No doubt about it, this is a huge paddlefish.
As you can see by the picture, an absolutely huge paddlefish has been caught in North Dakota from the Yellowstone River. In what seemed like a banner year for paddlefish snagging in the state, Grant Werkmeister happened to be the angler that brought in the biggest one in state history. As of now, the record is still pending, but it seems very likely that it will soon be confirmed.
“It’s like hooking a log that wants you to go with it,” Werkmeister said in an interview about this pending record catch.
The season just recently ended in North Dakota as state anglers finally registered their 1000 fish limit. The Werkmeister fish just so happened to be a perfect ending to a great season.
After the big fish was brought to shore, Werkmeister took it to certified scales which showed the huge paddlefish weighing in at 131 pounds. The current record stands at 130 pounds, so once North Dakota officials confirm the scale in working order, a new state record should be crowned.
“I enjoy the thrill of hooking them and reeling them in. I’m not big on keeping them anymore,” Werkmeister said. “I just like to fight, take a picture and let them go.”
The North Dakota paddlefish season still runs for a few more days for snag and release fishing only. After that, anglers need to wait another year before they can get back out after them again.