Dan Rothman and his nine-year-old son came to Chilliwack just after the movie Jurassic World opened to record numbers. They have not seen the movie yet. The Rothmans are fishermen. They came here from New Jersey because they heard of the giant monster fish that still swim in British Columbia’s Fraser River.
This week, on Monday June 29 at 1:30pm, four foot tall, nine-year-old Kegan Rothman caught an estimated 600 pound Great White Sturgeon on the Fraser with a BC guiding charter company called Great River Fishing Adventures. On their first day out, they caught the biggest fish on record for the company this year.
Nine-year-old Kegan saw his rod tip dip and he set the hook. A fight ensued. With the help of his father and their guide, Ben Trainer, they played the fish down the river. Great River Fishing Adventures guide Trainer manoeuvred the sturgeon and the boat, taking one hour and 45 minutes to land the fish, a nearly impossible feat.
Once on shore, Trainer was able to properly examine the fish. The scientific measurement to the fork in the fish’s tail – the fork length is 9 feet and 5 inches. The fishes total length was measured at 10 feet and one inch. While it was impossible to weigh it, charts indicate that its weight is about 600 pounds. It had a 50 inch girth measured below the pectoral fins.
“I’ve been a professional fishing guide on the Fraser for 11 years and have fished these rivers my whole life. This is one of my largest fish I have help a client catch,” says Trainer of Great River Fishing Adventures. “We have helped to collectively tag more than 61,000 white sturgeon since 1995, and scanned an excess of 122,000 tagged sturgeon, which have been caught and released. With the size of this fish, I’d bet its over 75 years old.”
For the fish enthusiasts who travelled from New Jersey for their week of angling, it was a fish story to beat all others. With an iPhone the group was able to take some photos and video footage of the catch and release of the giant white sturgeon.
“It is the most excitement I’ve ever had with a fish. It was so hard to hold onto the rod. I thought the fish was going to pull me into the water,” says nine year old Kegan Rothman. “I’ll never forget this – this is the best trip of my life!”
Kegan Rothman is already an avid fisherman. At the young age of nine years old he has caught hundreds of fish and keeps a book recording all their weights and sizes. His previous largest fish was a 120 pound sailfish caught while on vacation to Mexico.
What comes after the catch of a lifetime? The Rothmans were out on the water for two more days. They fish on Thursday July 2nd before they fly back home to Atlantic City, New Jersey on Friday.
Over the past five years, Great River Fishing Adventures have landed four monster-sized sturgeon during guided tours. The largest to date is a 12 foot, four inch fish weighing in at 1,100 lbs.