Fishermen Risk Death to Catch 100-Pound Fish From Frozen Lakes

the daily dish More on PawNation: Awesome, Fish and Marine, Fishermen, Sturgeon
The sturgeon-spearing season lasts a maximum of 16 days each year, but during that time, enthusiastic fishermen travel to the Midwest from all over the world in order to risk their lives hunting the fish, according to the Daily Mail U.K.



The process of spearing the fish, which can weigh up to 100 pounds, is difficult. Fishermen drive to the middle of frozen lakes and use chainsaws to cut holes through the 18-inch-deep ice. Every year, some fishermen die when the treacherous ice collapses and they fall into water temperatures of -14 degrees Fahrenheit. The sport is dangerous, in spite of the heavy regulations imposed on it. For example:

- Very few licenses are issued.
- Fishing is allowed only on a few lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin.
- Only fish longer than 3 feet may be caught.
- The holes cut into the ice must conform to strict size guidelines.
- The only lure allowed is a decoy - no bait.
- Fishermen are allowed to catch only one sturgeon each.
- Each caught sturgeon must be registered.
- The 16-day season is cut short if a maximum quota of sturgeon are caught.

Once a hole is cut, the fishermen place an ice shack over it both to mark its location and improve visibility into the water. Inside their shacks, they wait patiently with fishing spears at the ready. The fishermen then lower a decoy into the water. This not only helps attract sturgeon, but allows the fishermen to estimate the relative size of a potential catch, keeping in mind the strict size regulations on legal catches.

The spears used are long wooden poles with detachable heads. If a sturgeon is speared, the head of the spear breaks off and an attached line allows the fisherman to bring in his catch.

Sturgeon fishing may be difficult, but those who are successful at it - and who manage to walk away with their lives - can claim a very rare prize indeed.

"SEA MONSTER" IS REALLY A STURGEON + MORE ANIMAL MUTANTS:

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