A 9-year-old New Jersey boy fishing with his dad in Canada landed an amazing catch on June 29: a 10-foot-long white sturgeon that weighed an estimated 600 pounds.
Keegan Rothman, who himself weighs only 80 pounds, battled the giant fish for nearly two hours on British Columbia's Fraser River with his father, Dan, and their guide, reported The Globe and Mail.
"It was so hard to hold onto the rod. I thought the fish was going to pull me into the water,” Keegan said, according to a press release. “I'll never forget this -- this is the best trip of my life!”
The fish, which measured 10 feet, 1 inch, and had a girth of 50 inches, was one of the largest that the Rothmans' guide, Ben Trainer, had seen on the Fraser in 11 years as a professional guide and a lifetime of fishing in that area. Trainer estimated the fish to be about 75 years old. It was released after the group photographed it.
Last year, a 19-year-old from Georgia caught an estimated 800-pound sturgeon in the Fraser River. "In the first few minutes I had it on the line I couldn't believe the weight and power of the fish," Paul Jarvis told the CBC at the time. The fish was tagged, to aid conservation research, and released.
A British couple caught an even larger sturgeon on the river in 2012. That fish weighed an estimated 1,100 pounds and was likely at least 100 years old. The couple's fishing guide said it may have been the largest fish ever caught for sport in North America, according to the Canadian Press.
The weights of all these amazing catches were only estimated using a formula, as the protected Fraser River sturgeon remain in the water when caught, and are eventually released.
“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," Trainer said in a press release.
Watch a video of Keegan Rothman with the giant fish below: