The Idaho Statesman posted an article on January 9th 2017 of a man in Parma Idaho who has a private pond stocked full of sturgeon and other fish. After reading the article and watching the video on the post, I knew that I had to take advantage of the opportunity! From my home, Parma is close to a 6 hour drive across the state. My buddy Lucas from work, who showed me the Idaho Statesman article told me that he wanted to go and that we could made a day trip out of it if we were dedicated enough. We decided to plan on our next day off work to make the 6 hour drive, fish for 9 hours, and then drive back. As crazy as that sounded to me, I am always focused on being with my family and being home with my kids, so I was all for making the sacrifice of sleep to make this trip a reality without being gone from my family any more than I had to be.
When January 16th arrived, my alarm sounded off at 2:00 AM.... I gathered my things and hit the road to my buddy Lucas' house. When I arrived, we packed my gear into his vehicle and we headed toward Parma with high hopes of landing a fish we never thought would be a possibility for through the ice. After the 5+ hour drive we arrived at the Poor Fish Ranch owned by Jim Schwartz. Jim set us up with bait, tackle (including barbless hooks of course), and all of the info we needed to be successful on his pond. We talked about how sturgeon have no bones or teeth and how we need to be super careful as far as how we handled them. We had to drill at least 4 holes which all connected to each other in order to have a hole large enough to get the fish through the ice.
As we started fishing, it wasn't long before we had a bite or two. The Sturgeon were lightly biting and we had to be paying attention or they would just suck the bait off the hook and move on. It wasn't long before we had our first sturgeon on the ice! Lucas' kids pulled a few smaller (20"+) sturgeon in, and then one of his sons ended up hooking a pretty good one! The fight lasted a good 8 minutes before we were able to pull a nice 3+ footer through the ice.
As angry as I could have been that I didn't land that big fish, the fight I had was by far the most epic battle I have ever had on the ice. I was still smiling ear to ear with the fact that I got a glimpse of how big this fish was, was truly amazing. Everyone in my fishing party kept fishing as we were all on a high and a low from the recent events. Shortly after we began fishing again, we started getting a few more fish on the ice. Throughout the day, we all had battles that would make lasting impressions on our minds. We all pulled in fish that were very large, much bigger than any other fish we have pulled through an ice hole. We also lost a few fish that came unhooked or just came off at the tip of the ice that were absolute monsters! Throughout the day the 5 that were in our party ended up catching around 30 sturgeon + or - a few.