World Record Bighead Carp
Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri Angler Harvests 125-Pound World Record Bighead Carp While Bowfishing

This gigantic bighead carp may be a new world record.

The bighead carp is a troublesome invasive species from Asia that has taken over many American waterways. This fish has thrived in many places and an angler's latest catch in Missouri is more proof of that. The Missouri Department of Conservation has just announced a new state record bighead carp weighing a whopping 125 pounds, 5 ounces taken in Lake Perry.

The lucky angler is Matt Neuling, who shot the beast while bowfishing with a buddy on July 24. The two anglers grossly underestimated the size of the fish when they took shots at it.

"I was out with my buddy early that morning when we both shot what we thought was a 30-pound grass carp," Neuling said in an MDC press release. "My buddy's arrow pulled out, but mine shot straight through and stayed in there."

His friend did get a second shot off a little later to help land the massive catch. Once weighed on a certified scale, MDC biologists confirmed the record-breaking weight was a new state record for Missouri in the bowfishing alternative angling category. The MDC notes that this fish also smashes the existing world record for a bowfishing bighead carp record, which stands at 104 pounds, 15 ounces.

"We just couldn't believe it," Neuling said. "We knew what type of fish it was, but we had never seen one that size. This thing is a straight up monster. A five-gallon bucket could easily fit in its mouth. If my buddy wasn't with me, there was no way I could have pulled it out of the water."

MDC biologists decided to take the head of the fish so they could age it, but they are estimating it is at least ten years old because of the size. This also gives the MDC a chance to further educate the public on this nuisance species.

"This particular fish is an example of just how well an invasive species can thrive if given the opportunity," "MDC Fisheries Program Specialist Andrew Branson said in a press release. "We encourage people to harvest these fish to help remove them from our waters."

Neuling told the MDC he plans to use the carp's body for catfish bait. Considering the carp's size, he should be good to go for quite a while!

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