Perryville man catches world record size bighead carp while bow fishing

PERRY COUNTY Mo. (KFVS) – A Perryville man is the latest state record holder with alternate methods after shooting a 125-pound, 5-ounce bighead carp.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Matt Neuling was bowfishing with a friend on July 24 when he shot the fish at Lake Perry.

“I was out with my buddy early that morning when we both shot what we thought was a 30-pound grass carp,” Neuling recalled. “My buddy’s arrow pulled out, but mine shot straight through and stayed in.”

Neuling said his friend finally managed to shoot another arrow into the fish, but they were shocked at how massive it turned out.

“We just couldn’t believe it,” he said. “We knew what kind of fish it was, but we had never seen one this big. This thing is a real monster. A five-gallon bucket could easily fit in its mouth. If my mate didn’t wasn’t with me, I couldn’t have gotten him out of the water.

The carp was weighed on a certified scale at M&M Meats in Perry County.

It is the eighth state record fish recorded in 2021.

The department said the catch also broke the existing world bow fishing record of 104 pounds and 15 ounces.

“It’s just crazy,” laughed Neuling. “You know, I set myself the goal of breaking a record every time I go fishing, but I never thought I’d break a record with this fish.”

MDC Fisheries personnel took the head off the fish in an effort to age it, while Neuling used other parts of the fish as bait for the catfish.

“When the fish reaches this size, we estimate it to be at least 10 years old,” said MDC Fisheries Program Specialist Andrew Branson. “The bighead carp is an invasive fish from Asia. This particular fish is an example of how an invasive species can thrive if given the opportunity. We encourage people to harvest these fish to help remove them from our waters.

Missouri State record fish are recognized in two categories: rod and line and alternative methods.

Alternative methods include: throw lines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery and the atlatl.

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Earnest A. Martinez