World’s Record Largest fish in Missouri’s Records caught at the Lake of the Ozarks

A remarkable event unfolded at the Lake of the Ozarks when a seasoned fisherman reeled in a monumental catch: a world-record-breaking paddlefish weighing over 164 pounds. Chad Williams, hailing from Olathe, Kansas, encountered this behemoth during an excursion organized by Smith’s Fishing Adventures, headquartered in Warsaw.

Jason Smith, the proprietor of Smith’s Fishing Adventures, vividly recalled the awe that gripped everyone as the colossal paddlefish breached the surface. “As soon as it hit the boat, everybody’s jaws dropped,” he recounted. “It was an epic day for all of us.”

Measuring slightly over 62 inches from eye to tail fork, the fish engaged Williams in a tense 10-minute battle before succumbing to his expertise. Smith, the boat captain, promptly notified state authorities about the extraordinary catch. The fish was later weighed on a certified scale at a local butcher shop in Montreal, where officials from the Missouri Department of Conservation were present.

Samantha Clary, a fisheries biologist from MDC, expressed her astonishment upon witnessing the gargantuan paddlefish in person. “I could not believe my eyes when I actually saw it,” she exclaimed.

Paddlefish, described as aquatic anomalies, exhibit a prehistoric charm that sets them apart from contemporary aquatic species. Andrew Branson, a fisheries programs specialist for MDC, likened them to “living dinosaurs” due to their unique features, including a long, paddle-shaped rostrum reminiscent of swordfish. Unlike other fish, they are predominantly composed of cartilage and possess scale-less skin, except for a small area near the tail.

These ancient creatures inhabit various waterways, including the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and their tributaries. They hold the prestigious title of Missouri’s official state aquatic animal, although they do not claim the distinction of being the state’s official fish (which belongs to the channel catfish).

In the annals of Missouri’s fishing records, this colossal specimen stands unrivaled, surpassing all previous catches by a staggering 24 pounds. The previous record-holder, a 140-pound paddlefish caught in 2022, pales in comparison. Indeed, these top paddlefish have set a benchmark, outweighing even the largest blue catfish ever caught in Missouri — a 130-pound behemoth landed by a Florissant man in 2010, which was once a world record.

If you want the chance to catch a Record Breaker, contact Smith’s Fishing Adventures Today!

The Missouri Department of Conservation verified Chad Williams, of Olathe, Kansas, caught the 164-pound, 13-ounce paddlefish at the Lake of the Ozarks on Sunday, March 17, 2024. The fish broke both the previous state record for paddlefish (140 pounds) and the previous world record of (164 pounds).