Paddlefish are one of the oldest fishes, with fossil records dating their first appearance at 300 to 400 million years ago. They have a very large mouth, and a long, paddle-shaped snout (called a rostrum).
They're great deep fried in a beer batter but these all went back in the water. Any thing over 33" measured from the eye to the v in the fork of the tail goes back in the river.
Within 45 minutes I had my two fish but neither one was in the slot limit. One too small and this one was too large. 36" form the eye to the fork in the tail and just over 25 lbs.
What a blast. They put up quite a fight and I really don't mind releasing these prehistoric fish. Knowing that the male Paddlefish reach sexual or reproductive maturity between six to seven years, while the females reach sexual or reproductive maturity between ten to twelve years.
Jerry had a rough time finding a fish and we were over an hour and half in before he caught his first fish... too small.
Then a few minutes later he doubled. One on each hook. Over 55 lbs of fish. Snap a pic and then back in the water.
The largest one that Jerry caught had its rostrum cut off at some point. Probably by a barge.