’08 Sturgeon Excursion Report and Photo’s

Water Body

WOW! Is the best way to describe the 2008 Sturgeon Excursion!

The weather cooperated, more and larger fish were caught and the smiles were just as large as the fish!

Where else can a person take the family and in one very short day of fishing, have 14 fish in the boat and end up with smiles like this one on my Favorite Daughter?

This is fishing in it’s finest form.

It’s all catch and release, maybe that’s why when I anchor next too someone I don’t know and ask them if it’s ok to fish within 60 feet of there boat they always say "SURE"! The friendliness is something I have never witnessed in any other type of fishing. There are no "secret spots", no "my spots"…just everyone helping the next person get into a big fish.

I asked my Favorite Wife and Daughter what’s more fun? Catching your own fish or watching someone else catch a big sturgeon. They both agreed, it’s even. Watching someone else dance with a sturgeon is just as much fun as dancing yourself.

Because of the constant (darn cold) wind on Saturday, it was hard to detect bites in the "chop" on the water. Holding the rod in your hand meant many less missed bites.

This photo is of my Favorite wife that detected the light nibble of a Lake Sturgeon, swept the rod back to let the circle hook do it’s job. She then kept as much pressure on the fish as she could until it was netted next to the boat. This is the first fish my wife has held since I’ve known her…and I love the expression on her face!

As I was taking the girls out to our little fishing spot in the bay, it seemed like every other boat had a rod bent over the side.

Once anchored a person could tell when someone hooked into a good fish by the hooting and hollering going on!

In this photo, the Favorite Daughter is taking a break from her hooting and hollering! I know at least 3 times she said "if it goes down again, I don’t want to do this anymore". These fish peel off line from the reel like the drag was broken. Niki was using a St Croix 6’10" Med Fast graphite rod. I prefer using graphite over fiberglass and PowerPro line because of it’s bite detecting sensitivity on the windy days.

I’m willing to bet there are plenty of "Sturgeoners" that have sore backs from the weekend!

IDO’s St Croixer put together an award program for the top three largest sturgeon. Here are the winners.

1st Place: Aqua Joe with a 67 incher

2nd Place: First timer Ethan with his 65 incher

3rd Place: Another first timer, Maggie Voit with a 62 incher. Note: Maggie is also 62 inches tall!

Many "Thank You’s" need to be handed out.

Tom, Judy and the rest of the team at Wigwam Resort for the great food and hospitality. Special thanks to Lisa in the Cabana Room. (wink wink) Yes, there are folks making reservations for the 2009 Excursion now!

St Croixer, Jarett Buxtell for his work on the madallions

LakeMaster for having the new 2008 mapping chip ready in time for the Sturgeon Excursion. If you fish Lake of the Woods or any part of the Rainy River from the lake to International Falls, this is a must have!

A HUGE thanks goes to all the members that helped answer the first timers questions. You guys are the best!

There will be more "how to" talk going on in the Catfish/Sturgeon Forum.

If you have Sturgeon Excursion Photo’s please post them in this thread.

See you all next year!

For More Sturgeon Excursion Photos CLICK HERE<<

Profile Photo

Brian Klawitter

• First Person to be Knighted at the Spam Museum by Sir Can a Lot. • Founded The Minnesota Catfish and Sturgeon Alliance. • Networked to change the MN's Bullhead Bait length laws for Catfish Anglers • Worked with the MN DNR to Create Full Bio ›


  1. Thanks for the report Brian. This is going to be a tough three days. Heading up bright and early thursday morning. Looking forward to hearing lots of reports from last weekend and seeing lots of photos.

  2. Thanks for the report Brian! I was good seeing you up there and tell the FW and FD sorry for the bad lookout job We had a few first timers with also and 2 of them ended up with 59″ers by the end of the weekend. I had my older brother with and up till now his biggest fish was about 5 lbs. Sure was fun just to watch them reeling these fish in

    Also like you said this is the best group of guys to fish around that I have ever been part of. Every one I was around was more than willing to help if needed and more than happy to share space if needed Thanks guys!!!

