One of the most popular nature and wildlife shows in recent years is the program River Monsters starring host Jeremy Wade.
During the show, the British-born angler showcases some of the most impossibly large freshwater beasts that can be caught in everywhere from native villages to well developed fishing towns, cities and more.
Recently, a former NHL hockey professional reeled in an unbelievable catch of his own, hauling in one of the most understood and mythical beasts of the freshwater deep: the sturgeon, which can reach over 1,000 pounds and live to be over 100 years old.
In this case, the results speak for themselves: this truly was the catch of a lifetime.
Ex-NHL Player Hauls in Record Winning 11-Foot Beast
Pete Peeters won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender in 1982-1983 while playing with the Boston Bruins, and apparently he’s just as good at fishing as he is at stopping pucks.
Recently, Peeters headed out on the Fraser River in the aptly-named Sturgeon County in Alberta, Canada, when he and his fishing guides made an unbelievable catch that now stands as a result.
While the majestic fish was unearthed from its home on the bottom of the river, the catch did manage to highlight both the importance of sturgeon conservation and of course the incredible size and visage of this unforgettable specimen.
The sturgeon they caught is said to be bigger than anything seen in modern history, according to the Vancouver Sun.
“I couldn’t fathom how big these fish were,” Peeters said to the newspaper.
“Even when the fish came up, it was hard to believe.”
The fish measured 11 feet, six inches, had a girth of 55 inches and was estimated to weigh 890 pounds.
Other claims of similar sized fish were dismissed according to Peeters’ fishing guide Kevin Estrada from the tour company Sturgeon Slayers, and it has now been proclaimed that its fork-length is a British Columbia record.
Estrada said he had been in touch with the Guinness Book of World Records to see if the crew had hauled in an all-time biggest catch in the sturgeon category.
“Very rarely do you see something that is this big, over 11 feet,” Estrada said to Postmedia. “Something this big could take well over 100 years to get to this size. It’s a lifetime moment. It’s hard to put into words.”
The group wasn’t able to bring the fish into their boat due to standard regulations for sturgeon bigger than 150 cm (just under five feet), but they were allowed to hold and pose with the fish in the water.
They said they were lucky they got to see the whole fish.
“It wasn’t slimy like the trout we have out here … it felt like a damp snake,” Peeters said.
“We were actually in some clear water so we got to see the whole fish,” Estrada added.
“You don’t often get to see them in their full glory … it was magnificent to see.
Estrada’s company has been strictly catch-and-release since the early 2000s.
According to Estrada, large salmon fishing nets can also greatly hurt the populations of these majestic bottom-feeding beasts.
“Those nets are targeting salmon, which are between 60 and 100 cm, and that is also where we also see a decline in the population of sturgeon, it’s between that size range,” he said. “As we get older we’re going to have a big population missing unless we change very quickly to more sustainable practices.”
These beautiful fish are listed as vulnerable in Canada and were previously listed as endangered in Ontario.
In the United States, they are an endangered species.
Be sure to share this info with anyone you know who may consider a big-game fishing trip this fall and is not aware of this information!