Paddlefish are one of the largest of the freshwater species. They can be found in several U.S. rivers. The only way to catch paddlefish is by snatching, a method that can require a good bit of endurance.


Region: Midwest, South, Northeast
Habitat: Lake, River, Stream

How to identify Paddlefish

The paddlefish resembles a shark. It’s long body has gray coloring with a fanned tail. Its snout is flat and takes up about one-third of its body. Paddlefish can grow as long as seven feet.

Where to catch Paddlefish

Paddlefish can be found in the U.S. in slow-moving waters from Alabama to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. They are found in many different rivers, including the Mississippi, Ohio, Arkansas, and Yellowstone rivers, as well as in drainage areas.

Range: Midwest, South, Northeast
Paddlefish Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Paddlefish:

How to catch Paddlefish

Paddlefish are filter feeders. They are known to be one of the largest North American freshwater species. In many states, they are a protected. The only way to catch paddlefish is by snatching, using heavy weights and treble hooks. This is because they are filter feeders. Snatching entails casting out the line, then jerking it back and reeling it in. This is a continuous cycle that can be physically challenging. For this reason, anglers are advised to rest every 20 minutes when employing this technique. Look for them near holes and drop-offs.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Paddlefish:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Paddlefish

These fish don’t eat worms, bait, or lures. The only way to catch them is by snagging with a treble hook.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Paddlefish: