This tiny sunfish has cemented this angler's name in the record book.
It pays to be familiar with your state's fishing records because you just never know when you may have the chance to cement your name in the record books. Just ask Robert Audrain III about that.
The man set a new state record for a longear sunfish caught using an alternative fishing method. Audrain was using a handline to fish private waters in Franklin County when he hooked into the 4-ounce sunfish. In a press release from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the new record catch was confirmed.
"I was fishing off my father-in-law's dock at a private lake a little south of Eureka," Audrain said in an MDC press release. "I was with my 12-year-old son and we knew there was some good-sized sunfish in the lake. I was using my handline and it was the first time I threw in when we caught the fish."
It turns out that Audrain's catch breaks the previous handline record that has stood in Missouri for the last 27 years. The last record was only three ounces and was caught in Lick Log Creek all the way back in 1993. Audrain's catch was confirmed using certified scales at the St. Louis Regional Office of the MDC. The hook-and-line record for a longear sunfish in Missouri is 11 ounces. Technically, this fish falls far beneath the state's minimum of eight ounces, which is what qualifies anglers for the state's Master Angler Award program.
"The previous record was recognized before the requirements to meet or exceed the Master Angler Award minimum were instituted," MDC Fisheries Program Specialist Andrew Branson said in a press release. "Even though this new record is below the Master Angler Award minimum of 8-ounces, it still beats the existing record."
Indeed, Audrain's name is already on the state's record fish page. The small size of the catch caught more than a few people off guard, as Audrain explained in the press release.
"It's funny because most of my friends thought it was a joke," Audrain said. "Because of the fish's size, they really didn't think that it was a record."
Audrain says he may have his record-breaking catch mounted to immortalize the memory forever. That will make for an interesting conversation piece! He also said he plans to return to the lake with his son to see if he can get his son to beat his newly-set record.