Missouri Angler Feeds World Record to his Garden

George Chance, of Festus Missouri, caught a 97-poung bighead carp on March 19 that set a new state record and outweighed the IGFA all-tackle world record by 7 pounds. After weighing it for the state record, he chopped it up and buried it in his garden.

“I chopped up the fish and put it in my garden,” Chance said. “I’m going to eat it in the form of tomatoes and cucumbers.”

Chance was bank fishing for catfish with a bottom-bouncing crankbait when he hooked into the fish. The previous pole-and-line state record was an 80-pound fish caught from the Lake of the Ozarks in 2004.

“You kind of know what a fish is once you hook into it based on how it fights,” Chance said. “It was moving pretty slow, and I originally thought it could be a flathead.”

Chance fought the fish for about 20 minutes before he finally got it onto the shore.

“The more it fought, I saw it’s tail and knew it was some type of carp,” he recalled. “I was able to hook him with a hay hook in order to get him out of the water. It looked to be 50 or 60 pounds at least.”

Chance took the monster fish to a nearby recycling center to use their scale, which prompted him to call his local conservation agent.

“They told me it was a state record, and I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’” he laughed. “Then later they said ‘It’s not just a state record, it’s a world record!’ and I said ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ I had no idea this would happen when I woke up that morning.”

Chance also noted the carp was full of eggs and likely would have spawned this spring. Bighead carp are an invasive fish from Asia. Anglers are encouraged to harvest carp to help remove them from Missouri waters.

Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or atlatl. For more information on state record fish, visit http://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZCp.

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