A Missouri fisherman has broken a 22-year-old state record for largest longnose gar.
Anthony Schnur Jr., of Pevely, was fishing at Table Rock Lake on April 7 when he reeled in a 32-pound, 10-ounce longnose gar using the pole-and-line method, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The department congratulated Shnur for setting the record Thursday in a press release. The catch easily surpassed the previous best of 27 pounds set in 1999.
Schnur’s catch was more significant than just a record-breaker. He caught the fish soon after the death of one of his good friends.
“I had a good buddy of 30 years who passed away,” Schnur said in a statement. “The funny thing is his wife called me that morning with the news. And she asked me to do her a favor and catch a fish in his name. My girlfriend and I went out to his favorite spot originally for crappie fishing when she happened to spot the gar. And sure enough, we caught it and it turned out to be a record. It’s absolutely unreal.”
Schnur added that he has special plans for the longnose gar.
“I really hope to mount this fish in my friend’s memory,” he said. “I think it would be a beautiful way to honor him.”
Schnur’s catch is the fourth record fish caught this year in the state, officials said.
The state recognizes fish records in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods — which include throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery and atlatl, the department said.
Earlier this year, another Missouri angler broke the state record for the largest spotted gar. At the time, state officials said the fish was also potentially big enough to break the world record.
Devlin Rich reeled in a 10-pound, 9-ounce spotted gar in February, Fox News reported last month. The previous record was set in 1994, at 9 pounds, 12 ounces.