVC. “The fish made five long runs. It took about 35 minutes for me to get it to the boat.”

The fish was weighed at an official station where they thought it may be a new state record, according to a Facebook post from the Hawkins Farmers Co-op.

Cherokee Lake paddlefish

They were right. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announced the new record in an April 18 Facebook post.

Weighing in at 149 pounds, the 6.5-foot beast is officially the largest paddlefish ever caught in the state of Tennessee.

American paddlefish can grow to lengths of 7.2 feet and reach 200 pounds and are found in the Mississippi River Basin, Lake Huron and parts of southern Canada, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The previous record for paddlefish in Tennessee was held by Chad Collins, who caught a 120-pound fish in the Cherokee Reservoir in April of last year, according to state records.

Not only did Dyer’s fish break the record for paddlefish, it may be the largest fish ever caught and recorded in the state.

Since records have been kept, the largest fish ever caught in the state was a 130-pound blue catfish. The fish was caught in 1976, state records show.

Cherokee Lake paddlefish

That makes Dyer’s fish even more impressive.

Dyer gave the fish to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to aid in their research, ABC News Channel 9 reported.

“Congratulations. Fish of a lifetime,” one person commented on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency post.

“You truly can tell a huge fish story!” another said.

In the days since Dyer caught the fish, “you can’t wipe the smile off my face,” he told ABC News Channel 9.

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