"It was just a father-and-son fishing trip...not a big deal,” says Bryan Chapman of St. Louis. “I’m a single dad, and fishing is a great way for me to spend time with my teenage son. I wasn’t out to set any records.”
But set a record Chapman did, the new Missouri state record for a brown trout. Chapman caught the 27 pound, 8.8-ounce fish on a 1/8-ounce rainbow trout pattern de-barbed Little Cleo spoon on 4-pound test line. He was using the lure on an Quantum Bill Dance ultralight spinning outfit he had just purchased for his first trip to Taneycomo in many years. He hooked the fish just below Fall Creek.
Chapman’s son Blake enjoyed catching trout in Missouri’s state parks. Chapman took him to Taneycomo to give him a taste of a different kind of trout fishing. Angling out of his aluminum boat, Chapman says they caught quite a few trout, with the big brown topping off their father-son adventure.
Chapman weighed the fish on a digital scale at 29 pounds. He froze it before having it weighed the next day at a store where it registered 27 pounds on a UPS scale. When conservation personnel weighed it in order to certify it for record status, the needle settled at just over 27.5 pounds. The previous state record came from Bull Shoals Lake in 1997.
He caught the fish on July 16, using a low-visibility green spinning line. “I hadn’t fished Taneycomo in 20 years, but they told me at the tackle shop that was a popular line to use.” Chapman says in the past he made it to the coldwater lake several times a year, camping at Fall Creek. He says he was about 300 yards upstream from a lodge, near a gravel bar at a spot he believes is called Short Creek. “My son and I were fishing the channel right there,” he adds.
Chapman says he and his son fish for all species of fish. He is waiting for a large crappie to come back from the taxidermist now. Both have caught large bass in the past -- he a 6-pound 8-ounce fish and Blake a 10-pound 2-ounce fish, Blake’s fishing coming from Lake Ozark when he was only 9 years old.
“At Taneycomo you can seek out cover along the bank to cast to, just like fishing for bass and crappie. I was trying to teach my son about habitat. Blake caught a 17-inch brown on an inflated nightcrawler. And he caught quite a few rainbows on an 1/80-ounce jig.”
Chapman is having the big brown mounted, but it will be done as a mold rather than a skin mount. The catch of a lifetime, he says, will last a lifetime.