Reeds Spring angler catches record-breaking redear sunfish

News from the region
Published Date

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces Josh Cole of Reeds Spring is now a state record holder after shooting a 1-pound, 12-ounce redear sunfish at Table Rock Lake in Stone County. Cole caught the fish while bowfishing April 29. The previous record was a 1-pound, 1-ounce fish caught in 2017.

“I went out around 10:30 that night to go fishing with my brother,” Cole said. “Once I shot the fish and got it in the boat I was surprised to see how big it was, but I wasn’t expecting it to be a state record.”

Cole shot the fish using an “alternative method” – bowfishing. He said he’s still unsure about his plans for the state-record fish.

“I’ve got in the freezer right now,” Cole noted. “Not sure if I’ll end up mounting it.”

MDC staff verified the redear sunfish’s weight by using a certified scale at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson.

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.

For more information on state-record fish, visit the MDC website at