Montana Bow Fisherman Spears World Record Paddlefish

To the uninitiated, bow fishing can seem like a futile endeavor. Wait like a monk for a part of the fish to break the surface and quickly fire an arrow where you think the fish might be.

But once you hook a monster this way, the excitement is second to none, said Justin Fisketjon, who recently caught a world record paddlefish with a bow in Montana. 

“This one definitely fought more than the rest of the paddlefish I’ve caught,” Fisketjon told the Williston Herald in North Dakota,

The record breaking catch measured 69 inches from nose to tail and weighed 85 pounds, making it not only a state record but a world record as well. And this during a season that has started off slow for paddlefishing in Montana. 

“You can’t tell if it’s 20 or 120 pounds until you get it up on shore,” he said. “You don’t know where you hit ‘em and there’s a lot of current, too. They only come to the top for a split second,. It’s such a short time period, you don’t have time to really see them.”

Once he got it to the surface, the angler had the fish certified at a local butcher. It was then they realized what was on their hand. Paddlefish can’t be mounted becusae they are too oily, but Fisketjon said he plans to have the remains “beetled.” That’s the process of using live beetles to remove any remaining flesh from the bone and cartilage, that is, after he batters and deep fries the meat.