William Chumbler of Calvert City, Kentucky cast a spinnerbait into the Ohio River on March 23 expecting a bass to hit.
Instead of a bass, Chumbler hooked into a 106-pound paddlefish over five feet long and more than three feet around. It is now the new state record for the species, besting the old record of 82 pounds set by Standley Shelton from the Parrish Lakes in Georgetown in 1982.
"For a paddlefish, it was big," said Paul Rister, western district fisheries biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR). "We commoly see paddlefish in the 20 to 40 pound range and we've tagged a few big ones in the 50 to 60 pound range. This fish was double the size of what we are used to seeing."
Chumbler landed the record paddlefish on 17-pound test line. The fish was 65 inches long with a girth of 37 inches. The record fish was weighed at Rudy's Farm Center in Kevil, Kentucky.
For more information about the Kentucky Record Fish program, call 1-800-858-1549. The record fish list is on pages 20 and 21 of the 2004 Kentucky Sport Fishing and Boating Guide or may be viewed on the KDFWR web site at fw.ky.gov.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. KDFWR, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, has an economic impact to the state of $4.8 billion annually. For more information on KDFWR, visit our web site at fw.ky.gov.