Angler's big fish with odd name may be a world-record catch, Missouri officials say


A Missouri angler could become a world-record holder after reeling in an unexpected catch during a recent fishing trip, state officials say.

Travis Uebinger, of Auxvasse, was casting his line from his friend's new boat back in January, hoping to snag a walleye or white bass from the Osage River, the Missouri Department of Conservation said in a Feb. 3 release.

"We were really targeting a whole bag - anything that would bite," Uebinger said.

Something bit and Uebinger reeled it in, revealing a pale blue-gray fish he didn't think much of at first.

It was a blue sucker - a bottom feeder found in rivers across much of the U.S. - that weighed in at 11 pounds and 5 ounces.

"I didn't know what it was, a sucker or a carp," he said. "It was my friend who said it could be a state record."

Uebinger took the fish for a weigh in using a certified scale and it has been verified by Missouri officials as a state record, outweighing the previous record of 9 pounds and 14 ounces caught in 1997, the Department of Conservation said.

It could also be a world record, officials said.

The current blue sucker record is currently just 2 pounds and 12 ounces, as the organization that catalogs world records has specific rules for catches to qualify, officials said.

Uebinger's blue sucker, which he caught using the pole-and-line method, should meet that criteria.

"That would be amazing to have a world record," Uebinger said. "Especially on a fish you weren't targeting."

Despite the unappealing name, blue suckers taste good, officials say. But they're quite bony compared to other fish and take more effort to properly prepare.

Uebinger wants to preserve his prized fish, not dine on it, he told officials. He plans to have that sucker mounted.

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