Saturday, November 21, 2009

O’Fallon angler sets sixth fishing record of the year

James M. Lucas, of O’Fallon, snagged this 1-pound, 8-ounce skipjack herring to set a new “alternative methods” Missouri State record. He was fishing in Sandy Slough, just off the Mississippi River in Lincoln County.

By Jim Low
Missouri Department of Conservation

DEFIANCE, Mo.–The weather may be cooling down, but Missouri anglers continue to set a hot pace for fishing records, this time with a little-known species of herring.

James M. Lucas, of O’Fallon, snagged a 1-pound, 8-ounce skipjack herring at Sandy Slough, just off the Mississippi River in Lincoln County, Sept. 15. The streamlined, silvery fish measured 18 inches from nose to tail.

Before Lucas’ entry, the Missouri Department of Conservation did not have a skipjack herring record in the “alternative methods” category. Fisheries Management Biologist Marvin Boyer determined that the fish met the minimum weight requirement for its species, clearing the way for its certification.

“Alternative methods” include snagging, trotlines, spearfishing, bowfishing and other methods besides hand-held poles and lines.

Lucas’ record catch is just a shade smaller than the current pole-line-and-lure record skipjack, a 1-pound, 11-ounce specimen caught from the Osage River by George Gerloff, of Jefferson City, in 2005.

Entry forms, rules and a list of Missouri fishing records are available online at Click on keywords “Fishing” and “Browse Fishing by Subject.”

The same Web page has information about the Conservation Department’s Master Angler program, which recognizes notable catches that fall short of records. For qualifying lengths and weights, visit

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