Callaway County man catches world record-sized blue sucker
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates Travis Uebinger of Auxvasse on catching the first state record fish of 2023 – an 11-pound, 5-ounce blue sucker. Uebinger was fishing on the Osage River Jan. 15 when he caught the fish using the pole-and-line method. The previous record for blue sucker was a 9-pound, 14-ounce fish caught on the Missouri River in 1997.
Uebinger said he was out fishing with a good friend that day for white bass or walleye.
“We were really targeting a whole bag – anything that would bite,” he laughed. “We were on my friend’s new boat, trying it out, when I reeled it in. I didn’t know what it was, a sucker or a carp. It was my friend who said it could be a state record.”
MDC staff verified the fish’s weight using a certified scale in Jefferson City. Not only does Uebinger’s fish beat the current state record, it also weighs more than the current blue sucker world record of 2-pounds, 12-ounces.
According to commercial fisherman, blue suckers weighing up to 20-pounds were once common in the Missouri River. Most specimens taken in recent years were 16-24 inches long and weighed 1.5-3-pounds. The world record organization only recognizes fish taken by pole-and-line and not fish taken with commercial fishing gear.
“That would be amazing to have a world record,” said Uebinger. “Especially on a fish you weren’t targeting.”
Suckers are considered a good tasting fish. However, they have a lot of bones and need to be prepared differently than most fish. Though Uebinger doesn’t have plans to bring his catch to the table.
“I contacted several taxidermists,” he said. “It’s a little difficult to mount and it would have to be custom-made. Luckily, I did find a place in Springfield that would mount it, so I’ve currently got the fish wrapped up and frozen.”
Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or atlatl.
For more information on state record fish, visit http://bit.ly/2efq1vl.
To learn more about world record fish, visit the International Game Fish Association at igfa.org.