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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:12 am 
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Location: Portland, OR
I took a break from my quest to figure out the upper river sturgeon and decided to partake in the easy lower river sturgeon fishing today around George Rogers today. I was anchored up and fishing by 8am. I knew the outgoing did not start until around 10am but I figured the fish should still be pretty active anyway. 2 hours and 4 moves later and I had not even gotten a bite yet. I was starting to feel pretty desperate.

I made my 5th move back to where I started the day. I was still marking a ton of fish (same as at the start of the day) but the good news was that they had started feeding. I threw out my anchovy without a lot of confidence and then felt that familiar tap, tap, tap. I reeled up to set the circle hook and had a nice fish on. It ended up being a really nice keeper in the 4 foot range. What a great first fish!

I now felt really good. I rebaited and tossed back out. A few minutes later another tap, tap, tap. I set the hook again and this time the drag just started ripping off my reel! Oh, yeah. This is a big fish.

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After a tough 23 minute fight I was able to finally wrestle this ~6.5 footer to the side of the yak.

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There were quite a few sea lions around today so I only took a quick pick of the oversized, dragged her for a few feet to resuscitate her and then let her go.

Next fish was another big keeper in the 4’ range. Then a few minutes later I hooked another big fish. After about a 10 minute fight I was able to get this 5 footer to the boat.

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So, my first 4 fish were 2 oversized and 2 big keeper sized. I have never had a day start like that! I ended up with 18 sturgeon before I ran out of bait. 2 oversized, 6 keepers and 10 shakers. About 1/2 the shakers were near bottom end legal, the other 1/2 were dinks. The other keepers I caught were in the low 40s.

The bite was so good once it started I did not get to eat lunch. There were tons of jumpers all day long. Water temp was 47-48. I did see one salmon caught by a fur bag - none by humans. The sea lions were around me all day so I tried to do most of my fighting pretty inconspicuously. That worked since even though I fought many of the fish near them, they never came over to investigate.

In general the sea lions (locally known as fur bags) are hated, but I liked this guy. He just sat there most of the day and never bothered me.

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With my last anchovy I caught this nice keeper:

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After that I decided to just go home rather than staying to torment the bass. When I got home my wife met me in the garage and asked how my day went. She assumed I came home early because I was having a bad day - I have never left early on a good day before in my life. I told her I came home because I ran out of bait. She gave me a huge smile and said that is not a bad thing :)

I showered ran to the store and bought some steaks and red wine for dinner. What a great end to a wonderful day of fishing on the river.

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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 Apr 15, 2013 10:55 am 
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You caught some monsters for sure!
Question, do you ever keep them or just catch and release? I'd be curious what kind of catch bag would be necessary for some of those "keeper-sized" sturgeon.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
Jcanracer wrote:
You caught some monsters for sure!
Question, do you ever keep them or just catch and release? I'd be curious what kind of catch bag would be necessary for some of those "keeper-sized" sturgeon.



I am just a C&R guy and the area I usually fish is C&R only except for a few days a year. The annual statewide limit is down to 2 fish now and will be 0 fish starting next year.

Until they close it next year, keeper sized are 38-54" so I guess you would need to make sure you could accommodate that range.

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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: Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:52 am 
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Location: Charleston, SC
Awesome pics and story! Do the sea lions try to steal your catch, or do they try to board your kayak for a snack?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:04 am 
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Location: Portland, OR
Elgeebee wrote:
Awesome pics and story! Do the sea lions try to steal your catch, or do they try to board your kayak for a snack?


The sea lions are an especially huge problem if you hook a salmon - their favorite food. A lot of hooked salmon get stolen by sea lions. Here are some videos from a popular PNW fishing site, sometimes you win sometimes you lose:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3ZIT...ature=youtu.be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3ZITbkJM2g

I have not had one try to take as sturgeon and I hope I never find out what that would be like.

The California sea lions (mostly what is in the river) get to about 750-800lbs. One of those could trivially knock over a kayak. If they grab the fish then it is pretty much time to cut the line. BTW, the California sea lions are the small ones. The Stellar's sea lions get up to 2000lbs - they are definitely to be avoided at all costs.

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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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