JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Missouri fisherman is clearing some space on his wall to display his new world record.
"I’ve never mounted anything before," said Mitchell Dering, of Fairdealing. "I broke the state record for spotted gar a few years ago, but some guy broke the record two years later, so it’s not in the record books anymore, but I’m working on getting me a collection of state records. I guess potentially world records now."
On Monday, the Missouri Department of Conservation congratulated Dering for shooting the third state record fish recorded this year – a 4-pound brown bullhead. His recent catch also beats the current 3-pound, 4-ounce bow fishing world record.
MDC said the previous state record was 2 pounds, 7 ounces, caught in 1994 at Wappapello Lake.
Dering said he shot the fish while bow fishing at Duck Creek Ditch #105 on March 14.
"I got off work that day and went out to one of the ditches in Duck Creek and just got lucky, honestly," Dering said. "We shoot a lot of smaller fish. I knew it was a bullhead, but didn’t know it was a brown bullhead, but I knew it was large for its size."
Dering contacted conservation officials the next day to get his fish officially weighed on a certified scale in Wappapello.
While this is not the first time Dering has held a Missouri fishing record, qualifying for a world record is a new accomplishment, he said.
"That’s honestly pretty awesome," laughed Dering. "I’ve bow fished for quite a while. We’ve won a few tournaments in Kentucky and Tennessee and have placed in numerous other tournaments. That’s cool, I didn’t know that!"
According to wildlife officials, the only confirmed self-sustaining natural population of brown bullheads in Missouri occurs at Duck Creek Conservation Area and nearby Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.