John Irvin had about a 1 in 4 chance of catching the all-tackle world-record yellow bullhead. While fishing for crappies on Old Drexel Lake just south of Kansas City, the 42-year-old angler was taking turns with his two young daughters and nephew using the only rod and they had between them. He just happened to be manning the outfit when something big hit.
"My cork went down and I set the hook and pulled that thing up through the moss and I said, 'That has to be a bullhead.' I got to looking at him and I said 'That's a bullhead alright,'" he told the Kansas City infoZine News.
It’s remarkable that Irvin recognized the fish so easily when fisheries experts would likely have had difficulty, seeing that they generally list the top-end weight of yellow bullhead at 2 or 3 pounds. The IGFA all-tackle world record is 4 pounds, 4 ounces. Yet on certified scales, Irvin’s fish went a whopping 6 pounds, 6 ounces. What’s more, if southern California’s Dixon Lake is the home of world-record bass, Old Drexel is definitely the place for record bullhead. Irvin has caught three more 6-pounders there since.
Photo courtesy of Missouri Dept. of Conservation