British couple catch biggest fish ever caught in North America as they reel in monster 12-foot white sturgeon weighing 1,100 pounds. The retired England couple vacationing in B.C. has caught what their guide says may be one of the largest fish ever reeled in on the continent.
Michael and Margaret Snell from Salisbury, England, were out fishing on the Fraser River earlier this week in Chilliwack, east of Vancouver, when Michael, 65, saw his rod dip.
After an hour-and-a-half struggle, the Snells pulled in a white sturgeon that was nearly four metres long — about the length of their boat — and weighed roughly 500 kilograms.
The white sturgeon, the largest freshwater fish species in North America, can live up to 100 years and is classified as an imperiled species in B.C.
Fishing guide Dean Werk says the giant sturgeon wasn't tagged, meaning it has probably not been caught in at least 18 years.
"(The fish) peeled off 200 yards of line on its first run without even a blink, " said Werk. "We had to chase it down, we had to stay close to it, and Michael was having to work the fish back up, trying to keep it near the surface."
Based on a database kept by the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, Werk said it could be the largest fish ever caught in the continent.
After posing for a few photos, the Snells then released the massive sturgeon back into the Fraser River.
Snell said it took time for the size of his catch to sink in.
"I could only get my arms halfway around the (sturgeon's) head, " Snell said. "It's so big, like a wine barrel or a 50-gallon oil drum.
"Here I am, holding a dinosaur, virtually. You watch it breathe, watch it blow ... You just marvel at this fish."
The Snells went on a fishing trip in B.C. three years ago, when they also caught a sturgeon. But that one was about a metre-and-a-half long.
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