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Kayak Fishing for Giant White Sturgeon

Updated: Feb 7, 2023


Kayak Sturgeon fishing is an exciting and unique way to experience one of the largest freshwater fish species in North America. Kayak fishing allows anglers to reach isolated areas that are not easily accessible by other fishing methods, making it an ideal option for catching white sturgeon. These ancient fish can grow over nine feet long and can weigh over 500 pounds, making them a true challenge for kayak anglers.

White sturgeon can be found in many freshwater rivers and estuaries along the west coast of North America, from Alaska to California. The best time to fish for sturgeon is typically from late spring to early fall, when water temperatures are warm, and the fish are more active.

When fishing for sturgeon in a kayak, it's important to select the right equipment. Sturgeon are powerful fish and require heavy-duty gear. A good quality fishing rod with a fast action and a high weight rating is necessary to handle the strength of these fish. Additionally, a reel with a large line capacity is needed to ensure that the angler can handle the fight when a sturgeon is hooked. Our setup of choice is a Seigler Reels LG filled with 100lb Power Pro braid paired with a 7'6" Heavy action Big Cat Fever rod from Catch the Fever. This combination gives you the line capacity for the long blistering runs, and the drag pressure and rod strength to get the fish turned back around and eventually tamed.

Baits for sturgeon fishing include worms, eels, and various types of cut bait including crappie and trout. The type of bait used can vary depending on the location and the time of year. It is important to do some research on the area being fished to determine what type of bait is most effective. However, as a rule of thumb, baits that are natural to the ecosystem tend to produce a little better, for example, Rainbow Trout.

When a sturgeon is hooked, it is important to keep a tight line and be prepared for a long and intense fight. Sturgeon are powerful fish and can make several strong runs, pulling the angler's kayak in multiple directions. It is important to maintain a tight line and keep the rod tip up to keep the fish from diving to the bottom and using the bottom structure to break the line. Whatever you do, do not let the fish catch you broadside when on a run. That is a kayak anglers most vulnerable position, and when they are most prone to flipping. When these fish make the hard runs they are known for, it is best to keep the nose of the kayak pointed towards the fish as much as possible, that way you are never caught out of balance. Try not to fight the fish over the sides of the kayak, always fight the fish by pulling it towards the nose of the kayak.

Once the fish is brought close to the kayak, determine whether it is safer to release the sturgeon in your current position or if there is shore nearby where you can adequately deal with the fish and grab the much sought after photo of your monster catch. It is important to note that sturgeon go into a dormant state when flipped onto their backs. This makes it much easier to handle the fish as they are calm and not thrashing about like they would be otherwise. It is important to handle the fish with care and to release it quickly to ensure its survival. This means not touching the sturgeon with dry hands or while wearing gloves as this can remove portions of their slime coat which can lead to diseases.

Kayak sturgeon fishing can be a rewarding and challenging experience. It requires patience, persistence, and the right equipment. But the thrill of hooking and landing one of these ancient fish is well worth the effort. Whether fishing for the first time or an experienced angler, kayak sturgeon fishing is a unique and exciting way to experience one of North America's largest freshwater fish species.


Steve Carroll

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David Graham
David Graham
Feb 06, 2023

ive gotta do this trip...

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