A Missouri fisherman who caught a record-setting 65-pound striped bass earlier this month quickly found out he needed more than just a strong line to reel the fish in.
Lawrence Dillman of Rockaway Beach, Missouri hooked the giant striped bass on Bull Shoals Lake near the Arkansas border on May 21 using just a rod and reel, the Missouri Department of Conservation said Tuesday in a news release.
Dillman used a 20-pound line and a minnow to catch the fish, but discovered he needed to get much more physically involved to get the big catch.
“I fought the giant for over 45 minutes until I got him to shallow water,” Dillman said. “I then bear hugged the fish and got it out of the water on to the bank.”
The bass weighed in at 65 pounds, 2 ounces, more than 49 inches in length and a girth of 36 inches, according to the agency, which broke the previous “pole and line” striped bass record of 60 pounds, 9 ounces caught on Bull Shoals Lake in 2011. Staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation verified the record-weight fish.
“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 said. “I thought it was a spoonbill or something else. But when I got him to the bank I knew I had something amazing!”