Watch Minnesota Man Pull Record Fish Out of a Frozen River

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: May 30, 2023
© Stenko Vlad/
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Do you want to see the exact moment when a record got broken? This fishing adventure takes place through 24 inches of ice. The fish is on the end of the line which is a good start but the fish is big and the hole is small! This presents the logistical problem of how they are going to get hold of it. As the video at the bottom of this page shows, it was not easy!

Ice Fishing in Minnesota

The guys in this video are ice fishing on the St. Croix River near Bayport, Minnesota. They explain that they had been on the ice for three hours with no success and then they get a blip on the sonar and they suddenly get one mark. Sonar devices work by sending sonar rays into the water and when an object (hopefully a fish) gets in the way of the wave, it sends a reading back to the unit.

Despite changing angles and even putting his hands in the water, the fisherman just cannot get the fish to the surface. It seems to be hiding out in a groove underneath the ice. Then, bubbles start to appear in the second hole and finally, we get a view of the fish that is clearly much too large to fit up the hole!

A bridge is dug to join two holes and re-enforcement hole diggers arrive and eventually a 120-pound sturgeon is hauled onto the ice.

Ice fishing hole
Ice fishing requires a hole big enough to retrieve the fish!


Record-Breaking Catch in the St. Croix River

It’s one thing to read about record-breaking fish but it’s a privilege to actually see one being caught. If you check out the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources State record fish programs web page you can see the details of this fish alongside the records for other species including flathead catfish.

 It records under the details for Lake Sturgeon that this fish was 78 inches long with a girth of 29.5 inches and that it was caught in the St. Croix River in the county of Washington by Darren Troseth. The department issued a press release and the event was widely reported by news outlets.

Lake sturgeon are found in freshwater rivers and lakes with pebbly bottoms. They are remarkable fish that can live for over 150 years and have a striking, prehistoric appearance. They feed on worms, insect larvae, leeches, mollusks, and amphipods but have no teeth. Even so, this fisherman was very brave to put his hands in the water with this giant!

Where is St. Croix River Located on a Map?

Stretching across northeastern North America, the St. Croix River meanders for 71 miles, serving as a natural border between Maine in the United States and New Brunswick in Canada. Originating from the Chiputneticook Lakes, this picturesque river gracefully flows south and southeast, carving a scenic path between the towns of Calais and St. Stephen.

Here is St. Croix River on a map:

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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