San Diego’s sturgeon record a family affair (includes video)

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Cameron’s father, Travis wrote to us with the incredible story about how the catch came about. Below is the story in his words, along with several more photos and a video of the beginning portion of the fight.

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  • There were 3 generations of family members inside the boat; my dad (grandpa) Gary Kane, my son Gavin Kane (11) and Cameron (14). We headed up to Cuyamaca on a little boys trip as my wife and the other 2 kids stayed back. We went up there hoping to catch some trout because we had heard there were a lot of nice trout being caught up there. We had just got back from the Eastern Sierras over Halloween from camping and trout fishing. We go to the Eastern Sierras a few times a year and we all love it up there.

    So all we went to Cuyamaca with our Sierra trout gear. All of our ultra-lite poles were rigged with 4 lb test Maxima Line and we use 3 lb test Maxima leader material as our leader. So we were rigged for 12-18″ fish, not 62″ fish!!

    Right after we got our rental boat anchored off the Lone Pine Shoreline, Cameron hooked up with this fish. It was about 7:30 am when Cameron set the hook. He was fishing with an inflated night crawler with about a 2 foot leader off the bottom. When he first hooked it he knew it was big, but obviously had no idea it was THAT big.

    At first we thought it was either a big trout or catfish. With the light tackle and line he knew he couldn’t force the fish in and just had to let it do it’s thing. So for the first 45 minutes of the fight we had no idea what it was. And then it broke the water for the first time!

    When it first broke the surface it sent a sound over the whole lake and got everyone’s attention. At that point we knew it was something huge but still wasn’t sure exactly what it was. Everyone on the lake was awesome. Lots of other boats offered to help in any way. We didn’t have a net so one of the other boats came over with a pretty good sized net for us to use.

    Without really knowing exactly how big the fish was, with our first chance to net it my dad went down and tried to net it tail first to avoid risking the net touching the leader and breaking the 3 pound test line. The net actually broke off the pole. That’s when we got a really good look at the fish and had no idea how we were going to get it in the boat.

    We pulled up anchor and just started letting the fish pull us around the lake. The lake was packed with boats and everyone was really understanding and actually moving their boats out of the way when we got close to them. We got it close to the boat many times and every time my dad and I would try and either grab it from the mouth or gills but it was so slippery and tough there was no way.

    Eventually my dad came up with the idea of making a slip knot out of the stringer line and try to slip it around the tail when we got it close and pull it closed. Well that didn’t work either because every time it got close to the boat it was straight up and down so he couldn’t get to the tail.

    Then Cameron said “lets slip it over his head” we knew this was probably going to be a one shot attempt because if we hit that 3 lb leader it would snap for sure! So we came up with the idea to make a big loop in the rope and thread the whole pole through the loop and then down the line and leader when the head was close to the boat. I took the pole and Cameron had the slip knot and my dad had the other end of the rope ready to pull when Cameron slipped the loop over the sturgeon’s head.

    Sure enough, Cameron nailed it on the first try. He slipped the knot over the head but was only able to get it over one of the fins before the fish took off again. The line had wrapped around one of Cameron’s feet during the whole ordeal and nearly pulled him in the lake. But the slip knot worked and it took both my dad and I to pull it into the boat.

    As soon as we got it in the boat all the people around started cheering. They had been watching us battle with this thing for every bit of 2 hours. Right away we headed for the boat dock. The Lake Cuyamaca staff was unbelievable. They were so nice and helpful. They couldn’t believe what we just brought in.

    For more on the catch, check out the article “Record-breaking sturgeon caught by 14 year old.” And to see all 4 of the videos they recorded of the fight, check out this forum post.

    DISCLAIMER: The video does contain some brief explicit language, discretion advised.

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