James Ray Smith of Forrest City used a simple minnow to break the state’s goldeye record Oct. 23.
Smith was fishing in Indian Bay of the White River near St. Charles when the fish – 1 pound, 3 ounces – hit. The catch topped the previous record of 11 ounces taken May 6, 2007, from the St. Francis River by Randy Lee King, also of Forrest City.
Smith’s record was 15¼ inches long, and was verified by Justin Homan, an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission district fisheries supervisor in the Brinkley Regional Office.
The goldeye is in the same family as the mooneye, a fish that’s probably better known. Goldeyes, which can get as big as 3 pounds, inhabit several rivers in Arkansas, including the Arkansas and Mississippi, and are more tolerant of turbid water than mooneyes. Goldeyes are known for large canine teeth and big eyes. It’s a commercial fish in several northern states.
Image courtesy Arkansas Game and Fish Commission