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Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record

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Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record
Randy, Nathan and I just returned from my latest sturgeon trip and it was right at the top as one of my best trips. Fun guys to fish with and three 8 footers, including a new record for any of my boats.

Back in September, 2016 I upgraded my fish finder to a Humminbird 899ci with side imaging. I had great hopes of being able to use to to locate fish, especially sturgeon, and anchor up right above them. Well, I have been extremely disappointed with the results and basically have gotten next to no benefit from the upgrade. Before this trip I was determined to get Online and figure out what I needed to do to get better results. I first went to this link and learned how to level the transducer (I had been just eyeballing it up to now):
Link . Went to Jordanelle, with my wife, and using the coin and level trick was able to level the transducer. I then joined an Online forum for using Humminbird side imaging and learned how to further fine tune everything, including chart speed. I was armed and ready to finally locate the sturgeon using my fish finder.

Well, the first day I used it a little but not seeing anything we just headed to a few of our popular spots and we were fortunate to find some sturgeon. The second day we did the same and really struggled to find any sturgeon. Late in the day I suggested we move to an area that has occasionally resulted in a few fish and I tried once again to use side imaging to locate a sturgeon. We were able to see a mark that was definitely a sturgeon (large mark and shadow behind the mark). We anchored up and told Randy where to cast and that if he did that he would catch a sturgeon. He made the cast and quickly caught the fish!

Now I'm psyched that if I am more patient that I can use side imaging to locate the fish and we can fish with confidence that there are sturgeon where we are fishing. The next morning, Saturday, we moved to the general area where we saw the sturgeon the night before and began the search. It wasn't long until we saw some schools of sturgeon off of the port side (the side that Nathan and I were fishing off of). Nathan baited first and made a cast while Randy and I were getting ready. Before I could even get a rod in the water Nathan had hooked up. Between Nathan and I we had about 10 really good bites and caught 3 or 4 sturgeon in just over an hour!

It slowed down after awhile and we pulled the anchor and searched again. About a thousand yards downstream we located them again and anchored up so Randy could get in on the action. Once again the bites and catching was fast a furious.

I'm sold on the value of using my side imaging to locate where I am going to fish. Without using it we sometimes went several hours between bites.

We ended up landing 16 sturgeon, had two break-offs (Randy and I clicked our drags one click too many), had at least two long releases and Nathan lost one after it bent the hook (again after one click too many on the drag). These are 6/0 heavy hooks and it takes a powerful fish to bend one of those hooks. This is the second hook I have seen bent by a sturgeon. I have a strong hunch that it is the result of the sturgeon being snagged on the side in its leathery skin and just the point is stuck in the fish.

Randy took top honors when we landed an 8 foot 9 inch sturgeon (new record for any of my boats)! It was a 40 minute epic battle to get that fish landed.

I will leave it to Randy and Nathan to post some pictures and perhaps some video.


"The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it"
- Criss Jami
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
This is the best trip for big fish out of the three trips I have been on with Kent and Randy. We were able to fish out of the boat for all the days that we were there because the wind cooperated. My PB before this trip was 73, this trip I landed a 79, 8 and my biggest to date 83. Its always a good time when I go on this trip with them and I cant wait until next year. Here are a couple of pictures of my 83.
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
 Ken sent you a PM..Danny B
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Sounds like a great trip and it is always exciting when you feel you ahve learned something that useful. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: [Piscophilic] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Way to go Kent. Just curious, how much do those fish weigh? And what sort of rod/reel/line do you use?

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I want to live my life in such a way that I may be the answer to someone else's hopes, dreams, or prayers.
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Sorry Kent and Jim--I meant to reply to Kent.

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I want to live my life in such a way that I may be the answer to someone else's hopes, dreams, or prayers.
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Re: [catchinon] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Randy's sturgeon weighed approximately 360 pounds. We use heavy reels spooled with either 100 pound line Power Pro and 80 pound Dacron leader or 65 pound Power Pro and 50 pound leader. Randy caught it on the lighter line. We primarily use Ugly Stik Tiger Lite rods, which are rated for 100 pound line.


"The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it"
- Criss Jami
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Pictures attached if you don't want to read this whole post...it's kind of long...

Thanks again Kent and Nate for the awesome sturgeon trip! I've been doing this since 2009 with Kent and FINALLY I was able to get one over 8 feet!
Here are a few highlights of the trip:
The weather was absolutely perfect. The ONLY wind we encountered the whole trip was Saturday afternoon about 3:00 p.m. when we were overdue to start the trip home anyway. I've never had 3 days in a row of perfect weather there.
The bite itself was either very good or very bad.

