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Fishing Missouri State Records

106-Pound Bighead Carp Snagged In Missouri

by Game & Fish Staff   |  June 14th, 2011 4

Gene Swope, center, of Excelsior Springs, shows off his record bighead carp with grandsons Garron Grass, right, and Justin Swope, left. Photo Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation

CAMENDTON — Gene Swope was hoping to snag a big paddlefish while fishing with grandsons Garron and Jason. The trio of anglers were fishing at the Lake of Ozarks in south central Missouri when they felt something big tug on the line.

A tough 35 minutes later, Swope had landed a 4-foot, 8-inch bighead carp that weighed a whopping 106-pounds. It took all three fishermen to pull the catch in.

The monster catch is a new Missouri state record for a “alternative method” catch. The previous record was 80 pounds. Had the fish been traditionally hooked in the mouth and not snagged, it would have eclipsed the International Game Fish Association’s world record by 16 pounds.

An invasive species and not recognized as a sportfish, hauling in the big fish from Missouri waters is bittersweet moment for state Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson.

“Bighead carp are an invasive Asian species. This is an example of how invasive species can thrive outside of their native environment, and the importance of preventing their spread. At least anglers are removing some of these from the lake, and that’s good news.”

The species are not known to successfully spawn in lakes or ponds as they need a current to suspend their eggs in water in development.

One way species like big head carp find their way to lakes and pond are as released bait fish. Anglers should avoid throwing their unused minnows into the areas they’re fishing as it’s possible for a few invasive fish to get mixed in with other native species. Any unused minnows should thrown away.


  • Chuck

    I am against invasive fish of any kind being put into our waters and I don't want to believe that it is being done by locals .Are local bait and tackle selling the small fry as bait fish?,if so stomp them out.If the blame goes to the local pet stores wher exotis fish intended for aquarium and pretty fish bowls,Stomp them out to.

    I think we are going to have to just get used to it and eat them.

  • mike craig

    they say they probably get in as minnows. But they also say Big Head need river systems to reproduce and bait minnows are pond raised….do the math. Temp/food/water chemistry is all most species require to reproduce. It's also false that invasives outcompete sport fish for food sources and destroy sport populations that way. If that was true they would outcompete their own young for food. Invasives eat the spawn and fry of sport fish. Sport fish are removed as food or trophies where undesirable fish are seldom even fished let alsone removed. I hear all the time from people who fish for carp that they "let her go to fight another day". I recently caught a prespawn female carp that weighed 11lbs 8 ounces. She had 2 quarts….3lbs 4 ounces of eggs in her. I see carp robbing the beds of gills and bass all the time.

  • Jack Sperry

    Can you say Snake Head????

  • William A. Sowka

    as a youngster, I fished for CARP in a pond (aMUD Hole) using a tree branch (for a Rod),nylon string and a straight pin bent in the shape of a hook,we chumed the water with slices of bread (Silvercup) as the water churned from the feeding carp on the floating slices of bread we cast our bait into the frenzy, a piece of bread with the pin hook (a makeshift surface lure…) MEMORIES…..This was'nt the Ozarks, this was New York City, Jamaica,Queens.One of the bet fishing holes with fond memories……I miss that Carp Fishing.

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