The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently certified a gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) gigged by Hayden Crouch, Bradleyville, as the first state record for that species. Crouch, 12, was gigging with his family on Beaver Creek in Taney County on Jan. 15 when he stuck the 15-inch gizzard shad.
The shad weighed 1.5 pounds. According to The Fishes of Missouri, most gizzard shad weigh less than a pound. Gizzard shad live in big, constantly moving schools in most of the state’s lakes and principal streams. This member of the herring family is one of Missouri’s most prolific fish.
Their soft, flavorless flesh makes them more desirable as cut bait than as food. However, Crouch and his family had other reasons for wanting to catch a big gizzard shad. The species was on their list of fish for which they might reasonably hope to set a state record.
MDC keeps two sets of fishing records. One is for fish caught on a hand-held pole and line. The other category is for “alternative methods,” including gigging.
The Crouches knew the alternative-methods record for gizzard shad was “open.” No one had ever bothered to apply for it. All the Crouches had to do was gig one and enter it for a guaranteed record.
source: Missouri Department of Conservation