John Paul Morris was targeting carp with his friends Saturday night on a narrow coal mine strip pit in Henry County when he shot a massive bigmouth buffalo.
According to a report by KSDK Channel 5, the Springfield bowfisherman is the son of Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. He was using a boat with floodlights that illuminate the water beneath the boat when he caught the record-breaking fish — the group of friends measured the fish at 39 inches in length, with a girth of 32.5 inches. Their boat scale weighed it in at 58 pounds.
Later, it officially weighed in at 57 pounds, 13 ounces.
“We saw this big fish cruising toward our boat in 8 feet of water,” Morris told KSDK. “All of us took a shot but none of us connected. But then the fish came up behind us and was almost surfing the wake. I don’t know why that fish stayed up like it did, but I got an arrow in it and my friend got a backup arrow in it, which we do with real big fish.”
KSDK reported the fish beat out the 54-pound mark established in 2015 by Fayette bow fisherman John Overstreet and the hook-and-line record bigmouth, a 56-pound fish caught in 1976 by Dr. W.J. Long of Poplar Bluff.
“I knew the Missouri record was in the mid-50s, like 54 pounds, on a fish from Pomme de Terre,” Morris told KSDK. “Ours weighed 57.7 pounds on another set of scales so we knew it might be a state record.”
KSDK reported bow fishing is becoming one of the fastest-growing segments in the fishing world.
“I probably have more big carp mounted than any man should,” Morris told KSDK. “But this one is special. It could easily be over 20 years old. It might go in the store (Bass Pro Shops) or at the new museum and aquarium. I don’t know yet.”