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DTro

Our Sturgeon Report (detailed and lots of pics)

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DTro

Arrived Wed 4/23 to pretty decent conditions. Decided to head out to the bay since we were at Slim's and the launch was right there. We really prefer fishing the river and away from everyone else but we make exceptions depending on the bite and conditions.

In a couple of hours on wed night we caught a few nice ones and knew that the fish would be biting there all weekend probably, but knew there was going to be some wind/rain on Thurs, so we headed upstream to Vidas. We found quite a bit of current and debris however we tucked in off the edge of a seam and the bite was on! We boated 6 in an hour, and a few boats moved in, so we marked that spot, pulled anchor and put it in our back pocket for when things slowed down.

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We headed downstream quite a ways to scout a few more spots. I think we boated a few, but slow otherwise. The rain was constant all day and everything was soaked through. We stuck it out though and caught a few more fish before heading back to the cabin in the evening. We love to fish at night, however the wind picked up and the rain turned to snow and then heavy snow. We cut our losses since we knew conditions would be better on Fri.

On Fri we woke up to a surprise. The snow continued all night and this was the messy view out the window.

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So we shoveled the boat out, and geared up for the day. The wind was lighter and we wanted to see how the bite was back out in the bay. We headed out to a favorite spot which surprisingly turned out to be away from the crowd. Right away we caught a fish and the action was enough that we never moved...for 12 hours... and not another boat within a half a mile of us all day (which is pretty rare out there in the bay). At any rate we finished with 35-40 fish and most all of them were over 50". Just a super day that included my PB at 65x25. We only brought fish in that we thought might be close to 60 otherwise just popped the hook at the boat (circle hooks bigger than 6/0 work great for this, just stick your finger in the circle and a quick pop).

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Sat morning was a different story as far as boat traffic and and how many boats were near our Fri spot. I had to park way down past Border Bait and that was at 9am. In fact, as we arrived, we found a boat was anchored exactly where we were the day before. smile So we nestled in nearby and hunkered down. We caught several fish, but nowhere near the action compared to Fri and the size seemed a bit smaller. The wind was picking up, so we bailed and headed back up near Vidas.

We looked at our Navionics map and picked a spot that none of us fished but we knew was a long enough run that we would probably have the spot to ourselves and sure enough when we got there, we did (probably a 10 mile run upstream). We picked the spot based on the wind, and we were now shielded well, so we sat and basked in the sun for a while....and caught some nice fish. smilefull-105-45039-013.jpg

Our plan was to wait until dark and head back down to our initial spot on the river where we caught those 6 fish in an hour. We knew waiting until dark we could probably count on minimal or no boats being there. So that is what we did. As it turned out there were a few more boats than we figured, but as the sun set, one by one they headed in, until it was just us. That is when the fun started! From about 9-11 we caught 5 fish but all were over 55 with 2 twin tanks at 63x26 and 63x27. We had 3 fish also pop off (which I think was due to the fast current). I wish I we could've at least seen those fish, because they all felt just as big as the 60's we boated.

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At that point it was nearing midnight and we decided to call it a weekend and catch up with a few friends back at the bar. We discovered back at the launch that we were the last boat out there. cool

Here are a few key points for anyone curious to our tactics. Not saying its right or wrong, just what works for us. It's really nothing special, other than finding spots away from everyone, using fresh fatheads (on a side note we used up 8 dozen and couldn't find a stinkin fathead on wheeler's point mad thankfully Steve's Lucky had them for us on Sat). Also used circle hooks at least 6/0 or bigger. Short leader. Just enough weight to stay down (4-5oz on this trip). And then watched those rod tips like a hawk. John caught a few fish that I never ever seen a bite, but he detected the slightest of a tap and then hooked up.

Honestly though its really all about time on the water. We literally lived in the boat and only moved when we thought necessary. We caught a lot of fish, but when averaged out per hour was really not that many. You gotta truely love sitting and staring at your rod tip....for hours. smile Of course there are some fringe benefits when you need to eat and have a fantastic cook as a fishing partner. Not sure I've ever ate so well on a fishing trip. Bambi straps, Pork Loin, spicy burgers, and Ribeye just to name a few.

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This trip is always so much fun and I just wish the weather in April could be a little more predictable. You pretty much have to assume 1 or 2 days will be a battle with either wind, rain, or snow or all of the above.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and good luck to those still planning on heading up!

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fishuhalik

Outstanding dtro!!! Love living vicariously through you guys.

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Mike Dumas

Sweet report! Wish we would have seen ya out there!

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J_D

Are you fishing holes? Any depths better thanks others? Rookie heading out next weekend could use some pointers as far as the location. Tried 2 other times and haven't had any luck yet.

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DTro

My personal opinion is that you can pretty much drop anchor randomly in the river and catch fish, but you should really try to use your sonar to find fish, I think they travel along familiar routes that act as sort of highways for them. If one person is catching fish and others aren't cast so your baits is along that same line. This will change as the current does though. One day it will be in a certain spot, the next day might be 10ft over.

I think also that too many people just gravitate towards the obvious holes. Try to find subtle changes or funnels and you might not only be rewarded, but also have the spot to yourself. Or you might just strike out. Failure is the best learning tool.

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Surface Tension

Great info and report!

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mainbutter

I dream of the day I have a boat and can get out on the rainy in april for sturgeon.. I'm betting it isn't man-powered-craft friendly, right?

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BartmanMN

Having the grill on the boat is so cool. Looked like another great trip.

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fishuhalik

I dream of the day I have a boat and can get out on the rainy in april for sturgeon.. I'm betting it isn't man-powered-craft friendly, right?

It might get interesting fighting a big ol' sturg in a canoe but you'd be fine as far as waves/current go. I dunno if I'd fish 4 Mile Bay on a windy day with one, but the river would be no problem.

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aanderud

Nice report, Darren! I'm very jealous and kicking myself for not heading up there.

I dream of the day I have a boat and can get out on the rainy in april for sturgeon.. I'm betting it isn't man-powered-craft friendly, right?

I am reminded of a video I saw of Babe Winkleman fighting a giant white sturgeon on a river in Idaho or Oregon or something like that -- from a float tube!

In all honestly I don't think the river would be a huge issue assuming you have an anchor and you're used to canoe fishing -- other than the numbers of boats up there would annoy me in a canoe. There can be a lot of wakes up there depending where you are situated relative to the boat traffic.

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DTro

Yes, with anything manpowered, I would head up river quite a ways, and keep it close to the launch.   I am quite certain you could push a kayak or canoe off at Vidas, float down around the corner and catch some nice fish.     In fact if I had a kayak I might even try it myself.   I have to say though it would be a bit scary hooking into a 70”er.  Those 60’s we caught in the fast current on Sat almost pulled us off anchor in a heavy 18’ boat.   Too tight of drag and man powered craft and you might find yourself swimming in some cold water

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DTro

Video got a little long but I had a lot of footage.

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eyeguy 54

just freekin dandy ! !

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Starman73

going out the next couple days. DTro do you go shallower for fishing after dark. Fished cats after dark, just wondering some tips for sturgeon after dark

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DTro

No, fish in the same spots, just kick back relax and enjoy being the only boat out there!

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Starman73

Thanks, gonna get the chance to fish after dark and looking forward to it. last Tuesday we boated 39 in 12 hours and had a blast.

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Whiskerchaser

Great video! Headed up Thursday can't wait!

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jk69

Is there any special depth that has been better or are they all over. Thanks for any info.

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grapeapplepie

DTro,

Thanks for sharing the video, good stuff right there! Just curious, was that shot with a GoPro?

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DTro

Thanks again guys.

 

For those that have asked.  We did nothing special as far as depth or locations.  Its all about a little luck and bite detection.  River is full of fish.

 

Camera is not a Go Pro, just a $100 Sony Cybershot.  I prefer having a nice view finder so I can crop the shot as I’m capturing it.  I know you can get a viewfinder add on for the GoPro but that is more $

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fiskyknut

Well done Darren. You just love them Sturgeonfish dontcha !!

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DTro

I'm guilty of that Fisky. smile

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ripstick

Good vid. I know frank wished we would of had one.

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