Diane and I have been somewhat serious sturgeon hunters for about 5 years now, and we’ve done what I feel has been a pretty good job at finding these ancient beasts. The status of the fishery has been in serious decline for the last 10 years due to several factors, the biggest being depredation from sea lions that have moved inland from the pacific ocean. These gluttonous fatty’s have followed the salmon runs up the river and now have settled down in the Willamette and Columbia Rivers because of the abundant food available year round to them. Sea lions are on the federal protected list and no killing of these fur bags is allowed unfortunately! As a result of the declining numbers of fish, Oregon and Washington have placed a strict 5 fish a year harvest quota and have implemented a slot limit as well. Sportsman are only allowed one fish per day and they must fall in between the 38″to 54″ length range. We really love the taste of sturgeon, but understand that for the numbers to rebound, we need to limit our take to 2 or 3 fish a year between the two of us. This year, we concentrated our efforts on the lower Columbia River fishery, specifically around the Longview, WA and Astoria, OR areas. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been trekking down to Astoria and have been fishing off of the wall there. We have had fish on, but did not seal the deal until July 4th, the last day of the spring season. The previous weekend, we met a really nice group of Vietnamese fisherman who seemed to have no trouble catching fish, and with the two of us struggling, I sent Diane (Miss chatty Cathy!) over to talk to them to try to uncover their secret. They were more than willing to share, and I am happy to say that I finally connected with a really great fish caught in the waning hours of the season. Believe it or not, this 49″ long sturgeon was caught with a piece of shad smaller than the the nail on your thumb! School was in session, and I’m happy to say that we seem to have learned the lesson! A big thank you to those great people that helped us understand a little more about the food preferences of these wonderful fish!!
- Okuma SST 13’10” Columbia Special Rod
- Shimano Tekota 700 level wind reel spooled with 65 lb Tuff Line braid
- Owner 5/0 barbless hook
- 12 oz pyramid weight
- Berkley 80 lb rated snap swivel
- American shad for bait