FRANKLIN, N.C. (June 27, 2014) — Nantahala Lake, a 1,065-acre reservoir in Clay and Macon counties, has spawned two state records for kokanee salmon in less than a week.
On June 6, Fred Mix, of Rainbow Springs, broke the existing record of 3 pounds, 9 ounces, held since 2009 by Ashley Swann, of Swannanoa, after reeling in a 3-pound, 15-ounce fish, using a homemade spinner.
Five days later, on June 11, Jeffery Todd Smith broke Mix’s record, catching a kokanee salmon that weighed 4 pounds, 1 ounce. He used flashers and dodgers as lures.
Like many anglers in the area, Smith, who is from Mills River in Henderson County, knew that kokanee salmon are found in North Carolina only in Nantahala Lake, having been stocked in the mid-1960s by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission in an attempt to establish the species as a forage fish.
He said he has been trolling the lake for the last two years, hoping to catch a record-breaking salmon. On June 11, whi