James Lucas of O’Fallon, Mo., recently snagged a skipjack herring that turned out to be a state record for “alternative method” fishing.
Lucas snagged the 1-pound, 10- ounce fish on the Mississippi River. It measured 16.5 inches in length.
“I really can’t believe I broke my old record with this fish,” says Lucas. “I was trying to snag spoonbill and out of nowhere I snagged this skipjack. I’m just really grateful. It’s always nice to upgrade the state record.”
Lucas’s skipjack herring beat the previous record, which he also snagged, by 2 ounces.
“The skipjack herring didn’t put up much of fight when I snagged it,” Lucas says. “After getting it on the bank I knew the fish was going to be close to my old record, but I wasn’t sure I beat it until I got it home and put it on the scale.”
Missouri Department of Conservation officials verified the record using a certified scale in O’Fallon. Lucas says he snagged the fish while bank fishing April 8, using a 10-foot pole with 80-pound braided line.
Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods, which can include snagging, archery and other methods. Lucas holds the state record for skipjack herring in both categories recognized by the MDC.
In 2010, he caught the state record with pole-and-line.