Former Capitals goaltender Pete Peeters and friend Jake Driedger took turns reeling in the fish. The former goalie played 13 seasons in the NHL for the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, and four seasons with the Washington Capitals.
Peeters and Driedger combined to catch what the Sturgeon Slayers guide service is calling “the biggest white sturgeon landed in the world.” The fish’s fork-length was a B.C. record: 352 cm (or 11 feet, six inches). Its girth was 141 cm (55 inches) and was estimated to weigh 890 pounds.
“I couldn’t fathom how big these fish were,” Peeters said from his home in Alberta. “Even when the fish came up, it was hard to believe.”
The retired goalie lives in, yes, Sturgeon County, just north of Edmonton. A remarkable coincidence, though Peeters notes the area is better known for trout fishing.
Also on the boat were Jake Driedger, who traded off on the rod with Peeters to reel in the giant, as well as Barry and Bryant Bowtell. All four men are from Alberta.
According to the Vancouver Sun, all week, Pete Peeters had been joking to his fishing guide that he had made people famous.
Lemieux scored his first NHL goal on Peeters, while Gretzky scored goals 46, 47, 48 and 49 in his 39th game of the 1981-82 season, when Peeters was a Philadelphia Flyer. The Great One scored goal No. 50 in the same game — setting a record that is likely never to be matched — but into an empty net.
“And then he said, ‘Now I’ve made you famous,’” Kevin Estrada explained with a laugh this week.
Estrada is a fishing guide — Sturgeon Slayers is his company — and earlier this month had Peeters and a group of friends out on the Fraser River, north of Chilliwack, when the group snagged something special: A sturgeon bigger than anything that’s been measured in modern history.
By Jon Sorensen