“I fought the fish for about ten minutes before I got it to the bank,” said Schmitz. “I knew the fish was pretty big, but I didn’t know it was a state record until talking to MDC. I really can’t believe I caught a fish like this! I’m not a master angler. I’m just a hobby fisherman who loves to fish. I’m super excited to have the honor to be a state-record holder.”
River redhorse fish are a part of the sucker family. They are a moderately chubby, coarse-scaled fish with a dorsal fin containing 12 or 13 rays. These fish are can be found mostly throughout the Ozarks.
Schmitz’s fish also beats the current world record. While the river redhorse does get much larger, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) only recognizes fish taken by pole and line.
“Larger river redhorses are usually taken by gigging and do not qualify for the IGFA world record,” MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson said. “Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish and this new unique record clearly shows why. This fish could be the largest river redhorse ever taken with a pole and line.”
Schmitz added it’s hard to believe he may be a world-record holder.
“I just can’t believe it! One day I’m fishing for fun and the next I could be a world-record holder,” he said. “I’m still in disbelief.”
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.
For more information on state-record fish, visit the MDC website at http://mdc.mo.gov/fishing/state-record-fish.