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Old 08-21-2007, 12:51 PM
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Merrimack River FUNNY Fish!!!

My brother is here visiting from Idaho - his tuna trip on the cape got cancelled because of ROUGH seas, so as a backup, I took him out on the Mack last night. We reach the mouth of river early last evening and immediately see a PORPOISE in the river....have NEVER seen that was an omen of things to come....

1st pass drifting mouth of river....he's bouncing a jig with a 6" white sluggo on the bottom...


He starts trying to reel in.....reel is WHINING.....line peeling off.....

thank God the tide had just changed (from high to low) so there was not much med-heavy spinning rod (40lb test braid with 18lb test flourocarb leader) is bent almost in half.....he'd bring in some line....then...ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz would take it back

the whole time I'm yelling....come on....reel it in....put the screws to 'em.......stop being a wuss.....

He's yelling at's BIG....I can't horse 'em...

Took like 15 mins (seemed like FOREVER) until he finally gets it close to the boat. It's like 10ft down and I see a HUGE 1st...I'm thinking this is a HUGE striper......then......

I see a HUGE BROWN and TAN fish with a BIG FORKED TAIL....

I*t you got a HUGE shark..........


the fish rolled over......


We got it to the side of the boat......I tried to use the boga grip...but the things lips are really rubber....wouldn't GRAB on...

It was between 5 and 6 ft long......we got a picture of it in the water.....I didn't know how to lift it....OR if it was legal to remove them from water....I know they are protected/endangered.

We were trying to figure out how to grab the damn thing......we handed the rod to Jeff's friend from Idaho (who doesn't know SH*T about fishing)....while we tried to grab him/take more photos. Suddenly the fish swiped it's tail and headed for the bottom......SNAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap.... ....he was gone.

There were other boats around yelling at us "what the hell was that???"..we are yelling back "STURGEON" one could believe it.

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Old 08-21-2007, 12:57 PM
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More info on sturgeon

ATLANTIC STURGEON Acipenser oxyrhynchus Mitchill, 1814
In Massachusetts, the species is very rare and recent freshwater records are limited to the Merrimack and Taunton rivers. In the mid-late 1970s, a single, 8-foot long sturgeon was seen at the base of the Essex Dam, Lawrence on two occasions in late June. Recent surveys (1988-91) by the Massachusetts Cooperative Fisheries Unit have studied and radio tagged a few 30-inch fish in the vicinity of Haverhill. Whether these fish are part of a Merrimack population or just transients is unknown at this time. Historic records indicate that they reproduced in the Taunton River and a juvenile was found thereby the Cooperative Unit researchers in 1991. Specimens are still found in small numbers along the coast and are occasionally taken by trawlers. There are also old records that indicate that this species most likely entered the Charles, Parker, and other smaller rivers.

Merrimack River – New Hampshire and Maine
Historical reports of Atlantic sturgeon in the Merrimack River include a 104 kg sturgeon taken at Newburyport on September 14, 1938, while netting for blueback herring (Hoover 1938). An intensive gill net survey was conducted in the Merrimack River from 1987-1990 to determine annual movements, spawning, summering, and wintering areas of shortnose and Atlantic
sturgeon (Kieffer and Kynard 1993). Thirty-six Atlantic sturgeon were captured (70-156 cm TL); most being under 100 cm TL. One dead Atlantic sturgeon was found on June 30, 1990 at the shortnose spawning area in Haverhill, MA (between rkm 31-32). Of 23 subadult Atlantic sturgeon sonically tracked in the river, 11 left the river within seven days, and the rest left by September or October of each year (Kieffer and Kynard 1993). Fish captured in one year were
not observed in the river during subsequent years. On June 9, 1998, a 24 inch (estimated length) Atlantic sturgeon was captured and released in the Merrimack River by the USFWS personnel, who were conducting a contaminant study on the river (D. Major, USFWS, Pers. Comm. 2006).

