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Angler Doesn't Miss 2nd Chance at State Record

He was fishing for catfish when the Missouri record struck.

Angler Doesn't Miss 2nd Chance at State Record

Mitchell Dering of Wappapello holds the seventh state record fish of 2019 in Missouri – a 6-pound, 2-ounce spotted gar he caught July 5 on the St. Francis River. (Missouri Department of Conservation image)

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.

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