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Kentucky State Record Paddlefish
Caught in Ohio River

April 15, 2004

Frankfort, Kentucky - 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 commonly 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.


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