HomeOutdoorsFishingFisherman Catches Record-Breaking Fish on Accident While Trying to Reel in Bait for Bigger Fish

Fisherman Catches Record-Breaking Fish on Accident While Trying to Reel in Bait for Bigger Fish

by Jennifer Shea
Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

An Ohio fisherman landed a surprising catch this April while he was trying to find some bait.

Ethan Moss of Gallipolis, Ohio was going fishing on the Ohio River with a friend. They wanted to catch some serious catfish. But first, they had to catch the bait, West Virginia Metro News reported.

Moss wound up catching a record-setting skipjack before he ever got to the catfish. Ohio doesn’t include the skipjack in its records. But Moss’s bait set a new state record in West Virginia.

“I thought it was ironic that as a pretty avid cat fisherman, I catch a state record catfish bait,” Moss recounted on a recent edition of “West Virginia Outdoors.”

Fisherman Catches Monster Skipjack

Moss ultimately found the skipjack in the tailwaters of the Robert C. Byrd Lock and Dam. It set a new record for both length and weight, according to the Metro News. The fish was 19.21 inches and 3.1 pounds.

Moss said he was catching bait when the record-breaking fish popped up.

“We started getting into them pretty good,” he said. “I had actually caught several and one of them was 19 and change inches. I had also measured another which was pretty close to the state record. About 20 to 30 minutes later I caught this one. I had no clue, I thought he was a white bass or a hybrid. I flipped him over the wall and the guy fishing next to me said, ‘That’s the state record.’”

Now the fisherman is trying to get a replica mount of his skipjack. But so far, no luck. He hasn’t been able to find a taxidermist who can make a body mold of the fish.

“A shout out to anybody who can get a blank to make a replica of a skipjack herring, give me a shout out on Facebook,” Moss added. “Everybody I’ve talked to said they’re having trouble getting a blank since it’s such an obscure species.”

Moss Returns to Hunting for Catfish

The fisherman admires his skipjack. But now that he’s broken West Virginia’s state record, he’s back to his original pastime: chasing big catfish.

“It was a really nice skipjack,” he said. “I’ve been reading a lot and in a lot of states down south their records are in the three to three-and-a-half-pound range. The world record is only four pounds.”

Having set a new record in one category, Moss is determined to reel in a record-breaking catfish. And who knows, maybe before too long he’ll make news again for that feat.