Man catches state record bow fishing on Lake Taneycomo

Andrew Hunt already thinks he needs to invest in a bow fishing boat after catching a state record fish earlier this month.

The Hollister resident was celebrating his friend’s 21st birthday by going with Firehouse Bowfishing guide Derek Marlin on Lake Table Rock and then Lake Taneycomo when he caught the catch of his life.

Hunt is normally a trotline-sort of angler for catching suckers, but he was happy to try bowfishing suckers and carp on June 4. He had already shot a few carp when the group headed out to Lake Taneycomo around midnight.

Hunt had backed off the shot to let his friends try when he went to the front of the boat and spotted a red sunfish.

“He popped up and was right below me,” Hunt told the News-Leader. “I didn’t think I would actually hit him.”

Hunt drew his bow and started to stagger.

“I didn’t realize what it was at first and just got him into the boat,” Hunt said. “The guide was like, ‘I think that’s a record sunfish.’

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Indeed, it was. After weighing it at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery and checking it out by Missouri Department of Conservation staff, the redear sunfish came in at two pounds and two ounces. The previous record was two pounds and one ounce shot in 2021 on Table Rock Lake. This is the fourth state record fish recorded for 2022.

Hunt jokingly told the guide that it wasn’t a good fishing trip and Marlin asked why.

“I said my girlfriend was gonna kill me because now I have to buy a bow fishing boat,” Hunt said with a laugh. “I’m definitely hooked.”

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Hunt has already dropped off the redear sunfish to ride and is thinking about how to convert an old bow from his childhood to use for bow fishing.

State record fish are recognized in categories

  • pole and line
  • Alternate methods, which include: trotline, throw, limb line, bank line, jug line, convertible, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snag, trap, grab, or atlatl.

Sara Karnes is an outdoor reporter with the Springfield News-Leader. Follow his adventures on Twitter and Instagram @Sara_Karnes. Do you have a story to tell? Email him at [email protected]

Earnest A. Martinez