97-Pound Bighead Carp: Missouri Resident Sets New World Record in Competitive Fishing

Missouri fisherman catches record-breaking bighead carp

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

Chance described his experience of hooking into the fish, mentioning 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. He then contacted his local conservation agent, who informed him that it was not only a state record but also a world record. The news came as a surprise to Chance, who had not expected such an outcome when he had set out to fish that morning.

Chance’s catch is the third state record fish recorded for 2024 in Missouri. The bighead carp 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 the spring. 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.

Chance’s achievement is not only significant for him but also for anglers across Missouri as it sets a new benchmark for what is possible with pole-and-line fishing techniques.

Missouri has had several records broken this year already and George’s catch is just one more example of how competitive fishing can lead to exciting discoveries and achievements for anglers everywhere.

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