Angler fishing for catfish reels in surprising catch – and a Missouri state record

A Missouri angler nearly released a record-breaking catch until his friend told him to take a closer look.

Officials claimed that it was an “rare feat”.

Carlin Allison was still in darkness when he went fishing July 26, on the Current River, southern Missouri. A creature at the end of his line “put on one hell of a fight,” the Doniphan resident said to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“I was using skipjack bait, and originally thought I was pulling in a catfish,” Allison said.

When he finally pulled in the line, a huge eel was on the other end. Allison was about ready to cut the line but his friend stopped him.

“I was stumped on what to do, but my buddy stopped and said, “Hey! That’s a big eel. Hold on Allison said. We looked it up online, and it was larger than the listing.

The American eel caught by Allison was 6 pounds, 15 ounces — smashing the state record of 4 pounds, 8 ounces caught on the Meramec River in 1993, officials said. It is a rare catch, and it’s only found occasionally on large streams.

Allison said, “I knew Missouri had eels but never so big.”

Officials have stated that every Missouri bird is a male because they live in coastal estuaries. A female eel lives most her life in freshwater. Eels migrate south to the Sargasso Sea area of the Atlantic Ocean for breeding.

“Missouri’s eel population lives mainly in deep pools around cover, such as logs and boulders, in moderate-to-large Missouri streams and rivers,” officials said in a news release. “The state’s eel population has been reduced by large dams, which restrict its ability to migrate.”

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