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Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 &...

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Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017
Heard about a private pond, in Idaho, where one could catch sturgeon through the ice. I've always thought it would be fun to land a sturgeon through an ice hole but doubted that I would ever get the opportunity.

Kory, Trent and I arrived at the private pond at 8:00 AM (the printed materials state that anglers are allowed to fish from 8:00 AM to 5 PM). After meeting Jim, the owner of the pond, and having him review the rules for how he wanted the sturgeon landed and handled, we were off to the pond.

We set up near the center of the 2 or 3 acre pond and hoped for the best. Trent (who had never caught a sturgeon before) immediately landed three of them. Then Kory caught one or two and I patiently (not really, but it sounds better) waited for my first bite. I moved around drilling several large holes (drill four holes in a square and then cut it all out with my ice saw) searching for my own honey hole. I eventually found one and was in business.

Friday we landed 20 and I think we all had several get off before we got them out of the hole. Unfortunately, I lost the two largest ones that I had hooked. The largest was around 5 1/2', landed by Kory.

Saturday, Jim told us to go ahead and arrive early, because we now understood the drill and we had already paid for both days. This was great news, because on Friday we had the entire pond to ourselves, but he told us that others would be joining us on Saturday. When I asked him how many would be joining us on Saturday he said that 18 had signed up. I actually counted 19 additional anglers on Saturday.

In approximately the hour that we were able to fish before the crowd arrived we landed 13 fish. After the crowd arrived and until we left at 2:30 Kory landed two more sturgeon and Kory and I had a few other bites, but very few. All of those other anglers combined had caught one sturgeon before we left at 2:30.

Most of the sturgeon, we caught, were less that two feet long with only a handful that were 4 feet or longer.

Moral of the story is that if you want to fish this small pond go during the week. It was a fun experience, although the sturgeon are all slightly deformed, likely from too much inbreeding and being raised in a confined environment. I hope to get my wife up there sometime during warmer weather to allow her to finally catch a sturgeon.

Pictures to be posted later and hopefully Kory adds some text and some additional pictures


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Awesome report Kent, sounds like two great days on the ice. Now you can check that one off your bucket list. By the way, how thick was the ice up there?


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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Were you using live bait? dead bait? Sounds like a blast. How much does he charge per day to fish? What other fish does he have in the pond for the sturgeon to feed on? Here I thought you were out on the river fishing them, still water, who knew !!
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Re: [wiperhunter2] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
The ice was only 18 inches thick.


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [Therapist] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
He only charges $25 a day and young kids and I believe also women fish for free. More answers after a while.


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Seems like a lot of fish mass for such a small area.




"Last one to catch a fish, makes the campfire"
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Re: [Therapist] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
I've never heard of anyone using live bait (other than night crawlers) to fish for sturgeon. Because of the way they eat I'm not sure that live bait would even work. His favorite bait is pickled herring. We used pickled herring, trout and cisco.

Other fish in the pond are koi, carp, cat fish (3 kinds), yellow perch, small and large mouth bass and crappie. Not sure how many other fish are in there (I did see a few suspended marks on my fish finder, which were probably not sturgeon), but I tipped my cisco with a whole night crawler, for several hours, and nothing ate (including a sturgeon) the night crawler.


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
(This post was edited by kentofnsl on Feb 5, 2017, 7:07 PM)
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Re: [ratnest] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
ratnest wrote:

Seems like a lot of fish mass for such a small area.

Yes, he has over 250 sturgeon in the pond plus the other fish. He supplements their feed with fish pellets (appeared to be just like the ones that they use in the fish hatchery). His plan is to add another load of sturgeon in there this year.


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Well that was an interesting experience. Never thought I'd catch a sturgeon through the ice. Not the most challenging fishing experience, but it sure was fun. Had a blast especially with the larger ones. I think the sturgeon are going to be hard to catch for the remainder of the ice season as they seem to be harder to catch than weeks past according to the owner and one of the regular fisherman out there.

I got a couple of videos but they aren't that good as it looks like some moisture got inside the case. You can see Trent's effort in making sure that last fish was landed.
https://youtu.be/RU95Jc59sZ4
image/jpeg IMG_0868.JPG (1.39 MB)
image/jpeg IMG_0859.JPG (1.56 MB)
image/jpeg IMG_0863.JPG (1.50 MB)
image/jpeg IMG_0880.JPG (1.32 MB)
image/jpeg IMG_0883.JPG (1.58 MB)
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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
 




"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Kent, reason that I asked about the live bait is that when I had my shop, I set up a couple of guys for Sturgeon fishing on the Snake. They were going to be using live Bluegill for bait and wanted some big circle hooks for them. None of my suppliers carried them and I had to go to Mustad and get them direct. As I recall they were like 6/0 or 7/0. First time I had ever come in contact with Circle hooks.

Neat pics, that small one is really skinny looking. Great post !!!
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Re: [Therapist] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Deformities are from being in concrete raceways.
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Re: [dtayboyz] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
dtayboyz wrote:

Deformities are from being in concrete raceways.

I thought the same thing; however, I recently had a chat with an Idaho fishery biologist. He explained that wasn't what caused the deformities but that they had such a limited supply of sturgeon in the hatcheries that they had been inbred for multiple generations and that was what caused the deformities to their fins. Since then, I have noticed that on planted sturgeon some fins are deformed much more than they are worn.


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [Ktrout] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Looks like you had a great day. Way to go!




I like fishing. A lot. I just wish I could get out more.
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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Great post Kent! Not something you see every day, that's for sure. Thanks for the report.




I like fishing. A lot. I just wish I could get out more.
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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Looks like a fun time and I'm glad you made it out there.

Is it just me or do the sturgeon in this pond look more skinny and unhealthy than the fish one catches in the Snake river? (not factoring in the fin abnormalities) A couple of those look kind of emaciated.





I caught you a delicious bass.
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Re: [doggonefishin] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
doggonefishin wrote:

Is it just me or do the sturgeon in this pond look more skinny and unhealthy than the fish one catches in the Snake river? (not factoring in the fin abnormalities) A couple of those look kind of emaciated.

It's not just you. They probably don't get as much to eat as the ones living in the wild do, and probably not receiving an ideal diet


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [kentofnsl] Ice fishing for sturgeon February 3 & 4, 2017 In reply to
Way to go Kent. Glad you got 'er done!

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