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


JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates Robert “RJ” Audrain IV of St. Louis on catching the newest state record of sunfish using alternative methods. Audrain was fishing from a private pond in Franklin County on 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 went fishing at the lake all day and had fun,” recalls Audrain. “I used my hand line and after about five minutes of trying I pulled the fish out. I’m really proud of myself and pretty competitive so it’s cool that I broke my dad’s record. “

The sunfish was weighed on certified scales at the St. Louis Regional Office of the MDC. It is the seventh state record fish in 2021.

Audrain said he’ll likely hang his record and hang it on the wall next to his father’s at home.

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

Missouri State’s record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternate methods. Alternative methods are: throw lines, throw lines, shorelines, jug lines, spearfishing, catching, catching, gigging, grasping, archery and atlatl.