Missouri fisherman catches record-breaking bighead carp

Bighead Carp Breaks State Record in Missouri: Meet the Angler Behind the Gigantic Catch!

Festus resident George Chance has broken the state record in Missouri after catching a massive 97-pound bighead carp from the Mississippi River. He was bank fishing for catfish with a bottom-bouncing crankbait when he hooked into the fish on March 19. His catch surpasses the previous pole-and-line state record of an 80-pound fish caught from Lake of the Ozarks in 2004.

Chance described his experience, saying that he initially thought it could be a flathead based on its slow movement. After a 20-minute battle, he was able to get the fish onto the shore. Upon closer inspection, he realized it was a carp and estimated its weight to be around 50 or 60 pounds. To confirm the weight, Chance took the fish to a nearby recycling center to use their scale. The news came as a surprise to Chance, who had not expected such an outcome when he had set out to fish that morning.

His catch is the third state record fish recorded for Missouri in 2024 and also surpasses the current pole-and-line world record weight of 90 pounds. Following his catch, Chance mentioned that he plans to eat the fish by incorporating it into his garden produce. The bighead carp caught by Chance was found to be full of eggs, indicating that it would likely have spawned in spring if left untouched. These invasive fish from Asia are encouraged to be harvested in order to help remove them from Missouri waters.

Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. The use of alternative methods includes various fishing techniques such as trotline, throwline, limb line, and more. To learn more about state record fish in Missouri, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.


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