This information provides no evidence of a spawning population of Atlantic sturgeon in the Merrimack River, although it seems that the estuary is used as a nursery area (B. Kynard, Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, Pers. Comm. 1998).

Jerome et al. (1965) stated that the Merrimack River had a very important Atlantic sturgeon fishery during colonial days and that it lasted until the late 1800s. In the early 1600s, the Merrimack River was known as one of the two best sturgeon fishing areas in the colonies. In 1882, Massachusetts passed a law enacting a minimum 30 cm (12 inch) stretched mesh for taking sturgeon. In 1887, only two tons were taken by ‘visiting fishermen,’ and it was generally
considered that the fishery was eliminated.

table 3 on page 16.....

Weight = 5.46 x 10**-6 X FL**3.10 Weight in kg, TL (total length) in cm

so....FL= 5.5ft - 168cm...Weight = 43Kg = 95lbs

6ft - 183 cm - 56.2kgs - 124lbs!

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Old 08-21-2007, 01:45 PM
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SteepBank SteepBank is offline
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that was an awesome fish..what a toad!
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:57 PM
riptide riptide is offline
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Thats AWESOME!!!! Nothing like landing something thats unusual for the area. Not to mention around 100#. Great job guys!
Good Luck,

Capt. Terry Nugent
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:24 PM
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That's crazy! 100lb STURGEON in the Mack! Great job!
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:33 PM
FlyFishFrostie FlyFishFrostie is offline
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Merrimack caviar, anyone?

That's really a once-in-a-lifetime catch, given the location. Congratulations!

Atlantic sturgeon should be added to the lists of the top-three fish we like to catch.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:41 PM
stickman stickman is offline
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That's great! The sturgeon has been thrilling us on the Mack for several weeks. You should hear the radio chatter on the commercial boats channel when one pops up. "I think I just saw a sturgeon! I mean the thing was 5 feet long! Jumped straight out of the water! There it is again!" Then the other guys get on and act all blase and such, "Yeah, we've been seeing him once or twice a day," blah, blah, blah.

Well I saw one jump straight outta the water last week and it was fantastic.

According to the New York Times, biologists don't know why the sturgeon jumps.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:12 PM
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jumping Sturgeon??

The Gulf sturgeon are returning to the Suwannee River, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds boaters to slow down and be aware these fish are jumping.

Eight people were injured by direct sturgeon collisions during 2006. Two other boaters suffered injuries when they swerved to avoid a jumping sturgeon and hit a bridge support in the river.


I "feel" another NO WAKE ZONE's for our safety and to protect the endangered sturgeon.

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Old 08-21-2007, 03:32 PM
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That is awesome what a cool looking fish!
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:44 PM
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Great fish, Jim.

"My Biggest worry is that when I'm dead and gone, my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it." - Koos Brandt
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:05 PM
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Sturgeon sightings

Not sure if it's the same beast but I've been seeing sturgeon jumping in the Scarborough River in Maine for a few years now. Truly an incredible animal.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:12 PM
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Thats crazy. I fish the Mac often I can't imagine seeing a purpose or a sturgeon there!
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:21 PM
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awesome story. thank god you guys saw what it was, otherwise you would have spent your days thinking you lost the next world record striper!!

Nice job!!
you'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:45 PM
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Jim called me from the boat after the episode, and made me try to guess what it was. Tuna? NOPE!Huge bass? NOPE! A freaking mermaid? NOPE! A GIANT STURGEON, LIKE SIX FEET LONG AND BETTER THAN A HUNDRED POUNDS! I almost fell out of my chair at work. I'd always heard of them, but had never seen one. Jeff goes and hooks a monster his first day fishing! Hilarious, and wonderful stuff Jim. Awesome job guys.

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Old 08-21-2007, 06:29 PM
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capemike88 capemike88 is offline
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Awsome job guys, not many people can claim to have landed a sturgon in the Mac, especially not in the mouth! I've seen 3-4 of them jump earlier in the year, anywheres from 3-5ft, heard of bigger ones though.

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