I have always thought it would be cool to catch a Sturgeon. I had seen many videos and shows on Sturgeon in BC and out west being caught. I also heard about them being caught in Michigan and have tried for them but never caught one. It might have not helped I was being instructed to set the hook with a circle hook. I did not know at the time that circle hooks are not meant to be set. I actually did accidentally catch one in Manistee while perch fishing but it was only a baby.
My buddies Rob and Calvin and I set off to try for some sturgeon earlier this month. Our first trip, we had some motor issues and weather issues. We didn’t get to fish as long as we would like to and the fish just did not want to cooperate. It was a nice night out anyways.
Couple nights later, we went back out. I was expecting a lot of waiting but while setting our third rod, the second started to slightly go up and down like a small salmon would on a down rigger rod. I grabbed it and waited. After not feeling anything for a little bit I slowly started to reel in. Then I felt something and continue to reel. At first I did not think it was anything special. Then it came to the surface and confirmed I had my first big sturgeon on. It then went right back down to the bottom. The nerves started going, I really wanted this fish. After a few minutes, I had him back to the surface and in the net. Finally, my first nice Sturgeon! 🙂
Photos by Rob
We ended up reeling in another sturgeon later that night but it was a lot smaller. My buddy Calvin also reeled in his first Sturgeon on his boat as well which was super cool.
Couple nights later I was talking to a buddy of mine, Sheldon. He had asked about Sturgeon and I invited him down.
At first, it did not look good. My anchor was not holding and the fish were not jumping. After a couple moves, they started to jump around us and some guys left a spot I wanted to fish. Right a way we started hooking into sheepies and Catfish. Sheldon had the hot rod and hooked into another fish. Thinking it was a junk fish, he handed the rod off to his buddy Lucas. Sure enough, that was supposed to be Sheldon’s first sturgeon.
Nice fish Lucas!
As it was getting closer and closer to pull lines, Sheldon continue to have bites the “hot” rod with many bites. Sheldon then hooked what would be the fight of his life. After 40 minutes jumping, tugging and tussling, Sheldon had a fish of his dreams in the boat, a 52 inch Sturgeon. What an exciting night!
The next night I went back out with Rob on his boat. We had our buddy Jlee and Calvin was on his boat again with Jeremy. The fishing was kind of slow but we did manage one smallish Sturgeon in both boats. Rob also landed a nice catfish that put up a nice fight. Some had to work early in the AM so we headed in.
I am by far no expert at this but I thought I would point out a few things that I have notice has helped us hook into sturgeon the past couple times. This might change but I thought I would share what I have learned so far.
1. When a fish is biting with a circle hook, DO NOT SET the hook. You will pull the hook out of the fishes mouth. Slowly reel until you feel the fish and then the fight should be on. If done correctly, the fish will be on.
2. If you’re not hooking up, move until your finding biters. Every single fish we have hooked has come when we moved to another spot. Once you find some biters, don’t be afraid to hang out for a little bit.
3. Don’t be cheap! If your worms are not moving, replace them. I would not throw them overboard just yet, but if you have 6 dozen, don’t be afraid to use them. Our sturgeon bites have always came when we moved and when we had fresh bait on the line.
I am hoping to get out a few more times but with salmon season starting, it may be hard.
A big “Thank You” goes out to my buddy Rob for showing me how it’s done for Sturgeon. Going to be nice chasing something big on the east side when I can not get over to Lake Michigan. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check us out on some of our other social media sites: