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Gunflint Guy

September Sturgeon

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Gunflint Guy

A buddy and I want to try our hand at sturgeon on the rainy river, but we can't get up there until September. Is the fishing decent at that time of year? What structure should we look for...eddies, deep holes? Flats and swifts? specific depths? Are there fish to be had in the entire river, or should we be focusing our efforts closer to LOW? Not super familiar with the area and just looking for some info to get us started.

Any tips would be welcome.

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bassbuster1

The dam at I'falls would be a good place to start,the mouth of the Littlefork river down to 8 mile marker holds fish all summer.

Bb1

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Sturg

I've fished for them in July and August and have also had good luck from the dam down to the 8 mile marker hole. We usually fish the upper by the dam one day and then run down to the Pelland launch and fish the mouth of the Littlefork, and down to the 8 mile marker another day. I like to fish water where the bottom is sloping down to deeper water. Put in some serious fishing time and you won't be disappointed. We typically fish daylight to dark, taking a break for lunch. The mosquitos can be thick at the Littlefork after dark. Good luck!

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CANOPY SAM

Gunflint. There are sturgeon in the river all year round, and big ones to boot!

In the fall, when we come up for the shiner/walleye run, we typically fish for walleyes in the morning, head in for a little breakfast, shoot out to the woods in the early afternoon for some grouse hunting, fish the evening bite walleyes again, have a great fish fry, then, when the sun goes down, build a nice campfire on the river edge and fish for sturgeon just like catfish.

You can throw out set baits; cut bait, several whole minnows, a gob of crawlers, or any combination of these, and simply drop a rod into a rod holder, sit back in a comfy chair alongside the campfire, crack a cold beverage, and count the satellites until a rod starts bouncin'. Works best if you can set up on shore just upstream from a deeper hole. I think these sturgeon feed almost continuously all day and night.

It's not uncommon at all to catch just as many, and even several big fish, simply fishing from shore vs. fishing from a boat. Lotta fun landing a big 50+ inch dinosaur in the dark! wink

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TruthWalleyes

Get comfy! grin

full-26433-32090-dscn0124.jpg

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Gunflint Guy

Thanks, all...very helpful. I do love shorefishing. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in September. Thanks again.

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Sackett

The latest I've ever done a sturgeon trip to Rainy is Nov 1. It tooks us a bit but when we got positioned correctly we caught 20-25 in 4hrs, having blanked the preivous 4hrs+. We ended on double 50in+ fish, largest was a 57". Nearest I can tell fall is a better time to catch numbers but the real giants appear in the spring. I know a variety of guys that really like October the best, I kinda feel that alot of that revolves around there being far less pressure. Fall is a great time to go if thats how it lines up for you.

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bassbuster1

Here's a picture of a September fish caught at the dam in I Falls.

BB1kelbigsturgy-1.jpg

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bassbuster1

Before anybody starts yelling at me for holding fish by gills I know longer hold them like that.

BB1

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Tyler Holm

That's a beauty BB1. Considering I'm leaving in 2 days, I'm also very jealous of apparel.

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DTro

Nice one BB!

Here's a video of some Fall action. I think this was in late Sept or early Oct.

It was a weekend and I think there was one other boat at the launch (Vidas).

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fishuhalik

Tyler, that's why I quit going in the spring and only go in the summer. After the fiasco of the sturgeon excursion of 2011 & it looks like 2013, you guys can have the spring bite! Between the crowded launches, freezing temps/snow/wind & the chance of terrible water conditions if the forks bust, I'll take my summer & fall bite! Just as many fish, size is great (last year was kind of a bust with a bunch of 30-45" shakers & only 2 at 50") and you'll have pretty much the entire river to yourself.

I know most guys stick to the falls area, but we've had our best luck in the big, long hole that goes from the bridge (can't remember which road it is) down to a little past The Dutchman. I love staying there. The new owners are solid people & he spends a ton of time on the river. He mostly looks after eyes but he knows sturg pretty good too. Also once you launch your boat you can just keep it in the water at the dock til it's time to head home.

We focus on 17-24'. I only use crawlers. I know a lot of guys swear by adding minners to the gob but personally I haven't noticed a difference on the Rainy other than having to worry about keeping minnows alive. Theres 2 things that are gonna put more fish in the boat than any special presentation or tactic. First, ALWAYS HOLD YOUR ROD!!! I know some guys just throw it in a holder & wait for the clicker but you'll miss a ton of big fish if you do it. Last year we woulda gone fishless if we woulda done that. These things bite lighter than a fussy walleye. Sure sometimes they'll smoke it & darn near rip the rod out of your hands but odds are they won't. 2nd and just as important is move move move! 45 mins max in a spot max without a bite. You dont need to move far either. I've seen countless times where a boat 20 yards away on the same depth is getting em hand over fist & the other boat cant buy a bite. Once you find em mark that spot on your gps & make a shoreline reference on the north & south shore & make sure you're in the exact same spot, down to a couple feet, the next day since odds are they'll still be there. Make sure you switch up depths when you're moving around. Even in July we've found em as shallow as 10' & as deep as 30', but usually they're in that 17-24' range. Seems like 17-18' is our go-to starting depth. If you do it right you'll catch fish. Maybe not a ton your first trip up there, but you should start to figure em out after 2-3 days & have some waypoints for your next trip. We have about 20 spots marked & can usually find em in the first day.

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TruthWalleyes

I agree Fish's advice. Holding the rod helps a ton, however if you have a soft tip, holding the rod isn't as necessary as a stiff rod...but you will miss fish with the rod in the holder. Having side imaging has put a lot of sturg in the boat for me, they're incredibly easy to spot on the graph...Once you see them, drop anchor and set lines! I'll have to make an attempt to get up there summer/fall for some sturgeon. Currently i'm looking for employment in that region - got word of a house for sale 1/4 mile from the river smile

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fishuhalik

I'm jealous truth! Hopefully that works out for ya. Maybe we could hook up next time I go up.

Heres my reports for the last 2 yrs trips. We had our best luck in 2009-2010. My buddy with his shirt off in the 2011 report went out quite a bit and got at least a dozen over 60" in about 10-12 trips. One trip in June he had 3 from 61"-66" in the boat in 4 hrs.

http://www.hotspotoutdoors.com/forum/ubb..._12#Post2875372

http://www.hotspotoutdoors.com/forum/ubb...ing#Post2627282

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CANOPY SAM

Hey Everyone!!! Party at Truths place this fall!!!! laugh

fishuhalik is just exaggerating in his previous post. It's actually really slow in the fall, and there's boats lined up at every access miles deep.

Ssshhhhh!!! whistle

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fishuhalik

Oops, er....ya, what Sam said. I was lying. No fish. Dead sea. Don't waste your time...

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CANOPY SAM

Great vid big D! Sept-Nov there are few other places in the world I'd rather be then on the Rainy River on a cool crisp fall day with blue bird skies and glassy waters. It's truly beautiful up there when the leaves are turning, and the waterfowl are starting their migration.

Let's just hope and pray we get a good shiner run this fall! Really been petering out the last few years making the walleyes a little scarce.

But there never seems to be a shortage of sturgeon! wink

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TruthWalleyes

speaking of marking sturg with the si, we were drifting and my buddy says "holy crp look at the size of that one, its up off the bottom a foot" about a second later he got thumped big time and instantly the line snapped... big northern or musky grin

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