O’Fallon angler takes state-record skipjack herring

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O’FALLON, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that James Lucas of O’Fallon became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he snagged a skipjack herring on the Mississippi River. 

The new “alternative method” record skipjack herring caught by Lucas on April 8 weighed 1 pound, 10-ounces with a length of 16 1/2 inches. This beat the previous state record, which was held by Lucas, by 2 ounces. MDC staff verified the record-weight fish using a certified scale in O’Fallon.

“I really can’t believe I broke my old record with this fish,” said Lucas. “I was trying to snag spoonbill and out of nowhere I snagged this skipjack. I’m just really grateful. It’s always nice to upgrade the state record.”

Lucas added he snagged the skipjack herring off the bank with 80-pound braided line and a 10-foot fishing pole.

“The skipjack herring didn’t put up much of fight when I snagged it. After getting it on the bank I knew the fish was going to be close to my old record, but I wasn’t sure I beat it until I got it home and put it on the scale,” he said.

Lucas is familiar with state-record fish. He also holds the state record for the skipjack herring he caught with his pole and line in 2010.

“I plan on making a replica of the skipjack herring and putting it on the wall. I also may try to use it for bait,” he said.

Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl.

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish. For more information on state-record fish, visit the MDC website at https://mdc.mo.gov/fishing/state-record-fish.