97-Pound Goliath: George Chance Sets Missouri State Record with Massive Bighead Carp Catch

Missouri fisherman catches record-breaking bighead carp

In March of 2024, George Chance of Festus became the latest state record holder in Missouri after catching a massive 97-pound bighead carp from the Mississippi River. Chance was bank fishing for catfish with a bottom-bouncing crankbait when he hooked into the fish. He initially thought it could be a flathead based on its slow movement, but 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. However, upon weighing it, he discovered that it weighed an incredible 97 pounds! This surpasses the current pole-and-line world record weight of 90 pounds. 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 holds several other records, including being one of the largest invasive species in North America. 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 and how you can help remove invasive species from our waters, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.

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