Potential world record set after man snags 146.7 pound paddlefish in lake

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Angler James Lukehart of Edmond holds the potential world-record American paddlefish that he snagged June 28, 2020, at Keystone Lake. This 146.7-pound monster bested the month-old state record held by Jeremiah Mefford, who is also in this photo and was serving as Lukehart’s fishing guide. (Photo by Jason Schooley/ODWC)

EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – An Edmond man set not only a state record, but possibly a world record after he snagged a monster paddlefish weighing nearly 147 pounds.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the world record for paddlefish taken with rod and reel will likely fall to a giant 146.7-pound Oklahoma monster snagged at Keystone Lake on June 28 by James Lukehart of Edmond.

The massive fish was confirmed as the official new state record for that species, beating the previous record of 143 pounds set just over a month ago by Jeremiah Mefford of Kiefer, who was on hand to see his state record fall by the wayside.

Mefford is a fishing guide, and Lukehart was his client when he snagged the huge paddlefish. Mefford provided a witness signature on the record fish affidavit.

The standing rod-and-reel world-record American paddlefish, taken from a Kansas pond in 2004, is listed at 144 pounds. The largest American paddlefish on record, taken by a spearfisherman in Iowa in 1916, reportedly weighed 198 pounds.

The paddlefish measured 70.5 inches in length and 45 inches in girth. 

Under the guidance of ODWC, the fish was released and monitored after official measurements were taken.

Schooley said Lukehart’s catch will become the recognized rod-and-reel world record after publication in scientific literature.

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