Setting a World Record with a 97-Pound Bighead Carp Catch: George Chance’s Incredible Adventure

Missouri fisherman catches record-breaking bighead carp

In March 2024, George Chance from Festus set a new state record in Missouri after catching a massive 97-pound bighead carp from the Mississippi River. The fish was bank fishing for catfish with a bottom-bouncing crankbait when he hooked into it on March 19.

Chance described his experience of hooking into the fish, mentioning that he initially thought it could be a flathead based on its slow movement. After a 20-minute battle, he was able to get the fish onto the shore. Upon closer inspection, he realized it was a carp and estimated its weight to be around 50 or 60 pounds.

To confirm the weight, Chance took the fish to a nearby recycling center to use their scale. He then contacted his local conservation agent, who informed him that it was not only a state record but also a world record. The news came as a surprise to Chance, who had not expected such an outcome when he had set out to fish that morning.

Chance’s catch is the third state record fish recorded for 2024 in Missouri. The bighead carp also surpasses the current pole-and-line world record weight of 90 pounds. Following his catch, Chance mentioned that he plans to eat the fish by incorporating it into his garden produce.

The bighead carp caught by Chance was found to be full of eggs, indicating that it would likely have spawned in the spring. These invasive fish from Asia are encouraged to be harvested in order to help remove them from Missouri waters. Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. The use of alternative methods includes various fishing techniques such as trotline, throwline, limb line, and more. To learn more about state record fish in Missouri, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.

Chance’s catch becomes another milestone for bighead carp fishermen around the world as they strive for bigger and better catches. With this new world record under his belt, Chance has proven himself as one of the top anglers in Missouri and beyond.

Missouri is home to some of the most diverse and abundant fisheries in North America, offering anglers opportunities for thrilling catches year-round

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