Late last week, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announced a new state record for a prolific invasive carp species. The record-breaking bighead carp was caught by George Chance of Festus, Missouri, the MDC said in a March 22 press release. The massive carp also outweighed the International Gamefish Association’s all-tackle world record for the species by several pounds.

Chance caught the carp while fishing a bottom-bouncing crankbait on March 19, the MDC press release states. “You kind of know what a fish is once you hook into it based on how it fights,” he said. “It was moving pretty slow and I originally thought it could be a flathead.”

Chance was targeting catfish on a Mississippi River bank when the big carp hit his crankbait. He said he fought the fish for twenty minutes before pulling it ashore. “The more it fought, I saw it’s tail and knew it was some type of carp,” he recalled. “I was able to hook him with a hay hook in order to get him out of the water. It looked to be 50 or 60 pounds at least.”

The bighead turned out to be far heavier than Chance’s initial estimates. He took it to a nearby recycling center where it tipped scales at 97 pounds—17 pounds heavier than the Missouri state record for the species and 7 pounds heavier than the current world record, which was caught in Tennessee’s Gunnersville Lake back in 2005.

“They told me it was a state record, and I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,” Chance later told the MDC. “Then later they said ‘It’s not just a state record, it’s a world record….I had no idea this would happen [when] I woke up that morning.”

Bighead carp are native to east Asian and Russian waters, but they’ve spread well beyond their home range to waterways in Europe, Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico, and the United States. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), they now inhabit the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio River systems “within or along the border of 23 states.”

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Both the MDC and the USFWS encourage anglers to remove the invasive Asiatic carp from U.S. waters whenever possible. Chance said he did just that with his recent record-breaking catch, which was full of eggs and likely to spawn this Spring. “I chopped up the fish and put it in my garden,” he said. “I’m going to eat it in the form of tomatoes and cucumbers.”