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Saturday, 18 June 2011 16:44

Big musky catch on Collins River comes as surprise for college student

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Surprise muskie catch on Collins river in Tennessee Surprise muskie catch on Collins river in Tennessee

Lila Warren will return from Paris, Va., at the end of summer to assist the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency with its musky stocking program.

It was about eight times heavier than I realized it was going to be

Last Friday it was Warren who needed help from the TWRA, more specifically its chief of fisheries Bobby Wilson along with fishing guide Cory Allen, to keep from being pulled into the Collins River near McMinnville by a 52-inch monster musky.

“The only thing left in the boat was her left leg,” Allen said.

“She was going overboard,” Wilson added. “Cory grabbed her just in time.”

It’s not that Warren didn’t realize musky get big. She is a burgeoning expert on the aggressive river fish. She was simply caught off guard by this one.

“It was about eight times heavier than I realized it was going to be,” she said.

Warren, 24, a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, wanted to get a head start on her postgraduate master’s degree studies at Tennessee Tech in a project funded by the TWRA examining the musky population in several of the state’s rivers and reservoirs.

So she lined up a fishing trip with Allen, a Middle Tennessee guide who specializes in musky fishing, and Wilson came along.

“One of the goals of the trip was for me to see my research watershed,” Warren said. “It was a major bonus to catch a trophy fish like that.”

Allen said he had actually spotted the musky in the river twice last week.

“I didn’t know if we’d see it again on our trip because at midweek it was kind of a balancing act,” he said “I was worried at one point that there was too much mud in the water, but then it was so clear on another day and sometimes the clear water makes it a little harder to get them to commit.”

By the time the trio hit the water at 5 a.m. Friday the conditions were ideal, Allen said.

“If you can get some stain in the water and get out there early things usually work out in your favor,” Allen said. “If I wasn’t confident before we got to the ramp I was very confident we were going to catch something once I got down to the ramp and I saw the water conditions.”

Warren, who at 5-foot-8 is only 16 inches taller than the fish’s length, hooked the musky an hour and a half later using a 10-inch crank bait.

“I thought I’d snagged my lure on a log,” Warren said. “Then I saw a huge fin come up and realized it was a massive fish.”

After Allen and Wilson helped her quickly measure the musky, Warren released it. They did not take time to weigh it, but estimated it was in excess of 40 pounds. It was a female without eggs.

The state record musky is 42 pounds, 8 ounces, caught in Norris Reservoir in 1983, according to the TWRA. The world record is 69 pounds, 11 ounces, caught in Chippewa Flowage, Wis., in 1949, according to the International Game Fish Association.

It was the first time for Wilson to fish for musky. It made him feel good about the TWRA’s program.

“We’ve got a really good population of musky in that area,” Wilson said. “Not just in the Collins River but the Caney Fork, the Rocky, the Calfkiller and even the Great Falls Lake.”

Full story at The Tennessean.com


  • Comment Link Frank Gentry Monday, 01 August 2011 12:28 posted by Frank Gentry

    That just shows what a great musky fishery there is in Middle Tennessee. Casting in 5 feet of water in a narrow river....not much of a challenge.....and guided by....Corey Allen...seriously ??? They got lucky.

    Corey Allen - musky guide...lol. How could he be confident after seeing the water conditions when he got there at
    5 AM....it's still dark.

    "The only thing left in the boat was her left leg." Did she blow dry her hair and put on dry clothes before the picture was taken ?

    Congratulations to Lila for the great catch. It is quite an accomplishment,especially considering who was guiding you. Some people fish for years and never get one that big.

  • Comment Link George Hanson Friday, 08 July 2011 03:08 posted by George Hanson

    This chick is kinda hot - much better looking then the average muskie fisherman!

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