Bull Shoals Lake Bass: Missouri Angler Catches 65-Pound, Record Breaking Fish

A Missouri angler reeled in a record breaking striped bass from Bull Shoals Lake last week, dragging the massive fish from the water after a 45-minute-long fight to bring it to shore.

Lawrence Dillman of Rockaway Beach hooked the massive bass while fishing at Bull Shoals Lake on May 21, according to WSB-TV. Dillman was fishing with a 20-pound test line and a chub minnow when he hooked the bass, meaning the giant fish represents a new "pole and line" record. In Missouri, record fish are recognized in one of two categories: pole and line, or alternative methods.

The striped bass weighed 65 pounds, 2 ounces, exhibiting a length of 49 3/4 inches and a girth of 36 inches. The previous state record for a striped bass caught from a pole and line was a specimen that weighed in at 60 pounds, 9 ounces, and was caught in 2011. Interestingly enough, that bass was also brought ashore at Bull Shoals Lake.

Though Dillman knew he had hooked a massive fish, he had no idea at first that it would be a record breaking striped bass.

"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," he said. "I thought it was a spoonbill or something else. But when I got him to the bank I knew I had something amazing!"

Once he managed to bring the bass to the edge of the water, Dillman used an unconventional method to wrest the fish ashore, as Wired2Fish reports.

"I fought the giant for over 45 minutes until I got him to shallow water," he recalled. "I then bear hugged the fish and got it out of the water on to the bank."

Representatives from the Missouri Department of Conservation utilized a set of certified scales located at the MDC Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery in Taney County in order to verify and record the measurements of the bass. Dillman has since shipped the one-of-a-kind fish off to a taxidermist at a Bass Pro shop in Springfield, in order to have a trophy mount made.

Last year, a fisherman in Italy made headlines when he caught an astonishingly large catfish, weighing 280 pounds. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the massive fish measured eight feet, nine inches long.

Dillman related that he fishes every day and will continue to do so in the future. He noted that he has caught larger fish in salt water, yet the massive striped bass he pulled from Bull Shoals Lake last week represents the largest freshwater fish he has ever landed.

[Image: Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation]