April is turning out to be a record-breaking month for fish caught in Missouri.
Dan Schmitz of Jefferson City caught the new state record river redhorse on April 15 using a rod and reel.
The fish, which weighed 9 pounds, 13 ounces, broke the record for pole-and-line catches. Missouri recognizes state records in pole-and-line and “alternative method” fishing.
Schmitz caught the fish on Tavern Creek using worms for bait.
“I fought the fish for about 10 minutes before I got it to the bank,” says Schmitz. “I knew the fish was pretty big, but I didn’t know it was a state record until talking to MDC (Missouri Department of Conservation). I really can’t believe I caught a fish like this! I’m not a master angler. I’m just a hobby fisherman who loves to fish. I’m super excited to have the honor to be a state-record holder.”
Not only is Schmitz a state record holder, he may also hold the world record.
River redhorse, which are part of the sucker family, do reach sizes quite a bit larger than the one Schmitz caught. However, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) only recognizes fish taken by pole-and-line.
“Larger river redhorses are usually taken by gigging and do not qualify for the IGFA world record,” MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson says. “Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish and this new unique record clearly shows why. This fish could be the largest river redhorse ever taken with a pole and line.”