Retired NHL Player Lands Record-Breaking 11-Foot Long Sturgeon in British Columbia

by Jonathan Howard

Now, some people just have all the luck and talent in the world. Pete Peeters, the retired NHL great of the 1980s, caught a massive white sturgeon. By the time he had reeled in his catch, he and his group realized they had a record-breaker on their hands.

Imagine pulling in a fish that weighs half a ton, measures 11.5 feet long, and is likely 100+ years old. That’s exactly what happened to Peeters and his fishing group while out in British Columbia. Just east of Vancouver outside a town called Chilliwack, the retired goalie and his friends brought in a fish that cannot be dramatized. The fish is a real-life monster.

This fish is an absolute beast. Just look at that thing! It only took two men to pull it in, though. On the rod and reel were Peeters and friend Jake Driedger. After playing 13 seasons in the NHL, what do you think was an easier task? Bringing in that sturgeon has to be considered a feat of athletic ability. When a fish weighs nearly 1000lb and is longer than a basketball goal is tall, congratulations are in order.

Currently, there are verification efforts underway to determine if this is indeed the largest white sturgeon ever caught in the world. While there might be a larger one, dwelling in a lake somewhere, this one was caught. Peeters was in disbelief.

“I couldn’t fathom how big these fish were. Even when the fish came up, it was hard to believe. It wasn’t slimy like the trout we have out here – it felt like a damp snake.”

Handling White Sturgeon in the Water

Now, under British Columbia regulations, the white sturgeon are protected. However, there is catch-and-release allowed. Anglers are not permitted to lift any fish longer than five feet out of the water. With this particular fish measuring over 11 feet, Pete Peeters and company had to meet it down in the waters. However, I’m not sure if they could get the half-ton fish in the boat if they wanted to.

Kevin Estrada, the owner of Sturgeon Slayers guide service, was in charge of taking Peeters and his friends out on the excursion. He was very impressed by the catch and explained why it was such a great fish.

“Very rarely do you see something this big – over 11 feet. I’ve been fishing this river since I was 15 years old. We’ve had some spectacular fish, some very memorable fish over the years. But never anything this big. Something this big could take well over 100 years to get this size. It’s a lifetime moment. It’s hard to put into words.” Truly puts the catch into perspective when a pro like Estrada puts it that way.