Manitoban struggles 90 minutes to land huge sturgeon

A Manitoba angler could land his name in the record books for catching a 2-metre sturgeon near Kenora, Ont.

A Manitoba angler could land his name in the record books for catching a two-metre sturgeon near Kenora, Ont.

Cam Coleman was fishing Black Sturgeon Lake, north of Kenora, when he spotted a big fish in the distance, sunning itself.

His girlfriend, Jayme Grey, brought the boat closer to the beast and Coleman started casting an eight-pound test line with a jig and a minnow.

Then he snagged what he first thought was a log, "but I knew it wasn't a log because it was moving," he told CBC News.

"I figured it was a big pike or muskie, and I told my girlfriend to get on the motor because we may have to chase this thing."

For the first 10 minutes, Coleman said, he didn't realize what he had hooked. Then he saw it was a sturgeon.

"I figured it might be 50 or 60 pounds, which is still a huge fish," he said. "The [Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources] estimates it was between 170 and 200 pounds. It was over seven-feet long – 85 inches."

Coleman fought the fish for 90 minutes, then found it was too big to get into his boat even if he could manage to pull it aboard.

With the help of another boater he had flagged down, he managed to force the animal to shore, where Grey took a series of photographs of the two men with the fish.

"I was ready for a cold drink, let me tell you, and my arms were pretty sore, but it was well worth it," Coleman said. "It's the fish of a lifetime."

Coleman then released the ancient fish, which he believes could be more than 200 years old.

"Now nobody wants to go swimming," he said with a laugh. "Nobody wants to get in the lake."

Coleman believes he has certainly set a line-class world record for eight-pound test, and he's trying to determine if he also landed a world record for lake sturgeon.