Angler in Missouri reels in world record bighead carp

Bighead carp weighing 97 pounds has been caught by George Chance of Festus, setting a new state record. The fish was caught using a bottom-bouncing crankbait on March 19 while fishing for catfish. The previous pole-and-line state record was an 80-pound fish caught from the Lake of the Ozarks in 2004.

Chance initially believed that the fish could be a flathead based on its fighting style. However, after approximately 20 minutes of struggling with the fish, he was able to get it onto the shore where he estimated its weight to be between 50 and 60 pounds. Chance took the fish to a nearby recycling center to use their scale and discovered that it weighed over 97 pounds, breaking the previous state record.

The bighead carp is the third state record fish recorded in Missouri in 2024. Chance plans to enjoy his catch by using it as fertilizer for his tomato and cucumber plants in his garden. The carp was full of eggs and likely would have spawned during the spring, emphasizing the need for managing invasive species like bighead carp. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages people to harvest carp to help remove them from Missouri waters.

Missouri recognizes two categories for state record fish: pole-and-line and alternative methods such as trotline, throwline, limb line, and more. To apply for recognition of a state record fish or learn more about invasive species management in Missouri waters, visit the MDC website.

By Samantha Johnson

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