There was a night over 30 years ago, when a huge fish was seen floating in the shallow waters of Lake Erie near Lawrence Park.  The fish was brought to shore and it became big news back then. The father and son who found that whopper are still talking about it today.

John Madras and his son Sean were fishing on Lake Erie in the summer of 1991 when they spotted something spectacular in the water.

"We came in near the shore and all of a sudden my son yelled out, 'Dad, that's the biggest fish I ever seen,” recalls John.  

That is the beginning of one of Erie's biggest fish stories.   A story about a fish that was so big it made headlines in the newspaper the next day.   It's an exciting story even though the fish was dead.  It was floating belly-up in the water. The newspaper described the fish as a sturgeon over six feet long and weighing around 200 pounds.

"It was so large we didn't dare try to pull that fish up onto the boat,” says Sean. “We just used the boat hook, put it in the fish's mouth and my dad drove back 5 to 6 miles per hour and we just took it back to Lampe Marina."

John says it took all the strength he had to pull the fish up the marina ramp.  It did not take long for the big sturgeon to receive a lot of attention.

"The guy in the marina was so excited he called up the newspapers, the TV, and he took 45 bags of ice out of the freezer to cover the fish.  We made the front page of the newspaper. TV.  Everywhere I went, that's what people were talking about, was the fish,” says John.  

The newspaper writer gave the fish a name, 'The Madras Sturgeon.'  Father and son became kind of famous back in 1991. Sean was 17.

"I do remember the news articles and such about that and the little interview that we did at Lampe Marina that night,” says Sean. “It was kind of a special little moment."  

But what about the fish?  What ever happened to that big sturgeon?  According to a September 2000 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it was taken by the fish commission, embalmed, and put on display at the offices of the Walnut Creek Marina   It's now believed to be mounted on the wall at the State Fish Hatchery in Linesville.