The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources notes by now many avid anglers will have heard the story of 13-year-old David Jacobson of Garrison, Minn., who caught an 86-inch sturgeon on Yellow Lake in Burnett County on September 12. What some may have missed in the coverage is that the family succeeded in releasing the fish!
Yellow Lake is about five miles north of Webster, Wis., and about 35 miles east of Hinckley, Minn.
When the family landed the fish after a half-hour battle, they knew it was big, but had no idea the state record was 79 inches. Due to the size of the fish and the scale, there was not a good way to get an accurate weight, according to the DNR.
Jacobson is 18 inches shorter and nearly 60 pounds lighter than the fish! And the Duluth News Tribune reports Jacobson is no stranger to big fish, because he caught a 57-inch muskie when he was just 8!
“After we landed it, another boat offered to weigh it, but…the weighing apparatus was insufficient for the length of this fish,” said David’s father, Erik Jacobson. “After talking to some locals that had witnessed our catch, one said he thought it was nearly 200 pounds! After thinking about it, it did take three men to get the fish high enough to get the tail rope on the scale. After the attempt, the fish swam away strong upon release, so we felt really good about that.”
The Wisconsin state record hook and line lake sturgeon — caught in Yellow Lake in 1979 — was 79 inches long and weighed 170 pounds, 10 ounces. The record sturgeon taken by spearing measured 84.25 inches and weighed just over 212 pounds.
David’s fish won’t count as a record because his dad Erik set the hook, while the boy reeled it in. The rule requires that only one person can fight the fish.
Once the fish was hooked, it took about half an hour of strenuous tug-of-war to bring it in, according to the Tribune.
“My brother started screaming, ‘It’s a shark!’” David told the Tribune. “At that time, we knew it was a behemoth.”
Top Photo: Thirteen-year-old David Jacobson of Garrison, Minn., kneels alongside the 86-inch lake sturgeon he caught on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, while fishing with his family on Yellow Lake in Wisconsin’s Burnett County. Photo courtesy of the Erik Jacobson family
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