127+ Pound Paddlefish Is New Arkansas State Fishing Record

Arkansas state fishing record for paddlefish
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Arkansas Game and Fish Commission / Mike Schleeper

The Arkansas state fishing record for paddlefish recently fell when angler Mike Schleeper of Garfield reeled in a 127 pound, 6 ounce paddlefish that dwarfed the previous state fishing record of 118 pounds.

Paddlefish are filter feeders and while there are specialized methods for fishermen to target the species. Those methods typically involve using expensive fish finders/sonar setups to map out the lake bottom and spot the fish before dropping down hooks/jigs to ‘snag’ the paddlefish. In fact, fishing for paddlefish is often called ‘snagging’ because that’s how you hook up as they don’t go after a bait on a hook like normal fish.

So when angler Mike Schleeper was fishing Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas and hooked into something big with his normal rod-and-reel setup he actually assumed it was a striped bass and not a new state fishing record for the paddlefish species. But after fishing the fish for 45 minutes…

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