At first, Cedar was content to watch his dad and uncle snag paddlefish. Some of the fish being pulled into nearby boats looked bigger than him. He worried if he hooked one, it might drag him overboard.
Finally, his itch to fish was too much to resist. He grabbed a pole and cast the heavy treble hook far out into the current.
Cedar cast again and again. He was about to give up when he hooked something solid and heavy, like a refrigerator. Cedar was sure he’d snagged a root wad, so he handed the pole to his dad. “That’s a paddlefish,” said his dad as he returned the pole. “It’s a big one.” Cedar had hooked the monster by its tail, so every time he reeled, the fish’s gill covers flared like a parachute. When he finally brought the fish to the boat, 10 long minutes later, his arms and back ached from the effort.
His dad and uncle both had to help muscle the paddefish over the bow. It tipped the scales at 39 pounds and measured 61 inches from paddle to tail—a few inches taller than Cedar. When he’s not catching giant fish, Cedar likes to play soccer and hunt for squirrels, deer, turkeys and morel mushrooms.
Nichole Leclair Terrill