Ron Grishaber's record 212 pound sturgeon on display at Lake Park Pub in Menasha, Wisconsin on Saturday, February 11, 2012. / Ron Page/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com
Bob Zuleger (from left), Ray Zuleger, 9, Nicholas Milheiser, 8, and Jim Zuleger of Darboy eat lunch while sitting near Ron Grishaber's record 212 pound sturgeon at Lake Park Pub in Menasha, Wisconsin on Saturday, February 11, 2012. / Ron Page/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com
MENASHA — Lake Park Pub is a hot spot for Friday night fish fry, but the Menasha tavern's colossal catch won't land on a diner's plate.
The state-record sturgeon — a 212.2-pound female speared by Appleton's Ron Grishaber on Feb. 13, 2010 — hangs at the entrance to the dining room for all to marvel.
The fish, harvested in a shanty on the northern edge of Lake Winnebago not far from High Cliff State Park, measures 84.2 inches in length and was hatched two years before the Titanic sank in 1912.
Lake Park Pub owner Butch Kolosso fondly remembers the day Grishaber landed the sturgeon, which was weighed down the road at the Harrison athletic field.
"After they weighed it, I was warned in advance that Ronny Grishaber had landed a big one and he was headed here with it, and that I should be ready for a big crowd," Kolosso said.
Cars lined up a mile down the road as gawkers flocked to the tavern's parking lot to view the humongous fish.
"It was crazy," Kolosso said.
Visitors have been stopping by the pub over the past six to eight weeks since the prehistoric fish was mounted to take pictures.
"They did a beautiful job mounting it," he said. "It's encased in a beautiful glass case. And it's huge. I can't believe how big it is."
The gigantic fish will remain on display for two years, after which Kolosso could renegotiate with Grishaber to keep it there.
"The Wild Rose Fish Hatchery also has expressed an interest in having it and maybe other taverns might want to display it at that time," Grishaber said.
Grishaber, now 62, still recalls the adrenalin rush he and his brother, Jim, experienced when they harvested the behemoth two years ago.
"Once we had it in and the trap door was closed, there was a sigh of relief for the two of us," Grishaber recalled. "We couldn't get it in. It was stuck. A third guy (Ron Kirk) came to help us and that made the difference.
"I didn't see the whole fish because it was on the bottom and underneath the shack. I could only see its side. I think if I would have known how big it was, I would have missed it. It was right at the bottom, 16 feet down."
Grishaber and his brother will have separate sturgeon shacks this year, but they will be placed fairly close together.
Perhaps that is a good thing, just in case. There are times when sturgeon spearing can be more than a one-man job.