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busse3775

Sturgeon Rigs

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busse3775

What are you guys using for sturgeon rigs? I am heading to the river this weekend and looking at how slow the walleye bite has been looks like we may be targeting sturgeon more. 4oz. no roll weight work?

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DLD24

I just bought all my sturgeon gear for my first time heading up there.... after watching a bunch of videos I bought...

Mh musky rod

Baitcasting reel with 80lb braid

2-6oz sinkers

3/0 circle hooks 

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DLD24

I just bought all my sturgeon gear for my first time heading up there.... after watching a bunch of videos I bought...

Mh musky rod

Baitcasting reel with 80lb braid

2-6oz sinkers

3/0 circle hooks 

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side_laker

I use a medium heavy to heavy rod with no roll sinkers and 5/O hooks. 

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rschmidty

Dld24 and Side laker are on point with no roll sinkers, sturdy rods, and circle hooks. One thing about musky rods is that if the rod is pretty stiff and more specifically the tip, you may struggle to detect the bite. Sturgeon bite as light as a sunny so a soft tip rod with a strong backbone is a must. If you look at some past topics DTRO has some good info on what and how to fish for them and one thing I'm trying this year is I bought some flat bank sinkers that I can attach to a swivel or sinker slider. The benefit of this is if you are fishing in a soft bottom, as your weight sinks into the mud or sand your line isn't being pulled under as well because as I said, the transfer of the bite up to the rod tip is critical. Also, switching out weights is much easier as I don't have to retie each time so I can experiment with the lightest weight possible. Lastly less chance of a line twist around the weight as it floats to the bottom.

Our group has used medium light Ugly Stik Tiger spinning rods. They are 7 foot spinning rods with a very big backbone but ultra sensitive tip. I've used Okuma's ABF 65 baitfeeder spinning reels if I wanted to use the clicker to help detect the bit as well and it holds a lot of line. We use 80 braid as well and use the the braid as our leader material. Sturgeon aren't line sensitive since they mostly search out food with their barbels and not sight.

Good luck. This will be my 6th time making the  trip and I've fished for them a lot on the St. Croix as well. All I can tell you is once you catch a big one or two is that you will have a hard time wanting to fish for anything else.

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elusivecrappiecatcher

rschmidty hit the nail on the head. Musky rods are quite stiff in the tip for sturgeon. I run Denali Bottom Feeder rods with Abu reels, 80lb braid with ball bearing swivels. 18" braid leader with a #2 or 3 circle hook has always been good for me. The Denali Bottom Feeder is in my opinion the best rod I have used for sturgeon. Heavy rod with a very sensitive tip for big cats and sturgeon.

15 for our boat in a day and a half is out best outing.

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Muskieguy

Would putting your reel in "clicker" mode  (where the reel makes clicking noises as line goes out) work to detect the light bite?  My only heavy rod is a musky rod with a stiff tip.  

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rschmidty

Yes, that would definitely help. I would also hold the rod and even put your finger online the line to assist in detecting the bite given you are using a stiffer rod. If you were planning on using a rod holder, you may miss some bites because you aren't able to see it where doing what I mentioned above will give you that extra indicators a bite is there. Sometimes the bit is light enough it won't pull line out engaging the clicker noise. I have less experience using baitcast clickers so I'm no sure if you are able to adjust the tension on what it takes to take line out, but on the spinning reel baitfeeder reels I use you can and I always have them set on the lightest resistance.

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busse3775

Thanks for all the info! This will be our 2nd annual trip up there so still learning. Last year we didn't fish for sturgeon at all and started fishing for eyes in 4 mile bay. Two of us hooked into sturgeon within the first 5 minutes on all walleye gear. Took us a good 15 minutes to get them in. Mine measured 48" and my buddies was 56". We had a 60+ on but had to cut the line due to getting close to other boats and didn't want to tangle lines. We are bringing sturgeon gear along this year in case the walleye bite is slow or if we just want to chase some dinosaurs!

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Tony S

I usually set the rod down and watch it.  If I'm getting a lot of bites I'll hold it.  No fancy clicker reels so I loosen the drag up so a sturg would be able to pull it easily after taking the bait.  I let them have it for about 10 seconds.  With those circle hooks you aren't supposed to set like a regular hook just start reeling and apply as much pressure as you can.  I will set the hook good just for my own peace of mind after the reeling and pressure.  The sturgeon will often make the rod tip jostle a little bit as they suck up your bait and then a slow steady pull that lowers the rod tip a bit.  Sometimes after they pick up your bait they swim upstream and your line will go slack for a second before the current catches it.  These are bites you may not notice if you're not paying attention. Fortunately they don't often drop a bait.  Suckers and other s#it you don't want to catch like walleyes will often tap at the bait repeatedly.  Sturgeon do that sometimes I guess but not most of the time.  

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fishuhalik

I wouldn't recommend giving the fish any time. If you've ever watched a sturgeon feed, you'd understand why

The only thing you're doing by giving them time is allowing them to feel the hook in their mouth and spit it out. Reel up on em as soon as you see a bite

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leech river

Hey fishuhalik,

Nice, informational video.   They seem to use their (whatever) just like an elephant.

Once they make up their mind the inhale it !  Very interesting.  We are headed up Friday for

a few days. Damn cold up there for the next week or so.

tweed

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fishuhalik

Not really like an elephants trunk. More like a vacuum. They suck it up in a second, and will spit it out just as fast

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rschmidty

I agree with Fishuhalik. My experience has been that the bites can be so light you might not even really see the bite or if you do, it's gone in an instant and we you check the line, nothing is there. Also, I have had a couple times where I see a light bite, I quickly reel in line only to feel nothing. a couple minutes later I reel into to check my bait and it when it's halfway back in my line doubles over. The only thing I can think is that the sturgeon picked up the line and swam up in the water column and suspended creating a lot of slack in the line that kept me from feeling it on the line. The other thing is fishing with circle hooks, you would never miss a fish if they weren't dropping the bait and starting to swim, the hook would set itself, which can definitely happen but if that is the method being relied upon it will be the difference between a slow day and a possibly very good one.

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gizmoguy

We like to use rod holders. Set the rods 90 deg to the flow parallel to the waters surface. Watch the tips intensely. Any nibbles we get in position. If the rod tip starts to bend, just inches, we start reeling right away with the rod still in the holder. If its a sturgeon you will know it. Hook up rate on sturgeon is very good. We use 5/0 to 7/0 gamakatsu circle hooks. If it is windy we drop a sock or 2 overboard to stabilize to boat in the current.

69 resize.jpg

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rschmidty

Gizmoguy - That is a great example of what to do when using rod holders. I have seen people just take the rod out of the holder before reeling and believe that to be a difference between hooking up and not. Always reel down first. This year we are experimenting with a homemade bungee system on our anchor line to reduce the effect of boat movement when fishing in strong wind and wavy conditions.

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