IMPERIAL, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that Ben Faulkenberry of Imperial became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he hooked a skipjack herring on Joachim Creek in Jefferson County using a rod and reel.
The new “pole and line” record skipjack herring caught by Faulkenberry on March 7 weighed 2 pounds, 11 ounces. It broke the previous state-record of 2 pounds, 5 ounces. Faulkenberry was using a 1/8-ounce purple road runner for a lure when he caught the skipjack herring.
“The skipjack put up a pretty good fight, but I got it in as fast as I could,” Faulkenberry said.
This wasn’t the first time Faulkenberry caught a good size skipjack herring on Joachim Creek.
“The day before while I was fishing for bass, I caught a pretty nice size skipjack herring, but I released it because I didn’t think twice about it being a state record,” he said. “Once I got home I started to wonder what the record was, so I checked it out. Once I found out the record I went back to Joachim Creek the next day and caught the new state record on my third cast.”
Faulkenberry says he still can’t believe he has a Missouri state record, which was confirmed by MDC staff using a certified scale in Imperial.
“I can’t believe it! If you would have told me I would hold the state record for skipjack herring, I would have never believed it,” he said. “This is just an amazing experience.”
Anglers often catch skipjack herring to use for bait. The fish is boney, lacking in flavor, and is seldom used as food. But it fights spectacularly when hooked and can provide considerable sport on light tackle. The oil present in its flesh is said by fishermen to attract catfish. Skipjacks can usually be found in swift water below dams and around the ends of wing dikes.
Faulkenberry says he plans on mounting his state-record fish.
Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl.