Robert “RJ” Audrain IV, of St. Louis, caught the latest state record longear sunfish under alternative methods, the Missouri Department of Conservation announced in a news release.
Audrain was fishing July 3 from a private pond in Franklin County when he caught the 5-ounce fish.
The previous record was caught by Audrain’s father on the same day in 2020 from the same location.
“We were at the lake fishing all day and having fun,” Audrain recalled. “I was using my handline, and after about five minutes of trying I pulled out the fish. I’m really proud of myself and pretty competitive, so it’s cool I beat my dad’s record.”
The sunfish was weighed on a certified scale at MDC’s St. Louis Regional Office. It’s the seventh state record fish recorded in 2021.
Audrain said he will likely mount his record and place it next to his dad’s on their wall at home.
“We were actually joking that it would be funny if we had a new record on the wall each year that is an ounce bigger,” he said. “I think we’re definitely going to keep trying to break our records.”
Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery and atlatl.