RMR: Rick Goes Sturgeon Fishing with Rick Hansen
(cheering and applause) (upbeat music) Welcome to Mission, B.C., on the banks of the mighty
Fraser River. Today I’m going
to catch, tag, and release one of Canada’s most
impressive creatures. I’m referring of course
to the man in motion, Mr. Rick Hansen.
Hello, Rick. How are you? Great, Rick. How are you? Thank you
for having me here. What are we doing today? Well, we’re going
Sturgeon fishing. This is your passion. This is it, man. Fishing for dinosaurs. Absolutely. It’s going
to be a lot of fun. The last time we were together
on television, we went bungee jumping. But you wanted to go
Sturgeon fishing. That’s right.
Yeah. Absolutely. I was negotiating. And I said, no, no,
let’s go bungee. (♪♪) Whoa! (♪♪)Rick, how are you?Hey, I can’t
feel my legs. (laughter) (♪♪) And then I clip it on
to the wheelchair like this. Clip it on like that. Is this the kind of thing
that you would like to see on every dock? Yeah, there’s no question. As we continue to create
accessibility for people with disabilities, why shouldn’t
they continue to boat and be involved
in all kinds of great recreational activities. Uh-oh. (Laughter) He’s got the control. Hang on, hang on,
I’ll figure it out. Oh, jeez.
Are you all right? (laughter) Rick Mercer
out of control. Sorry.
Never give me that again. (♪♪) There’s just a little sill.
There’s no step down, so I can wheel straight
in here like this. It’s just right in,
get my feet up here, and just swing right up into
the seat, and we have ignition. (♪♪) I grew up in Abbotsford which is
on that side of the river, and I ended up going down a
creek trying to get bigger trout and eventually came
to the river and thought, oh, there must be really
big trout there, and instead a huge Sturgeon
jumped in front of me, and I was just blown away
by this prehistoric creature and then eventually I caught
a 3-foot Sturgeon. What’s the biggest
Sturgeon you’ve caught? The biggest Sturgeon
that I’ve ever caught is about 8-and-a-half
feet long from the end of the nose
to the V in the tail. (Laughter) We won’t see
something like that today. You never know. By the way. Back it up.
We’re just using rod and reel. Is that what we’re using? Yeah. Rod, reel, and some really
good quality bait. This is Salmon roe. Salmon roe.
And specifically chum Salmon roe because that’s what’s in
the river right now. Do a gentle cast. Gentle and with control. And I don’t want
to go across that line. That’s okay.
Don’t worry about that. (♪♪) (Laughter) Oh, oh. Shoot. This is what you call,
you know, a guy who doesn’t listen. (Laughter) Good job. Nice cast. (♪♪) When I went fishing
with Bob Rae and we didn’t
catch any fish, we had to take off our clothes
and jump in the water. Well, then — I’m just telling you. Then the first fish
that bites, I get it. Okay. Should I set it? Yeah. Hit it. Set it? Hit it. Okay. Reel down.
Hit it again. There you go.
You got him, buddy. Good job. Oh my God, fish on. Nice and smooth. Good job. Looking good.
(RICK HOOTS) How much line
is out there? The fish is coming
closer now. It’s about 10 feet below. There you go. Beautiful. Nice fish. -Look at that.
-Look at that. Jeez, he’s lively, eh? Your very first Sturgeon. My very first Sturgeon. Hello, little guy. What are these? Like, if I rubbed my hand on
this fish, I would cut myself. Oh, for sure. These are scutes, bony plates
that protect the Sturgeon from predators. And going up against the grain,
they’re like razor blades, and they just shred — So going this way is fine. Yeah. But going this way
would be like a razor. If someone was coming up
trying to grab it, it would get all cut up and say,
oh, I don’t like that. It’s like
the Klingon of fish. This is a pit tag. And what information
is in there? It has an embedded ten-digit
unique alphanumeric code. If someone catches
this Sturgeon, this tag will tell them
the age of the fish, when it was caught last. In a hundred years — If you want any more
information than that, it has to accept
your friend request. (Laughter) Like that.
And there you go. That fish has now
been tagged. Does a gentlemen dress
to the left or the right. 110 centimetres. Awesome. I literally caught
a fish this big. Like when people say, oh,
I caught a fish this big, I literally caught
a fish this big. (♪♪) Talk to me about
the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society. You know,
it’s a society that — You actually were
one of the founders. That’s right. I was one
of the founding members that helped start that
organization in response to a major
catastrophic event. For two years in a row, ’93,
’94, there was a big die-off of huge mature female fish
from 8 to 15 feet long. So when you’re not out there
promoting accessibility around the world,
you’re saving a species. It’s important to me. You know, fishing has been
a big part of my life, and you have to put back as much
or more than what you take out. Watch. He’s going to jump.
Ready? Whoa! There we go. Now I got him. Do you need
my assistance? Do you need any advice? Look at this one. There we go. Nice, nice, nice. Nice job there, Rick. We got the number. Perfect. All right. I will do this. Okay. Pull it out. There you go. It’s going to be just
likeThe Bourne Identity.You won’t remember a thing. (Laughter) Fish on. Fish on. Reel it in, man. Fish on. Come on, Rick. (♪♪) Whoa! Listen
to that line bend. (Laughter) (line creaking) That is a big fish
going the other way. Do I just let him go? Yeah. You can’t
do anything about it. If you really want some fun,
we can bring out the water skis. (Laughter) Come on, fishy. Man versus prehistoric beast. Stay focused. Maybe this will be
an hour-long special. 80 per cent of the fish
are lost in the last 20 per cent
of the battle. Really? This can still
get away from me now? How far do you
think he is? He’s come in
about 2 feet so far. He’s come in 2 feet? I’m just kidding. Here he is. Oh, that’s a nice fish. Holy! Look at that.
Come along, little Sturgeon. Time to measure my monster.
Here we go. Come along. Oh, no. My arms
don’t stretch that far. 4-and-a-half feet,
just like me. I always said you hit
above your weight, buddy. Thanks for having me. Great having you. Cheese. (♪♪) (cheering and applause)