Missouri Kid Breaks His Dad’s Sunfish State Record

A person holding a small animal
Missouri Department of Conservation

Most people are probably pretty bummed out if their fishing record gets broken.

A Missouri man is understandably proud that his record fell though. That’s because his son is the one that eclipsed him in the books by catching Missouri’s new state record Longear Sunfish.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently certified RJ Audrain’s catch as the new record. The record previously belonged to his father.

Longear Sunfish are relatively small fish, so the record breaker only weighed 5-ounces but the achievement is still huge.

RJ’s father, also named RJ, caught his record breaking fish on July 3, 2020 in the same private pond where his son caught the fish on July 3, 2021. That’s right. The fish were caught on the same exact date in the exact same pond by two dudes with the exact same name. What a wild series of coincidences.

Younger RJ shared his story with the MDC.

“We were at the lake fishing all day and having fun. 

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.

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. 

I think we’re definitely going to keep trying to break our records.”

This is the 7th different state record fish that has been in caught in Missouri so far this year. The other 6 being a Carpsucker, Longnose Gar, Spotted Gar, White Sucker, Yellow Perch, and Redear Sunfish.

Both of the record breaking Sunfish caught by the father and sun combo were taken to a taxidermist with plans to hang them on the wall next to each other.

“CONGRATS to Robert “RJ” Audrain IV for catching the 7th state record fish of 2021!”

The Show Me State has a strong fishing culture. The world leader in the fishing industry, Bass Pro Shops, is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri and the surrounding area offers incredible fishing opportunities.

If you plan on doing any fishing in Missouri, then be sure you purchase a fishing license.

The sale of fishing licenses directly funds the protection and enhancement of public boat ramps, aquatic environments, and fish populations in all 50 states.

It also protects you from potentially being fined, having your gear confiscated, and/or losing your fishing privileges. It’s important to remember that just because you have a fishing license in one state, that does not mean it is valid in another state.

And as always, please fish responsibly and save the whiskey until after you’re off the water.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock