Sturgeon fishing is an exhilarating experience that attracts anglers from all over the world. These prehistoric creatures can reach astonishing sizes, making them a truly formidable opponent. If you're looking to test your skills and patience, here's everything you need to know about how to fish for sturgeon.

Best Bait for Sturgeon

Choosing the right bait is crucial when it comes to sturgeon fishing. These prehistoric fish, with their bony plates and elongated bodies, have survived for millions of years by honing their senses. Sturgeon possess a keen sense of smell and taste, allowing them to detect even the subtlest scents in the water. To successfully lure these ancient giants, opting for potent and enticing bait is key.

Aside from the popular choices like salmon roe, shrimp or prawn, smelt, and worms, there are other innovative bait options that can attract sturgeon. Some anglers swear by using pieces of fish like herring or shad, which release oils and scents that can travel far in the water, drawing sturgeon from a distance. Others have found success with artificial lures that mimic the movements of small fish, triggering the sturgeon's predatory instincts.

  1. Salmon roe: Sturgeon are known to be particularly fond of salmon eggs.
  2. Shrimp or prawn: These crustaceans make for irresistible bait.
  3. Smelt: A popular choice, especially for larger sturgeons.
  4. Worms: Nightcrawlers or earthworms are effective and widely available.
  5. Herring or shad: Using pieces of fish can release enticing scents in the water.
  6. Artificial lures: Mimicking the movements of small fish can trigger sturgeon's predatory instincts.

Experimenting with different bait options can be rewarding, so don't hesitate to try new things. Sturgeon can be picky eaters, and their preferences can vary depending on the time of year, water temperature, and location. Understanding the behavior and feeding habits of sturgeon in your area can give you an edge when it comes to selecting the best bait for a successful fishing trip. Remember, patience and persistence are key when targeting these elusive and majestic fish.

Best Lures for Sturgeon

If you prefer using lures rather than bait, certain options can be incredibly successful when it comes to sturgeon fishing. The best lures for sturgeon include:

  • Spoons: Reflective spoons entice sturgeon with their flashy movement.
  • Jigs: Vertical jigs can mimic the natural motion of injured baitfish.
  • Soft plastic baits: These can imitate various types of prey and are versatile.
  • Spinners: Vibrant spinners can catch the attention of sturgeon.

When choosing lures, focus on those that mimic the sturgeon's natural prey. Experiment with different colors, sizes, and movements to find the perfect combination that entices these giant fish.

Sturgeon are ancient fish that have been around for millions of years, with their distinctive elongated bodies and bony plates called scutes. These prehistoric creatures are known for their bottom-feeding behavior, often scavenging for food along riverbeds and in deep pools. Sturgeon have a keen sense of smell and taste, making them highly responsive to the scents and movements of lures.

It's important to consider the water conditions when selecting lures for sturgeon. In murky or dark waters, lures with bright colors or reflective surfaces can be more effective in grabbing the attention of these fish. On the other hand, in clear waters, natural-looking lures that closely resemble the sturgeon's prey may yield better results. By understanding the habits and preferences of sturgeon, anglers can enhance their fishing experience and increase their chances of landing these magnificent creatures.

Sturgeon Fishing Season

Sturgeon fishing season varies depending on your location, as well as the specific regulations put in place by local authorities. It's crucial to stay informed about the rules and regulations concerning sturgeon fishing, as they are designed to protect the species and ensure sustainable fishing practices.

Researching the fishing season in your area will help you plan your fishing trips accordingly. Remember to respect size and bag limits to contribute to the long-term conservation of this incredible fish.

Sturgeon Types & Species

Sturgeons come in various types and species, each with its unique characteristics. Common sturgeon species include:

  • White Sturgeon: The largest species found in North America, known for its size and strength.
  • Green Sturgeon: Native to the Pacific Ocean, these sturgeons have a bluish-green hue.
  • Atlantic Sturgeon: Found in North American rivers, these sturgeons are known for their caviar.
  • Siberian Sturgeon: Native to Russia, these sturgeons are valued for their caviar as well.

Learning about the different sturgeon species helps you understand the behavior and habits of the fish you're targeting, improving your chances of a successful catch.

Basic Sturgeon Setup for Beginners

Before you hit the water, it's essential to have the right setup for sturgeon fishing. Here's a step-by-step guide to help beginners get started:

  1. Choose a sturdy fishing rod and reel with a heavy-duty line, capable of handling the weight and power of sturgeon.
  2. Attach a heavy sinker to the end of your line to keep your bait anchored to the bottom, where sturgeon often feed.
  3. Add a leader line between your main line and the hook to protect against the sturgeon's abrasive skin and sharp teeth.
  4. Use a sharp and sturdy hook suitable for the size of sturgeon you're targeting.
  5. Rig your bait onto the hook, making sure it's secure and looks enticing to the sturgeon.
  6. Cast your line into the water near likely sturgeon spots, such as deep channels or around structures.
  7. Keep your rod secure and ready for action, as sturgeon can strike with immense force.

It's crucial to maintain patience and be prepared for a battle when sturgeon fishing. Take your time and enjoy the anticipation of that thrilling moment when you hook one of these magnificent creatures.

Sturgeon Fishing Gear List

Having the right gear is essential for sturgeon fishing success. Here's a comprehensive list of the gear you'll need:

  • Fishing rod and reel:
    • A sturdy rod capable of handling heavy loads.
    • A reel with a smooth drag system to combat the sturgeon's strength.

