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  1. #16
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    Interesting story, I caught a 7 fter in the 80,s that I kept after a 3+ hour fight on 15 lb line. It had a half a 5 gal bucket of roe. At that time...I was a teen I thought it was wrong. But in the moment landing a huge fish was ok.
    Since then iv never kept a pregnant female
    Last edited by broken bonz; 10-20-2019 at 06:13 PM.

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  3. #15
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    Quote Originally Posted by FishinSturgeon View Post
    Hey Cappy, who was your brother? I have some old ties to Crockett and the fishermen. I also was close to Johnny Severa the "real sturgeon king" Joey also worked for him. Would love to tough bases with you and see what connections we have.
    Hi, my grandfather is John Severa, everyone called Johnny. Fished for many years there in Crockett and yes, I have a copy of an article from I believe Field & Stream magazine calling him "Sturgeon King." Thank you for remembering him that way.

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  5. #14
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    Quote Originally Posted by 193B3A312D36353327540
    Joey was my brothers deckhand back in "83.He worked aboard the old Skip A Lou that ran out of Crockett marina. He took the day off and went fishing with his girlfriend. Back then, Sturgeon fishing was a 365 day thing...and at that time of year, the hot spot then was the deep water off Benicia. Joey fished a 55 foot spot just a little upstream of the Benicia 9th street ramp. There are deeper spots, but Joey didn't exactly carry enough anchor rope so 55 was as deep as he could get.
    It was July, and sturgeon fishing was as good as any day we have in January now days.
    Anyhow, late in the afternoon , just about at the top of the tide, Joey hooked the big fish. Joeys reel was an old Diawa Sea line filled with 50 pound test mono. His leader was a 60 pound test 6/0 double hook Kahle rig...that rig was common on all the Crockett boats during those years.
    And bait...nothing special then...it was Just Plain Shrimp.
    The fish pretty much spooled him...and it didn't take long before he got help from a good friend in a larger boat
    It wasn't a long fight..maybe two hours..it got dicey when Joey got along side the larger boat.
    ( Joeys Girl friend was a beautiful girl...but absolutely no help when it came time to actually land the fish.)
    As for landing...the big female was exhausted. They lassoed the fish and towed it all the way back to Crockett marina.
    Then the story gets very interesting. Joe's first call was to my Brother.....can you open the shop so we can weigh the fish?...yeah yeah Joey..sure..just how big is this fish?
    Turns out there wasn't any scale around that didn't bottom out when the fish was dragged on to it. and after more than a couple beers, they damm near cut the fish in half to weigh both ends.
    Big Sturgeon were common down at that marina. And truthfully, the people that saw the fish said "nice fish" but I really don't think anyone thought the fish weighed that much. We all figured maybe 300..maybe alittle more..but not 468.
    Joey and Patric finally got word of a large scale down at the Richmond train depot....it took every one at the shop just to get it into the pickup..and off they went.
    They did get a "certified scale" they got 468 pound read.
    I don't know who had the presence of mind, but some how they got proper paper work and just enough witnesses to make the fish legit.
    Then the call went out to the DFG. You can imagine the skepticism on the DFG part..so much so, that no game warden ever showed up to look at the fish. It was only when the fishes picture went up on the CC times newspaper that they got interested.
    From what I remember, I still don't recall any F and G person that actually came up and personally looked at the big fish.
    One group that really got interested was animal rights folk...and then things got ugly. Joey went into hiding. The newspaper was full of people wanting Joey hung up with his "poor fish"..One well known Columnist said the spectacle of the fish picture and crowd was like a "public hanging".
    4 day passed and the fish stayed whole in the Marina Restaurant walk in cooler. and after 4 days they had to do something with it. I don't have to tell you how ugly 468 pounds of dead fish looks like.
    Joe was still hiding when he decided to try to have the fish mounted. He contacted a taxidermist in Hayward.
    It would be a chance to mount a record fish.
    The fish was ugly by then..and it got uglier. The fishes roe
    35 pounds went to waste, they did manage a few steaks
    ( yuck for sure ) and for all that was said and done..Joe went on to become a skipper for a few years..and then disappeared from fishing. fame caught up to him and things never were good.
    He now lives very quietly in Crockett...the original fish is on the wall at the museum.
    Don't mention this fish in Oregon..much larger fish are caught there. California was the last State to have fish of any length kept...so that big fish was the only one that according to "official IGFA rule" could qualify. Joeys fish record is all tackle and unless rules change, it will be the "world record fish"
    In the 1970's there were four other documented fish over 400 pound caught in the upper Sacramento river and bay system....the largest being 429# caught in the Feather river area.
    July 7th 1983 still seems like yesterday.....
    Be careful what you wish for
    Hey Cappy, who was your brother? I have some old ties to Crockett and the fishermen. I also was close to Johnny Severa the "real sturgeon king" Joey also worked for him. Would love to tough bases with you and see what connections we have.

  6. #13
    Senior Member hotdog's Avatar
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E151B031312195C0
    aren't able to catch a fish and keep it until the DFG arrived to take a report on it?*
    Joey's fish was sport caught and thus he holds the record.
    Much larger fish have been taken by other means. There was a 15'er caught in the Yuba River prior to the construction of the dams. The picture of it, under the Simpson Lane Bridge, used to hang in a barber shop in Marysville that my dad took me to as a kid. I've heard they used to haul monsters out of the Fraser River with the use of horses and heavy line.


