02/12/2017 The Quest for the Elusive Sturgeon…

14 Feb

To sturgeon fish or not? That is the question…

Do you like starring at your rod all day? Are you okay if you don’t get a bite and come home empty handed? Are you willing to brave the element for that “ONE” bite? Are you willing to go days, months, and years without catching one?

If you say yes then you are ready. But first you must do your homework and double check your gear and regulation on the area you are fishing. i.e. barbless only hooks!  Slot limit to keep is between 40-60 inch, etc…

February 12, 2017…The night before Mr Lost_anchovy shot out a few messages that he was going hunting for sturgeon. Ask if I wanna go? I paused and ponder those questions I asked earlier…After a few moments of watching video of monster sturgeon being caught and report of good success in that area…It quickly fired me up.

5 am quickly rolls around with the alarm blaring in the background. As I lean over to silence it, I lay there contemplating whether to make the 3 hour drive and stare at my rod all day or go back to sleep. Then suddenly the thought of potentially catching a monster sturgeon shot in my head and just like that…I’m out of bed, loading up the kayak, and off I went into the cold and foggy morning.

Finally arriving in Suisun City to Beldin Landing boat launch (Montezuma Slough) with clear skies. As I turn into the parking lot, I see Lost_Anchovy unloading and getting ready to hit the water. I quickly unload and we both set out to the battleground. As we were heading to the spot, we quickly saw a boat fighting and landing a sturgeon. The sign were looking good. The fish finder confirm there were a lot of big fish in the area!! And by the marks, they were feeding!! When you see fish at the bottom, that means they are feeding. If you notice the mark in the middle column of the water, that means they are passing through.

The sign and condition were looking great. We arrived at the battleground and immediately started fishing. I loaded a rod with a piece of eel and two ghost shrimp. Threw it out while prepping the other rod for bait. As I’m doing that I looked over and notice a little tap on my rod. I slowly pick up the rod just in case I had to swing for the fence. In sturgeon fishing, popular belief is that any movement at all, you swing for the fence!! Well I remember watching a video that say otherwise.

Sturgeon are bottom feeders and are very picky. They will typically suck up the bait and spit it out hence why you see the tap tap tap on your rod. If you swing for the fence, you will most likely miss it. I waited for a more defined bite which didn’t happen so I placed it back in the rod holder and continue to prep the other rod. A few minutes later, the tap tap tap was more pronounce so I picked up the rod and waited. The opportunity was finally here! You will only have ONE chance at the hookset. I waited and timed it so when it goes down, I would swing for the fence. I patiently waited for that down moment and then I SWUNG to the fence with all I had….

BAM…HOMERUN…FISH ON!! The battle began. The rod bent, the reel screaming and the lines on the spool slowly disappearing. I immediately release my anchor line to go for a ride. The beast was taking me left…right…down the river…up the river while I was screaming YAHOOOOO!! I slowly re-gain some ground and kept a good bend on the rod. The tug of war went back and forth…until I finally was able to bring it up to the surface and see it!! When it finally peaked through the murky water, I yelled STURGEON!! STURGEON!! STURGEON!! After 10 minutes of battling, I thought it was going to throw in the towel and submit to its faith. I was totally wrong. When it got next to the kayak, it made a few more blistering run for its life!!

Check out the end of this video to see what I’m talking about! (watch from 1:00 to 1:12)

You have to wait and battle the beast until its ready to be netted or else you will go home heartbroken and contemplating about committing suicide. LOL. You will know when its ready.  As the beast got next to the kayak, I made several attempt at netting it. Come to find that my net wasn’t big enough DOH! Somehow…someway…I managed to get it into the net and hoist it into the kayak! I then yelled out VICTORY IS MINE!! or is it…

As the beast lay on my lap, it still wasn’t done. It squirm and wiggle violently with its sharp diamond back and full of muscle. I made a rookie mistake and didn’t secure the net around the head and it wiggle and shot out of the net and onto the front of my kayak!! I frantically and without hesitation jumped on it and bear hugged it. I wasn’t going to let the fish leave the kayak without first asking LOL As I’m hugging the beast, I manage to get the game clip on and secure the fish…

I held it up and announced Victory!! The sturgeon was roughly 43-44 inch from nose to fork of the tail.
Please note the following when measuring sturgeon

 

We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon in hope that The Lost Anchovy gets one as well. There were a few moments of action for the Chovy that didn’t panned out. As the sun goes down in the horizon…Elton John “Don’t let the sun go down on me” song started to play and before you know it, the hunt was over for the Chovy. We went and grab a victory/failure drink . Beer heals all sorrow or brings out happiness. Either way we enjoy some pizza and beer! and recap on the days event.

I just would like to thank the Chovy to convince me to get out there and to push my limits. Until the next hunt!!

 

 

 

 

 

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