The sturgeon is North America's largest fresh-water fish. This prehistoric looking fish can grow to 20 feet in length, weigh up to 1,500 pounds and live for over 100 years. Sturgeon have a long tooth-filled mouth and ridged dorsal. They inhabit the bottoms of lakes and rivers, preferring to bottom-feed in peace. Sturgeon fishing requires a few bits of knowledge to make a successful day angling for these monstrous fish.
Rigs and Bait
Rigging your rod to catch these large fish requires three to five feet of leader line, according to the guides at Bite Me Guide Service. Use a 50-lb. test super braid mainline along with the leader line. Bait depends on where you are fishing. Select "smelly baits" based on what is in the rivers or lakes you are fishing. Use maline cloth to wrap and tie the baits to prevent "bait thief" fish from getting the bait off the hook before you attract a sturgeon. Rig baits so they remain fixed..
Location, Location, Location
While location may seem like common knowledge, many anglers overlook where they are fishing and get frustrated at lack of success when fishing for sturgeon. Sturgeon like the deep waters of rivers and lakes. Areas around dams or where currents can create movement on the bottom of the river or lake are good places to start fishing. The folks at "How to Catch Sturgeon" agree that sturgeon fishing is easy once you locate the fish: They tend to stay in one spot. Once you've found them and gotten a hit, you can likely stay in that area and continue getting strikes.
Currents and Hooks
Up-River, where there is a current that will move the line and bait, requires a slightly modified set-up for reels and rods. Use heavy-butted, sensitive-tip rods that are somewhere between 7 to 7½ feet in length. Wrap your bait in the maline cloth, or in elastic line, to prevent bait thief species from stripping the hook. Bob Wimberly at How to Catch Sturgeon suggests using a roll-mop herring with a barbless hook no larger than 7/0. Most sturgeon strikes are very light, much like strikes by trout. If the hook slips off the sturgeon routinely, switch to a smaller hook like a 5/0 or 6/0.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.