We’re one week into Missouri’s paddlefish season, and recent rains are making river conditions just right for the spawning behemoths to move upstream.
Indeed, the biggest Missouri game fish of any species came out of Table Rock Lake in 2015, when Andy Belobraydic snagged a 140-pound, 9-ounce monster that took him half an hour to reel in.
A News-Leader story at the time recalled his record feat: “I told them, ‘I think I’m stuck on the bottom,’ but then my pole thumped pretty good and the fish started pulling the boat,” Belobraydic said. “Man, I’ve never hooked anything like that. When it started peeling out that drag, we knew it was something big.”
He said the fish briefly rolled up to the surface before it made a hard run back down to the bottom.
“Whenever it came to the surface, one guy said it was a good 80-pound fish,” he recalled. “It took three of us to get it into the boat.”
The 140-pound fish was weighed on official scales at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson.
Belobraydic said the record paddlefish was nearly 6 feet long and measured almost 4 feet around its belly.
Despite its size, there are quite possibly are even bigger fish cruising Missouri waters, according to Andrew Branson, Fisheries Program specialist with Missouri Department of Conservation. Read the full article here –