  • Fishing line:
    • Heavy-duty line with a high breaking strength.
    • Consider using braided line for added strength and sensitivity.
  • Terminal tackle:
    • Swivels, leader line, hooks, and sinkers appropriate for sturgeon fishing.
  • Bait and lures:
    • Salmon roe, shrimp, smelt, worms, spoons, jigs, soft plastic baits, and spinners.
  • Tackle box and storage:
    • A sturdy tackle box to keep your gear organized and protected.
    • Additional storage for bait and accessories.
  • Safety equipment:
    • Life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) for safety on the water.
    • Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and appropriate clothing.

Investing in high-quality gear will ensure that you're well-prepared for the challenges of sturgeon fishing, increasing your chances of a successful and enjoyable outing.

Biggest Sturgeon Catches & World Record Sizes

Sturgeon fishing provides the opportunity to reel in colossal fish, breaking records along the way. Here are some notable examples of the biggest sturgeon catches and world record sizes:

  • The largest recorded white sturgeon weighed a staggering 1,100 pounds and was over 12 feet long.
  • The green sturgeon record stands at 310 pounds, caught in Alaska.
  • Atlantic sturgeons can reach impressive sizes, with the record standing at 14 feet long and 811 pounds.
  • The Siberian sturgeon record is held by a fish measuring 9 feet 6 inches and weighing 1,100 pounds.

These immense catches serve as a testament to the incredible strength and size of sturgeons, and they fuel the dreams of anglers hoping to break records with their own monumental catch.

How to Filet a Sturgeon

Filleting a sturgeon can be a slightly different process compared to other fish due to its unique anatomy. Follow these step-by-step instructions to fillet a sturgeon correctly:

  1. Lay the sturgeon on a clean, flat surface, preferably a filleting table or cutting board.
  2. Use a sharp fillet knife to make a shallow incision behind the pectoral fin, just above the stomach cavity.
  3. Hold the tail with one hand and make a long, continuous cut along the fish's backbone, stopping just before the tail fin.
  4. Starting from the top of the initial incision, insert the knife between the flesh and rib cage, following the contour of the backbone.
  5. Gently move the knife back and forth, separating the flesh from the rib cage while applying enough pressure to detach the fillet.
  6. Flip the sturgeon over and repeat the process on the other side to obtain the second fillet.
  7. Once both fillets are removed, trim away any excess fat or unwanted portions.
  8. Rinse the fillets under cold water and pat them dry with a clean towel.
  9. Inspect the fillets for any remaining bones and remove them using tweezers or fish bone pliers.
  10. Place the fillets in plastic bags or airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to cook.

Filleted sturgeon can be used in a variety of delicious recipes, allowing you to savor the fruits of your fishing labor.

How to Cook Sturgeon - Baking, Smoking, & Grilling

Sturgeon lends itself well to various cooking methods, including baking, smoking, and grilling. Here's how to prepare sturgeon using these techniques:

Baking Sturgeon

When baking sturgeon, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • Sturgeon fillets
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Lemon juice
  • Dried herbs or spices of your choice (such as dill, thyme, or paprika)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking dish with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Place the sturgeon fillets in the baking dish and drizzle them with olive oil or melted butter.
  3. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fillets, then sprinkle them with your preferred herbs or spices, salt, and pepper.
  4. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sturgeon is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Remove from the oven and let the fillets rest for a few minutes before serving.

Smoking Sturgeon

Smoking sturgeon imparts a unique and delicious flavor. Here's what you'll need:

  • Sturgeon fillets
  • Brine mixture (such as a combination of salt, sugar, and spices)
  • Wood chips or pellets suitable for smoking (such as alder, hickory, or maple)

Follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the brine by dissolving salt, sugar, and spices in water, then submerge the sturgeon fillets in the brine and refrigerate for at least 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Rinse the fillets well under cold water to remove excess salt and pat them dry with a towel.
  3. Preheat your smoker to a temperature range of 150°F to 180°F (65°C to 82°C).
  4. Add the wood chips or pellets to the smoker, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Place the sturgeon fillets on the smoker's racks and smoke them for approximately 2 to 3 hours, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
  6. Once smoked, let the fillets cool slightly before serving.

Grilling Sturgeon

Grilling sturgeon gives it a delightful charred flavor. Gather the following ingredients:

  • Sturgeon fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Dried herbs or spices (such as garlic powder, onion powder, or chili flakes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  2. Brush both sides of the sturgeon fillets with olive oil, then squeeze fresh lemon juice over them.
  3. Season the fillets with your preferred dried herbs or spices, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place the fillets on the grill and cook for approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until they are opaque and easily flake with a fork.
  5. Remove from the grill and let the fillets rest for a few minutes before serving.

Whether you choose to bake, smoke, or grill your sturgeon, these cooking methods will bring out the best flavors while showcasing the unique texture of this remarkable fish.Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of how to fish for sturgeon, it's time to grab your gear, hit the water, and embark on an unforgettable angling adventure. Remember to respect local regulations, practice catch and release when appropriate, and always prioritize the conservation of these magnificent creatures. Enjoy the thrill of the chase and the reward of landing a sturgeon that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Ready for Your Sturgeon Fishing Adventure?

Now that you're equipped with the knowledge to fish for sturgeon, why not elevate your experience with Getmyboat? As the #1 app for boat rentals and charters, Getmyboat offers you the freedom to make it a boat day on your terms. Choose from over 150,000 boats, including specialized fishing charters that can take you to the best sturgeon spots. Whether you prefer a captained journey or the thrill of driving yourself, book your perfect boating experience today and create unforgettable memories on the water.