Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A whopper of a fish tale

A friend sent me the following article which I just have to pass on here. Wow is all I can say.

Howards Grove man spears a 102-pound, 72-inch sturgeon on Lake Winnebago

Darren Horness blinked when the shadowy outline first slid beneath him in the darkness.

It was 6:50 a.m., the temperature about 9 degrees, and Horness was just settling in for a second day of sturgeon spearing on Lake Winnebago when the 102-pound, 72-inch sturgeon shattered his early-morning haze.

"I was skimming some ice off the hole, and all the sudden I thought I caught a little bit of movement, and I had to kind of take a step back," Horness, 36, of Howards Grove, recalled Monday. "The fish was actually coming up into the hole, I just could see part of it and could tell it was a kind of nice fish, but I had no idea how big it really was."

Horness — who was among the 8,000 fishermen on Lake Winnebago and its upriver lakes for this year's sturgeon spearing season — has been spearing for seven years, but he'd never had one this big or this willing.

The sturgeon arched up into the hole Horness had been cut through 16 inches of ice, coming within about six inches of the surface. Horness could hear the back of the fish scraping the icy edge at the bottom of the hole as he scrambled for the spear.

"I had to get down on my knees and I had to spear almost horizontal because it was so high up into the hole," he said. "I didn't know how good of a hit that I had on it because it was such a weird throw."

But the throw was true, lodging in the fish's tail about two feet from the end. Three or four minutes later, the female monster was played out and on its way in as Horness first realized what he'd taken.

"When it got to about eight feet down, I just saw this huge silhouette of a fish and my knees just almost buckled because it looked so humongous in the water," he said.

You can read the full article here!

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