A Missouri angler took full advantage of his second chance at a state-record gar.
Mitchell Dering of Wappapello, who released what he thought could have been a state record two years ago, made it official on July 5 when he caught a new Missouri record for spotted gar from the St. Francis River.
This fish weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces, eclipsing the previous record of 6-0, caught in 2005 from Boeuf Creek.Dering was fishing for catfish when the record fish struck. He used live bluegill as bait. The fish’s weight was certified on a Missouri Department of Conservation scale in Wayne County.
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“Two years ago, I caught a record gar on the St. Francis,” Dering said in an MDC new release. “But I ended up turning it loose. So, I was happy to get this catch and have it weighed by a game warden.”
Dering said he was going to release the catch, but it died before he could do so. Instead, he plans to have the fish mounted.
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Dering’s fish was the seventh state-record fish caught this year in Missouri. For more information, visit the MDC website.