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'I think she's got something' | Jefferson County woman catches state record yellow perch

On March 7 at Bull Shoals Lake, Christopher caught a 2-pound, 7-ounce yellow perch which is a new Missouri state record
Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation

CEDAR HILL, Mo. — Sharon Christopher of Cedar Hill now has some serious fishing bragging rights.

On March 7 at Bull Shoals Lake, Christopher caught a 2-pound, 7-ounce yellow perch, a new Missouri state record.

The Missouri Department of Conservation weighed the catch on a certified scale at the department's Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson. This is the first state record of 2021.

“I got lucky because I am not an avid fisherman,” Christopher told the MDC. “My husband and I were out crappie fishing with some friends of ours when I reeled in this big fish. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but luckily our friends immediately recognized it as a yellow perch. The funny thing is, they were in a separate boat pretty far away from us and could tell how big it was.”

Christopher said her husband was weighing the crappie they had caught later that night and saved the record perch for last.

“My friend stopped him just in time and said, ‘Don’t touch that fish!’,” Christopher said. “That perch was about to go under the knife, but my friend just said, ‘I think she’s got something.’ And sure enough, we put the fish on our scale and saw that it beat the current record.”

Christopher's catch breaks 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.

“I’m super excited,” Christopher said. “Again, I got really lucky. I’m a nurse and work a lot of long hours. I use fishing as a way to relax and enjoy myself, so when I caught this, I was showing everyone I work with the pictures!”

Christopher said the funny thing is, she doesn't even eat fish and that she is having a taxidermist friend mount her record catch for her.

For more info on state-record fish you can visit the MDC's website.

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