I once caught a fish . . . This Big!

This was the biggest fish I have ever caught . . .  This picture was taken after 45 minutes of westling with what felt like an underwater horse.

While fishing with my cousin up on the mighty snake river near Twin Falls Idaho, we caught a Sturgeon. A member of the shark family, they are bottom feeders that look alot like a cross between a catfish and a shark.  They get pretty big and as you can see, the one we caught was between 7 and 8 feet long.  Because they are members of the shark family, you can’t take them out of the water since their bodies are not made to be out of the water their body wieght  will suffocate them if you take them out (plus, its Idaho law that you can’t take them out).  

You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with food and cooking and why are Sturgeon (which are normally ocean dwellers) in a freshwater river?”  Well, here is the answer to both.

As far as food goes, does anyone know where we get caviar from?  If you guessed Sturgeon, then you are right.  Which is yet another reason that we don’t want to harm them by taking them out of the water.

What is this ocean fish doing in the middle of Idaho?  Answer, living it up on the baby salmon that we fishmen use to catch them.  Years ago, the Snake River went all the way out to the ocean, which allowed the Sturgeon to swim up the river into Idaho.  When the dams began to be put in, the Sturgeon became trapped and have thrived in the Snake River ever since.

So the next time you go to a sushi bar and see some of those orange fish eggs, you now have an idea about how they may have gotten there and who/what they came from.

About the author, Shawn

Chef Shawn has worked in almost every segment of the foodservice industry. He holds business degrees and certificates in Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Accounting and Professional Sales. He is Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) through The American Culinary Federation. A Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) through the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is the author of The First Timer’s Cookbook and The First Timer’s Bakebook. His work has been recognized nationwide as well as being a regular contributor to numerous food service publications and outlets and is the recipient of numerous awards-most recently the 2015 Culinary Educator of the Year through the local American Culinary Federation’s chapter-Beehive State Chef’s Association.

He the owner of multiple food service businesses and currently the host of the Business Chef Podcast.


  1. sumousister on 06/15/2009 at 9:27 PM

    wow! in idaho? i better get my husband to go! did you make sushi or sashimi out of it? maybe not sashimi if the fish was in the fresh water for so long… anyhow, wow. we live right by the snake river so we gotta go look for one! dang, good job!

  2. Nyron on 10/09/2009 at 12:42 AM

    Hey guys. I hope that is not a toy that you have in the water cause I went fishing like 3 times and i did not even catch my own bait..lol… What is the best bait for catfish?

    P.S Nice catch

  3. Vladimir on 03/30/2010 at 3:15 PM

    I remember last time I ate the sturgeon was in Ukraine…
    It’s amazing how this fish has no bones, even the center spine is soft.

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