High school prom dates discuss viral fishing trip

This East Tennessee couple spent their prom night on the lake. (Source: WVLT)
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 11:26 AM MDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) - Two high school students in Tennessee ended prom night with a little fishing when they made a big catch.

Luke Lankford and Mary Jo Mattingly like to spend their free time away from school and sports out on the water together.

“I’ve been fishing for my whole life -- basically 17 years,” Lankford said.

He shared his hobby with his girlfriend nearly a year ago and she picked it up along the way.

“I never even touched a pole barely and then he was like, ‘C’mon, kick it into gear!’” she said.

The best trip for the couple, though, may have been when Lankford started the day in a tuxedo and Mattingly in a dress for junior prom.

The two liked prom well enough but decided after an hour to switch things up and go night fishing at Melton Hill Lake.

It didn’t take long before they saw a large fish near the boat. Mattingly reeled in a 7-pound walleye, making it a night to remember.

“Catching the fish was pretty cool. I mean, that’s a pretty cool thing to remember,” she said.

Lankford was the one who cast the reel to catch the walleye, but he gives all the credit to his girlfriend for reeling it in.