Fishermen hook prehistoric fish weighing 55 pounds

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GORDONSVILLE, Tenn. (WJW) — Two Tennessee fishermen hooked a prehistoric fish while out on the Caney Fork River this weekend.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Matt and his friend, Jason, were fly fishing for striped bass on Saturday when they made an unexpected catch — an American Paddlefish.

Officials say the friends fought for 30 minutes as they attempted to reel in the fish. It reportedly towed them around in the boat for over half a mile.

However, they eventually caught the five foot, 55 pound fish.

The men took a few photos with the fish before releasing it back into the water unharmed, the agency reports.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says American Paddlefish are prehistoric fish that can grow over five feet long and weigh as much as 200 pounds. This particular fish often lives beyond 30 years.

American Paddlefish are most commonly found throughout the Mississippi River Drainage and generally inhabit large rivers like the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

For more information on the American Paddlefish, as well as other fish, check out the guide below:

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