Video: Potential Report Paddlefish Caught (And Launched)

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There is great fish magic in the waters of Cherokee Lake, Tennessee, where another amazing American paddle fish was caught from the deep, clear reservoir.

Robert Livingston was fishing with a friend on January 23 when he caught the giant fish and brought it to the boat. Livingston estimated it to be 6 feet long and 150 pounds based on the width of his friend’s boat and because he can lift 150 pounds overhead in the gym. Of course, it’s not 100 percent accurate either, but if you look at the big spoon it’s certainly a giant.

“This one just swam by and caught my hook right in the corner of my mouth,” Livingston told WBIR 10 News. “It was hardly addicting, just a small part of his cheek. I have it in the boat and I grab it and the hook actually falls into the water. “

The Tennessee record is at 104 pounds, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The world record is 151 pounds, 14.4 ounces, caught on Keystone Lake in Oklahoma.

Read on: Rookie Angler Sets Paddlefish Record

Cherokee Lake is located in eastern Tennessee and is a dam of the Holston River. It has more than 400 miles of shoreline, a maximum depth of 150 feet, and an average depth of 30 feet. It is a popular lake for fishing and recreational activities all year round, including winter when the water level is lowered to aid in flood control in winter and spring. The Holston River flows into French Broad in Knoxville and forms the 652 mile long Tennessee River.

Robert Livingston with his giant paddle fish about to be released. (Robert Livingston /)

Paddlefish, also known as spoonbills, thrived in the rivers of the southeast before they were dammed for hydropower and flood control. The fish are still found in the rivers and impoundments of Tennessee, French Broad, and Holston, and in other areas of the region, but in smaller numbers. Since these are filter feeders, catching a pole with a hook is usually an accidental hook in the mouth or on the podium and a surprise to anglers. Spoonbills must be released in Tennessee.

Paddlefish are filter feeders that swim with their mouths open to sieve zooplankton out of the water by gill clearers. They are often caught in highly oxygenated waters, for example beneath dams, but are not found exclusively in these areas. Like any fish in search of the best food, paddle fish finds and follows zooplankton.

Read on: How to Catch Giant Paddle Fish with Giant Hooks

“People keep following me for not taking it home and the avid fishermen people say I did the right thing (by making it public),” Livingston told WBIR 10 News. “I would hate to catch the fish of my life and then say, ‘Yes, I killed it. ‘It’s floating around there so maybe someday someone else will catch it. “

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