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A couple days ago my dad and I hired a guide to go snagging for the first time ever. We drove 3.5 hours to get there and only fished 35 minutes for our limits! I put together a little video of our trip below! Im excited to try to figure this out on my own moving forward.
Interesting, how is the fishery in MO??
We have only a few up here were I live, can't snag, fish or keep any. I did have one on in the Mississippi as a teenager while fishing for something else.
I hear you have to cut tail off and drain them , flavor similar to a sturgeon (we have lots of those up here).
I look for them to start putting restrictions on th in the next few years. They are too easy to catch because the congregate in the river channelsbof lakes all winter and stack up like cordwood. Then the spawn comes end everyone is snagging them as they come up the creeks. I wouldn't trade one fillet of anything else to eat one. The meat is spongy and they don't taste good IMO
The fishery is MO is supposed to be the best anywhere. There are tons of them and they are heavily regulated. There is a minimum length limit, any fish that is legal is required to be kept and the season is only 45 days. They eat pretty well if you fix it right and the eggs are amazing smoked!
Oklahoma has some good places in NE part of the state to snag spoonbill. I did the same as you on my first trip ( in Oklahoma once you keep one fish you're done fishing) I kept my 2nd fish after 30 minutes. After eating several spoonbill cooked many different ways I just throw them all back now and keep fishing terrible meat. The smoked eggs are okay though.
If they taste good I wouldn’t mind snagging one up when I get back to the lower 48 in a few years. Why snag for fish that you are only going to catch and release? What’s the survival rate for a fish that has a gash from a treble hook?
Spoonbill have to be done different from other fish. The first thing as soon as you get one, is cut the head off and gut it. Then ring the tail and snap it so you can pull the cord out of the fish with the tail and put the fish on ice. ( Check your regulations if you have a size limit before doing this, or it might get ugly ).When you get ready to clean, stand it upright and cut it from top to bottom and lay the two halves skin down. Take a knife and remove the tube the spinel cord was in. look at the meat, and you will see a dark red stripe of meat, cut it out (mud vain). Cut the meat off the skin and don't let the skin touch the meat.
Paddlefish caviar is supposed to be the equal of sturgeon. I’ve never tried it. We actually have an archery season for them here. Very popular season.
I have turned down several invites to go catch them for the same reason, they taste terrible.
They'll tear out a spool of 50 lb test and leave you with an empty reel if they get in the current.
In NE Oklahoma, the ODWC has a station and remove the caviar which they sell overseas. Big money for the wildlife department.
I have had the eggs smoked once and will never forget how great they are. We had one big female that we kept the eggs from this round. I will let you know how they turn out!