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Paddlefish


spindilla
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Never seen one...but my brother in law catches them in Oklahoma. He has always referred to them as spoonbills but when i looked that up they are indeed paddlefish. He has told me in the past they were a great eating fish with no bones only a cartlidge. Personally though i have never seen one. Interesting prehistoric fish that dates back years.

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When I lived in Ohio I would always hear of a few being caught in the Ohio river each year. They won't eat a bait as they are filter feeders. The ones that are caught are caught "accidentally". Usually jigging blade baits.

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Here's a link with some great info about paddle fish . They are related to sturgeon and last one caught in Ontario was in 1917 . We may look at them now as an invader , since they eat like Asian carp .....open mouth feeding on plankton , etc.......

....interesting read.....

http://www.ontario.ca/page/paddlefish

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I think the main reason for extinction is their roe is just as valuable as black sturgeon roe. I have heard of sightings this is why I was asking.

Last one I caught was in Louisiana, just curious as to if they are still in our great lakes.

Thought someone might have seen them in the Niagara system.

I guess they are a goner for good.


Seeing one of those things feed is really cool. They just swim with their mouths open wide.

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I seen what looks like that in the lower Niagara but I thought it was a alligator gar. It jump out of the water right in front of me last year in the pool and it had a wicked nose on it so I guess it could of been a paddlefish whatever it was it was a big fish...

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Paddlefish ......

They can grow to be very large and fat . This one was caught in S.Dakota , a new record at 127 lbs. 10 oz. ...... This short video shows how they feed . What would they use for bait for these "fresh water whales" ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCWMdahw2cY

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Paddlefish ......

They can grow to be very large and fat . This one was caught in S.Dakota , a new record at 127 lbs. 10 oz. ...... This short video shows how they feed . What would they use for bait for these "fresh water whales" ?

Realistically you could not target them with anything but luck, maybe a line with multiple hooks with the smallest bait possible, but I would wager most catches of these on hook and line are incidental catches or snags

After some google it is pretty much a snag fishery .... kind of like our fall salmon

Young-of-year Paddlefish will "bite" at small food particles, but eventually (within a year) switch to filtering for food as they grow and need more food. The young Paddlefish are pale, nearly transparent, and swim in loose groups, preferring to feed on a large zooplankton called Leptodora kindtii (Montana AFS Species Status Account).

When feeding, adult Paddlefish swim with their mouths wide open and filter the zooplankton from the water with filament-like gill rakers. In some places, adult Paddlefish also filter aquatic insects and, occasionally, tiny fish. Recent research has shown conclusively that the paddle is an electrosensory structure that functions much like an antenna. It detects weak electric fields. The paddle, head and gill flaps are covered with tiny sensory pores that it uses to detect food organisms. The paddle may also function to keep the fish level in the water while it is continually moving and feeding. The paddle would then provide "lift" much like airplane wings to keep the fish from nose-diving to the bottom (Montana AFS Species Status Account).

http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=AFCAB01010

What are some tips for paddlefish fishing?

* Paddlefish are large (many weigh more than 50 lbs. and are often found weighing more than 100 lbs.), so think big when selecting tackle and equipment.

* Trolling and snagging are the best methods to use when fishing for paddlefish. You can successfully troll for paddlefish by dragging a hook and weight behind a moving boat.

* Leave the lures at home. Paddlefish feed on microscopic creatures that live on lake and river beds and will not bite a lure.

* To set the hook, cast the hook out and start reeling the hook back in. Make long sweeps with your fishing rod away from the hook, and then reel the slack line up. Tip the rod back towards your hook. Drag the line, hook and weight behind your boat. Watch for the rod to thump, then grab the rod and reel in your catch.

* Don't give up. The more time your hook is allowed to drag through the water, the better chances you have of hooking a paddlefish.

* Paddlefish are considered "kept" if they are not immediately released. Kept paddlefish must be tagged immediately with the angler's paddlefish permit number. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation suggests the use of duct tape around the bill and a permanent marker to tag your catch. Simply wrap the tape around the bill several times and write your entire permit number and name legibly on the tape.

* Having a hard time catching a paddlefish? Strike up a conversation with fellow anglers or employees at local fishing supply stores. Many fishermen enjoy helping out visiting anglers by sharing valuable tips!

http://www.travelok.com/article_page/fishing-for-paddlefish-oklahomas-caviar-bounty

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Verrry interesting snags .......It would be a challenge to try different bait concoctions to lure these creatures into a web of tiny hooks . They would like my rice soup perhaps and the hooks would be suspended under a float .......BUT , since these fish are a rarity I would prefer to see them put very strict regulations on them ...like our sturgeon .....UNLESS they are detrimental to the fishery , by gobbling up the food supply for other newly hatched fish .

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I was in Iowa this year. Our guides son went on a trip to target them. Only allowed 1 per year and the only way to catch them is "snagging" them. He showed me his set up and it was pretty scary lol.

Edited by Gwhunter99
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