When Charles Gagnon-Brassard drilled a hole for ice fishing Saturday, never in his wildest dreams could he have ever imagined what he eventually caught through the ice.
In one of the more impressive ice fishing catches anywhere, Gagnon-Brassard landed an estimated 150-pound Atlantic halibut, clearly a fish of a lifetime.
They don't usually catch fish like this where Gagnon-Brassard was ice fishing, which was on Baie des Ha! Ha!, a big, frozen cove off the Saguenay River north of Quebec City in Quebec, Canada.
“We are used to catching fish that are a maximum 10 to 12 pounds,” Gagnon-Brassard told CBC News Montreal. “So once it passes 50, 60, 70 pounds, the force is unimaginable.”
Gagnon-Brassard battled the monster halibut for 2 hours, 15 minutes. Five times he reeled the fish to the hole in the ice only to have the halibut take a deep dive until finally wearing out.
Presumably, his ice fishing buddies made the hole bigger to enable them to pull the halibut through the hole and onto the ice where Gagnon-Brassard posed for photos. He then returned the halibut to the water.
“I couldn't keep it,” he told CBC News. “I found it beautiful. Leaving it in the water was just normal.”
News of the ice fishing catch spread throughout the region, as this was hardly an average catch for the area. In fact, locals were calling it a record for the "Saguenay Fjord."
As a result, local outfitters are getting swamped with calls from fishermen who want to be the next to catch such a halibut.
“This is very big for us,” Rémi Aubin, who runs a nearby tackle shop, told CBC News. “We have never seen that here. The word spread, fishermen are dreaming about it. It's a great fishing tale.”
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