Missouri’s list of state record fish now has a new heavyweight, and it belongs to Andy Belobraydic of Richwoods. On Saturday, Belobraydic landed a 140-pound, 8.8-ounce paddlefish at the Bridgeport Resort on Cape Fair. According to KY3, the fish was snagged on a single, one-inch, unbaited hook in the north end of Table Rock Lake. Since paddlefish are filter-feeders that rarely hit a lure, snagging is still the most common method of capture for these large fish. Belobraydic’s catch was finally measured at 56 and 3/4 inches from the eyes to the tail fork.
Bridgeport Resort owner Mark Schmidt said that the fish has since been confirmed by the Missouri Department of Conservation as the new state paddlefish record, and along with that comes the title of the state’s heaviest catch. Belobraydic’s fish beat the former paddlefish record, which belonged to angler George W. Russell, by just about one and a half pounds. The old record was also caught in Table Rock Lake back in 2002.
The largest American paddlefish ever caught is believed to be a 198-pound specimen from Iowa’s West Okoboji Lake. That fish was caught by a spearfisherman in 1916, nearly a hundred years ago.
Missouri has a healthy paddlefish population located primarily in Truman Lake, Lake of the Ozarks, and Table Rock. Due to success of Missouri’s hatchery-raised larvae, juvenile American paddlefish have also been imported to rivers in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Russia, and China.
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