Beginner’s luck = state record fish

A lot of paddlefish snaggers jerk giant hooks throught the water for decades trying to get a coveted 80-pounder. An Oklahoma angler caught a new state record of 125 pounds, 7 ounces his first year of snagging.

Aaron Stone and his new Oklahoma record paddlefish of 125 pounds, 7 ounces.

Aaron Stone of Pawhuska was snagging in the Arkansas River on April 10 when his hooks found the fish that beat the existing Oklahoma record of 121.2 pounds snagged below Kaw Dam in 2003.

Stone’s battle took about 40 minutes.

The Kansas state-record paddlefish is also the current world record at 144 pounds. It was caught, of all places, from a pond in a park in Atchinson.

Since they feed on microscopic plankton paddlefish can’t be caught on baited hooks. Most states along the Missouri and Arkansas River systems have special snagging seasons to catch the fish when they run up rivers to spawn.