What’s 65-plus pounds, pulls like a train, and swims in Missouri’s Bull Shoals Lake?
Missouri angler Lawrence Dillman soon found out while fishing on May 23, when he successfully landed a 65-pound, 2-ounce striped bass. Dillman’s catch is Missouri’s new “pole-and line” state record, the Missouri Department of Conservation announced on May 26. Dillman was using 20-pound test line paired up with a chub minnow to catch the giant bass.
The Rockaway Beach, Mo. resident contacted the Shepard of the Hills Hatchery in Taney County after catching the giant fish to have it certified. The record catch is now at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Missouri, getting mounted.
Weighing in at 65 pounds, 2 ounces with a length of 49 ¾ inches and a girth of 36 inches, Dillman’s catch broke the previous Missouri record for the species—a 60-pound, 9-ounce catch out on Bull Shoals lake in 2011.
“I fought the giant for over 45 minutes until I got him to shallow water, I then bear hugged the fish and got it out of the water on to the bank.” Dillman told Missouri Department of Conservation.
Dillman thought that it might be a state-record striper, so he grabbed a portable scale he had and rigged the fish up so he could hoist it up next to his car. “It went all the way up to 64 pounds, then my scale broke and went into a thousand pieces,” he told MDC.
“Once the fish was on the line, I knew I had a decent one, but I didn’t at all think it was a striped bass,” Dillman said. “I thought it was a spoonbill or something else. But when I got him to the bank I knew I had something amazing!”
Striped bass were inadvertently stocked in Bull Shoals Lake by Arkansas game officials in the late 1990s.