Bryant Rackers holds his record-tying herring.

Bryant Rackers is in the Missouri fish record book — again.

Rackers, of Bonnots Mill, caught a 3-pound skipjack herring on the Osage River on Oct. 27, a fish that tied the current Missouri record for skipjack herring.

That fish was caught on the Missouri River in 2017.

According to a Missouri Department of Conservation news release, Rackers caught the herring using a fishing pole.

Rackers is now one of four people who currently holds multiple state records. He’s also the current record holder under “alternative methods” for a blue sucker snagged in 2018.

“Well, I do hold a reputation on the Osage River,” Rackers told the Missouri Department of Conservation. “I do well on catching fish, and with the flooding the Osage experienced this year, it made for perfect spawning conditions.”

Rackers said he and his girlfriend were fishing from their boat that day and actually targeting a different species, not a skipjack herring.

“At first we were down there for hybrid striper, but after awhile I said, ‘Well, let’s try for skipjack for some catfish bait,’” recalled Rackers. “We were about done. It was the last cast of the day and I thought it was a hybrid bass that hit my lure! But as I was fighting it, I knew it was a monster skipjack.”

The fish was weighed on a certified MDC scale in Cole County.

Like his blue sucker, Rackers is planning to mount his state-record skipjack.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, people do eat skipjack herring, “but they are generally considered a ‘rough fish’ because they are difficult to debone.’

“These fish are caught by commercial fisherman to sell and use for bait to catch preferred game fish. Although skipjack herring do not have a very large economic purpose, they provide a quality food source for many desired game fish.”

Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery and atlatl.

Rackers’ skipjack herring is the 11th state-record fish caught in 2019. 


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