HomeOutdoors12-Year-Old Ties Idaho Sturgeon Catch and Release Record With Nearly 10-Foot Catch

12-Year-Old Ties Idaho Sturgeon Catch and Release Record With Nearly 10-Foot Catch

by TK Sanders
(Photo by: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A 12-year-old angler from Utah likely fell in love with fishing for life after landing a record sturgeon on the Snake River in Idaho. The massive fish measured nine feet, 11-inches, which put it among the largest fish ever caught and released in the state.

Young Tyler Grimshaw fought and landed the prehistoric species while fishing with his father, Lance, and local guide Joe Weisner. Weisner works for a local expedition company that exclusively targets sturgeon on the Snake River in southern Idaho. The three anglers have been fishing together for many years, Weisner told Outdoor Life.

“Lance is actually a fishing guide on Flaming Gorge,” Weisner said. “So we kinda go back and forth. I’ll go up with him and fish for a couple days and vice versa. And Tyler has come down to fish with me numerous times. That kid has probably caught 100 sturgeon on his own by now, but he’s always looking for that bigger fish, you know.”

On March 28, Lance, Joe, and Tyler head out to the river together for an opportunity to catch that bigger fish.. Of course, the 12-year-old ended up catching one of the biggest sturgeon in Idaho history.

Apparently, the fish started biting the second the group dropped their hooks in the water. Weisner said that after getting set up, young Tyler caught a solid seven-plus footer on one of the first casts. Then about 20 minutes later, Tyler set the hook again, and the giant fish went airborne.

“As soon as it was hooked it jumped,” Weisner says. “And I knew it was a really big fish.”

12-year-old Tyler wrestled the Idaho sturgeon for nearly an hour

To catch the fish, the group used a standard sliding sturgeon rig and drifting fresh-cut bait along the bottom of the river. Short rods also allowed Tyler to really pressure the fish. Luckily, he hooked the record catch in a deep pool with minimal current, which gave the young man some extra leverage to wear the fish out.

Joe and Lance said that Tyler never relinquished the rod and brought the fish to the boat all by himself.

“Tyler sat on that rod and pumped that fish for 50 minutes. He wasn’t about to hand that rod over to nobody,” Weisner said. “The fish jumped a total of four times. It jumped once right next to the boat, maybe two feet away. It was terrifying.”

Once the group got the fish into the shallows, they waded out to take some pictures. Weisner said the fish failed to set the new record for catch-and-release sturgeon by just a half-inch.

“As soon as I got ahold of that fish, I knew that it was a unique, giant fish,” Weisner says. “And if that fish is out there, the current Idaho record can absolutely be broken.”

White sturgeon are a protected species in Idaho; so it is illegal to pull these fish out of the water. Therefore, only a catch-and-release record is attainable. The set-line weight record stands at 675 pounds and dates back to 1908, and it will continue to stand as long as the state protects the fish from harvest.