Record-breaking Bighead Carp Catch: Festus Fisherman Hooks 97-Pound Behemoth from Mississippi River

Missouri fisherman catches record-breaking bighead carp

George Chance, a fisherman from Festus, Missouri, recently caught a massive 97-pound bighead carp from the Mississippi River. While bank fishing for catfish with a bottom-bouncing crankbait, he hooked into the fish on March 19. This catch broke the previous pole-and-line state record of an 80-pound fish caught from Lake of the Ozarks in 2004.

Chance described his experience of hooking into the fish, stating that he initially believed it to be a flathead due to its slow movement. After a grueling 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 not only was it a state record but also a world record. The news came as a surprise to Chance who had not anticipated such an outcome when he had set out to fish that morning.

Chance’s catch is now recognized as Missouri’s third state record fish for 2024 and 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 have likely spawned in spring. These invasive fish from Asia are encouraged to be harvested in order to help remove them from Missouri waters. It’s important for anglers and conservationists alike

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