Billings Woman Snags Paddlefish on Upper Missouri River
What is that? I got a kick out of some of the comments on this photo.
She's a banker during the week, and apparently a slayer on the weekends. Krista Hood used to work with us here at the radio stations. She shared this photo of the paddlefish she caught on the Upper Missouri River last weekend.
Krista tells us that after a one year hiatus (thanks COVID), she was able to get back out on the water and snag and release a paddlefish.
Krista Hood: We went up opening weekend, May 1st, and the fishing was slow. We were not successful, but did have some luck with walleye and catfish from shore. Water levels began to rise last week, and that meant the fishing would get better with more fish running.
We fished Friday night through Sunday afternoon. The fishing was slow but the weather was amazing. Slinging 5 ounce weights and a treble hook as far as you can across the river and pulling it back to you in hopes of getting lucky to drag across a fish.
After what feels like a hundred casts with no luck, there is no better feeling than snagging into a fish, and your pole comes to a dead stop. The fish starts running and taking line, and the fight is on. Depending on where you hook the fish and the size, it can take anywhere from five minutes to a half hour to get it landed....Its truly like no other fishing I have ever done.
Krista tells us that her dad has been taking her paddlefishing since she was little, and she's "been hooked" (snagged?) ever since. Check out this other photo she sent us:
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Montana has three unique paddlefish seasons:
- Upper Missouri River from Fort Peck Dam to Fort Benton (White Harvest Tag)
- Yellowstone River and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck Dam (Yellow Harvest Tag)
- Fort Peck Dredge Cut archery-only season (Blue Harvest Tag)
The Upper Missouri River paddlefish season is May 1–June 15, unless closed earlier by FWP due to unforeseen or emergency circumstances.
Here's a video about paddlefish produced by Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks back in 2016: