RALEIGH, N.C. (April 9, 2012) — When he launched his 17-foot Hydrosport on Hiwassee Reservoir on the morning of March 31, Tyler Shields expected he’d catch a few largemouth bass, maybe a smallmouth bass or two. What he didn’t expect to catch, however, was the new freshwater striped bass state record.
Shortly before noon, the 17-year old from Murphy, N.C., reeled in a massive 66-pound striped bass, using a black zoom trick worm and 10 pound test on a Bass Pro Shops Bionic Blade rod. Shields’ state record striped bass eclipses the previous one, also caught in Hiwassee, by nearly 12 pounds. That fish weighed 54.2 pounds and was caught by Larry Keith Verner, also of Murphy, on June 6, 1991.
When he first hooked the giant fish, Shields, who was who was fishing with his cousin, Logan Howard, 15, and friend, Caleb Davis, 15, thought that it was a catfish. However, when he got the fish to the boat, he saw that it was “a big striper.&