KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that Craig Barulich of Kansas City became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he hooked a skipjack herring on the Missouri River using a rod and reel.
The new “pole and line” skipjack herring record caught by Barulich on Nov. 12 weighed 3 pounds. It broke the previous state record of 2 pounds, 11 ounces. Barulich was using a 3/8-ounce white Bink’s Pro Series Spoon for bait trying to catch walleye and saugers when he caught the skipjack herring.
“The day I caught the state-record skipjack herring was the day I actually caught my first skipjack,” Barulich said. “I was so grateful that day to just catch skipjack that I didn’t even know I caught a state record fish until I got home.”
Barulich noticed how large one of the skipjack herrings was when he was taking it out of the cooler to freeze it for catfish bait.
“I weighed the large skipjack and googled to confirm that my fish was a possible state record,” he said.
MDC staff weighed Barulich’s skipjack herring on a certified scale at the Kansas City regional office and confirmed it was a new pole-and-line state-record skipjack herring.
“I am so honored and humbled to hold a state record here in Missouri,” Barulich said. “Just thinking about holding a record for a unique fish makes me speechless.”
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.
Barulich said he plans on using the fish for catfish bait and having someone make a replica of the state-record skipjack herring.
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.