19-Year-Old Tourist Catches a Giant White Sturgeon Fishing with Great River Fishing on the Fraser River

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Paul Jarvis and father, Ron Jarvis, visiting from Atlanta, Georgia, land a giant 11-foot, 10-inch white sturgeon fishing the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada.

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Ron Jarvis (L) and his 19-year-old son Paul Jarvis pose with the 11 foot 10 inch sturgeon that Paul caught in B.C.’s Fraser River canyon on June 12, 2014.

In the first few minutes I had it on the line I couldn't believe the weight and power of the fish

On Thursday, June 12, Ron and Paul Jarvis arrived in Canada from Atlanta, Georgia and began a three-day father-son sturgeon fishing trip. It was the first time 19-year-old Paul Jarvis, an avid angler, had ever fished with his dad Ron. On their first day out fishing, at 11:30 a.m., Paul Jarvis hooked into one of the largest white sturgeon ever caught on the Fraser River.

Total length of the sturgeon was 11 feet ten inches (361cm) long (that’s a fork length of 10 feet seven inches (326cm) – nose to V in tail) and 56 inches (145cm) in girth, tape measured below the pectoral fins. Although impossible to weigh fish in the river, based on a mathematic formula used in these cases, the sturgeon caught would weigh over 880 pounds.

"In the first few minutes I had it on the line I couldn’t believe the weight and power of the fish. I am a big guy and I could barely hold on to the rod let alone begin to reel the fish," explained 6’3, 250lb university sophomore Paul Jarvis. “Managing that fish became a true father and son challenge. As I battled the fish, my dad handed me water to keep hydrated and he even held on to my fighting belt and harness. When I saw that head come out of the water it was massive.”

After more than an hour-long battle, the sturgeon was brought to shore by the boat’s lead guide Dean Werk of Great River Fishing Adventures. The crew scanned the fish to find it had not been previously tagged. It was dubbed a "virgin sturgeon," an untagged white sturgeon.

Together with Ron and Paul Jarvis, the crew got in the water and measured the fish and applied a PITT tag to the left side below the head of the fish for conservation efforts.

With the sturgeon in the water, the anglers got behind it to pose for photos and videos to capture their once-in-a-lifetime catch.

How do two Atlanta guys find their way to fish in B.C. waters? Ron Jarvis explains: “When I called an American guide company on the Columbia River in Washington, I asked if you could go to one place for a trip of a lifetime. They suggested that the biggest fish were in Canada on the Fraser River. They suggested I contact Great River Fishing Adventures. I knew the trips was going to be great but never thought we’d hook a 900 pound sturgeon!”

This is the fourth giant sturgeon caught in less than two years. Two years ago, on July 2012, Great River Fishing Adventures made international news headlines when British tourists Michael and Margaret Snell caught a 12ft 4” sturgeon on the Fraser River. In September of 2012, Norm Daley of Kamloops caught an 11ft 8” sturgeon, when he had a group of 30 anglers from his Kamloops accounting firm out for a teambuilding event. Just last year, in September 2013, Neils Rasmussen from Demark, on a trip with his friends, landed himself an 11ft 2”.

Dean Werk, the owner of Great River Fishing Adventures, was on the water for all four of these record catches. "It is really exciting to see a fourth monster fish like this within such a short time period. It is proof that our conservation efforts are successful and that this is a sustainable fishery as we have seen increase in population for past 2 years."

"I was looking to make the first fishing trip with my son memorable,” says Ron Jarvis. “This fishing trip has been a great bonding experience. It’s a great Father’s Day weekend and a unique adventure we’ll never forget."

About Great River Fishing Adventures

Since 1988 Great River Fishing Adventures have been chasing sturgeon and providing first class adventures to people from around the world all year round. They have a handpicked team of guides who have over 350 years of combined fishing experience. Great River Fishing Adventures provides the opportunity and experience to fish with experts who work hard to also preserve and maintain the Great White Sturgeon and the surrounding habitat. Their passion for preserving these prehistoric fish has been the foundation of their success and motivation for the past 25 years.

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Matthew Clive
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