OLATHE, Kan. — An Olathe, Kan., man set the mark pretty high for his first Arkansas trout-fishing trip last month.
Calvin Johnston, 37, landed a brown trout weighing 38 pounds and 7 ounces on the White River near Cotter on Feb. 27.
“I knew immediately when I saw the fish it was a monster,” he said.
This is the third largest brown trout caught in Arkansas, and the largest ever recorded from the White River, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The largest catch was recorded by Howard “Rip” Collins at 40.4 pounds from the Little Red River in 1992.
“This is just further evidence that anglers still have the opportunity to catch trophy fish on Arkansas’ world-class trout waters,” said Christy Graham, the commission’s trout management program coordinator.
For Johnston, a branch manager for Hobart Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial kitchen equipment, this was his first trout fishing trip and the first brown trout he’s ever caught.
Johnston has been fishing with his younger brother since they were children.
His brother, who is a Bryant, AR, police officer, has visited the White River for years trout fishing with friends. This year, Johnston decided he would tag along, even though he normally fishes for bass.
Johnson caught the trout from the bank because his waders were frozen from earlier that day. The temperature was a mere 17 degrees and snowing.
He was using a spin-casting rig with a Mepps rainbow trout minnow imitation behind a spoon when the trout struck his line. The fight lasted about 20 minutes.
Johnson caught the fish on a drop-shot rig with 15-pound braided line and 10-pound floral carbon leader. His rod was a 6’9″ Bass Pro Johnny Morris Carbon Lite with a fast-action tip.
The brown trout is currently with a taxidermist where it will be mounted and replicated.