The elusive sturgeon has been on my bucket list of fish to catch for a long time now. In previous years I have not fished for them, so this year I made a goal to catch a 40″ + sturgeon before the end of the season (October 15th). My first outing was very disappointing with only boating one sturgeon measuring at 24”, with the second outing clocking in at a full 10 hours of fishing and not one bite. Not the best way to start my sturgeon career.
10/10/10 proved to be a whole different story. I was lucky to bring along my good friend Alex to join in the sturgeon fiesta. We arrived at the landing of the St. Croix River at 5:45pm and were greeted by our guide, Mr. Beeks of http://www.brianksworld.com. As we packed the boat, we glared out over the St. Croix to see a river that looked like glass. We were informed that the bite didn’t start until 7:18pm and that we were getting on the water to prepare for our adventures of the night, and that we did.
We set up shop in 30-35 FOW and were pitching back to deeper water, 40-60FOW throughout the night. One thing I have learned now about catching sturgeon is that if you are in the right spot, you will be marking them on your graph. We marked BIG fish all through the night, which told us we were definitely in the right spot.
Our first fish was caught at 6:43pm, with Alex pulling in a 35” “starter” sturgeon. With pole bent completely over the boat, Alex informed us, “This is definitely the biggest fish I have ever caught!” With a quick net of the fish, a couple of pictures, and a great release it was now my turn in the “hot box.” Not but 5 minutes later, another pole was showing signs of action, FISH ON! Now it was my turn to make the same statement Alex had made not but 5 minutes ago, “This is definitely the biggest fish I have ever caught!” Wow was I right, this sturgeon gave me a run for my money, and 50” of pure force moved me from one side of the boat to the other. In the background I could hear someone shouting “Are you in control, or is the fish in control?” I thought to myself….. I think the fish may be in control, however I did manage to get it boat side and we quickly got it netted.
We are 30 minutes into our sturgeon trip and haven’t even reached the elusive 7:18pm “bite” and we have already boated 2 personal best fish for the night! The night didn’t stop there; Alex was able to upgrade his personal best 3 times throughout the night. First 35”, second 42”, and the mammoth 49.5” that was have thought to have got off the line, until it launched straight out of the water at the side of the boat. Knowing we had another big fish on our hands, we pulled the anchor and started reeling in all the lines. While picking up the last pole, I see a tap at the end of the rod, another fish on! This fish also ran boat side and made a dash for the motor, out of the water. Two sturgeons, over 40”, launching out of the water at the boat at the same time, total chaos!
With a total of 4 hours of fishing, we boated 8 sturgeon and two bonus channel cats. Six of the eight sturgeons were over 40”, with two very close to the 50” mark.
Thanks Brian for another adventurous night on the ST. CROIX RIVER! You do a great amount for the catfish and sturgeon community and we are lucky to have you!
If you have not yet been out with Brian I would recommend you give it a go. Not only does he know how to put his clients on fish, he also teaches techniques and proper handling for these prehistoric fish so that we are able to and our kids are able to catch them in the future.