Sturgeon fishing with my son.

How to Catch Sturgeon

Here are some tips for catching sturgeon…they aren’t super technical fish, but if you don’t know the basics of how to catch sturgeon, you’re going to struggle.

Fish where the sturgeon are.

It seems obvious, but lots of fishermen fall into the trap of fishing a “dry hole”. I’ve been guilty of it too. Sturgeon move a lot. If you haven’t had a hit for 45 minutes, we suggest moving to a new hole. They’re somewhere, and when you find them, they’ll be biting.

Prime time for sturgeon fishing.

There are a lot of variables when it comes to catching sturgeon. Time of year, time of day, water temperatures all play in on the best time to fish. May, June, October and November are the most popular months, but sturgeon can be caught year round. The peak temperature for fishing is when the water is between 50 and 65 degrees.

What’s the best bait for sturgeon?

Use fresh bait that has lots of scent….and it’s not a terrible idea to enhance the scent either. Some fishermen even use things such as WD-40.

Most anglers use shad for bait, but other favorites are lamprey and smelt, squid, sand shrimp, and even nightcrawlers. Where we live, it is legal to use “morts” from local hatcheries. Morts are just hatchery fish that have died. It doesn’t get much better than a 8-10 inch hatchery trout mort. Make sure that this is legal in your area though.

If you’re bait is freezer burned or has soaked for awhile, it loses its smell and won’t catch sturgeon. Fresh bait full of blood, guts and a good and nasty slime coat catches fish. Plain and simple. Change your bait twice as often as you think you should.

Sturgeon fishing

Tackle for sturgeon fishing.

Use heavy, power casting rods ranging from 5 1/2 to 11 feet with a large capacity baitcasting reel with a free spool clicker. Load your reel with 40 to 100 pound test abrasion resistant monofilament line. *Sturgeon are very light, cautious biters, so be sure to purchase a rod with a light tip.

There are lots of ways to rig up, but the most popular is a three-way swivel with a six inch dropper line on one loop holding the sinker. The weight of the sinker will vary depending on the current. Bell and pyramid sinkers stick to the bottom best. The other swivel loop will be tied to an 18 inch, heavy mono leader tied to a 8/0 to 10/0 hook. Red anodized hooks stay sharp the longest, but the red color gets worn away. Black hooks stay almost as sharp, and they stay black. Both are good choices. Some anglers use a spin-n-glow or a corkie above the hook as an attractor.

Fighting a sturgeon is a workout!

These river monsters can be over 10 feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds! A fight can sometimes take up to an hour, with both angler and fish being exhausted once it’s finally landed. Expect some fantastic aerial acrobatics during your sturgeon fishing battle.

Hire a sturgeon fishing guide.

Outdoors International works some great sturgeon guides and outfitters that put our clients on fish year after year. So if you’re looking for a great fishing trip, get in touch. We think you’ll love working with us.

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