Hooking a personal recordTom Ahern goes fishing on a pretty regular basis, but it wasn’t until his most recent outing that he landed the big one.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Tom Ahern goes fishing on a pretty regular basis, but it wasn’t until his most recent outing that he landed the big one.
During a trip to Lake Pepin with a few friends Sunday, the Red Wing resident spent a considerable amount of time struggling with one particular fish on his line.
“I worried the whole time that it was going to snag on the ice and break,” he said. “We just kind of played it real soft and slow to keep the line from getting chewed up by the ice around the hole.”
More than an hour and a half later, lying in front of Ahern was a sturgeon that was 61 inches long and 27 inches around. Not only was it his biggest catch ever, but it was also the first time he’s ever hooked a sturgeon.
“They’re real old. Somebody told me that fish is probably 80 years old, but I have no idea,” he said.
Catching the whopper wasn’t as simple as reeling in any old fish. In fact, it took some help from Ahern’s friends — John Friedrich, Steve Olson and Dave Nelson — to get it out of the water.
About 45 minutes into Ahern’s struggle with the sturgeon, it became obvious that an 8-inch hole was way too small to handle what he had on the line.
“My buddies cut two more 10-inch holes to match up with my hole,” he explained.
The expanded hole allowed Ahern the space needed to eventually get the fish out of the water. Unfortunately, it’s illegal to keep a sturgeon, but a few photos were snapped before it was slipped back down into the lake. The proud angler said it’s bigger than anything he’s ever reeled in in the past.
“By a lot.”
Previously, Ahern’s largest catch was a muskie that he estimated at about 25 pounds.