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River Monster

August is usually the month that I fish for almost anything, anywhere but because of the warm temperatures and longer days I do enjoy spending more time at the river although some years the bugs in Saskatchewan might be a bit much for some people to handle with or without bug spray. Another reason I like fishing the river is because it’s easy for my family to join me, the kids bring beach toys and play in the sand. There are many locations that are accessible by land on both the North and South Saskatchewan River’s and both equally produce large fish. It wouldn’t surprise me if the next record walleye or another species was pulled out of one soon. So on a typical afternoon or evening after work we like to pick a spot closer to the Prince Albert area as it’s not that far of a drive for us and if it’s not too exciting then we can just leave and come home. We pack the kids snacks and drinks, load up the fold out chairs, beach toys and put on their rubber boots and jeans or if it’s warm out they sometimes wear a bathing suit and sandals then load them into the car for a short drive. When we pull up to the river my spouse will watch the kids while I set up the chairs, then I set up a rod for my daughters to share as it can be quite hard to watch and re-bait two rods plus net fish and unhook them all at once. On this particular evening I was with some good friends and their kids on the South Saskatchewan River, the kids were playing on the beach while us adults were visiting, we caught and released a few decent sized sturgeon within the hours we were there and the bite was fairly good. I just so happened to be sitting on the ground next to my rod that I had in a rod holder that was mounted in the ground. Now some people like to use bells or alarms on their rods that alert you when a fish strikes but myself I’m way to concentrated on my rod tip most of the time to even bother with putting one on then having to try and take it off before I start reeling in, not to mention when I fish does strike and you do go to pull the bell off, lots of the time you’ll give the fish slack and it’ll spit the hook. So anyways back to sitting next to my rod, We’re talking away and visiting when my rod rips out of my rod holder and luckily enough I jumped fast enough and grabbed it before it went into the water. The pull was tremendous and my line started peeling out, it was a constant hard pull with almost a steady pulsing jerk to it, for anyone that fishes sturgeon this is a very distinct feeling, I knew it was a sturgeon and I knew it was big! One of my friends grabbed their cell phone and started videoing the action as soon as I said it felt like a good one and almost seconds after a huge sturgeon came flying out of the water as it breached. The pull was unreal, unlike any other fish I’ve caught before, I would have the fish almost at shore but not yet in sight when the line would start peeling back out into the river, there were even times I would almost run out of line and would have to run up the river bank just so I didn’t get spooled. My adrenaline was going and I was starting to sweat, I didn’t want to lose a fish like this. I was fairly confident I could land the fish as long as it didn’t snap my line which was 60lb braided line, spool all my line out or spit my hook while it was jumping out of the water. After 3 jumps and almost 30 minutes of fighting this fish I finally got a good glimpse of it as it came in shallow enough, my buddy Travis wasn’t shy as he jumped in the river fully clothed with a large net and tried to scoop the fish but was unsuccessful because the size of the fish, so he threw the net on shore and went back in bare handed, I pulled the fish towards him and he grabbed it by the tail and was able to pull it in. There was lots of cheering and laughter as he held it up to pass it to me. The fish was so big and because I was also worn out and out of breath from the battle I told him to grab one side as I grabbed the other as we held it up for a picture. Travis couldn’t quite get ahold of the sturgeons head so he ended up just sticking his hand right up the sturgeon’s mouth to hold it. This fish and the fight it put up will always be one of my best fishing memories and one of the best things about it is that I have it all on video thanks to a friend. 

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