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To say that the story behind Vonada Ranck's big trout is quite a fish tale is to put it quite mildly. The 22 -inch, 7-pound brook trout Ranck hauled home has been certified as an official state record for the species by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. That in itself is a remarkable feat. Ranck's catch, though had more to do with his own two feet.

Ranck was pursuing trout in Fishing Creek near Tylersville, Clinton County when he noticed fish hitting something small and white on the surface. Unable to make a positive identification on the white objects, Rank decided to improvise. Trouble is, the only thing the 44-year-old angler from Watsontown had even vaguely resembling the center of the trout's attention were the white socks he was wearing. A few snips and a little improvising later, Ranck hit the water again with a small piece of sock attached to a bare hook.

The rest is the stuff of legend. The fish began to hit, and the game, as they say, was afoot. Later on Rank improved upon his design at home, substituting wound white thread for the bit of sock. He continued to fish with this homemade lure and on June 8, it paid off with a "brookie" that measured in at nearly (OK say it together) two feet.

The former brook trout record was established in 1994 at 6 lbs, 9.6 oz. That catch was made by Shawn Keener of Ridgway.

Commission biologists have determined that the fish was a brood trout from the agency's Tylersville Fish Culture station located just upstream. The trout escaped during the massive flooding that occurred over the winter.

PA State Record Fish -- PFBC Home

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