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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:48 am
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Location: Portland, OR
Lower Willamette River, Portland, OR

Got my first trip of the year in on Saturday. I launched out of George Rogers park in search of some chilly water (38.2F) sturgeon. I was on the water and anchored up in one of my favorite winter spots. I had marked a ton of fish and I was completely stoked.... 2 hours later.... not quite so stoked anymore. The only action I had was a sea lion working near the mouth of Oswego creek. I saw it eating something shiny at one point, but I have no idea if it was an early springer or a steelhead.

The only reason I stayed on that spot for so long is because I had marked so many fish and because it is rich in structure and took a lot of different probing casts to realize that it was not going to happen there.

After that I pedaled the kayak around to a few different spots without marking fish at any of them. Finally I settled on another tried and true spot. This time I started getting bites right from the first cast. The fish were definitely a bit tentative and I missed the first few bites. Then finally after several misses I was able to tighten up on a fish and bam!

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A nice keeper sized fish to start the day. Unfortunately, that was my only keeper at that spot. I did pick up 4 shakers there, but the bite got slower and slower until it died altogether.

With a few fish under my belt I decided to get some exercise and headed upstream a ways. I went to another favorite spot and I was marking fish like crazy, of course I had been fooled by that once before. This time however the fish I saw on the FF were biters! No sooner had I dropped down when tap, tap tap and then:

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Lead to:

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The bite was pretty fast and furious for a while:

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I fished until it started to get dark when I had to pack it in. They were still biting when I left. I ended the day with 3 keeper sized and 10 shakers, a couple of which that were just under.

Overall it was a great day to be on the water. I spent a bunch of the day just being thankful to get to live in a place where I get to measure fish in feet instead of inches!

Last thing, either the same sea lion or a different one was working the shoreline on the other side of the river from me for several hours leading up to dusk. It seemed to get fish a couple of times. Too far away to see what, but that close to shore I doubt it was sturgeon.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:16 pm
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Location: vero beach, fl
man those fish are just crazy looking. we have occasional sightings of sturgeon in north florida. they free-jump in some of the rivers in the panhandle.
do your sturgeon jump when hooked?

cheers.
drew

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:44 am 
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Location: Portland, OR
uno mas wrote:
man those fish are just crazy looking. we have occasional sightings of sturgeon in north florida. they free-jump in some of the rivers in the panhandle.
do your sturgeon jump when hooked?

cheers.
drew


The sturgeon out here free jump as you describe fairly often. When the water is really cold they don't jump as often, but after some rain that pushes the water temp up a few degrees you can have days when they are jumping almost constantly.

Once hooked, I would guess that maybe 1 in 20 jump. Some days I get a couple of jumpers some days I get none. It is really exciting when you have a huge one on and you see that line slicing up to the surface!

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Fish tremble when they hear my name :)

A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
--John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Location: vero beach, fl
You have to forgive me, I know very little about sturgeon fishing. I always thought it was sort of like cat fishing--bait soaked on or near the bottom. But in one of your pics it looks almost like a lure or plug in its mouth? I'm looking with an iPhone so maybe my resolution is bad.

Cheers
Drew

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
uno mas wrote:
You have to forgive me, I know very little about sturgeon fishing. I always thought it was sort of like cat fishing--bait soaked on or near the bottom. But in one of your pics it looks almost like a lure or plug in its mouth? I'm looking with an iPhone so maybe my resolution is bad.

Cheers
Drew


You are correct it is like catfishing. I use barbless circle hooks. The fish are pretty much always hooked in the lip. What you see sticking out of their mouths is the bait. The way folks rig the bait for say an anchovy is to pass the hook through the back and then out the nose. I then slide the anchovy up the hook so that it is parallel with the hook shank and leader (tail is pointing towards the rod). I take stretchy thread and wrap the anchovy to the leader and the hook (lots of wraps). This keeps the bait laying straight and also keeps it intact longer. In the pictures this may end up looking a bit lure like, but it is just a hunk of bait.

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Fish tremble when they hear my name :)

A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
--John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:27 pm
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nice catch!


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