Tips & Techniques >
When choosing your rod it is important to pay attention to the
tip. You will want to use a soft tipped rod so that you can
detect the subtle bites that sturgeon produce. You also want
the tip to be soft so that the fish can't feel the resistance
during the bite. A strong backbone is a must when choosing a
rod, since white sturgeon can grow to lengths in excess of twelve
feet. A good choice is a 7.5' to 8' light to medium action
rod that is 15-30 lb test rated. I prefer composite
fiberglass/graphite rods because of they have a soft fiberglass
tip and a strong graphite backbone. I'm currently using an
Ugly Stick Tiger model BWC 2200 7'5" Light 10-30 lb line.
a reel with a fast gear ratio
that can hold 300 yards of line. I'm currently using an Abu-Garcia BG-7001-HS.
If you use Abu-Garcia reels that are older than
2006, replace the drags with
Carbontex carbon fiber drags and add some Shimano drag
This will keep the drag operating smoothly for years. Penn International 975 reels
are also popular, as are the Penn 320 series reels.
prefer the Abu-Garcia reels because of they have a decent
gear ratio, are easy to clean, and are durable.
Sturgeon will frequently run right at you when hooked, so a
high gear ratio is important to take up the slack to prevent
I've been using 65 lb test Power Pro
super braid spectra for my main line. I've heard of
break offs when using heavy sinkers with braid, but I
personally haven't had any problems.
you catch a fish using braid, you should cut off a section
of your main line that is longer than the fish that you just
caught. The reason for this is that sturgeon are
notorious for rolling in the line when hooked.
Sturgeon have sharp spines along their bodies and also have
skin that feels like sandpaper. Abrasions are hard to
detect when using braided line. I personally would
rather be safe than sorry and just cut off the damaged line.
you prefer to use monofilament,
use at least 25 or 30 lb test. 30
lb test P-Line CXX is
a good choice. Some people believe that the stretch in monofilament line helps to cushion the bite so
that fish can't feel it. Braid has no stretch so fish
feel the tension. This could result in the fish dropping
the bait before you set the hook.
I've been using 60 lb test Maxima Ultragreen monofilament leaders.
I tie my leaders to 18" in length to make them as short
as legally possible. You want a short leader because
you want the bait on the bottom. Sturgeon are
scavengers that primarily feed on the bottom. Another
choice of monofilament leader is 50 lb test P-Line CXX.
Some people use wire
leader because it is heavy and keeps the bait on the
bottom. I don't like wire because it gets kinks in
it. A good choice for wire is 60
lb test or 40
lb 7-strand wire. If
you buy a pre-made wire leader shorten to 18”.
|I use pyramid sinkers for
sturgeon because they stay put. Clip
your slider to the flat side of the sinker. Your goal with sturgeon is to keep your
bait resting on the bottom at all times. I normally
use 4 to 6 ounce sinkers. Adjust your sinker size to
the current. Use the lightest possible sinker that
will hold the bottom.
|Be sure to carry a variety of
sinker sizes, because in deep areas you may need as much as
16 ounces to hold the bottom. Change sinker sizes with tide
|You will want to use
a slider to attach your sinker to the main line. I
like to use a plastic slider. Point the short end of
the slider towards the rod tip and the long end towards the
|Be sure to check the slider for
grooves or cracks prior to casting out. Braided lines
can wear grooves in plastic sliders, so pay extra attention
if you use braid.
|Some people use metal
snap swivels for sliders. This works, but I've had
problems with the leader wrapping around the main line with
this setup. Go with whatever works best for you.
Be sure to use barbless
hooks. This regulation change in now in effect!
I like to use quality chemically
sharpened octopus hooks. The size of the hook will
vary depending on the size and type of bait that you
use. Generally, I use sizes 6/O to 8/O
hooks. Be sure to change your hooks if they become
dull. Some people even discard their hooks after
hooking a few fish.
I normally tie egg loop snell knots to my hooks because I use
roe for bait. If you don't use roe tie a surgeon’s
knot to the hook.
is my setup:
- Rod: 7.5' light action
Ugly Stick Tiger rated
10-30 lb test
Reel: Abu-Garcia BG-7001-HS
Line: 65 lb test Power Pro Braid
- Slider with
a pyramid sinker
- Snap swivel
rated to 350 lbs
- 18" 60 lb test maxima monofilament
leader with a swivel tied to one end and a 7/O hook using a egg loop snell knot tied
to the other
Chapter 7 >