Teenager reels in record-breaking catch while out fishing with his dad

A Pennsylvania teenager recently scored a lifetime achievement after reeling in a fish that broke his state’s record, officials say.

Mohnton resident Christopher Barrett, 19, caught an unusually large white perch while fishing with his dad back in April. The fish weighed two pounds and one ounce – beating the Keystone State’s previous white perch record by five ounces.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced the catch in a press release on June 7. Officials explained that the father and son were on a fishing boat when the record-breaking catch was made.

“After navigating Darby Creek, the pair entered the Delaware River and began fishing just below the Commodore Barry Bridge, near Chester,” the statement explained. “Christopher and his father were using heavy duty spinning rods fitted with fish finder rigs and circle hooks baited with bloodworms to target striped bass and catfish but were also catching white perch.”

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“At around 11 a.m., Barrett reeled in a particularly large perch that caught the attention of both anglers.”

Officials say that the perch measured 14.125 inches long and had a girth of 12.25 inches. The father and son instantly noticed how large the fish was.

“We usually keep a few perch to eat, and when I went to put that one in the cooler, we both said that’s got to be the biggest white perch we’ve ever seen,” the teen explained.  “When we got back to the dock, my dad looked up the state record for Pennsylvania, which was under two pounds.”

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“We weighed the fish on our own scale, and it was 2 pounds, 3 ounces.  So, we started to get really excited at that point.”

Officials found that the fish was actually two ounces lighter, but it still broke the 2008 white perch record. The teenager told state officials that he and his father are “pretty good” at fishing.

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“It was a large fish to begin with and it was full of eggs, which made it even heavier,” Barrett explained.  “We’re pretty good at catching perch, so I guess it was a little bit of skill and luck combined with good timing to catch that fish at just the right time.”

When officials asked the teenager what he planned to do with the fish, Barrett told them that he planned to send the perch over to a taxidermist to “preserve the memory of the catch.”

“I’m so grateful for this record, but even more excited that I got to share this experience with my dad,” Barrett said. “We go fishing all the time together and it’s our favorite thing in the world to do.  We’ll never forget this.”

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