CRAWFORD COUNTY, Mo. – A Mid-Missouri man matched a state record with his longear sunfish catch from earlier this month.

Jefferson City resident John Goad reeled in a 5-ounce longear sunfish on May 8 on Frieda Lake in Crawford County.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says most fish of this species aren’t larger than seven inches or 4.5 ounces. The previous state record was caught on a private pond in Franklin County in July 2021.

“I’ve been fishing this lake for around 10 years, and I’ve caught crappie, bass, bluegill – all pretty good sizes,” said Goad via MDC. “But I’ve known there are good-sized sunfish for about seven or eight years, and I’ve been trying to catch a record ever since.”

Goad says he was five years old when he caught his first longear sunfish and has been striving to catch a state record for 70 years.