  7. #12
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    Joey was my brothers deckhand back in "83.He worked aboard the old Skip A Lou that ran out of Crockett marina. He took the day off and went fishing with his girlfriend. Back then, Sturgeon fishing was a 365 day thing...and at that time of year, the hot spot then was the deep water off Benicia. Joey fished a 55 foot spot just a little upstream of the Benicia 9th street ramp. There are deeper spots, but Joey didn't exactly carry enough anchor rope so 55 was as deep as he could get.
    It was July, and sturgeon fishing was as good as any day we have in January now days.
    Anyhow, late in the afternoon , just about at the top of the tide, Joey hooked the big fish. Joeys reel was an old Diawa Sea line filled with 50 pound test mono. His leader was a 60 pound test 6/0 double hook Kahle rig...that rig was common on all the Crockett boats during those years.
    And bait...nothing special then...it was Just Plain Shrimp.
    The fish pretty much spooled him...and it didn't take long before he got help from a good friend in a larger boat
    It wasn't a long fight..maybe two hours..it got dicey when Joey got along side the larger boat.
    ( Joeys Girl friend was a beautiful girl...but absolutely no help when it came time to actually land the fish.)
    As for landing...the big female was exhausted. They lassoed the fish and towed it all the way back to Crockett marina.
    Then the story gets very interesting. Joe's first call was to my Brother.....can you open the shop so we can weigh the fish?...yeah yeah Joey..sure..just how big is this fish?
    Turns out there wasn't any scale around that didn't bottom out when the fish was dragged on to it. and after more than a couple beers, they damm near cut the fish in half to weigh both ends.
    Big Sturgeon were common down at that marina. And truthfully, the people that saw the fish said "nice fish" but I really don't think anyone thought the fish weighed that much. We all figured maybe 300..maybe alittle more..but not 468.
    Joey and Patric finally got word of a large scale down at the Richmond train depot....it took every one at the shop just to get it into the pickup..and off they went.
    They did get a "certified scale" they got 468 pound read.
    I don't know who had the presence of mind, but some how they got proper paper work and just enough witnesses to make the fish legit.
    Then the call went out to the DFG. You can imagine the skepticism on the DFG part..so much so, that no game warden ever showed up to look at the fish. It was only when the fishes picture went up on the CC times newspaper that they got interested.
    From what I remember, I still don't recall any F and G person that actually came up and personally looked at the big fish.
    One group that really got interested was animal rights folk...and then things got ugly. Joey went into hiding. The newspaper was full of people wanting Joey hung up with his "poor fish"..One well known Columnist said the spectacle of the fish picture and crowd was like a "public hanging".
    4 day passed and the fish stayed whole in the Marina Restaurant walk in cooler. and after 4 days they had to do something with it. I don't have to tell you how ugly 468 pounds of dead fish looks like.
    Joe was still hiding when he decided to try to have the fish mounted. He contacted a taxidermist in Hayward.
    It would be a chance to mount a record fish.
    The fish was ugly by then..and it got uglier. The fishes roe
    35 pounds went to waste, they did manage a few steaks
    ( yuck for sure ) and for all that was said and done..Joe went on to become a skipper for a few years..and then disappeared from fishing. fame caught up to him and things never were good.
    He now lives very quietly in Crockett...the original fish is on the wall at the museum.
    Don't mention this fish in Oregon..much larger fish are caught there. California was the last State to have fish of any length kept...so that big fish was the only one that according to "official IGFA rule" could qualify. Joeys fish record is all tackle and unless rules change, it will be the "world record fish"
    In the 1970's there were four other documented fish over 400 pound caught in the upper Sacramento river and bay system....the largest being 429# caught in the Feather river area.
    July 7th 1983 still seems like yesterday.....
    Be careful what you wish for

  8. #11
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    I thought the world record was 20ft long? Pushing everything close to 2000lbs? I've seen pictures of 12 13 14 and 15 footers. Or maybe due to the regulation, you aren't able to catch a fish and keep it until the DFG arrived to take a report on it? :-/
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

  9. #10
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    I re did the sturgeon about 15 years ago, back then it looked like a grey torpedo. The taxidermist who mounted it was a quack. I took it apart and made a mold for Joey, we sold a reproduction to Ripely's believe it or not museam in San Francisco. Hows does it look now, can someone take a pic and send it to me? I lost touch with Joey when I moved to Utah.

    The paint job made it look a lot better than the primer grey spray paint the guy who claimed to be a taxidermist did. It was a salvage job...
    Bigriverflyrodder....

  10. #9
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    Wow. That is a great story. well how they're coming back that is. Goes to show what can happen when good people and strong efforts can do.

  11. #8
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)


  12. #7
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    Re: Crockett Historical Museum (Record Sturgeon)

    The special on National Geographic was pretty cool, next time i head to the bay i'll have to check it out. I found the actual article of the guy (Joey Pallotta). He was 21 at the time, the fish was 9'6" and weighed in at 468 lbs. It had a five foot girth and was estimated to be over 100 years old...here's the link:

    http://www.sturgeonfishing.com/images/World_Record_White_Sturgeon.png


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