Paddlefish gather in the river channels at depths to 35 feet in February and early March prior to spawning, giving anglers with good sonar systems a shot at snagging them. Paddlefish can’t be caught on conventional baits and lures because they are filter feeders that eat only tiny plankton.
Anglers catch fish spotted on sonar by dragging 10/0 treble hooks with up to 3 pounds of weight down at their level by slow trolling at about 3 to 4 mph.
Though Todd Hoffman’s 105.2 pounder is a lunker, it’s not a record–paddlefish over 120 pounds have been caught in Oklahoma, and the largest on record is apparently a 198 pounder snagged in Iowa. IGFA does not keep paddlefish records because the fish are not caught on conventional tackle.
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