A 65-year-old Englishman fishing in British Columbia recently hooked a 12-foot-long white sturgeon weighing approximately 1,100 pounds, a catch one expert called among the largest ever recorded in North America.
Michael Snell and his wife Margaret were fishing the Fraser River with a guide early on the afternoon on July 16 when he saw the tip of his rod dip. An hour-and-a-half long fight ensued.
Snell played the fish down the river where his guide maneuvered the sturgeon and the boat to shore, according to the Global Post.
“When we picked her head up out of the water, it was almost three feet wide,” Michael Snell said. “I never knew a fish could be that large.”
The fish was estimated to be at least 100 years old, guide Dean Werk said.
“I’ve been a professional fishing guide on the Fraser for 25 years and I’ve never seen a sturgeon this big,” Werk added.
Once on shore, Werk was able to examine the fish.
Together, the trio measured it and applied a tag to the left side below the fish’s head. When the fish came up next to the boat, it measured 12 feet, 4 inches, and weighed an estimated 1,100 pounds. It had a 53-inch girth measured below the pectoral fins.
The Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t have an entry for white sturgeon online; however, Fishing World Records says an angler in San Pablo Bay near San Francisco caught a 2,000-pound white sturgeon, although there is no verification of the catch, according to the Global Post.
Werk said his company has helped tag more than 47,000 white sturgeon since 1995, and scanned more than 90,000 tagged sturgeon that have been caught and released, the publication added.
British Columbia sturgeon are endangered, and must be released.
(Above: Michael Snell, right, with wife Margaret and guide Dean Werk, holding the monster sturgeon Michael caught last month on the Fraser River in British Columbia.)