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RoyalDutchman

Royal Dutchman's Sturgeon Report

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RoyalDutchman

September 4th, 2014:

There have been 2 groups out fishing for sturgeons the last few days. It sounds like they have been having a fun time and caught a few so far. On Tuesday one group caught 8 and the other group caught 2 with the biggest being a 54 inch sturgeon. Today the one group said they caught some sturgeon today with the biggest one being 56 inches, they also caught a 41 inch northern, and a 16 inch walleye in the river. Grant and Jim (Grant's dad) had a bear hunter up here and he has been hunting since September 2nd, and Frank got his bear tonight!

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RoyalDutchman

September 8th, 2014:

Despite the wind all day everyone made it out fishing even including us this evening. The group of 6 only got one sturgeon today that wasn't in the slot so no keepers yet. They did catch some species also. A group of 4 that got here this afternoon caught 3 sturgeon with 2 of them being short of the slot and one that was smaller. The wind did die down tonight when Grant and I went out fishing. Grant caught and released a 22 inch walleye, I caught and released a mid 20s sturgeon and 2 small saugers. There are some walleyes in the River already as we were strictly sturgeon fishing and were lucky enough to catch those other ones. Towards the end of the evening the wind did pick up again, the temperature dropped, and it looked like it was snowing because of the fish fly hatch.

Here is Grant's 22 inch walleye from tonight:

full-40547-48926-img_0196.jpg

Here is the one and only sturgeon that we got along with Leo our dog because he didn't want to let the fish out of his sight:

full-40547-48927-img_0194.jpg

September 7th, 2014:

We have a group of 6 guys that have caught 8 sturgeon between yesterday and today. No keepers, a couple over the slot, a few just short of the slot and some smaller ones. They also caught some other species.

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RoyalDutchman

September 9th, 2014:

During the night we had a thunderstorm and got about a half inch of rain. Today was cool and windy with some rain this evening. Despite the bad weather the group of 6 guys caught 9 sturgeon this afternoon/evening with one being a keeper. This was the best day of fishing so far on their trip. They got some walleyes and an 2 big small mouth bass (18 inches and 20 inches).

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DTro

I love reading your up to date reports RD, but not the most appealing photo I’ve seen of a Sturgeon. frown I can’t imagine it would go over too well with the fishing community if that fish was a 58” Musky, a 32” walleye or a 22” Bass (all of which are legal to keep). It would be nice to see the Gentle Giants get a little more respect.

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fishuhalik

Ditto dtro. I love your resort, you guys are AWESOME & I'll continue to stay there & recommend you. But I'd recommend not posting pics of big fish that are so beat up. I know I know, it's a little ridiculous, but just keep it in the back of your mind. Sturgeon are almost revered as much as Muskie these days & I think a lot of guys would steer clear of your resort for posting pics like that. Again though, love your resort & you & your wife do an outstanding job!!

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Sturg

I don't quite understand why you are upset with the picture. There is an open season on the Rainy river "July 1st-Sep. 30 1* per calendar year, fish must be 45-50" inclusive, or over 75"."

If a fisherman decides to legally harvest a fish he shouldn't be ostracized for it. You can clearly see a license tag on the sturgeon. The overall annual harvest of sturgeon is quite low in MN( a few hundred fish each year- almost all from the Rainy River). Most people opt for catch and release. It is a very healthy fishery. It can easily handle the limited harvest that occurs.

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DTro

Comment has nothing to do with harvest. For some reason everyone always makes that leap. Like i said you don't see pics of muskies like this, why sturgeon?

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fishuhalik

I encourage selective harvest of sturgeon. It brings more people into the sport, which brings more money into the area/state which puts more money back in to improving the sturgeon fishery. It's more of a respect thing, like dtro said. These fish are pretty majestic critters & it's a shame to see em beat up & in that kinda condition.

Keep in mind, there's 2 kinds of fishermen. One is a meat hunter. He views fish as a fun food source. So what if the fish is beat up? It's just going on my family's plate. There's nothing wrong with that mindset as long as all laws are upheld, it's just how people are raised. & believe me, growing up on Da Range, I know plenty of people, myself included sometimes, that fall in to this category.

The 2nd is guys like dtro, myself (when dealing with any kind of big fish) & many other guys. We view these fish as an incredible sporting opportiunity, a unique fishery & most importantly, a time to get together with friends. They're like our pets. We like to play with em a little, give em a kiss then take a picture & let em keep loving life. So you can understand how it hurts to see one of our pets mistreated. smile Also keep in mind, we're the guys that are usually the ones that bring money into the resorts. Shoot, just imagine how much money has flowed into that area just during the annual Sturgeon Excursion, which I feel dtro had a huge part in starting.

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Sturg

I can't recall ever hearing of anyone eating a muskie. If any fisherman keeps a muskie they probably intend to have it mounted and a good picture helps the taxidermist render an accurate paint job. Back in the 70's my dad worked with a guy that fished sturgeon on the Yellow river in WI. He would occasionally harvest one and smoke it. He would give my dad a slab and it was quite good. I too think the sturgeon is a special fish. I have introduced many people to the sport of catch & release of sturgeon. I attended the first 5 sturgeon excursions. I usually do three trips a year to the Rainy for sturgeon as well as many visits to the St. Croix. Obviously the sturgeon in the picture above was dead for awhile before the picture was taken. Handling it by the gills at that point is moot. I made the leap because this was obviously a harvest fish and the picture was taken at the end of the day. It probably spent several hours in the cooler (on the ground behind the fisherman). I agree, they do deserve special handling when taking pictures of live fish and any fish you catch and release. smile

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DTro

Fair enough.

