Jackson County angler swipes first state record fish of 2024 Jeffrey Needles caught a 12-ounce yellow perch from Lake Lotawana Jan. 3
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates Jeffrey Needles of Lake Lotawana for catching the first state-record of 2024 – a 12-ounce yellow perch. Needles was using a throwline Jan. 3 when he caught the fish from Lake Lotawana. The previous alternative methods record for yellow perch was a 10-ounce fish caught from a private pond in 2019.
“I’d talked about breaking this record a lot,” said Needles. “We’ve always had yellow perch in Lake Lotawana, and I thought, ‘What if I did a throwline for alternative records?’ My wife asked me what I was doing that day and I jokingly told her, ‘I’m going out to break the record for yellow perch!’”
Needles said he created a leader at the lake and immediately caught a yellow perch.
“I was very surprised to get one so quickly, so I thought I may be on to something,” he said. “It was about 45 minutes later and I was getting discouraged, and cold, but I caught a second one that looked bigger.”
The fish was a weight Needles was hoping for – the first state record of 2024.
“A big driver was I wanted to get the state record for yellow perch, and I also wanted to be the first state record of 2024, so I knew I needed to get it done quickly,” he said.
The 12-ounce fish was weighed on a certified scale in Blue Springs.
“I do weekly fishing tournaments with my buddies, and a lot of guys say record perch is in that lake,” Needles noted. “I have friends trying to break the record for pole-and-line, so for me to get the alternative records method is fun. And having my kids there for that moment made it even more special.”
Needles said the perch stayed alive throughout the weighing process, and he later let it go. He plans to have a replica made of his record fish.
Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or atlatl. For more information on state record fish, visit http://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZCp.
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