The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that Travis Cardona of Hillsboro became the most recent record-breaking fisherman in Missouri when he shot a giant black buffalo on a lake at Duck Creek Conservation Area using a bow and arrow. The new “alternative method” record black buffalo taken by Cardona on March 14 weighed 74 pounds. He shot the fish at 11 p.m. in one of his secret “honey holes.
“Believe it or not, once I shot the giant, I didn’t know it was that big of a fish until it started swimming back to the boat,” Cardona said. “Believe you me, after it swam towards the boat the fight was on.”
Cardona added that it took a total of four arrows to get the behemoth in the boat.
“It was a five minute battle that seemed like an eternity,” he said.
The new black buffalo broke the previous alternative-method state-record of 59-pounds-8-ounces taken on the same body of water three days prior by David Burle of Bloomsdale.
“The month of March has been full of potential record-breaking fish caught throughout the state,” said MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson. “This just goes to show you that conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish.”
MDC staff verified the new record-weight fish using a certified scale in Fenton.
“Once my friends and I got the fish in the boat, we knew that it was a state-record fish,” Cardona said. “This is by far the biggest fish I have ever caught in my life, and I still can’t believe it!”
The longtime angler said that the fish is in the freezer and will be sent off to be mounted very soon.
“I already have a place on the wall picked out for this once-in-a-lifetime fish. Now I’m ready to get back out on the water and try to take another giant,” he said.
Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Bowfishing is considered an alternative method and consist of a bow or crossbow that shoots arrows attached to a string so that the fish can be retrieved after they’re pierced. Other alternative methods include: throwlines, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, and atlatl.
For more information on state-record fish, visit the MDC website at http://mdc.mo.gov/fishing/state-record-fish.