Lawrence Dillman of Rockaway Beach, pictured, became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he hooked a giant striped bass on Bull Shoals Lake using a rod and reel. The new “pole and line” record striped bass caught by Dillman on May 21, 2015, 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.
“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 Bass Pro in Springfield getting 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, 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.
The MDC takes credit for making Missouri a great place to fish. For more information on state-record fish, go here.