Angler smashes Tennessee state record with 120-pound paddlefish

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On Wednesday, April 13, angler Chad Collins landed a 120-pound paddlefish at the Cherokee Lake in Eastern Tennessee that bests the current state record of 109-pounds set by angler Leonard Jech almost a year ago to the day on April 13, 2021. State fisheries biologist John Hammons certified the paddlefish’s weight on April 16.

In a Facebook post, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency congratulated Chad Collins on his record-setting Paddlefish catch.

Take a look at the new state record paddlefish caught by Chad Collins on Cherokee Lake! TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds certified the behemoth Shovelbill weighing 120 lbs. with a total length of 75.5 inches and a girth of 41.5 inches. Atta boy Chad!

Paddlefish - named for their large, paddle-shaped snouts - is a prehistoric species that can grow to seven feet and weigh more than 100 pounds. The paddlefish snagging season in Tennessee runs from April 24 through May 31. The current world-record paddlefish was caught in June 2021 at Keystone Lake in Oklahoma, weighing in at 164 pounds.

Paddlefish cannot be caught by traditional fishing methods because of their feeding habits. Most paddlefish are caught accidentally or snagged by anglers. Their populations have declined throughout their native range mainly due to habitat alteration and overharvesting.

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