Kevin Cokely, NBCDFW.com
An 8-year-old's 10-inch longear sunfish is big enough to set two state records and two local records.
Every person who has picked up a rod and reel likely has a story about the one that got away, but a young Dallas girl has proof of her record-setting catch.
Taylor Musso, 8, set several records last weekend when she plucked a long-eared sunfish from Lake Zebco in Athens.
"Well, I reeled it in. And then, I thought it was stuck, but it was actually a fish," recalled Musso. She then asked her father to help free her line. As he ran over, they realized she had a fish on the line."
"I ran over there, lifted it up ... she had brought it all the way in," said Musso's father, Mark. "The lady from the fisheries came running out and she says, 'Hey that looks like a big fish for that type of fish.'"
"They said, 'Wait that might be a record.' So we went in and we checked, and it was," said Musso.
The sunfish, which is normally a fairly small fish, measured 10 inches long and weighed nearly three-quarters of a pound. The catch beat the previous record of 0.68 pounds, which also came from Lake Zebco.
The small fish was big enough to set five records: a junior angler state record, state catch and release record, water body record, water body catch and release record and Big Fish award.
Water body records for other species of fish caught from Lake Zebco are as impressive, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife. The record for largemouth bass caught on rod and reel is 8.98 pounds in the weight division. Kaylee Nicholson’s bluegill holds the rod and reel weight record at 1.14 pounds. The record blue catfish from Lake Zebco weighed 37.9 pounds; the record channel catfish 13.73 pounds. (Those fish, both caught in 2009 by Matt Lundstrom, were released back into Lake Zebco and are presumably still there, only bigger.)
With one five-record catch under her belt, Musso said she's up for the challenge of hooking something even bigger. Maybe she should stick to the bountiful, 1.5-acre waters of Lake Zebco.
NBC DFW's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.