Thursday morning we couldn't buy a bite even after trying 3 or 4 previously known good spots. We finally moved to a new spot that was good quite a few years ago, but hasn't been that good the last couple years...and we caught 7 fish that afternoon there with many other missed bites...one of these was Nate's 8'3" fish, which was the biggest fish I had ever seen landed on a sturgeon trip (Until Saturday... Smile ).

Friday reminded us that this was indeed a fishing trip and not necessarily a catching trip...we managed only two fish the whole day. One in the morning and one as we were coming in in the evening...but we had a hint of success with the electronics and we were anxious to try that out again on Saturday.
Saturday we were rewarded once again for our time and efforts being able to use some technology to get us back into the fish. It definitely helped our game.

On Friday morning (the day that we only caught two fish), Nate had hooked into the 1st of the only two fish we caught the whole day and we all started reeling the other poles in. While reeling one of my poles in quickly I got hit rather violently...I stopped reeling and then waited for the fish to come back and hit it again. It's quite rare for a Sturgeon to hit when the bait is being reeled in, but it does happen occasionally. Anyway, after waiting a second or two I continued reeling in and got pounded again but this time the fish took the lure and ran with it. The drag was singing on that spinning reel and the fish was going straight away and fast! I wasn't worried since this setup had about 450 yards of line on it (65 lb) so I held that rod with my left hand (line peeling off and drag singing the whole time), and released the anchor with my right hand, then reeled in my 2nd pole while still in the pole holder with my right hand after throwing the anchor...More than half my line had been paid out when the line stopped and the reel quit singing...the fish had come off. Nate said I got "Freight Trained"! It was exciting and disappointing at the same time..that was the only fish I had on the whole day until I finally caught our 2nd fish of the day that evening.

On Saturday, I had a hard time landing fish. I only landed 2 again on Saturday but couldn't complain since I had landed the most on Thursday. Anyway, my first good bite was another "Freight Train" incident, that happened almost exactly like the one the day before. I saw the small hit...picked up the rod, it hit again, and I set the hook and it immediately started screaming and going out again. When this happens it's usually best to just hang on so I just held on and let it go...and at about the 1/2 spooled mark the fish just let go of it again, the same way that had happened the day before. Just like in the show "Wicked Tuna"...sometimes they come undone. But I had never had two fish come undone like that before and it was disappointing.

Much later (I didn't have very many bites on Saturday) I hooked another one and after fighting it for a short time decided that I didn't want it coming undone like had happened twice already...so I decided to show the fish who was the boss and tightened my drag...two clicks. The next sound I heard was a small "pop" that I both heard and felt in the line. After reeling in well over 200 yards of line I found out that the leader had broken...lesson learned. (And this is relevant)

Much later again on Saturday...after watching Nate and Kent get bite after bite while I enjoyed my snacks and drinks, I finally saw a small wiggle on one of my rods. This was at about 2:00 p.m. so we were definitely in overtime. In fact, I think that Kent and Nate were waiting for me to catch one more fish before heading home. Anyway, I picked up the rod and waited for another tick. I felt the tick, set the hook and confidently declared that this was a very good fish. Not wanting to be "Freight Trained" and not wanting the fish to just come off, I made sure I set the hook 3 or 4 more times...and left my drag alone and let it take line out as needed. Fortunately for me...I had 450 yards of line to play with here so I was not worried about getting spooled. Unfortunately, it was only 65 lb. line...with 50 lb. leader. With the other rods reeled in and the anchor tossed...I started trying to win. The fish surfaced 3 times. Each time it only got about 1/3 of the way out of the water shaking violently trying to throw the hook each time. And since I had already seen two 8 foot sturgeon landed this trip...I knew what an 8 footer looked like and this one definitely was an 8 footer! Which made me even more nervous. Anyway, it took 40 to 45 minutes, being very careful the whole time and NOT touching the drag again (been there done that) chasing it with the boat a lot of the time and we finally got it next to the boat and measured. My new personal best...8 feet and 9 inches!!! The pictures just absolutely don't do justice to this fish. If you look at the length/weight/age chart, this fish was somewhere between 350 and 400 lbs and over 60 years old. (that's older than me...but not older than Kent... Wink ). This fish was just massive and it humbled me to see it up close. Truly a fish of a lifetime.

Attached are some pictures and the video of the big fish being released.
Randy

N.E.T.O.= Not Enough Time Off!
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Sounds like a great trip. I can't wait to fish there with your acquired fishfinder acumen. Hopefully, I'll stop being a wind magnet.


How did Randy feel after his 40 minute battle?





