If you want to tangle with the largest freshwater fish on Earth, a visit to the Pacific Northwest is a must. The rivers in these areas hold some of the largest sturgeon anywhere. Many of these prehistoric river monsters stretch to lengths of 8 to 9 feet, and they can weigh hundreds of pounds. It's hard to believe fish that massive are swimming in the rivers, but every year a few lucky anglers get to tangle with one. In this video, one of our favorite YouTubers—Ty PigPatrol—is fishing the Columbia River in Oregon.
It doesn't take long for the angler and his guides to hook into a giant. The 9-foot fish even jumps completely out of the water at one point. This fish is so large and so strong that it takes multiple anglers fighting him for over an hour before they are finally able to bring the old girl to shore for a few photos.
This is probably the fattest sturgeon we've ever seen caught on video, and we've watched more than a few videos featuring these elusive river monsters. It helps that they caught this fish right as she was preparing to spawn. And it's a good thing they let this fish go. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the average female white sturgeon only spawns every two to four years at best. The slow rate of reproduction is why catch and release has become such a vital part of the conservation of these fish.
The biggest threats to the white sturgeon are pollution and loss of habitat. Fortunately, modern anglers have fully embraced the conservation of these animals. As a result, massive fish like the one Ty caught here live to fight and amaze anglers another day. Awesome catch, Ty! We're not sure how you'll top that one.
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