In that case, I don't like seeing pictures of dead, beaten, bloody Sturgeon. grin

I feel the same way about a deer in the back of a pickup all bloodied up and tongue hanging out.

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RoyalDutchman

I am very sorry for posting the picture I was just more excited to get a picture up of one they could keep. I will keep in mind to not post pictures like this again. -Alyse....I tried to delete the picture but couldn't.

September 15th, 2014:

I received some emails today with sturgeon pictures and some information. I would like to share the information from one group over this weekend about their fishing report, "Thank you for another great stay! We caught 28 sturgeon in 2 days (September 12th and 13th) on the river plus many many other species and we caught over 40 walleye and sauger in one day (September 14th) on lake of the woods. We were even fortunate enough to bring home our limit of walleyes!"

September 12th, 2014:

The group of six guys from Wisconsin spent most of their last day out fishing before heading home. When they came in around noon they didn't have any keepers but said they caught 6 walleyes the night before with the biggest one being 26 inches. The biggest sturgeon caught since September 6th, 2014 for the group was 58 inches. They had caught a total of 27 sturgeon so far with just one being a keeper. They went back out for a few more hours this day to try and get 5 more keepers. They were fishing from 2PM-5PM and caught 7 sturgeon with 2 of them being keepers before they came back in and headed home.

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fishuhalik

Awesome! Sounds like the fall bite is starting!

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hnd

nobody eats muskie. these people are eating their sturgeon. I can't possibly fathom the problem with this.

its not unusual to see sturgeon in sept all over the resorts that look just like that.

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DTro

Tasteful pictures that is all I was suggesting.

We're looking for fish pictures in good taste that encourage selective harvest principles, so the fish picture rule is as follows: Fish pictures must at least appear to be in a natural setting where the fish was caught. They must not look frozen, stiff, bloodied or like they were just poured out of a bucket. No pictures with alcohol beverage containers, cigarettes, stringers or fish in a bucket are allowed.

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RainyPro

A few years back I posted a photo of a nice dead walleye in our cabin. I was mounting it, it was banned and deleted by the moderator. It was explained to me that photos out on the lake of a fish that could be released are allowed, so these type of arguments would not occur. It was left up to the imagination of the viewer of said photo that the fish could have been released. So I'm guessing this one slipped by the moderator and hence the argument.

BTW I'm not one to judge anyone else on what they want to legally harvest. To each there own so to speak!

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fiskyknut

Presto change-o I got that for you Grant !! By your request and it was a 'tad out of bounds' with respect to current forum pic policy.

Rainypro.. Pic policy has evolved a bit since then eh.

Smoked Sturgeonfish yummmmm, I just had some with cream cheese and crackers. A buddy of mine just finished up smoking 3 of them couple days back. Next best thing to a smoked King !!

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fishuhalik

Is it really that good fisky? What would you compare the texture to?

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FshBloodRiverMud

The group of 9 that i go up there (Rainy) with always buys tags. They had 4 or 5 tags this past spring (I could have filled each one of them - but accidently dropped them back into the water wink )They didn't catch any "Keepers" on their own so i didn't really help them.

They've had good and bad results. One of the guys in the group smokes them and the guys absolutely love it. I've never had it, and have no intentions of harvesting a 25yr old fish.

Release the DINO's.

As far as size goes, i wonder if we fished the Croix for sturgeon in the spring if they would be much thicker. Since generally we are fishing pre-spawn sturgies on the rainy in the spring. There's so much forage in the St Croix i just don't understand why they aren't thicker year round.

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fiskyknut

Yo Mud by law you can't help them anyhow. No party fishing, gotta catch your own to legally tag it.

fishuhalic.. Texture similar to a large salmon I spose maybe a tad 'chewier' with bigger flakes.

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RoyalDutchman

September 22nd, 2014:

We did end up with rain this weekend and some crazy wind along with a little bit of hail on Friday night. Today was gorgeous and looks like the last part of the Sturgeon keep season is going to be really nice. We talked to some groups that stayed here this past weekend fishing and they said they caught some sturgeon and one group of 3 even went home with their limit of walleyes even though they were fishing for sturgeon. One group caught a 61 inch sturgeon and 55 inch sturgeon this past weekend. Between all the groups there were 3 sturgeon kept. We talked to a local guy that has been fishing the river and has had some really good nights and some slower nights the past week or so. The walleye are starting to bite more now hoping that means October Fishing will be awesome! We have had a guy fishing off the dock and he has caught some slot walleyes this past weekend also.

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RoyalDutchman

September 29th, 2014:

We had 9 rooms that were fishing sturgeon during this past weekend with most of them saying that Friday was the best day. The biggest one sturgeon we heard of was 61 inches with some other in the mid-50s. We also had a group that was walleye fishing and it seemed the river had slowed down a bit so they headed out to the Pine Island area on Friday and kept 12 walleyes in just a few hours.

On Saturday it was so beautiful out I saw it was 85 degrees for the high at our place. The walleye bite on the lake had slowed down a bit but the same group that was walleye fishing ended up catching some to keep. The sturgeon fishermen said today was very slow but one group caught a keeper which was this guy's first sturgeon he has ever caught.

On Sunday a few groups that didn't head home tried sturgeon fishing til the rain came and said it was still slow but they caught a few. Most of Sunday it was raining and we ended up getting 3/4 of an inch of rain.

Today we had a group of 3 that came for the day to sturgeon fish they ended up catching a 52 inch one, a sucker, a northern and a small walleye. Today was cooler and cloudy but we did get to see the sun for most of the afternoon.

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