Angler retrieves critical implement from campsite before record catch

After a morning of fruitless casting along the Yellowstone River in North Dakota, Tyler Hughes realized he had forgotten a critical implement he would need if he were to snag a large paddlefish.

Turns out, he definitely needed the long-handled gaff he had forgotten and was no doubt happy he had jumped into his truck and retrieved it from his campsite. Because 30 minutes after he returned, he snagged a giant paddlefish, as reported by Outdoor Life.

“At 11 a.m. I hooked something big that I thought was a rock or log,” he told Outdoor Life. “But then it started moving, and I knew I’d hooked a big paddlefish.”

The snagging season for paddlefish was May 1-15, and Hughes snagged his giant on May 3.

“The fish took all 250 yards of my braided line, and the knot connecting it to my 30-pound test monofilament backing line was headed out of the rod guides,” Hughes told Outdoor Life. “I knew I had to get the mono back onto the reel because the river is full of snags and the fish would break the mono for sure.”

After a 15-minute battle, Hughes managed to get the paddlefish to shore where friends gaffed the fish and dragged it up the bank. A second gaff, presumably brought by one of the friends, was used along with Hughes’ gaff, as shown in the video posted by Outdoor Life.

The paddlefish was taken to a weigh station where state officials verified the weight of 131 pounds. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced that Hughes’ fish tied the state record from 2016 by Grant Werkmeister, adding that “the two fish are the heaviest caught and documented in North Dakota.”

Photo courtesy of Tyler Hughes.

Story originally appeared on For The Win