Rogersville teen shoots record-breaking gizzard shad

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirms Jacob Morgan of Rogersville now holds a state record title after shooting a gizzard shad on the Bull Creek arm of Lake Taneycomo. Morgan was bowfishing when he shot the 2-pound, 13-ounce fish June 6. The previous record was a 2-pound, 10-ounce fish caught March 20 on Bigelow Creek in St. Charles County.

Though Morgan shot the shad over the summer, he kept it in his freezer until just recently.

“When I shot it, I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a huge shad!’,” said Morgan. “My friends and I have always gone through Bull Creek and see massive shad. I did know it was a state record because we weighed it with one of our own scales. But honestly, I kind of forgot about it in the freezer until we had it weighed on a certified scale.”

The shad was weighed on a certified MDC scale in Taney County on Oct. 4.

“Many people may not realize a fish doesn’t have to be alive when we certify it for a state record,” explained MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson. “If the fish has been frozen, such as in this case, we require the fish is thawed for an accurate weight.”

Morgan said he doesn’t have plans to mount the shad, but still thinks it’s an accomplishment to hold a state record at his age.

“It’s definitely exciting – especially being only 16,” said Morgan. “My friends and I always have little competitions with each other to see who can catch the biggest fish, so I definitely have bragging rights now.”

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.

Morgan’s gizzard shad is the 10th state-record fish caught in 2019. For more information on state-record fish, visit