We see a pretty good bit of fishermen reel in massive halibuts throughout the year.
But catching them while ice fishing?
That’s a whole different story.
With that being said, Quebec fishermen Denis Lavergne, Stephane Rivard, and Jean-Francois Simard found themselves hoisting a HUGE halibut that they caught while ice fishing.
According to Field & Stream, recreational Atlantic halibut fishing is prohibited in Quebec, but the provincial government created a program that teams recreational anglers with government scientists. So, whenever they catch a halibut, they must submit their catch to scientists, who record biological data on the fish.
Simard, who is a wildlife technician for the Quebec government, says the Saguenay Fjord is an immaculate place for fishing.
He told the outlet:
“The Saguenay Fjord is a unique and very special ecosystem. The main species caught here are redfish, Atlantic cod, and Atlantic halibut.
A layer of freshwater flows over the saltwater, which provides us with a solid, safe covering of ice in winter, allowing us to fish for saltwater fish at depth.
This glacial valley has very steep walls and a depth that can reach slightly more than 800 feet.”
When they arrived, it took two hours for them to feel something big take the bait, and they initially thought it was a large cod. That’s when they realized they had to widen the ice fishing hole in order to get it out.
“When we saw the fish in the hole for the first time, our stress and adrenaline levels reached their peak. We managed to hook it a first time with a gaff, but it broke free from the gaff and dove about 50 feet below the surface of the ice.
Given the size of the fish, we widened our hole a second time to make it easier to pull it out…The final moment came soon after and I had the honor of hooking the fish with the gaff the second time. I must admit that I still get goosebumps when I remember the moment I felt the fish struggling in my hands.”
Once they got the fish out, they realized they had a monster halibut on their hands. Once they weighed it on a certified scale, it came in at 112 pounds.
“From the moment the fish was hoisted onto the ice, it was total euphoria. We were running on adrenaline and were all very proud of accomplishing this feat. We were also in awe of this enormous fish.
And we felt honored to be able to have had such an experience so close to home and surrounded by the beauty of the Saguenay Fjord mountains. As a team, we caught the fish of a lifetime, and we know that this memory will stay with us forever.”
I’d say it was a successful trip.
Check it out: