You’re looking at South Dakota’s new state record paddlefish.
South Dakota angler Bill Harmon landed the record paddlefish fish last week in Lake Francis Case in the Missouri River.
It took Harmon and his friends four attempts before they were able to pull the massive fish into their boat.
With the fish onboard, the anglers stood around the huge catch, astonished at what they were looking at. Harmon broke the silence.
“Now there is a big %$#@*&^* fish,” Harmon said, according to an email he wrote to Grind TV.
He measured the paddlefish twice with two hand-held scales and later took it to a South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks station to have it weighed on an official scale. The beastly fish weighed 127 pounds, earning it the title of South Dakota’s state record paddlefish.
“It feels pretty good,” Harmon said. “It’s nice to know anything is possible when you’re fishing.”
Paddlefish are strange prehistoric fish. At one time in history, paddlefish travelled freely throughout the central US’s web of river systems. Nowadays, their numbers are fewer, and in some states they are a protected species.
Some states have conservation efforts to restore paddlefish to the aquatic ecosystems they once flourished in. One of those states is Texas, where a joint-effort between state and federal wildlife agencies is working to restore paddlefish in east Texas’s Caddo Lake, one of the most unique ecosystems in the state.
Have you ever caught a paddlefish? How big was it?
Featured image via South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks