A Missouri fisherman last week pulled in the largest striped bass ever recorded on a "pole and line" in the state, with the fish weighing in at 65.2 pounds.
Lawrence Dillman said he fought the nearly 50-inch monster for more than 45 minutes at Bulls Shoals Lake, which sits on the state's southern border with Arkansas. When the fish eventually came close enough to touch, he "bear hugged the fish and got out of the water on to the bank."
He caught the fish on a 20-pound test line and used a chub minnow for bait.
The previous state record for a fish caught on a "pole and line" weighed in at 60.9 pounds, and was caught in 2011 on the same lake. The Missouri Department of Conservation pointed out that striped bass are most common on the Atlantic Coast, but have been stocked in reservoirs across the U.S.
"Once the fish was on the line, I knew I had a decent one, but I didn't at all think it was a striped bass," Dillman told the department. "I thought it was a spoonbill or something else. But when I got him to the bank I knew I had something amazing."
Dillman's catch was verified at a nearby hatchery and is currently being mounted at a Bass Pro Shop in Springfield.