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Sturgeon Fishing


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My brother and I are thinking about trying sturgeon fishing this spring. Sometime in early May. We have never done this before so we are looking for any advice, tips or help to get us started. What type of bait should we use? What depth should we fish? What type of structure should we look for? Thanks for the help.

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I'd anchor upstream of a deeper hole. Hook on a gob of crawlers and get it to the bottom, put it in the rod holder and sit back. Stoutness of your tackle is a personal decision. Good luck.... the fight is great. SAL

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As stated, crawlers work very well. Use a simple "lindy rig" setup. I use pyramid sinkers. I've got them in sizes of 1 oz. to 6 oz. I typically use the 1,2,3 oz. size depending on current. I use the lightest weight that will hold your bait down without rolling much in the current. Slide the sinker on then a bead then a barrel swivel. Then tie on a 12" - 24" or so leader and a hook. I prefer circle hooks with the barb pinched down. With the circle hook just tighten up on the fish when you get a hit and slowly apply pressure by raising your rod tip. The hook will catch and set itself. I rarely loose any fish even without a barb and it's easier to unhook the fish once it is landed. The barb on these hooks are unecessary and are more of a nuisance in my opinion.

I prefer a 7' - 9' rod. A spinning or casting rod will both be fine its just what you like best. I use both, but prefer the baitcasting style especially with bigger fish. You'll also want a rod with a soft tip. When sturgeon hit they don't usually slam your bait like a catfish will. Typically they just pick up your bait and you will see your rod tip bounce a little. If your tip is too stiff you will miss a lot of those pickups because you won't see them. You'll also want a reel that has a lot of line capacity. I've seen my buddy get spooled before fishing from shore on the St. Croix. If you hook a big enough fish, and you will eventually, it will go where it wants and its tough to turn'em. It's like snagging the back of a barge. blush.gif I've had to pull anchor before to chase a fish and that is a pain. I now have a bouy attached to my anchor line with a quick release so I can unhook quickly if needed and not have to pull anchor.

I usually will anchor above a hole and cast both above and into the hole. If you don't get any action keep moving till you find active fish. Sturgeon will jump a lot, so if you notice them jumping a lot in a particular area then move there. You will get bit, hopefully. smile.gif

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thanks for the help guys. was wondering about the start of the sturgeon season? when does it start? i thought it was april 24th, but i have noticed other people talking about going earlier in april. we don't plan on keeping any, just doing it for the fun of it and to try something other then muskie fishing. thanks again.

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Catch and release is open now until May 15. Harvest season runs April 24-May 7. There are specific regulations for harvesting fish so best check the laws if you plan on doing that. Catch and release is really the way to go with these fish as they take so long to get big. One other point is that I also use circle hooks and swear by them however if you go barbless your crawlers tend to slid off. Good luck.

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Your right about the crawlers sliding off. I check/freshen up my bait often enough that it hasn't been a problem for me. It's the exact reason why I like them barbless, they slip right out when unhooking the fish, but not when fighting a fish. It's not such a problem unhooking a smaller fish with barbed hooks, but when they are as large as these fish can get it's sometimes tough to get the right grip or angle on the fish to get the hook out when it has a barb. Its just an ease of release thing for me. Either way I think they are the best hooks, barbed or not.

As a side note, if I was not using a circle hook I would leave the barb on.

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IGOTEM, I live in Breezy too. Sounds like we might need to get a caravan heading to the Rainy this year...

I just fished with SLIMY EELPOUT (also from Breezy) this weekend and mentioned we should head to the Rainy as soon as she opens up again. Shoot me and email if you like at :

jgorrmap at tds dot net

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I'm game! Always ready for a road trip. My only problem, if it's really a problem at all, is once the streams start opening up I'll be standing in a steelhead stream. It's been a while since I've been to the Rainy in the spring because of that, but I'd definately like to fit it in this year.

I have to warn you, I say the same thing about the Rainy every year and somehow always find myself chasing the chrome. It's an addiction like no other for me.

I'll email ya so we can get somethin' set up. My email is brentnybakken at tds dot net.

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Igotem,

Leave gorilla in Breezy, he brings bad luck wherever he goes, Especially in my boat wink.gif. He is also scared of nightcrawlers, especially the big blonde ones up from my neck of the woods shocked.gif. Hopefully I'll get a break from this stupid thing I have called a job, and will be able to get a few days in on the Rainy this spring.

later,

toddb

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Yo todd, I bet dem suthern boys thinks yooz reel purty down der in nort carolina....

how's you doing you sweaty boar pig???? Give me a call if you sober up... I mean get off work long enough.

I was watching an old Steve McQueen movie the other night and they called him a "Joner", do you think they meant you??

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Joner describes about everyone I take fishing. I only get big ones when I am by myself. grin.gif My cell phone went dead and I lost my phone book- call me after 4 your time. I will be going to Virginia for a couple weeks, should be home about 3/25.

later,

toddb

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I still think they are all floaters you found after you shoo away all the seagulls...

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