Fishing in his neighbor's pond, Houma native Tim Trahan said he didn't realize what he had hooked until he reeled it in.
"Actually, I was amazed by the size of it," he said. "I thought I was back at home fishing for sheepheads."
Trahan had caught the a state record bluegill, weighing in at 2.24 pounds. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the state Outdoor Writers Association have since confirmed it, and now Trahan and his prize catch are in the record books.
The previous record, held by Dwaine Payne, was 1.72 pounds, caught in 2016.
Trahan, 65, caught the fish May 30 near his home in Arcadia, a small town in north Louisiana about midway between Shreveport and Monroe. Because of the varying readings from different scales, he didn't want to celebrate until it was official. He said he weighed it twice and it came back with two different weights within 10 minutes of each other, so he waited for a game warden to certify it.
Now, he said, he can savor the victory.
"Wonderful, it's all good. I'm not any different from what I was the day before. It just makes me feel good to accomplish something like that," Trahan said.
Bluegills, often called bream or perch, are common throughout Louisiana and most of the U.S. They range from 7 to 15 inches in length, but most are 4 to 6 inches and weigh a half pound or less.
Trahan was born and raised in Houma and graduated from Terrebonne High in 1975. He moved to Arcadia in 2019, where he had a second house and met the woman he later married. He's retired now from a life as a welder and a fitter.
After catching the fish, he took it to K&M Coffee, Corks and Camo in Farmerville to have it weighed. Employees at the sporting goods store said they could tell it was a record breaker before he even weighed it.
"It was huge, the only question was if it was a true bluegill or if it was a hybrid," said Marcy Kavanaugh, the store's owner.
The Wildlife and Fisheries Department confirmed the fish is a bluegill, not a hybrid.
Trahan has since had it mounted, so it's a keeper.
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Houma native catches Louisiana record bluegill in neighbor's pond