Wild and wonderful West Virginia doesn’t get the respect it deserves in terms of being a Muskie fishing hotspot.
But hopefully the absolute tank of a fish that just broke the state record will put West Virginia’s dark and dusty waters on the map in the minds of fishermen all over the country.
Chase Gibson is a professional fishing guide, so it’s only fair that a guy who makes his living putting other people on big fish was rewarded with a fish of his own that will go down in state history.
His 54-inch long, 39.6-pound muskellunge is the new state record.
According to WFXR, the fish was caught at Burnsville Lake. It broke the previous record of 53.5 inches and 34.5 pounds that had belonged to Joe Wilfong since 2017.
Gibson hooked into the monster muskie while fishing a timbered cove, and used a Musky Innovations Dyin’ Dog—a 13-inch jerkbait.
“She was barely hooked with one treble in the corner of her mouth.”
The most amazing part of the story is that Gibson actually released the fish back into the water after the measurements were confirmed, ensuring other anglers now can dream about the prospect of re-hooking the states biggest muskie.
“Think how cool it would be if another angler hooks that fish in the fall and sets a new state record. The record is a testament to the habitat work we’ve done for that reservoir.”
West Virginia isn’t primarily known for its muskie fishing. Massive muskie are usually found up in Wisconsin and Minnesota, with the world record coming in at a whopping 67-pound 8-oz fish that measured over 60-inches long.