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About the Spoonbill Fish

The Spoonbill fish is older than dinosaurs! They are unique in that they won't strike your lure or bait and must be snagged. Spoonbill feeds only off of plants and plankton, so a lure won't work. Instead, in areas where they are legal to catch, they must be snagged.
  • Spoonbill Fishing

    After you reel in your first Paddlefish, its unmistakable appearance and pre-historic features will bring instant appreciation for the conservation of our river systems and lake.

    Snagging means catching a fish by hooking into an area of the fish other than its mouth. Paddlefish have tough skin, so even a big hook holding onto a small piece of skin often results in a huge fish still being caught. Barbless hooks must be used when fishing for Spoonbill.

  • Size

    Paddlefish can get big and have been known to reach over 150 pounds and over 7 feet long. In fact, the world record Spoonbill fish was caught at Keystone Lake in Oklahoma but was released back into the water. Book a fishing trip on Keystone Lake and you might snag a world record catch. You might want to catch it on a day other than Monday or Friday since all snagged fish must be released back into the water on these days of the week.

  • When & Where it’s Available

    Fishing for Spoonbill, also known as Paddlefish, is not allowed in all states in the United States. Currently, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee allow sport fishing. However, anglers should also check the rules and regulations before they head out to any fishing spot.

    You can catch these pre-historic fish in 12 different states, but a few stand above the rest.

    Top 10 Places to Catch Spoonbill

  • How to fish for Paddlefish

    The method of how to catch Paddlefish really doesn't change from location to location or season to season. When Spoonbill fishing in Oklahoma or Spoonbill fishing in Missouri, snagging with a treble hook is the only method to catch these amazing fish.

  • Good to Eat

    If the water your fishing has been approved for the consumption of its fish, then Spoonbill is excellent for your dinner plate!

    The trick to making Paddlefish good to eat is the preparation. After filleting your catch, cut off all the red meat, and place it in a brine for 24-48 hours. After it's been adequately prepped, you can cook it just like you like your catfish cooked, baked, or fried.

  • Size Requirements and Bag Limits

    Spoonbill management is critical. In many of the lakes where anglers are allowed to catch Spoonbill, the daily limit is usually only 1. Additionally, all hooks will need to be barbless.

    For example, in Oklahoma, anglers have a bag limit of 1 a day per angler and only 2 for the entire year. Oklahoma requires anglers possessing a free paddlefish permit, along with a valid freshwater fishing license.

    Before you head out to fish, you should always check the people who manage the fish, forest, and wildlife department in your area. For example, if you're fishing in Missouri, look online at the Missouri Department of Conservation for all the new information.

  • Spoonbill Fish Facts

    • Spoonbill fish caviar is very popular
    • Where it's legal, Paddlefish can only be caught by snagging.
    • They can be over seven feet long.
    • They are classified as a vulnerable species.
    • Spoonbill uses its taste buds located underneath its unique bill to feel the bottom of the water.
    • These impressive fish can travel up to 2,000 miles through a river system.

Are Spoonbill and Paddlefish the same?

Yes. Spoonbill and Paddlefish are the same fish. The scientific name is Polyodon spathula, but most refer to the fish as Paddlefish or Spoonbill. Often times the name used for a species of any animal will change based on the location of the fishing spot and whats the traditional name for that area.

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What is the world record Spoonbill fish?

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