Pinawa teen reels in 'once in a lifetime' sturgeon near Pinawa

As fish tales go, this one is monster-sized.

Nearly two-metre-long catch weighed about 68 kilograms

Dave McLean says he caught the fish of a lifetime when he and his dad landed a 1.9 metre-long, 68 kilogram sturgeon near Pinawa earlier this month. (supplied )

As fish tales go, this one is monster-sized.

Dave McLean caught a 1.9 metre-long, 68 kilogram or so sturgeon from the Winnipeg River near Pinawa in early August. 

"This is probably once in a lifetime, right here," McLean said.

On Aug. 10, the 17-year-old was wrapping up a day of walleye fishing with his dad when he hooked a sturgeon. 

Armed with only a light-weight rod and line tested for nine kilograms, McLean figured he was in for a very short fight. Not so.

It took the duo about 90 minutes to reel in the a six-and-a-half-foot-long, one-hundred-and-fifty pound beast. 

"Between me and my dad it took all our effort to get it in," McLean said.

The pair celebrated their catch vocally. 

"I'm sure if there was anybody else around they could hear us yelling and shouting," McLean said. 

They didn't have a scale on board but McLean made an educated guess about its weight.
Before Dave McLean threw it back in the Winnipeg River, he and his dad measured the sturgeon at nearly two metres long. 'He was thrashing before he even hit the water,' he said. (supplied )

"I'm about 160 and it was close to as heavy as me. So we're guessing, including charts that we've seen online, it's between 130 and 150 pounds," he said. 

The fish is also estimated to be about 80 years old.

But the teen's big catch isn't even a record holder.

The biggest sturgeon caught in Manitoba was snagged in the Red River in 1996 by Missouri woman Jenny Regan. She landed a 1.99 metre-long fish according to Travel Manitoba's Master Angler program. 

After McLean took photos of the fish lying next to a tape measure, the pair released it back into the river.

"He was thrashing before he even hit the water. We slid him over the side of the boat and before his nose even hit the water he was trying to swim away. So by the time his body was in the water, he was long gone," McLean said.

The teen, whose arms were sore from the bout, has been fishing since he was three.

Even though he has now caught a big one, McLean isn't worried that his career in fishing has peaked.

"I don't know. I've still got a lot of years left in me."


  • Dave McLean is from Pinawa, Man., not Winnipeg.
    Aug 18, 2016 9:59 AM CT


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