St. Louis teen breaks dad’s state record for longear sunfish

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates Robert “RJ” Audrain IV of St. Louis for catching the latest state record longear sunfish under alternative methods. Audrain was fishing from a private pond in Franklin County July 3 when he caught the 5-ounce fish. The previous record was caught by Audrain’s father on the same day in 2020 from the same location.

“We were at the lake fishing all day and having fun,” recalled Audrain. “I was using my handline and after about five minutes of trying I pulled out the fish. I’m really proud of myself and pretty competitive so it’s cool I beat my dad’s record.”

The sunfish was weighed on a certified scale at MDC’s St. Louis Regional Office. It’s the seventh state record fish recorded in 2021.

Audrain said he will likely mount his record and place it next to his dad’s on their wall at home.

“We were actually joking that it would be funny if we had a new record on the wall each year that is an ounce bigger,” he said. “I think we’re definitely going to keep trying to break our records.”

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.