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WAYNE COUNTY, Mo. – A Missouri man caught a world record-breaking fish at Wappapello Lake in February.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says that Devlin Rich of Williamsville reeled in a spotted gar weighing 10 pounds, 9 ounces. This breaks the state record and the 1994 world record of 9 pounds, 12 ounces.

The record-breaking catch was verified on a certified scale. This is the second state record caught in 2021.

“Because of the hard, bony jaws, gars are seldom taken on hook-and-line and are rarely used for food,” writes MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson. “Special techniques are required to capture them consistently with rod-and-reel, but they do provide a ready target for the bowhunter because they often bask near the surface of the water.”

Spotted gar are common in the Bootheel lowlands of southeastern Missouri. They are associated with warm, sluggish backwaters.