    We got up there on Thursday and the launch was still froze about 25 feet out with about 14 inches of ice. Tom from Wigwam brought the tractor down and broke what he could (THANK YOU TOM!) Tom and the guy from Border bait were down in no time with chippers and about 8-10 of us had that thing clear in no time!! Thank you everyone who helped out there!!!!

  3. Brian I still have your wifes hook from when it wrapped on the fish we caught together. Yes I was the guy fishing next to you on Saturday. This was a first time thing for 2 of the 4 in my boat. I wouldnt miss next year for the world!

  4. This is my first time on line with you guys and girls. It was a great weekend of fishing and getting to know some of you. These are some pictures from our boat of Gregg(g3/8) and I (Maggie). First pic is my first Sturgeon 44″, next is Gregg with a 52″, then there is gocatfish picking up my 62″ Sturgeon and then Tony helping me hold the damn thing. Man they are big. If it weren’t for Tony I would still be out there going round and round and round. (the sturgeon dance). See ya all out there on the rivers.

    Edit: Maggies 62″ sturgeon was the 3rd place fish.

  5. It was a blast !!!!! had a first timer(it was her third time out fishing in her 26 years of life) in my boat and let her reel in 80% of the fish this weekend. Now all she can talkabout is next year!!!

  6. What an awesome time we had. AquaJoe was gracious enough to share his boat with me for the second year. With us were his friend Nate, brother Jim, and cousin Jason–all first-timers at the Excursion. We all had so much fun. Our boat (Joe, Nate, and I) ended up with 12 fish over 50″ and 4 over 60″. I knew we were in for a good weekend when I broke the 60″ mark with the first fish of the weekend. Can’t wait for next year!!! Here are photos of our 60+ inch fish. 61″, 61″, 63″, 67″, and a hug for a “little” guy

    Edit: The 4th photo is Aqua Joe’s first place 67 inch Sturgeon

  7. Quote:

    Not too bad Dean…but the BBQ sauce over the crawlers worked just a little better. Right Rootski?

    I had it working for a while there, didn’t I? One of these years I’d sure like to get into a big one, but it’s still tremendous fun.

    Brian I have a couple of pictures taken from my boat of the FD during her titanic struggle with that 55 incher. I’ll try and get them posted this week. It was sure a lot of fun fishing right next to you guys.


  8. I brought up 4 other guys (2 boats), and we were ALL first timers.
    We had a great weekend and did manage some pretty good fish.
    Thursday evening was just getting the boat on the water and looking around. Friday fishing started in earnest, and the three of us in my boat landed 8 fish, and missed TOO many bites. After Fri and asking some important questions friday night, Saturday worked out much better, had just myself and Rodman in my boat Saturday, and we landed 16 fish. the other boat with 3 anglers landed 15 on Saturday.
    Here are a few pictures from my boat.

    Jeff Rudy in the other boat had a 57 on Saturday, which was our groups best fish for the 4 days. Hope he can get a pic on here soon. (Hey- Rookie, git-er-done).

    The 3/0 Circle hooks are an absolute MUST HAVE. EVERY fish was hooked in the lips, with the hook shank outside of the mouth. Very easy unhooking every fish. Circles ARE a MUST.

    EAch of us had a great time, and are already talking about doing it again next year.

    1. my 53 inch, personal Best
    2. Rodman’s 52 PB
    3. Rodman toe to toe again
    4. Steve with his PB 48 1/2
    5. my 43, check the water state and sky conditions, awesome
    6. Rigged and Ready to go….

  9. Here are a few of ours. Bro-In-Law Kent with a 59″. My Dad with his PB, AquaJo’s boat with his Hog, and then my Dad caught one of those “less then desirable” 30″ Fish. Going through my camera, but did not use it for any of my fish Ohh well, the guide never gets any respect

    All in all Great time once again. Thanks to Brian and all the others guys who helped put this together

  10. Great Report!!!
    It’s a blast being able to see fellow mates out on the water baggin big ones….. cheering them on and teasing them.
    Looking forward to next year.

