Angler Pulls in World Record Paddlefish, But It Will Not Count

An Oklahoma angler caught the state record paddlefish but had to release it before official measurements could be taken. The fish weighed in at 157 pounds which is 10 pounds heavier than the world record and smashes the state record which stands at 132 pounds.

Tess Maune of KOTV Channel 6 posted the story on Facebook.

157 POUND PADDLEFISH! Justin Hamlin landed a GIANT!!! At 157 pounds, this is the largest paddlefish ever caught in Oklahoma, but because he caught it on a Friday it won’t officially go in the record books as the state record.

State wildlife laws say anglers aren’t allowed to keep paddlefish on Mondays or Fridays, so he couldn’t take it to an official weigh in location and couldn’t string it up and hold it for an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife fisheries biologist or game warden to come officially weigh and certify it. (That also means the fish was released)

Either way it’s a FISH OF A LIFETIME and so cool he caught it. I would have loved to have seen it in person!!!! Congratulations, Justin!!

He snagged it on Keystone Lake with Reel Good Time Guide Service. The owner said the length from the fork of the tail to the eye ball (not including the bill) was 60.5″. The girth was 45.25″ around.

The Real Good Time Guide Service videoed the whole thing and posted it to Facebook

Great Job Justin!

This was the fight of the157lb fish. I was late starting the video due to the massive run this fish initially had but was able to get some good footage. I am respooling the rods tonight due to the relentless pressure these fish have put on the line and how many times we have been lucky after the fish stripped the line down to the backing.

Posted by Reel Good Time Guide Service on Friday, February 14, 2020

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation posted about the fish on their Facebook Page as well.

What an incredible fish!

During a guided trip on Keystone last Friday, Justin Hamlin caught the fish of a lifetime. The estimated 157-pound behemoth paddlefish would eclipse the current world record by more than an estimated 10 pounds and would have smashed our state record of 132 pounds!

However, state regulations for more than a decade have required all paddlefish snagged on Mondays and Fridays be released immediately to help protect these unique fish from overharvest. The fish was not eligible to be recorded as a state and world record. But the good news is that Justin released the fish and it is still out there for someone to catch again.

Spring fishing in Oklahoma is as good, if not better than anywhere in the country. Imagine that! So get out and experience it for yourself. Who knows, maybe another state or world record is waiting for you out there.

So if you want a chance at a world record here is your chance. You know where it’s at.