JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- It was a good year to be a fisherman in Missouri. In fact, it was a record year to be a Missouri fisherman.
The Missouri Department of Conservation says that eight fishing records have been set so far this year through the state's record fish program. The program recognizes anglers who catch the largest fish from species included on the State Record Fish list.
To qualify, fish must be caught by legal methods in Missouri waters. They have to be weighed on certified scales and the fish's weight and species must be verified by a Conservation Department fisheries biologist.
When a person applies for a fishing records, they also have to provide a color picture of the fish.
Besides bragging rights, record-setting anglers receive engraved plaques from the state recognizing the records.
There are two categories for state record catches -- pole line and lure and alternative methods.
The first record of the year came in February when Nathan Dietiker, Scott Lipscomb and Dane Thomas of Boonville used a trotline to capture an 8-pound, 2-ounce largemouth bass.
In March, Table Rock Lake was the spot to be for fishing records. George Russell of De Soto opened paddlefish season on March 15 by snagging a 139-pound, 4 ounce paddlefish. Four days later, Scott Flood of Billings caught a record 5-pound, 6-ounce white bass.
On April 6, James Dockery of Queen City caught a 1-pound, 7-ounce goldeye from the Des Moines River, a record for that species. Then, on May 28, Tim Dernosek of Blue Springs used the archery method to catch a record 55-pound, 1-ounce carp at Lake Lotawana.
The new record smallmouth bass alternative record was set Sept. 18 at Table Rock Lake when Paul V. Elder of House Springs caught a 4-pound, 3-ounce fish by jug fishing. Jug fishing also was used by Jason D. Kirk of Camdenton who set an alternative record on Oct. 11 with a 39-pound, 8-ounce striped bass caught at the Lake of the Ozarks.
The last record set so far this year came on Nov. 13, when Jim Schull of Trenton caught a 69-pound carp at Crowder State Park.
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