11 May 2007
Paddlefish Snagging on the Osage River near Warsaw Missouri
Check out my Paddlefish pictures!
My friend Jeff and I spent a day on the Osage River snagging paddlefish back on April 11th. Neither of us knew exactly what to expect.
The Osage river flows below the Truman Dam and feeds into Lake of the Ozarks. It is full of paddlefish during April and snagging season runs between March 15 and April 30. A great article on paddlefish is on The Missouri Department of Conservation website at http://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/2005/02/10.htm
We hired a guide that we found on the Internet and that a mutual friend was familiar with. The guide’s name is Anthony and his site is http://www.catfishingguide.com. Our entire communication with Anthony prior to the day of fishing consisted of a few lines of email where he instructed us where to meet him and when.
We met Anthony at 8am in Warsaw, Missouri at the Drake Harbor Boat ramp. It turned out to be a wet and cold day. It rained the entire day and stayed in the 40’s and 50’s. Anthony was good spirited though and was game to take us out for our first ever day of snagging.
Snagging is hard work! You bounce a large treble hook and weight off the bottom while trolling. The idea is to pull hard on your line in a sweeping motion and grab a giant paddlefish. Jeff caught the first one (after about 2 hours) and it re-invigorated both of us. Unfortunately, even though it looked huge to both of us, Anthony informed us it wasn’t a legal fish. Back in it went.
After a FULL day, Jeff and I both had caught 2 paddlefish each (along with several small catfish that we had inadvertently hooked and immediately threw back). Each of us had one keeper fish.
Anthony filleted them out for us and we took them home. Anthony said he doesn’t like the taste, but mine tastes great. It weighed about 50 lbs and was almost as long as I am tall (6′). Jeff’s was slightly smaller (40is lbs) and was also a great fish.
Will we return to paddlefish next year? Oh yes!
Will we use Anthony again? Absolutely, he was AWESOME!