Setting World Record with a 97-Pound Pole-and-Line Catch: George Chance’s Bighead Carp in Missouri

Missouri fisherman catches record-breaking bighead carp

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

Chance described his experience of catching the fish, saying that he initially thought it could be a flathead based on its slow movement. After a grueling 20-minute battle, he managed to get the fish onto 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. To his surprise, not only did it break the state record but also set a new world record weight of 97 pounds for pole-and-line fishing techniques. This marks Chance’s third state record catch in Missouri in 2024.

The bighead carp caught by Chance is full of eggs, indicating that it would likely have spawned in the spring. These invasive Asian species are encouraged to be harvested to help remove them from Missouri waters. Missouri state record fish are recognized under two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods such as trotline, throwline, limb line, and more. For more information on state record fish in Missouri, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.

Chance plans to eat the fish by incorporating it into his garden produce, stating that he believes these invasive species should not go to waste but instead be used as sustenance for those in need.

This impressive achievement by Chance highlights the importance of responsible fishing practices and respecting wildlife regulations while enjoying outdoor activities like fishing in Missouri’s waters.

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