  11. Great seeing you make it to the board Maggie! All the way home and yesterday I was trying to come up with a name for ya. I did’nt have much success! The wife had a good time talking to ya in the cabanna Sat. night. Good pic’s of the “shot”race! I’m so proud of my wife! Should post those and make BK look bad!

  12. Here’s our biggest – 53″. Not bad for a 1st timer. We had dinner Saturday with some friends who work for the DNR. Check out this officially documented 80″ fish caught Saturday!!!

  13. Chappy it was fun talking to your wife too. I do have those pictures but thought maybe that is was not appropriate to post since this is a family site. Besides I would not want BK to be upset with a newtimer.

  14. Here’s a few pictures. The first three is of my boy Ethan’s 65” that landed him the silver medal. When he hooked this fish he claimed he had a log, when the fish started to go vertical to the boat it took off and pulled about 100’ off his Abu Garcia 7000BG with the drag set as high as I could get it. You should have heard the commotion in the boat as this fish ran, we knew he had hooked onto a big one. Approximately 20min latter we got her into the boat. Thanks to all the IDO’ers who helped us, it sure was a memorable weekend.


  15. Rotoski that is me in the background of your picture of Brian. I thought I placed you somewhere but couldnt remeber names. I was the guy relaxing in the captians chair on the boat! I rarely get to sit in it so I took advantage of being anchored! We caught 41 fish that day in that spot!

  16. The only thing I can say about Sturgeon Excursion ’08 is “SIMPLY AMAZING”

    Ryan, Nate and I started out Thursday evening about 4:30 and fished till about 8pm. Ryan and Nate both caught 2 fish a piece with Ryan’s first fish of the weekend being an awesome 60.5 x 22.5. There I sat skunked for the evening. I was thinking “not good.” We went back to Wiggy to visit the bar and it only got worse. Those that were there… may the memories of the night not haunt you in your sleep.

    Friday was thankfully a new day. We hit the water about 9:30 and by 10:10 Ryan was bringing in his first fish coming in at 52 x 20. That was exciting and a good way to start the day I was thinking. Well at 11:30 I finally threw the monkey off my back with a 49 inch. From there it was game on.

    In all I only brought in 11 fish so not a lot. But live with that. The fish I did catch made up for the quantity.

    Here is a Rundown of my fish:
    67 x 30 – 94 lbs – Tagged
    63 x 27 – 72 lbs – Tagged
    61 x 27 – 57 lbs
    58.5 x 21 – 44 lbs
    56 x 24 – 44 lbs
    50 x 21 – 34 lbs
    49 x 18 – 24 lbs
    45 x 17 – 19 lbs
    39 x 15
    38 x 14
    30 x 11

    I would say this was the best fishing trip I have ever had.

    I also want to give a shout-out to Ryan and Nate for being quick with the anchor ropes and not missing the fish with the net.

    Ryan thanks for lifting the 67 into my lap for the picture. My arms were a little wore out after the fight.

    And a big thanks to everyone who put this event together!!!

  17. Hey Sandbur! You guys were amazing. Every time we looked in your direcion one of you would be fighting another fish. It was fun watching three guys dance out of the way when a fish would run around the boat. We got there a little late but still managed to land 24 fish in that spot.

    Gee I can’t wait to do it again!


  18. That thing was FREAKING heavy I am not a big guy, so it was kind of a handful, er ah……two arm fulls for me I am gonna say it had to close to 70#. NICE fish 62special Next year you can hold my 65″er

  19. I think you should let her continue catching the fish! Your right,Your kinda small and could use the work outs of holding fish like that for a “special” woman! Get it? “Special” woman….As in 62 special!

Leave a Comment