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hanson

Multi-Species Report - Sept 17, 2006

11 posts in this topic

We hit the St. Croix River in hopes of finding some Channel Cats & Lake Sturgeon and to give my new boat a good workout.

The first spot we tried was jumping with shad, and when I say jumping, they were hitting the surface everywhere. We were working the bottom of a breakline and found some cooperative channel cats. These kitties were definitely enjoying shad as their bellies were plump full.

Fish #1 for the new boat

091706stcroix1ie6.jpg

Fish #2 for the new boat and Catfishunter's 1st St. Croix River channel cat

091706stcroix2ig7.jpg

We caught a few more decent "eater" channel cats on both shad & nightcrawler and decided to make a short move off the breakline to see if we could find some wandering sturgeon.

We fished for quite awhile longer hooking up with a bunch of small sheepshead on crawlers until we finally got Lake Sturgeon #1 in the boat.

Here's Joel (Catfishunter) with his 1st Lake Sturgeon on the first sturgeon to slime up the carpet in my boat. frown.gif

091706stcroix3ec6.jpg

Shortly after, I finally got my 1st Lake Sturgeon in the boat for the year as well.

091706stcroix4pf7.jpg

I was telling Joel that they get much bigger than this when this one decided to double my rod over! She pulled the tape to 49".

091706stcroix5eg1.jpg

Within 5 minutes of releasing that 49" sturgeon, Joel had this pig on his line at pulled the tape to 48".

091706stcroix6gc5.jpg

After those 2 fish, I think Joel completely forgot that he came down to the cities to flathead fish. grin.gif

Before the night was over, Joel hooked into this 47" beauty.

091706stcroix7ly7.jpg

When all was said and done, we boated a handful of channel cats, even more sheepshead, and 30 lake sturgeon with 43", 43", 47", 48", & 49" being the 5 biggest fish.

(I've got to apologize for the "grainy" look to the photos, once my computer gets up and running again, I can fix that. Until then, I've got very basic photo editing software to use.)

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Sounds like you guys had a really good time. Definately a good way to break in the new boat. I haven't caught a Lake Sturgeon before, but I haven't really tried either. In july I caught a lil' shovelnose that was 28" or so. That was a really neat looking fish. Do you use your Catfish gear for those monsters?

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Hanson,

How do you fish for sturgeon? Do you just fish with a crawler on the bottom? What kind of rig do you use?

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My technique for sturgeon is pretty simple.... crawler on the bottom. smile.gif

I do use my catfish rods. Most are MH fiberglass (e-glass) type rods in the 8' range. Some have Garcia 6500s & others have Garcia 7000s. There aren't too many fish that can pull line off a Garcia 7000 with a cranked down drag but the sturgeon is one of them. I have 80lb PowerPro rigged on all of them but 80 really isn't necessary for these fish.

If you've never fished sturgeon before, the part that will catch you off guard is how light biting they are. 90% of the fish we caught were caught with the rods we held in our hands. The rods in holders only caught the more aggressive fish and the channel cats.

So for terminal tackle, I've switched to circle hooks for sturgeon in the 4/0- 5/0 range. I prefer Gamakatsu Octopus circle hooks. A leader of about 12-18" to a barrel swivel, and then a 2-3oz weight above that. 2oz is plenty as the current is very minimal.

Because of the wind & waves, we basically vertical jigged off the back of the boat keeping the sinker in contact with the bottom. Once you felt a "tap, tap", slowly and firmly lift your rod tip to "set" the circle hook. 9 times out of 10, there is a sturgeon on the line.

The 49" Sturgeon I caught in the photo above made a mad dash at the surface and jumped out of the water (perfectly vertical) about 3' away from the boat. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen watching that 4' long fish completely shoot out of the water about 4' into the air. grin.gif

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Sounds like I have everything that is needed to catch one of these monsters. I might have to run to Prescott and give it a shot soon.

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Went out last night in the cold. No sturgeon, just channels and sheepies. We were out from 8pm to 1am and was really hoping to hook into something big. Oh well, it still was a good time. Hanson, how far off the breakline were you, and what depth range were you guys finding them in? We tried a few different spots with varying depths.

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Right now the fish are wandering the open water chasing shad around, and rummaging through the silt for other food.. helgramites, crawdads, etc. I have caught very few fish near the breaks this season(sheephead dont count).

Depths of water that are most productive now is 30'+, but I have heard of some fish being caught in 16' recently. I caught a monster this spring (59") in 12' along with some other smaller fish while targeting channel cats.

The winning fish for the Moores Bait sturgeon contest last saturday was a fat 63" fish (caught in my boat) out of 32' of water in the middle of nowhere. We caught at least 20 fish that day from that spot... nothing for defined structure anywhere near by, just a good population of baitfish roaming over the deep water. The food is more important than the depth.

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Dave, you alone caught 20 fish that day..... I'd say closer to 40 between you and Brandy.

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do you buy your shad or do you catch them yourself if so how-cast net or seine

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Quote:

do you buy your shad or do you catch them yourself if so how-cast net or seine


Moore's Bait and Tackle wink.gif

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Quote:

Quote:

do you buy your shad or do you catch them yourself if so how-cast net or seine


Moore's Bait and Tackle wink.gif


They cost $2/dozen at Moores.. very cheap for great bait.

We went through 7 dozen yesterday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

I dont know how many fish we got, I didnt even bother to try to count after a couple hours. WWG got the big fish of the day at 53", another was caught at 47". I got broke off once(1st time this year), WWG got a hook broken on him. Several fish between 30"-40". Some young fish on crawlers.

Crawlers will catch big fish too.. if you can keep the little guys off the hook.

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