A Missouri man is a new world-record holder after a behemoth fish he caught last month — but not without a little help.
The Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed Thursday the 125-pound, 5-ounce bighead carp shot by Matt Neuling shattered the previous record of 104 pounds, 15 ounces. The bowerfisherman shot the fish July 24 while with a friend on Lake Perry.
Neuling said he and his friend initially thought it was a 30-pound grass carp they both shot. His arrow stayed in, and his friend shot it another time to help catch it.
“We just couldn’t believe it,” he said, according to the MDC. “We knew what type of fish it was, but we had never seen one that size. This thing is a straight up monster. A five-gallon bucket could easily fit in its mouth. If my buddy wasn’t with me, there was no way I could have pulled it out of the water.”
Missouri’s records are kept for two fishing methods — the standard pole and line, as well as alternative. The latter method includes bowfishing, spearfishing, gigging, grabbing, archery, throwlines and more.
The state record for a bighead carp caught with a pole and line came in 2004, when Kyle Schneider caught an 80-pound monster on the Lake of the Ozarks.
“It’s just crazy,” Neuling said. “You know, I set that goal of breaking a record every time I go out to fish, but I never would have thought I’d be breaking a record with this fish.”
Andrew Branson, MDC fisheries program specialists, estimates the carp shot by Neuling is 10 years old. Bighead carp are an invasive species and officials encourage fisherman to remove them from the water.