Missouri State Record Redear Sunfish (Alternative Methods)

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Redear Sunfish | credit: USFWS

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently announced that Andrew Hunt of Hollister set a new state record holder under alternative methods for redear sunfish.

Hunt was bowfishing at Lake Taneycomo June 4 when he shot a 2-pound, 2-ounce fish. The previous record was a 2-pound, 1-ounce fish shot last year at Table Rock Lake.

Hunt said he wasn’t expecting to reel in a sunfish.

“I got up to the front of the boat and actually thought it was a big shad,” said Hunt. “I reeled it in and said, ‘Well, that’s not a shad!’ The guide saw it and said, ‘I think you just got a record!’”

MDC staff verified the fish’s weight by using a certified scale at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson. This is the fourth state record fish recorded for 2022. Hunt plans to have the sunfish mounted.

Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or atlatl.

Lake Taneycomo is one of four reservoirs on the White River that includes Bull Shoals, Table Rock, and Beaver lakes. Lake Taneycomo is fed by cool water from Table Rock Dam, 160 feet below the surface of Table Rock Lake. Redear sunfish (shellcrackers) are plentiful in the lower lake.