First New State Fishing Record of 2024 Set by Local Angler in Jackson County

The thrill of fishing just got bigger for one lucky angler in the Kansas City area. Jeffrey Needles has made a splash in the fishing community by reeling in the first state-record fish of 2024 at Lake Lotawana—a hefty 12-ounce yellow perch.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Needles clinched the record in the alternative-method category for yellow perch. This achievement eclipses the previous record of a 10-ounce perch caught from a private pond back in 2019.

Needles, who ventured out with his family on January 3rd, initially made light-hearted jests about breaking the record. “I’d talked about breaking this record a lot,” Needles shared. “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!’”

His outing began with an unexpected stroke of luck as he quickly landed a yellow perch. However, it was the second catch, about 45 minutes later, that proved to be the real prize. “I was very surprised to get one so quickly, so I thought I may be on to something,” he recalled. “It was about 45 minutes later and I was getting discouraged, and cold, but I caught a second one that looked bigger.”

The 12-ounce specimen was promptly weighed on a certified scale in Blue Springs, confirming Needles’ remarkable feat. “I do weekly fishing tournaments with my buddies, and a lot of guys say record perch is in that lake,” Needles remarked. “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.”

In a testament to his commitment to conservation, Needles ensured the fish’s survival during the weighing process before releasing it back into Lake Lotawana. He now plans to commemorate his record-setting catch by having a replica made of the fish, marking a milestone in his angling adventures.

Image/Source: KMBC

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