St. Louis angler snags state-record skipjack herring

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports Steven Wengler of St. Louis became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he snagged a skipjack herring on the Mississippi River. The new “alternative method” record fish caught by Wengler on April 17 weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces. Wengler’s recent catch broke the previous state record of 1-pound, 10-ounces, caught in 2016.

“I was shocked to pull a skipjack herring in the boat while snagging, because I was trying to snag spoonbill,” Wengler said.

He added he was trying to catch the state-record skipjack herring on his rod and reel earlier in the day, but wasn’t having much luck; so he started snagging for spoonbill instead and caught a record skipjack herring.

“It’s kind of crazy to think about because I wanted to catch a state-record skipjack herring, but wasn’t planning on catching one the way I did,” Wengler said.

Wengler caught the state-record skipjack herring for the pole-and-line category last year on the same date. But that record was broken earlier this year. Now he holds the new “alternative method” record for skipjack herring.

“I’m really happy to be back in the record books, but I’m still going after the pole-and-line record for the skipjack herring,” he said.

MDC staff weighed the skipjack herring on a certified scale in Defiance. Wengler said he gave the skipjack herring to MDC to use for research.

“This is the fifth state-record fish so far this year. 2017 is shaping up to be a year for state-record fish,” said MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson. “The mild weather we have had means more anglers are fishing, and catching big fish.”

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