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World-record paddlefish weighing nearly 165 pounds snagged at Lake of the Ozarks

Mar. 18—A world-record paddlefish was caught over the weekend at Lake of the Ozarks, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Chad Williams of Olathe, Kansas, snagged the 164-pound, 13-ounce paddlefish on March 17.

"I was lucky enough to get invited to go out snagging with friends," Williams said in a statement released by MDC. "I'd never been snagging before. Never seen a paddlefish — didn't even know what it was!"

"I was thinking I was extremely weak because it was taking so long to reel in. My body was aching," he recalled.

The group met MDC Fisheries and Protection staff at Three Brothers Meat Company in Montreal to weigh it on a certified scale.

"I'm honestly still processing this whole thing," Williams said, according to MDC. "Conservation Agent Tyler Brown was in disbelief it was my first time snagging. He said, 'You don't have to go out fishing ever again! Nothing can top this!' and he's probably right!"

In 2022, Jim Dain, of Pittsfield, Illinois, snagged a 140-pound, 10-ounce paddlefish at Lake of the Ozarks, breaking the previous record of 140-pounds, 9-ounces for a fish caught on Table Rock Lake in 2015.