Paddlefish anglers take to the Confluence

Published: May. 5, 2023 at 11:20 AM CDT|Updated: May. 8, 2023 at 12:44 PM CDT
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WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - Hundreds of anglers are in northwest North Dakota this weekend hoping to snag a paddlefish.

The season started May 1, with snagging beginning Tuesday and Wednesday. The confluence shores were lined with all kinds of people from veterans to newcomers. Dennis Demaray from Paige was lucky to snag his fish early Friday morning.

“It’s a great feeling. You can only do it once a year, so I really look forward to coming up here every year,” said Demaray.

Twelve-year-old Andrew Neumiller from Minot is looking to grab his first-ever paddlefish. This is his second time out with his grandparents.

“I’m just happy to be here and I hope God will let me get one this year,” said Neumiller.

After trying it more than 20 years ago, Todd Marmon from Tioga gave paddlefishing another shot. On Friday, he snagged his first fish, which weighed about 74 and a half pounds.

“It wasn’t too bad. It fought for a while, but they played out fast. You just play them a little bit until it comes close to shore,” said Marmon.

The paddlefish season goes on until May 21 or until the harvest limit of 1,000 is reached. Harvest is required on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. There have been more than 220 fish caught as of Friday morning.