Blue sucker caught by Missouri man is first state record fish of 2023
A Missouri man is now a world record holder after catching a blue sucker.
Travis Uebinger, of Auxvasse, was fishing on the Osage River Jan. 15 when he caught an 11-pound, 5-ounce blue sucker using the pole-and-line method. The latest catch breaks the previous record from 1997 when a 9-pound, 14-ounce blue sucker was caught on the Missouri River.
This catch is the first state record fish of 2023, according to Missouri Department of Conservation.
Uebeinger had hopes for catching white bass or walleye while out fishing with a friend.
“We were really targeting a whole bag — anything that would bite,” he said. “We were on my friend’s new boat, trying it out, when I reeled it in. I didn’t know what it was, a sucker or a carp. It was my friend who said it could be a state record.”
MDC staff verified the fish’s weight using a certified scale in Jefferson City.
"Not only does Uebinger’s fish beat the current state record, it also weighs more than the current blue sucker world record of 2-pounds, 12-ounces," MDC stated via news release.
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Blue suckers weighing up to 20 pounds were once common in the Missouri River, according to commercial fisherman. Nowadays, most fish taken are 16-24 inches long and weigh 1.5-3 pounds. The world record organization only recognizes fish taken by pole-and-line and not fish taken with commercial fishing gear.
“That would be amazing to have a world record,” Uebinger said. “Especially on a fish you weren’t targeting.”
Suckers are considered a good tasting fish, but they do have a lot of bones and need to be prepared differently than most fish. However, Uebinger doesn’t have plans to bring his catch to the table.
“I contacted several taxidermists,” he said. “Being in the carp family, it’s a little difficult to mount and it would have to be custom-made. Luckily, I did find a place in Springfield that would mount it, so I’ve currently got the fish wrapped up and frozen.”
Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing or atlatl.
To see more details about state record fish, visit MDC's website. Information on world record fish can be found at International Game Fish Association's website.
Sara Karnes is an Outdoors Reporter with the Springfield News-Leader. Follow along with her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @Sara_Karnes. Got a story to tell? Email her at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Blue sucker caught by Missouri man is first state record fish of 2023