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Sport Angler picks wrong day to land record-size paddlefish

01:01  19 february  2020
01:01  19 february  2020 Source:   ftw.usatoday.com

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Belobraydic's record setting paddlefish measured 56 ¾-inches long with a girth of 43 ¾-inches. It had been a successful day for Belobraydic even before landing the record setter when he caught two paddlefish , one of which he released because it was too small.

A Chamberlain man has landed the largest fish ever recorded by an angler in South Dakota. Paddlefish are among the largest and longest lived species of freshwater fishes. Native to the Mississippi River drainage, these prehistoric fish once roamed freely throughout the network of rivers

An Oklahoma angler's catch of a 157-pound paddlefish last Friday would have shattered the state record had it been caught on just about any other day.

Justin Hamlin landed the odd-looking behemoth while fishing on Keystone Lake with Capt. Jeremiah Mefford of Reel Good Time Guide Service.

The paddlefish tipped a boat scale at 157 pounds. But state regulations designed to protect the fishery require that all paddlefish caught on Fridays and Mondays must be released.

a man holding a fish on a boat in a body of water: File Photo© File Photo File Photo Justin Hamlin with 157-pound paddlefish. Photo: Reel Good Time Guide Service

Hamlin, therefore, was not able to have his catch officially weighed or certified by a state biologist, and the state record still stands at 132 pounds, 8 ounces, for a 2018 catch on the Arkansas River.

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The annual paddlefish harvest limit is two paddlefish per angler . Paddlefish angling by all Anglers fishing trotlines or throwlines must release all paddlefish before leaving their lines (unless Fish pick -up: Wildlife Department personnel will pick up live paddlefish from bank and boat anglers

TIMELINE: State Record Board - Holland Valley - Spread Eagle Bar - 0:00 State Record Board Salmon Egg - 3lbs - 11:21 Pallid Sturgeon - Hybrid Sturgeon - 55lbs - 11:58 Paddlefish Sturgeon Squash and Run Run over and kill 20 enemies (Campaign only). Fertilizing the Land Using a tractor

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However, that does not diminish the experience for the captain or angler.

"I think my heart was close to beating out of my chest," Mefford told For The Win Outdoors. "I'm an avid deer hunter and it was like seeing a dream buck come out right in front of you. The difference was this fish was landed and we did not have to talk about the one that got away."

a person riding a motorcycle next to a body of water: File Photo© File Photo File Photo Justin Hamlin wrestles with catch before it's released. Photo: Reel Good Time Guide Service

Mefford added: "Heartbroken not to have it official, but Justin had a great attitude about it, and appreciation for the laws."

Paddlefish are plankton eaters so snagging is the most effective angling method. Oklahoma regulations allow anglers to keep one per day except on Mondays and Fridays, when all fish "must be released immediately."

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A Florida angler has set a state record for flathead catfish after landing a 69.3-pound Marvin Griffin of Santa Rosa landed the behemoth recently while fishing on the Yellow River in Northwest Florida "I wasn't expecting to catch a state record when I started fishing that day with John Babb," Griffin said.

Paddlefish have been recorded moving over 100-miles in the Alabama River System and have moved upstream over Claiborne Lock and Dam during high water events. Paddlefish are often called spoon-billed catfish by anglers because their skin resembles that of a catfish.

Anglers can only use barbless hooks, which allow for easy releases.

a man holding a fish: File Photo© File Photo File Photo Keystone Lake-record paddlefish stands at 125.6 pounds. Photo: Reel Good Time Guide Service

Mefford said Hamlin snagged his 5-foot-long paddlefish with a large treble hook attached to 80-pound-test line. The fight lasted about 10 minutes.

The Keystone Lake record for paddlefish stands at 125.6 pounds, Mefford said.

American paddlefish, closely related to sturgeon, are native to the Mississippi River Basin and fossil records date back millions of years.

-Photos showing Justin Hamlin with his record-size paddlefish and the Keystone Lake record paddlefish (bottom image) are courtesy of Reel Good Time Guide Service

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