Never a dull moment with a Sturgeon!

Water Body

I have to say tonight was one of the most unusual nights I’ve ever had sturgeon fishing.

I was fishing with Ray from Cassville, WI and Ray was a Sturgeon virgin. He’s caught some shovels in his neck of the woods, but no Lakers.

Setting the stage. Ray already put 14 sturgeon in the boat along with two channel cats. So he has the routine down.

Then the second to the last fish of the night tippy taps on the rod tip. Ray picks up the rod and starts reeling. Good fish, but not a great fish he says.

Just about a minute after that, this good fish wraps up two lines and the back anchor rope. OK, we manage to get the anchor free and the sturgeon takes off again. Ray starts reeling….and reeling…and reeling. Something broke in the Garcia 6500! Now WHAT?!

Now we had a good size fish on a rod that had two lines tangle up (bad) and a reel that didn’t reel!

Never give up I said! I had Ray cut away the tangled lines and tie off the cut lines to a rod holder for later retrieval.

Then we tied a loop on the end of one line and cut the line of the rod that had the broken reel on..and the fish. After that, it was fishing as normal and we netted the best fish of the evening at 56 inchs.

But now I was down two rods. Too much line was cut off one reel and the other reel didn’t work. But wait!

We still have one line in the water tied to a rod holder! As I started to bring the line in, I thought I felt a head shake. I didn’t like the thought of 80 pound MasterBraid sliding through my fingers! I said “Here Ray, hold this!” LOL!

I grabbed two wooden dowel that we use to pull our hooks and sinkers out of snags with. Ray and I hand-lined him in!

Please trust me when I say a sturgeon on the end of your line that’s wound a few times around a wooden dowel is something that needs to be experience!

Ray’s first fish of the night was a tagged sturgeon that measured 40.5 inches.

We ended the night with 16 sturgeon and two channel cats.

On top of all of this, who would have thought we would have a windless night in the high 50’s in October. She was a perfect night!

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 • Networked to allow the use of cast Full Bio ›


  1. Clean living and thinking pure thoughts will do that for ya
    Last year at this time I got up to 4″ of snow on the boat cover jerr

  2. Great report guy. All that line on the bottom of the boat in the third picture tells a story by its self.

  3. Quote:

    Oh wait my friend says you hafta have a tag sorry

    No need for a sturgeon tag this year any longer. The St. Croix catch and KEEP season runs from the first weekend in Sept until the end of Sept. The first two weeks of Oct are Catch and RELEASE only.

    We do not need a tag to fish for sturgeon. The tag is only if you’ll be keeping a fish and it must be over 60″ in length. The season closes tomorrow at midnight.

    Do they fight hard? Hell ya!

    Consider this. The drag on your Garcia 6500 is cinched down as tight as it will go. Trying to pull the 80 pound test Cortland Masterbraid out of the reel is painful.

    You hook into a high 40″ fish and as it gets to the boad your rod is doubled over. Your trying to keep the tip out of the water…it’s pulling line out of your reel like your drag is broken.

    Yeah, they fight plenty hard…and they don’t give up.

  4. Oh I see thanks so I dont need a tag then? Good I want to catch a sturgeon but I’ve never fished on the st croix. Is the season the same on the mississippi? My friend says we cannot fish for sturgeon there but he was wrong about the tag too haha. I don’t want to keep one thanks

  5. No tag needed if your not going to keep a fish.

    Shovelnose sturgeon is open on the Miss all year.

    I’ve never heard of any sturgeon in the St. Cloud area of the ‘sippi. But I haven’t looked either.

    The St Croix isn’t too far from your area. (Edit for correct date of season) You have a week to fish. Season ends next weekend the 15th.

    We have a Sturgeon Excursion this April at Wigwam Resort on Lake of the Woods. Come on up, meet some Ido guys and catch some sturgeon! We’re a friendly group.

    Link to 2011 Sturgeon Excursion <<

  6. Here’s a few from last night. Two fifty plus inchers and a double.

    We ended the night with 7 fish.

    We put a scale to the 53 inch fish in the second photo. Fourty pounds worth of drag ripping sturgeon!

    It was Great Fishing with you Ray!

    You gave me some very good information on commercial fishing of the Mississippi River! Priceless!

  7. Oh so we can fish for sturgeon all year on mississippi? Thats even better. I guess he was wrong again I cant wait to catch a big one like that. Nice fish and thanx for your help

  8. All I can say is WOW you guys had a remarkable two nights of fishing. For those that don’t know, Ray is my brother and I had the opportunity to go out with Ray and Brian but felt I had too much work to do so I decided to stay home. Brian even tried to entice me late Thursday night through a couple of P.M.s. I said no I better stay home and work. Why didn’t I reschedule my jobs!!! You were right Brian. I sure would have loved to be there and fighting some of those BIG sturgeon.

  9. Quote:

    The St Croix isn’t too far from your area. But unless your going out today, you’ll have to wait until next year.

    What are you talking about? C&R for sturg on the Croix runs until the 15th.

  10. Quote:

    What are you talking about? C&R for sturg on the Croix runs until the 15th.

    Thanks for the correction…I was a week ahead of myself when I typed that.

  11. Quote:

    I sure would have loved to be there and fighting some of those BIG sturgeon.

    Jerry, we sure would have loved to have you in the boat!

    Just in and we put 7 more in the boat. Well, one 49 incher darn near came in the boat by it’s self!

    It was another great night with good friends!

  12. DeeJayjazzyfish,

    If you would like to catch fish like in the photos, I would be more than happy to take you out and show you the ropes.

    Just follow the link at the bottom of this post. There you’ll find directions on how to make a deposit.

  13. Ha! It was just pointed out to me that I mistakenly typed in Mississippi River for the location.

    Guess I just fish down there too much.

    Like I said, never a dull moment!

  14. Here’s a few more from last evening.

    The larger sturgeon at 49 inches really wanted to come in the boat under his own power.

    More Sturgeon of the St Croix!

  15. We’re still waiting on the tag info of Ray’s first fish of the evening.

    It was tagged by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I have a feeling there’s going to be a good story on the travels of this guy!

    Although I do recall the US F&W Service doing some tagging around the Taylors Falls Dam if my memory serves me correctly. It would be too cool if this guy came from the Great Lakes!

Leave a Comment