The Great Paddlefish Fish Story (and Lakehouse Fish Cork Board)

Below is a gallery showing some of the fish we’ve caught out of Wood Creek Lake with more coming soon…I hope!    These pictures include my great “paddle fish” catch – see Fish Story below.

The Amazing Paddlefish Fish Story (click picture to enlarge)


It was late at night on May 24th, 2007.  Chuck, Galen and I were trolling the first large cove north of the Lake House.  We really hadn’t got much action, but like true fishermen…we pursued.  We were using the heaviest rigs we had…to hold up to trolling speeds.

All of a sudden, my rod tip doubled over…I set the hook (or so I thought) and had one on.  I shut off the boat and my fishing buddies reeled in their lines so that we didn’t end up in a tangled mess, like usual.  My fish fought hard for a few minutes, then finally gave up as I brought it into the boat with the net.  It looked huge.

The moonlight and a small flashlight were all we had to see what I had caught.  Using my uncanny sense of touch, I followed the line from the end of my rod tip to the mouth of the fish to find my lure.  The mouth of the fish?  There was not a mouth where it should have been, there was a bill…like a platypus.  The line was wrapped around its bill from the fight…so I unwrapped it (7 or 8 times).   Finally, I got the line free and it snapped out of my fingers.  Where was my line?…there was no lure, no hooks, no line.

The fish was still in the net, on the bottom of the boat…so I knew it wasn’t going to flip back into the water.  I grabbed my rod tip and followed my line to try and find my lure.  I couldn’t see well.  I started to reel in the loose line.  My line tensioned up…finally.  My lure was still in the water?…so I reeled another 60 or 70 cranks to get it in.  I hadn’t caught this fish with a hook, but literally caught it by wrapping it.

We put it in the live well (to keep it alive of course)…’cause I didn’t know what I had caught.  We took it back to the Lake House for photos and then we carefully released it at the boat dock.

The next day I asked about this species at the bait store.  Come to find out, the university had released thousands of them earlier in the spring.  They plan to come back and harvest them for caviar in seven years.  The species eats plankton and doesn’t bite lures or bait like a typical game fish…so the odds of catching one using a rod and reel is really unusual.   And that’s my fish story.

-Tim Gebhart

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