WAPPAPELLO, Mo. — One Missouri angler has bragging rights on the entire world after his record-setting catch.
Williamsville's Devlin Rich reeled in a 10-pound, 9-ounce spotted gar on Feb. 25 at Wappapello Lake in southeastern Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Conservation said the catch was not only a Missouri record, but that it beats the current world spotted gar record of 9-pounds, 12-ounces set back in 1994.
The MDC said spotted gar are common and widely distributed in southeastern Missouri. Gars are often associated with warm backwaters and often are found on the water's surface.
“Because of the hard, bony jaws, gars are seldom taken on hook-and-line and are rarely used for food,” MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson said in a release. “Special techniques are required to capture them consistently with rod-and-reel, but they do provide a ready target for the bowhunter because they often bask near the surface of the water.”
This is the second state-record fish caught in 2021. The MDC said Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl.
In March, Sharon Christopher of Cedar Hill reeled in a 2-pound, 7-ounce yellow perch, which was a Missouri record. Christopher's catch broke the previous state record for Yellow Perch, which was also recorded at Bull Shoals Lake. That fish, caught in Jan. 2020, was 2 pounds, 3 ounces.
For more on Rich's record-setting catch you can visit the MDC's website by clicking here.