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ST. LOUIS – The state record for longear sunfish has been broken by the son of the St. Louis man who previously held the record.

The Missouri Department of Conservation congratulated Robert “RJ” Audrain IV for catching the fish under alternative methods.

He was fishing in a private pond in Franklin County on July 3 when he caught the 5-ounce fish. RJ’s father caught the previous record-setting fish on the same day in 2020 from the same location.

“We were at the lake fishing all day and having fun,” RJ said. “I was using my handline and after about five minutes of trying I pulled out the fish. I’m really proud of myself and pretty competitive so it’s cool I beat my dad’s record.”

The sunfish was weighed on a certified scale at MDC’s St. Louis Regional Office. It was the seventh state record fish of 2021.

RJ told the MDC that he will probably mount his record-setting fish on the wall next to his dad’s at their home.

“We were actually joking that it would be funny if we had a new record on the wall each year that is an ounce bigger,” RJ said. “I think we’re definitely going to keep trying to break our records.”

Record fish are categorized in Missouri as a pole-and-line catch or they are caught through alternative methods. MDC said alternative methods include throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl.