New WV State Record Golden Rainbow Trout

WV State Record Trout

A new WV state fishing record was set on April 4, 2023. Benji Lilly of Beckley, WV has reeled in the new WV State Record Golden Rainbow Trout. The trout weighed 9.72 pounds and measured 26.5 inches long. Benji caught the huge Golden Rainbow Trout using a white Berkeley Power Bait Worm on a 1/32 ounce jig head.

The previous state record for heaviest Golden Rainbow Trout was held by Danny Crider. That fish weighed 9.31 pounds and was caught at Brushy Fork Lake in Pendleton County. The previous WV state record stood since 1998.

At 26.5 inches long, Lilly’s Golden Rainbow Trout fell short of breaking the state record for length by 1 inch. That record is held by Gerald Estep, who caught a 27.5 inch Golden Rainbow Trout at Stonecoal Lake in 1987. A WV state record that has stood for a staggering 36 years.

Catch the full list of WV State Record Trout

The WV State Record That Almost Wasn’t

WV State Record Golden Trout

Benji Lilly was fishing at Little Beaver State Park Pond in Raleigh County on April 6th. After reeling in what has become the WV state record Golden Rainbow Trout, he gave the fish away to the person next to him.

Afterwards, someone passing by asked to weigh the fish. He informed them that this would break the current WV state record.

Holding good to his promise, Benji gave the fish away after claiming the state record. Later, he plans to have a replica mount made of his WV state record trout.

The WV DNR has been stocking golden rainbow trout across the state for two weeks as part of the WV Gold Rush. On it’s sixth year, the WV Gold Rush is an annual event to promote tourism and fishing in the state of West Virginia.

The Golden Rainbow Trout was first discovered in 1955 at a fish hatchery in Petersburg, WV. 50,000 Golden Rainbow Trout were stocked in 68 different locations for this years Gold Rush. Dont miss this great yearly event! Maybe you will be the next person to catch a WV state record Golden Rainbow Trout.

Remember, to fish for trout in WV, all anglers age 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license. Additionally, a current trout stamp and a valid form of identification are needed while fishing. Purchase your fishing license online at Make sure you are up to date on all of West Virginia’s fishing regulations. Maybe you’ll be the next to reel in a WV state record trout.

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