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Illinois man catches Missouri state record paddlefish at Lake of the Ozarks

Dain said it took at least 20 minutes to get the 140-pound, 10-ounce paddlefish into the boat.

LAKE OZARK, Mo. — Now here's a fish story to write home about.

The Missouri Department of Conservation announced on Wednesday that Jim Dain of Pittsfield, Illinois had broken the Missouri state paddlefish record.

Dain snagged a 140-pound, 10-ounce paddlefish on March 18 at the Lake of the Ozarks in southwestern Missouri. Dain's catch breaks the previous Missouri paddlefish record of 140-pounds, 9-ounces.

Dain told the MDC that he almost didn't get the boat out that particular day because of the changing weather, and that it took at least 20 minutes before they were able to wrestle the fish into the boat.

“The forecast was calling for storms, and then it changed to no rain, so we went out, but it just kept getting colder,” Dain told the MDC. “We weren’t having much luck, but decided to fish for another hour so we took another turn. And that’s when the drag on the reel started. It felt like a tree was on the line!”

Dain also told the MDC that he was able to get 16 one-gallon bags full of meat out of the catch, and that his family made "paddlefish tacos" from part of the fish.

The MDC said that Missouri state-record fish fall into two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods can include catches on trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing or atlatl.

Dain's catch is the second state-record fish caught in 2022. A Jasper County man set the record with his bowfishing catch of a 8-pound, 5-ounce quillback from Table Rock Lake on March 15.

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