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Missouri Man Catches Likely World-Record Carp, Turns It into Fertilizer

March 25, 2024 - Blog

Last week a Missouri angler caught a massive bighead carp that’s been certified as a new state record and stands to break the current world record for the species. George Chance caught the carp while fishing from the shore of the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. Chance, who lives nearby in Festus, said he hooked the fish on a crankbait.

“You kind of know what a fish is once you hook into it based on how it fights,” Chance told the Missouri Department of Conservation, which announced the new state record on Friday. “It was moving pretty slow and I originally thought it could be a flathead.”

Chance explained that he eventually saw the fish’s forked tail and realized it was a carp. It wasn’t until he got it close to shore that he saw how big it was, and he had to get creative to land the fish on his own.

“I was able to hook him with a hay hook in order to get him out of the water,” Chance said. “It looked to be 50 or 60 pounds at least.”

The fisherman took the carp to a nearby recycling center to use the certified scales there. When he saw that it weighed 97 pounds, Chance called the MDC right away.

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“They told me it was a state record, and I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ 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’s bighead carp record has been certified in the state’s “pole and line” category, and it tops the previous state record by 17 pounds. The MDC also recognizes state-record fish caught with “alternative methods” such as bows and trotlines, and the standing record in that category is a 125-pounder that was harvested with bowfishing gear in 2021.

As the MDC pointed out, Chance’s carp could also set a new all-tackle world record for the species. The current world record, according to the International Game Fish Association, weighed 90 pounds and was caught from Guntersville Lake in Tennessee in 2005.

Although anglers in other states have snagged heavier bigheads, the IGFA doesn’t recognize snagged fish in its record book. Which means that if Chance goes through the proper steps and sends in an application, his carp will likely be recognized as the new world record for the species.

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Bighead carp are native to Asia but they’ve established themselves in the Mississippi River Basin, where they’re considered an invasive menace by fisheries managers. MDC has been trying to reign in their populations for years, and the agency encourages anglers to kill all the bighead carp they can catch.

Chance harvested his state-record carp, which he noted was full of eggs and would have likely spawned in the river this spring. Now, it’ll be used as fertilizer instead.

“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.

The post Missouri Man Catches Likely World-Record Carp, Turns It into Fertilizer appeared first on Outdoor Life.

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