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Greg Poulsen of Utah is a longtime outdoors enthusiast, regularly hunting and fishing for trout and catfish in his home state. It seems unfair to suggest that landing a massive state record fish would constitute “beginner’s luck” for someone who has spent so much time on the water, but Poulsen himself agrees that his recent fortunes were just that.
“It was 100% beginner’s luck on this,” Poulsen said. “It was so crazy…”
Poulsen’s enthusiasm and sincerity comes, in part, due to the fact that his catch – a monstrous 10-feet, 4-inch white sturgeon caught on Idaho’s C.J. Strike Reservoir – was landed during the angler’s first attempt at fishing for the notoriously large species.
Poulsen’s wife had booked an August 5th fishing trip for the couple and two friends with Brett Jones of Jones Sport Fishing and the turnout that day surprised everyone… including Jones!
A Perfect Day on the Water
If catching a state record on your first foray into fishing for a species isn’t enough, Poulsen’s crew managed to pull off the type of day that most anglers could only dream of having.
Not only did Poulsen land a 124-inch white sturgeon – a fish that comfortably surpassed the previous Idaho state record of 119.5 inches caught by Rusty Peterson in 2019 – but his party also pulled in several more fish that would have been worth the price of the trip alone.
Poulsen’s state record was the third sturgeon caught that day, but his party also landed another whopper that was 9-feet, 7-inches, falling just 4 1/2 inches shy of the previous state record.
They also hauled in an additional 9-plus footer, two 8-plus footers, and a kicker measuring over 7 feet.
If a 7-footer is your small fish of the day, that’s pretty stellar.
Size Matters and Matters of Size
Idaho Fish and Game requires that any qualifying white sturgeon state record meet several criteria:
- The fish must be legally caught-and-released
- The fish must not be removed from the water while being measured
As such, Poulsen was unable to record a weight for his massive catch, which is commonplace with the species.
For comparison, however, the current IGFA world record white sturgeon measured 9-feet, 6-inches long and weighed 468 pounds. This fish was caught in 1983 by Joey Pallotta in Benicia, California.
Because of increased regulation in white sturgeon fishing, Pallotta’s weight record would likely have been broken numerous times since then if weights were allowed to be recorded. Given the 10-inch discrepancy between Pallotta’s 1983 catch and Poulsen’s, it is also very possible that his fish outweighed the current world record by a comfortable margin.
When it comes to length, however, Poulsen’s monster still falls a full two feet shy of the largest white sturgeon on record – a 12-feet, 4-inch mammoth caught on British Columbia’s Fraser River in 2012 that is estimated to have weighed as much as 1,100 pounds!
Getting a Replica
Poulsen also noted that his kids want him to get a replica mount of his enormous white sturgeon. While replicas of crappie, bass, and walleye are fairly commonplace now in a catch-and-release world, it can be a bit more challenging to get a mount of a fish longer than the walls in some rooms.
With the attention his catch is sure to receive, then, Poulsen has expressed interest in linking up with someone who could potentially take on the task of creating a quality replica.
If you know of someone up for the challenge, please have them reach out to us on the Premier Angler Facebook page and we will pass the information along to Poulsen.