It's been years since I've been fishing, but I truly enjoy it. Not so much the actual act, but just being out on a boat, away from everything, with a basket of sandwiches and drinks, a little breeze, the sound of lapping waves.....and NO INTERNET. Just the peace and tranquility is what's enjoyable to me.

And yeah, it's a thrill when you finally get a fish on the hook and reel it in, no doubt about that. The biggest one I ever caught was about eighteen inches. That was some decades ago when I went out fishing with one of my bosses. He wanted to show off and catch a big fish – or at least more than me. Out of four people, I was the only one who caught a fish that day. He never asked me to go fishing again.

On to the crux of this article. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources notes that there are 154 documented species of fish throughout the state. The one largest fish ever caught in our state took place in 1974 and so far, the record has not been beaten. It was a lake sturgeon, landed by Joe Maka Jr. in Mullett Lake, Cheboygan County. This mammoth was 193 pounds and 88 inches long...and it was obviously not an easy catch. It was made even harder because it took place in wintertime, and he used a spear. Luckily, the hole Joe cut in the ice was big enough to drag the sturgeon up and out.

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What makes lake sturgeons so special is that they are believed to have survived the dinosaur age – meaning they have been around approximately 135 million years ago. They feed on the lake bottom with males living around 55 years and the females 150+ years.

Yes, there have been larger lake sturgeons caught elsewhere, as you will see in the photo gallery below, but Joe's catch is the largest in Michigan. Chances are there are even larger sturgeons in one of our lakes, but so far, Joe's record still holds...

You can see a couple of photos of Joe with his record catch HERE.
Joe passed away in the summer of 2018.

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