You never know what legends lurk beneath the waters.
It’s the same timeless intrigue that’s lured fishermen for centuries: What fresh mysteries will they pull from the depths?
Or in the case of two anglers in British Columbia, Canada, the not-so-depths.
Francis Mai, owner of Rod Tuggerz Fishing Adventures and fervent chaser of marine legends, was fishing the waters of the Fraser River with a friend, when he snared something truly special.
“It fought really strong,” Mai tells IHeartAnimals. “It fought bigger than it was.”
It turns out what the pair caught was a sturgeon — a freshwater behemoth that can weigh as much as 400 pounds. But this fish’s claim to fame wasn’t so much size, but sheen.
The fish was covered in vibrant golden scales.
“Even when she got it up to the boat, I noticed a weird color and never thought anything of it,” Mai explains. “And we went to shore and when we saw the fish at the shore we looked at it and thought, ‘What the f$#?”
“Most sturgeons have an olive light colour on its head plate sometimes and a little bit around it’s scales but it’s very faint,” he adds. “But with this one … it is just full of color on the head plates, a very rich color. The whole time we were handling it and taking photos and saying, it is the weirdest thing we’ve ever seen.”
Marine experts from the Vancouver Aquarium were stumped, offering only speculation on how this majestic fish came to be.
“We have had gold-coloured salmon here in the past from a hatchery on Vancouver Island and seen other species that had more gold colouration than normal so it might be something like that,” the museum’s curator of BC Waters Danny Kent told Global News.
But this fish was nearly 6-feet of radiant gold.
“My dad and brother have been fishing sturgeons since I was six years old and I started going with them since I was eight,” Mai says. ” It’s been 24 years for me fishing for these and you get a lot of fishing guys saying they fished for a long time and never heard about anything like this.”
The mystery of the gold sturgeon will likely elude explanation for now. The anglers returned this enigma wrapped in gold to the Fraser River — ensuring that this legend will be a bright and shiny lure for fishing folk to come.
Watch a of this majestic fish below:
Here is another look at this rare #GoldenSturgeon we met today. Soooooo amazing !! www.RodTuggerz.com – #RodTuggerzFishingAdventures #FraserRiver #SturgeonFishing #LangleyFresh #ShareChilliwack #TourismBC #Tightlines #ExploreBC #Sturgeon #GoFishBC #Outdoors360 #guidelife #beast #droneshot #oneofakind #sundayfunday #raredino #tourismchilliwack #tightlines #bentrods #beautifulbc #Anglers #sturgeon #raresturgeon #onceinslifetimefish