TANEY COUNTY, Mo. – Lawrence Dillman of Rockaway Beach holds the new Missouri pole and line striped bass record, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The bass caught by Dillman on Bull Shoals Lake weighed 65 pounds, 2 ounces with a length of 49 ¾ inches and a girth of 36 inches. Dillman used 20-pound test line and a chub minnow to catch the behemoth on May 21.
“I fought the giant for over 45 minutes until I got him to shallow water,” Dillman said. “I then bear hugged the fish and got it out of the water on to the bank.”
The new giant broke the previous pole and line state-record striped bass of 60 pounds, 9 ounces caught on Bull Shoals Lake in 2011.
Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff verified the record-weight fish using a certified scale at the MDC Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery in Taney County.
“Once the fish was on the line, I knew I had a decent one, but I didn’t at all think it was a striped bass,” Dillman said. “I thought it was a spoonbill or something else. But when I got him to the bank I knew I had something amazing!”
The longtime angler said the fish is now at a Bass Pro Shop being mounted.
Dillman said he fishes every day and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.
“I’ve caught bigger fish in the ocean,” Dillman said. “But this fish is the biggest fresh-water fish I have ever caught.”
Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl.
Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish. For more information on the state-record fish, visit the MDC website.