I caught you a delicious bass.
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Re: [doggonefishin] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
doggonefishin wrote:
How did Randy feel after his 40 minute battle?

...I'm still sore today. Wrists, forearms and biceps hurt! I had a backbrace on luckily and fighting the fish sitting down definitely helps the back fatigue but transfers all the muscle use to the arms I think. I also used a "Cush-It" device, that definitely helps the belly/groin area when fighting fish!

Longest fish battle I ever remember and definitely the biggest fish of my life.

N.E.T.O.= Not Enough Time Off!
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Re: [N.E.T.O.] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Nice pics! I guess we were previously typing at the same time. Way to get things done. Smile

So how did you feel physically after fighting the fish? Edit, we were typing at the same time again.Wink





I caught you a delicious bass.
(This post was edited by doggonefishin on Sep 16, 2018, 7:20 PM)
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
If you are learning how to use your side imaging for sturgeon
you may want to buy the Humminbird 360 it works while you are not moving
where with SI works best when you are moving

this is a guy jigging for kokanee
Chasing kokanee with sonar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHD8PTn66Ao

after catfish
Humminbird 360 Fish Finder Basics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxC-EU90rHI

like you said the settings are ( fine tune everything) is a big dill . If you are off just a little you wont see the fish.
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Re: [liketrolling] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
liketrolling wrote:

If you are learning how to use your side imaging for sturgeon
you may want to buy the Humminbird 360 it works while you are not moving
where with SI works best when you are moving

Thanks for the suggestion, and although my current Humminbird will handle a 360 transducer, I have often said (as I did again on this trip) it would be great to anchor up and have the fish finder constantly scanning 360 degrees for sturgeon. I won't be purchasing one anytime soon. They are extremely expensive (about $1,400) and error prone. As you are aware, Humminbird expects one to return them to the factory to be maintained on a regular basis and for a serious chunk of change. The current technology requires it to rotate mechanically (and as a result requires frequent maintenance).

This was also the first trip that I left the side imaging on while anchored up, and I was pleasantly surprised that it marked sturgeon that moved through the beam.


"The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it"
- Criss Jami
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Nice job Kent. Its a lot of fun to hook into a six plus foot Sturgeon, and have it come flying out of the water.
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Great Report Kent - glad the fish were cooperating and the Wind was on vacation - you made me want to get up there and wet a line...

Just a note - on the bigger fish I always look down into their mouths to see if any hooks might be lodged from a break-off and I have found a few - the hook will rust off but the embedded portion of the hook remains very much in tact.

Thanks for the report

Leave no man behind...

'Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.'
John Wayne
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Re: [Lundman] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
On one fish we did find braided line coming out of its mouth. The hook was too deep to safely remove, but we at least shortened the braided line. I wish anglers would not use braided line for leader when fishing for sturgeon, because they often roll and the line gets near their gills. I always use soft Dacron for leader material.


"The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it"
- Criss Jami
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Thanks for the report, and I enjoyed the pictures. 2019 could be the year you catch a nine footer.
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Re: [oldfarley] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Yes, or even larger (I'm confident there are sturgeon larger than 9 feet up there just waiting to be caught). That is why I am going to make a longer measuring stick. My current one only goes to 9 feet.


"The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it"
- Criss Jami
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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Loved the story and pics of you, Nate, and Randy. WAY to go guys.

Kent, you're a good man for introducing sturgeon fishing to several folks. You have not only made your own lifetime memories but lifetime memories for many others. Way to go Kent!

Also, I am pretty impressed how you decided to dig deep into how to operate your new sonar. It obvously paid off. Good job Kent.

--- Coot ---




"Fishing isn't a matter of life or death.
It's much more important than that."

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Re: [kentofnsl] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Wow, unbelievable trip guys. Definitely makes me wish I hadn't moved out of Utah. Also makes me want to head back there for an extended sturgeon trip.
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Re: [Ktrout] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
Ktrout wrote:
Wow, unbelievable trip guys. Definitely makes me wish I hadn't moved out of Utah. Also makes me want to head back there for an extended sturgeon trip.

Well, what is stopping you? Wink





I caught you a delicious bass.
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Re: [doggonefishin] Sturgeon trip 9/13-15/18 New Record In reply to
doggonefishin wrote:
Ktrout wrote:
Wow, unbelievable trip guys. Definitely makes me wish I hadn't moved out of Utah. Also makes me want to head back there for an extended sturgeon trip.

Well, what is stopping you? Wink

Already have trips planned to Canada, Cuba, Florida, Cabo, California, and Japan. I'll likely head back in the fall after those.....