KEYSTONE LAKE, Oklahoma – A northeastern Oklahoma man snagged the largest paddlefish ever caught in Oklahoma on Valentine’s Day, but it won’t officially go down in the record books.
Justin Hamlin landed the giant fishing on Keystone Lake Friday with Reel Good Time Guide Service.
The scale bounced between 154 and 161 pounds, so Hamlin settled on 157 pounds. That would beat out the state record of 132.5 pounds.
But Oklahoma has strict regulations on paddlefish to keep the population thriving and state wildlife laws say anglers aren’t allowed to keep paddlefish on Mondays or Fridays.
That means Justin couldn’t take the fish to an official weigh-in location and couldn’t string it up to hold it for an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife fisheries biologist or game warden to come officially weigh and certify it.
Justin released the fish after weighing it and taking a few pictures.
Record books or not, it’s without a doubt a fish-of-a-lifetime.