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54 minutes ago, Seth said:

If my internet research is right, that is the 4th largest brown ever caught!

My info says the same thing Seth. two at 41-8 and a 42-1. Rip Collins comes in just after Bill at 40-4. 

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I got the call just after turning onto highway 86 heading for NW Arkansas and grandkids (Jimmy & Megan's).  Bill said it was bigger than Frank.  Marsha asked if we should turn around...

Now Bill knows I love him like a brother so he won't get offended by me saying this but... he tends to exaggerate a bit.  So when he said he had a big brown, I had to make a decision... keeping heading on or turn around with the possibility he did have a bigger brown.  Sorry Bill, grand kids won.

Then Ryan sent me a pic of it on the tournament scales - then I zoomed in and saw 40 pounds.  Surely not.  I was way past Dogwood Canyon.

Duane called next.  Shane was there... it was a record. 

I started managing from the truck (not driving now).  Got ahold of Wes Johnson.  KY3.  They are always very good to us.

Told the guys to get the gopros out and start planning.  I knew they'd do their best with the fish.  If I was there, I'd be thinking about the fish and not recording it for posterity.  They needed to do both.

Then I started managing FB comments.  The fish died and I tried to explain.  At this hour, I've given up.

Shane has told us a few things about these big trout.  One - you can break their back very easily... actually they can break their own back by just twisting in the new.  That may have happened to this fish because when it went, it went fast they said - like it had a heart attack or something.  It happened way before it was taken and weighed... it was already dying, lost color.

I got all this from the guys - and I'll get even more info tomorrow when I see Duane.  I just got home from Rogers.

I don't think WE have seen this fish under our dock... not on video.  It's SO much bigger than any other trout we've seen.  But may be we can look at old underwater video and see some markings or something.  I really don't think this one had a name - and we're not about to name it since it died.  But man, think about releasing that one and letting it get just a little bit bigger.

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Here's a little rebuttal I've posted on FB about the haters who say we KILLED the fish.  Yes we did... but still have to push back a bit.

The best way not to kill a big fish is to.... not go fishing #1. If you go fishing, cut your hook off and go for just strikes #2. Go fishing and if you hook a big fish, don't take it out of the water, just cut the line when it gets close #3. Go fishing and... I'm out of safe ways to keep fish alive, sorry.
 
All fun aside, bringing this fish to the dock and getting a certified weigh DID kill this fish. The last state record we handled in February - we got lucky and it survived all our handling. This fish was bigger (4th largest brown trout ever caught), much worse DO levels in the lake (45 minute fight in February and less than a 5 minute fight today) and again - the transporting to a certified scale, on land, weighed by 2 state fisheries biologists. They said we did everything right except we should have had O2 on hand and a good aerator device - that's something we'll work on for the next big brown. That and I want to build a concrete platform for the scales closer to our fish tank.
 
After the last record in February, we bought a professional set of scales and got them state certified so that we could weigh fish here at the resort instead of transporting them 6 miles to the hatchery. We thought we were ahead of the game... never thought we'd use them so soon after Frank the Tank (Feb. record).
 
We will and do own some of the criticism we're getting for handling the fish. We could have done better. Bill could have just released it and we wouldn't be talking now. But the fish was very close to it's end of life cycle, and while we would have loved to watch it swim away, the fact is we'd still be catching grief because then you'd say - it swam off and died! So we'll never win the social media battle.
 
Now I'll copy and paste this around so all those haters can read our rebuttal... and we'll call it good for now.

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