BRANSON, Mo. — A big catch in southwestern Missouri has not only broken a state record; it has also honored the memory of a dear friend.
Anthony Schnur, Jr., of Pevely, has set the state record for largest longnose gar after catching a 32-pound, 10-ounce fish from Table Rock Lake. The fish breaks the previous record by five pounds, set in 1999, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“Absolutely unreal.” That’s how Schnur described the catch to the MDC. He said the record commemorates the recent death of a friend who had used the same spot for years before.
“I had a good buddy of 30 years who passed away,” Schnur said. “The funny thing is his wife called me that morning with the news. And she asked me to do her a favor and catch a fish in his name.”
Schnur said he went out to his friend’s favorite spot on the lake. He and his girlfriend were originally fishing for crappie when they spotted the gar, managing to catch its attention and reel it in.
“I really hope to mount this fish in my friend’s memory,” Schnur told the MDC. “I think it would be a beautiful way to honor him.”
The picture, provided by the MDC in their news release, shows Schnur behind his girlfriend, Cindy Dennison. She holds onto the fish with both arms.
Longnose gar are thought to be in every major stream in the state of Missouri, according to the MDC. They are frequently found in clear waters and large reservoirs in the Ozarks area.