Cody Sparkman.jpg

Cody Sparkman holds his new state record black bullhead catfish.
Cody Sparkman of Perryville holds his 2-pound, 13-ounce black bullhead caught on a jugline July 21 in Perry County. Though it’s not the prettiest fish, it’s now the eighth state record caught in 2019.

MDC announces new state record for black bullhead catfish

News from the region

Jul 31, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates Cody Sparkman of Perryville for now holding the state record for black bullhead catfish. Sparkman caught a 2-pound, 13-ounce fish on a farm pond in Perry County July 21 using a jug line. The previous record was a 2-pound, 4-ounce fish caught in 2010 in Cass County.

“I was out that day hoping to catch catfish and turtles,” said Sparkman. “It’s definitely something to now hold the state record.”

The fish’s weight was verified on an MDC scale in Perry County.

Bullhead, such as black, brown, and yellow, are nongame fish and may be caught and kept. For more information on bullhead catfish, visit

This now makes the eighth state-record fish caught in 2019. Sparkman caught the fish using chicken liver.

Though Sparkman now holds a state record, he has some reservations about mounting his award-winning catch.

“I got to admit, it’s a pretty ugly fish,” laughed Sparkman. “We call them mudcats around here. But it’s a record so I’ll take it. I’m still debating on whether or not to mount it.”

Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, trotlines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl. To learn more about state-record fish, visit the MDC website at

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