Pete Peeters, a former award-winning NHL goalie who likes to note he once gave up four goals to Wayne Gretzky in a single game, can now boast of something substantial in the world of fishing.
Peeters and a friend combined to catch what the Sturgeon Slayers guide service is calling “the biggest white sturgeon landed in the world.”
Taking 25 minutes to land on the famous Fraser River in British Columbia, Peeters and Jake Driedger traded off reeling in the massive white sturgeon that measured 11½ feet with a girth of over 4½ feet. It was estimated to have weighed 890 pounds, as reported by The Province. The measurements were confirmed by another guide, Steve Forde of Reel Sturgeon Adventures.
“I couldn’t fathom how big these fish were,” Peeters told The Province from his home in Sturgeon County just north of Edmonton. “Even when the fish came up, it was hard to believe.”
Sturgeon Slayers guide Kevin Estrada admitted to becoming emotional about the catch.
“I had tears in my eyes,” he told The Providence. “I’ve been fishing this river since I was 15 years old…We’ve had some spectacular fish, some very memorable fish over the years, but never anything this big.”
But is it really a world record?
“We are confident it is, but not 100 percent,” Sturgeon Slayers wrote in a blog.
“We have also submitted to Guinness World Records to have them look at it. That takes up to 16 weeks.”
However, in July 2012, Michael Snell landed what was then being called “one of the largest catches ever recorded in North America—a 12-foot white sturgeon weighing an estimated 1,100 pounds,” according to the Anchorage Daily News. That, too, was caught on the Fraser River.
And last month, CTV reported that an 11½-foot white sturgeon estimated at over 800 pounds was caught, tagged and released, as is the protocol on the Fraser River.
British Columbia has “no official record” for white sturgeon “considering the size and conservation status of the species,” RecordFishCanada reports.
The International Game Fish Association, the keeper of fishing world records, lists a 468-pound white sturgeon caught by Joey Pallotta III in Benicia, Calif., in July 1983 as the official world record.
So a true world record isn’t likely to be established anytime soon. Nevertheless, the one caught, tagged and released by Peeters and Driedger can be called one of the biggest ever caught, there is no denying that.
It’s definitely a trophy fish Peeters (a four-time NHL All-Star) can brag about—to go along with the Vezina Trophy he won for his goalie play with the Boston Bruins in the 1982-83 season.
Photos courtesy of Sturgeon Slayers. Driedger and Peeters are shown
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