PHOTO: Oklahoma Angler Shatters Records with Massive 164-Pound Paddlefish

by Jon D. B.

“We have a new WORLD- and state-record paddlefish!” declares The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation with this unbelievable catch.

This is one, fellow anglers, you’ll have to see to believe. Grant Rader of Wichita, Kansas, has made history with his Tuesday catch: a 164-pound behemoth of a paddlefish!

The lake monster came up from the depths of Oklahoma’s Keystone Lake. With it, Rader sets both the Oklahoma and world records for the species. Unbelievable!

And hold onto your hats ladies and gents, because Grant is 18-years-old. That’s right, the young man set out to fish for his 18th birthday – landing this enormous prehistoric beast in the process! How’s that for an entrance into manhood?

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is celebrating his marvelous catch this week via their official Facebook page, where the news broke:

“We have a new WORLD- and state-record paddlefish that was snagged at Keystone Lake on Tuesday, June 22. The beast weighed 164 pounds! Congrats to Grant Rader (left) of Wichita, Kan., on his great catch!” the organization writes.

“Jeremiah Mefford (center), with Reel Good Time Guide Service, assisted Rader on his world-record fishing trip. Also present is former world- and state-record holder Corey Watters (right) of Ochelata.”

Check out the world-record paddlefish for yourself below:

World Record Paddlefish Beats Out Previous Holder Just One Year On

Interestingly, the gentleman who helped Rader catch his record-breaker, Jeremiah Mefford of Reel Good Time Guide Service, was previously the state record holder for Oklahoma. His 143-pound catch at Keystone Lake came recently, too – June 2020.

Surely it must be bittersweet to lose the record, but then be able to help a young man come into his own and score such a phenomenal catch.

Mefford also confirms for For The Win Outdoors that young Rader’s catch breaks the world record. This stood at 151.9 pounds, with Rader’s catch beating it out by over 12 pounds! Both of these world-record-holders came out of Keystone Lake. What is Oklahoma putting in the water!?

To be fair, paddlefish have had a long time to evolve into a creature of such size; the species dates back over 125 million years. They’ve become remarkably long-lived in the process, too, as they can reach ages most freshwater fish can’t come close to. And as is clearly seen with Rader’s catch, they’re one of the largest freshwater species, as well.

Despite what their massive size may suggest, however, the paddlefish isn’t any sort of voracious predator. Instead, like many whales, they feed on plankton. This does mean, though, that the species needs constant movement to stay fed and alive. Despite this, they have managed a remarkable range. We North Americans can find the paddlefish from New York all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.