Tennessee has generated big headlines in recent years due to some incredible Rainbow trout catches. That may seem like a pretty tall statement,but when you consider the incredible numbers of Rainbows that inhabit the numerous creeks, rivers and lakes, you'll understand why some of the worlds best trout fishing is located in the Tennessee mountain land.
Ronnie Rowland age 36 of 175 Carlton rd in Bristol T.N. landed a new T.N.state record Rainbow trout on Sept 6, 2002. Ronnie who is Captain of "GUPPY GUIDE SERVICE" said the massive Bow was nearly 33 inches in length and was 20 and a half inches in girth. This easily tops the old 1994 record of 15.25 lbs.
New Tennessee Record Rainbow Trout 16 pounds 15 ounces.
Caught by Ronnie Rowland
Rowland who is an avid Striper angler began catching some large Bows last year. This year alone he boated several trout exceeding eleven pounds. Ronnie's father Johnny Rowland gave him encouragement on the possibilities of breaking the T.N. state record. Suddenly his attention was directed to some distant activity,"Rainbow trout fishing"!
On the sunny afternoon of late summer ,Ronnie Rowland hooks up with a fish of a lifetime. The Rainbow trout hit unlike any other he had ever seen. There was no classic tugging action on the other end of the line. Instead this trout popped his tail on the surface and began to speed away resembling a top water strike from a Striped Bass! Ronnie thought he had possibly hooked a Striper until the fish made a pass by his boat. He saw a fish that appeared to weigh around 20lbs with a huge fuschia colored stripe running down its side as it blasted by his boat. This is when Rowland began to get nervous because he new a state record Rainbow trout was on the other end of his line.
Big trout are notorious for breaking off anglers fishing line by swimming around the trolling motor. This big boy held true to his heritage, but Ronnies trim up button on his Minnkota Genesis trolling motor helped take care of business. The huge trout would barrel straight towards the motor every time Ronnie trimmed it back down into the water in order to gain boat control.This went on for several minutes. Once the old wise Rainbow realized he couldn't break Rowland off in the trolling motor, he popped his tail on the surface once again and stripped off over 50 yards of line.
Rowland began to get uneasy as the trout began to swirl visciously. The massive size of the trout hindered him from braking water like the smaller ones, but the fish more than made up for it by rolling on the surface like a big ole catfish. After a 15 minute battle Ronnie guided the huge Rainbow trout into his huge Striper net. The oversized Bow was so tired it never made a flop.
Ronnie said this male Rainbow trout was the the most beautiful fish he had ever laid eyes on. Its back consisted of a golden/bronze color. There was a wide fuschia stripe running from the head of the Rainbow all the way back to its tail. The fishes belly had a silver tint.
This fish was taken to Krogers for its weight certification. Rowland was approached by a lady employee as he was entering the employee's only section of the meat department. Is that 100 percent USDA grade beef she asked while starring at the huge trout in his arms. I'll guarantee Rowland said with a chuckle. Next she began to lecture Ronnie on how the fish was supposed to be chopped up into slices before entering the meat area. A male employee was standing behind the counter laughing his butt off. She was so embarrassed when she was told about the situation at hand . Rowlands fish was placed on the certified meat scales and it's weight was a little over 17 and a half pounds. The employee at Krogers had placed Ronnies water logged shirt under the fish while it was being weighed. Rowland made them remove the shirt, explaining to them that would be cheating if anything other than the fish itself was on the scales. I'm sure some anglers would have looked over that little descrepancy said Ronnie.
To prove Ronnie's catch was no fluke he has taken several friends out in his boat who have caught large Rainbow trout. Connley Taylor caught an 11ber, Chris Ringley a 12lber, Ronnies 9 year old nephew David Cook , a 11 lber and Brandi Cook his 11 year old niece, an 8 LB Rainbow trout.
Rowland tactics for trophy trout are simple. First of all you have to use an invisible fishing line that's abrasion resistant. Rainbow trout have keen eye sight and sharp teeth. Seaguars flourocarbon line is his favorite. He uses a stout 20lb fluorocarbon leader unlike most trout anglers whom prefer 4 to 6 LB test lines. Rowland feels the larger line is necessary for landing trophy trout.
Next, drift'em a real meal said Ronnie. Salmon eggs, power bait, night crawlers , flies,etc. take their share of nice trout each year, but nothing compares to the real thing. Rowland said he's learned one important secret when fishing for trophy fish throughout the years. Use the same bait in that particular lake the fish are feeding on.
These are similar tactics Ronnie's fishing buddy, Tim Adrien of Gray TN uses. Tim will tell you up front it's all about boat control. Adrien has boated several nice Rainbow trout up to 12 lb. His most impressive catch this year was an 18 and a half pound monster Brown trout.
Another one of Ronnie's fishing buddies Bill Nothnagel of Kingsport TN likes using artificials to catch numbers of oversized Rainbow trout. Bill's favorite lures are the Redfin and the buck tail. He doesn't believe in constantly bouncing the bottom as some would preach, instead he keeps his bait a couple of feet from the bottom of the lake.
Is Rowland worried about another Rainbow Warrior taking away his new state record? No way! He realizes many of his good ole T.N. buddies have threatened to do just that.
Therefore Ronnie went and purchased an extra large pair of heavy duty line cutters which has the ability too cut another fisherman line from up too 150 feet away. Don't think Ronnie whose nickname is "BIG GUN'S " can't use this large apparatus! He will not hesitate in cutting's anyone's line whom he thinks might beat his state record trout. Todd Smith the owner of "THE BRISTOL RACQUETBALL AND FITNESS CENTER" will be used as a guinea pig!
ADVANCED WILDLIFE AND TAXIDERMY DESIGNS in Toronto will be mounting Ronnie's Rainbow trout.
by Ronnie Rowland