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Tennessee man reels in monster catch

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Tennessee man reels in monster catch. (Robert Livingston photo)

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WZTV) — One Tennessee man had quite the weekend after reeling in a monster paddlefish!

During his past five fishing trips, Robert Livingston hasn’t had much luck.

“I fish almost every weekend,” Livingston said. “But haven't caught a fish the last five times I've been out.”

But, that luck changed over the weekend.

The Morristown man went out on Cherokee Lake with his Walmart fishing rod and a good friend. They never could have imagined what they reeled in!

Video shows the men trying to pull in the massive paddlefish while trying to contain their shock and laughter.

“What is happening here,” Livingston yells.

When it’s barely in the boat, the fishermen can barely lift it up for a photo.

“I can’t pick it up,” Livingston laughs. His friend says, “don’t drop it in the water.”

Livingston estimates the fish weighs at least 150 lbs.

“I can put 150 lbs. over my head no problem, and I couldn’t even get it off the boat,” Livingston said.

He says it’s the biggest fish he has ever caught and believes it could have smashed state and possibly even world records. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says the state record for the largest paddlefish caught in Cherokee Lake was set in 2016 with a 104-lb. fish.

“I know for a fact it would have broke the state record and been very close to the world at 151lbs,” Livingston said.

But perhaps we’ll never know. Livingston says they let the massive fish go before weighing it.

“I guess I’m an idiot for letting it go, but we didn’t kill it and it’s still here swimming around so somebody else catch it,” he said.

Livingston said he hopes he’ll land the catfish world record during future fishing trips!