A big fish tale

Valley woman reels in 70-inch sturgeion from St. Croix River

Danielle Pettee smiles with her 70-inch sturgeon while her son, Elijah, flashes a thumbs-up at the camera.
Danielle Pettee smiles with her 70-inch sturgeon while her son, Elijah, flashes a thumbs-up at the camera.

When Danielle Pettee of Stillwater was ice-fishing on the St. Croix River Feb. 8 with her son and boyfriend she didn’t expect anything different than catching some catfish and what she got was a sturgeon surprise.

“As soon as I caught it I thought it was going to be big,” Pettee said. “When it finally came out of the ice I thought it was a shark or something.”

No stranger to fishing, Pettee and her boyfriend Troy Simonson spend a lot of their free time fishing. But the 70-inch long and 29.5-inch around sturgeon is the largest fish Pettee ever caught. It took her 24 minutes to reel the fish in.

021513_pettee-fish-2
Pettee’s rod bends as she reels in her fish. (submitted photo)

“It was really strange, I usually only catch sturgeon at night but here it was in the middle of the afternoon. Squeezing through a 10-inch hole and it just kept coming.” Pettee said.

To reel in the sturgeon, Pettee used her boyfriend’s equipment with cut bait and a 20-inch Ugly Stick light rod. Since sturgeon are not in season, she let the fish go, which isn’t unusual for her since she doesn’t eat fish. But the experience was a highlight for Pettee and her five-year-old son, Elijah, as well.

“He just had a blast with it,” Pettee said. “He took in the pictures to show and tell today (Thursday) to show all his friends.”