Spoonbill Fishing Information

It's Fishing Time in Miami Oklahoma... the Caviar Capital of Oklahoma!

As you begin to consider a destination for a spring getaway, get your fishing gear ready and head to Northeast Oklahoma!

Anglers in and around the area can take advantage of a service being offered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. A paddlefish cleaning station has been setup and workers at the center salvage the eggs from the female paddlefish to sell as caviar. In 2008, more than 8,000 lbs. of eggs were salvaged and the caviar was dispersed throughout Europe and Asia. More than 45 tons of paddlefish carcasses were recycled into a natural source of heating oil. The cleaning station is set up at Twin Bridges State Park. Anglers that are fishing at Riverview Park in Miami can call the center to come pick up their paddlefish for processing. Those who take advantage of this service will take home meat from their own fish that has been safely cleaned and packaged.

Heading to Miami, Oklahoma? Here is some helpful spoonbill fishing information...

Anglers line up "elbow to elbow" every season along the banks of the Neosho River for a chance to snag this prehistoric prize called Paddlefish (or Spoonbill by the locals). During their early spring spawning run, Spoonbill can be caught by snagging with a stout surf rod, heavy test line and a large barbless treble hook.

Oklahoma fishing license + paddlefish permit are required
Daily limit is one fish
Annual limit is two fish
Harvest is only permitted on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Catch and release only on Monday and Friday.
Harvest reporting is mandatory within 24 hours. Use the ODWC E-Check system.
Snagging = one rod/pole per angler

Fishing License

Wal-Mart Sporting Goods Department - 918.542.6654
Open 24 Hours
$25 -- Resident Fishing License (Oklahoma Residents)
$35 (6 Day License for Out-of-State)
$55 for Out-of-State Year-Round
Paddlefish Permits available for free -- required for all ages (bring proof of social security number for those under 16)

Paddlefish Tackle

Remember paddlefish are large so you have to think BIG when selecting your tackle.
Below is a list of suggested tackle you should have in order to increase success.
- 10 to 12 ft. heavy action rod
- Large capacity reel
- 50 lb. test line
- 10/0 to 12/0 treble hook
- 5 oz. to 1 lb. of weight. (Depending on if you are trolling or bank fishing)

How to Snag a Paddlefish

There are two ways to hook a paddlefish -- manpower and boat power. The one thing you won't need is a lure of any kind. Paddlefish feed on microscopic plankton and will not bite a lure; instead they are caught by dragging a hook and a weight through the water until you snag a paddlefish.

Many anglers, especially when fishing the moving water of rivers, prefer to cast out and reel the hook back in. The key to this technique is to make long sweeps with your rod away from your hook and then reel the slack line up as you point your rod tip back towards your hook. Herky-jerky action will only make you tired and sore. The more time your hook is moving through the water, the better chance you have of hooking a fish.

Other anglers, especially early in the season in the upper end of lakes, find the most success by trolling. If you see a boat driving back and forth or in lazy circles early in the spring, there is a good chance they are dragging a line, hook and weight behind the boat. Anglers that use this method watch for their rod tip to thump, grab the rod and reel and then hang on for a fight.

If you are new to paddle fishing, don't be afraid to ask questions of your fellow anglers on the water or at the bait shop. Most anglers are more than happy to pass on a few tips.

Click on the photo to link to the Oklahoma Wildlife Dept Website.
Oklahoma Wildlife Department Information

The Paddlefish Research and Processing Center is located north of Twin Bridges State Park. A boat and two trucks will pick up fish from bank and boat anglers. To arrange for a pick up or for any other questions, contact the center at (918) 542-9422.

Paddlefish Research & Processing Center

The RPC is located four miles north of Twin Bridges State Park on Hwy 137. For additional location information, contact the RPC at 918-542-9422.

Directions: From Riverview Park in Miami, OK (Neosho River) follow Hwy 69/66 back north toward Steve Owens Blvd/Hwy 10. Go east on Steve Owens Blvd/Hwy 10 toward Fairland. Follow the highway past the turnpike gate entrance/exit and continue to head east. You will approach Hwy 137. Turn south on Hwy 137. This will take you to Twin Bridges State Park.

If you have additional questions about spoonbill fishing in Miami, please feel free to contact the Parks & Recreation Department.

City of Miami Parks & Recreation Department
Jaime Tallman, Director

If you are bringing a group to Miami for spoonbill season, please register at the Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Special rates and discount coupons are available to groups that are staying overnight in Miami. Please refer to the Miami Hotel list below of CVB partner hotels. Some restrictions apply.

Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau --

Miami Hotels

America's Best Value Inn
2225 E. Steve Owens Blvd

Deluxe Inn Motel
1307 E. Steve Owens Blvd

900 E. Steve Owens Blvd

Hampton Inn & Suites
115 Deacon Turner Road

Holiday Inn Express & Suites
509 Henley Avenue

Microtel Inn & Suites
2015 E. Steve Owens Blvd

Legacy Inn & Suites
2120 E. Steve Owens Blvd