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Fordland, MO an sets Missouri state record for striped bass

(News-Leader) "We knew it was big, but we didn't realize how big it was until we got it in the boat," said Cunningham, a Fordland resident who was fishing last month with his two younger brothers.

Cunningham caught the fish about 1 a.m. June 18, 2011. The scale his brother had on the boat was supposed to only go to 50 pounds so he spent part of the rest of the night trying to find someone to weigh it.

About 7:30 a.m., the 47-inch fish was weighed at the Department of Conservation fish hatchery near the Table Rock Dam, coming in at 60 pounds, 9 ounces.

Cunningham received a letter Friday from the Department of Conservation telling him he now holds the state record. The previous record was a 58-pound, 5-ounce fish.

"That's the only striper I've ever caught," Cunningham said.

The fish is now residing in the Cunninghams' deep freezer where it's the sole occupant. He plans to mount it and put it on his living room wall. His twin 5-year-old boys, who are smaller than the fish, don't quite know what to make of it.

"My wife told me not to bring home any more fish that they can't eat," Cunningham said.

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Uploaded: 7/30/2011