Bring Heavy Equipment
Whether in a stream or a lake, you have a good chance of coming across sturgeon weighing 20 to 30 lbs. As you might expect, normal equipment won't get the job done. You need to use line that's at least 15- to 30-lb. test with a medium-to-heavy rod. If you plan to use braided line, you'll need a 100- to 130-lb. test line, because this line won't offer any flexibility. The hooks should also be strong--a No. 10 or No. 12 hook should be enough. You can always go heavier than this. If you anticipate dealing with white sturgeon heavier than 100 lbs., you probably should. Preserve the integrity of your line by bringing a few barrel swivels to relieve any line tension due to twisting.
White sturgeon stick close to the bottoms of rivers. In lakes, they tend to be most prevalent in depths between 20 and 40 feet. They also like holes, inlets and flat areas near drops underwater. They find most of their food at the bottom of the lake, so you'll naturally want to place your bait in this location. You should also try to change your fishing location frequently--around every 30 minutes is ideal. White sturgeon aren't finicky the way some fish are, so it's rarely a matter of being patient and finding a tactic that suits them. If you don't get a bite in a relatively short period of time, they either aren't there or aren't hungry.
Be Patient With the Set
White sturgeon play with their food much more than other fish. In fact, they can spend as much as 10 minutes nibbling on the bait and toying with it before they actually take it and run. As a result, many anglers try to set the hook too soon, missing the sturgeon and scaring it away. Remember that a few little tugs on your line don't indicate that the sturgeon has taken the bait--with such a large fish, you'll be able to tell the difference between a nibble and a bite. Wait for the bite to make your move.
Prepare for a Ride
The size and strength of sturgeon can lead to some long battles while you're trying to tire the fish out and bring it in. Consequently, you won't find much luck going after sturgeon unless you're in a boat with plenty of space to chase. Avoid lakes and rivers clogged with other anglers; if you snag a good fish, you won't have the space needed to ride out the struggle.