While fishing for walleye and crappie in a tributary of the Missouri River, Jeremy Patterson of J&J Fly Fishing Adventures, set the hook on what he assumed to be his targeted species. As his line peeled off the real he had doubts that he was hooked up to a walleye. Instead, as he quickly found out, he had managed to hook a giant paddlefish. As his Redington Predator 9 WT doubled over during the 30-minute flight, he carefully fought the fish on the light tackle. After landing the fish and taking some quick photos, he and his fishing partner worked to revive the fish and release it back to the river.
Paddlefish are a warm-water fish native to the Mississippi River watershed. Although traditionally targeted by snagging, it is not uncommon for anglers to find them at the end of their line, especially as they feed in the shallows, filtering out the zooplankton that makes up the majority of their diet. It was once believed that the paddlefish used its long apendage to stir up prey, instead, their snout is covered in sensory tissues that allow them to detect their prey in murky waters.