Black crappie caught in Loudon County is the new world record

Published: May. 16, 2018 at 5:00 PM EDT
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It's official, Lionel Ferguson’s 5-pound, 7-ounce black crappie is the new IGFA All-Tackle world record! Caught on May 15, 2018 in Richeison Pond, in Loudon County.

Ferguson’s monster crappie replaced the previous record of 5 pound which was set back in 2006.

A quiet night of fishing turned into a lifetime of memories for Jam Ferguson on May 15 after reeling in a huge black crappie.

Over a month later, genetic testing reveals on June 19 that it is a new state record and it now a would record catch.

"My adrenaline was pumping, my wheels was turning, and I was just excited when I got it in," Ferguson said.

Ferguson said he was fishing at a friend's private pond in the Philadelphia area of Loudon County when he got the big crappie on the line.

"I called my wife and I said, 'Baby, you ain't gonna believe this,'" Ferguson said. "I told her it was a black crappie, I said, 'I think it's the state record.'"

By weight alone, the fish beats the old state record by a full pound. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials said the fish weighs five pounds and four ounces. The previous record is four pounds and four ounces.

TWRA said a DNA test was necessary to tell if the black crappie was full crappie or a hybrid. TWRA agent Anthony Chitwood explained the process.

"They have to key the fish out, count the number of spines on the fins to make sure it is actually a black crappie and not a hybrid or a cross," Chitwood said. "They clip a fin to send off for a DNA profile, and that's about it."

The Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign determined it was full crappie, and at 5 lbs., 7.68 oz., it beats the former state record of the 4 lbs., 4 oz. fish caught by Clyde Freeman in Brown's Creek Lake in 1985.

“TWRA wishes to congratulate Mr. Ferguson by breaking a state record that’s been held for 33-years and looks forward to assisting him with the world record application process if needed,” TWRA Fisheries Chief Frank Fiss.

Back in May, Ferguson said even if the fish was not a record breaker, he was beyond happy with the catch.

"I'm still excited. I mean, if it's hybrid or not a state record, I'm still excited about this fish I have caught," Ferguson said.

If you would like to see other world records in fishing you can see them all