A Tennessee man just tied the state perch record with a fat-bellied fish he caught while he and his son were bass fishing.
Richard Marsich and his son Scott were bass fishing in the Fairfield Glade area of Cumberland County. Scott had heard there were some big perch in the area they were fishing, so he suggested they give it a try. That innocuous suggestion led to his father tying the state perch record.
"We set out to bass fish," Richard Marsich said. "My son suggested trying to perch fish after hearing from a nearby angler about the presence of perch."
Soon Richard had a hit and the battle was on.
"The water was so clear, I could see the fish at about 12 feet down," Scott said.
The younger Marsich realized his father had a potentially record-breaking perch and immediately googled the Tennessee state fishing records on his cell phone.
They took the big perch to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency where reservoir biologist Mike Jolley weighed and measured the fish. It's probably worth noting, the average length of a Tennessee yellow perch is only 8 inches.
Marsich's fish measured 15 7/8 inches long and weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces. His fish tied the current state record, caught by Trent McCoy only last year. McCoy's perch was a hair shorter than Marsich's, at 15 1/2 inches. Coincidentally, both men hail from Crossville, Tennessee. You can read about McCoy's record perch here.
Jolley spoke thoughtfully of the special catch saying, "It's a beautiful fish, and it's great to share in the excitement of a happy angler. More so, it touches all of us that a father and son were able to share this great experience."
Marsich donated his record perch to the TWRA regional office where it'll be mounted and added to their collection.