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Fish Chris

Yea' Buddies !!! :-)

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After the Sturgeon being almost non-existent in most of my normal fishing waters this year, I started putting some bits and pieces together, and geeeez ! Did I ever find them !

Tuesday I had the best Sturgeon fishing trip of my entire life ! The bite was just unbelievable ! Of course I was using my micro-lights.

Now the thing is, normally when Sturgeon fishing, it's about like throwing big swimbaits for trophy bass. You might get 2 or 3 hits in a day, and if you are lucky, you might catch one. So using two rods usually helps.... but they were hitting so fast, that in retrospect, I'd have probably been better off to use only one rod, and just holding it the entire time ! I missed a ton of fish, while messing with the other rod.

Another crazy thing > they bit any stinking thing I through at them ! I quickly ran out of pile worms, so I dug into my box of earthworms I had dug up, for split tail fishing. They quickly ate all of those up. Then I used up the rest of some old, funky, froze and thawed, froze again, and thawed Salmon roe. {hooked a monster on that.... I'll get to that in a minute ;)}

Then, when I was down to nothing but a large, dead split tail, from the day befores Striper fishing, I cut the belly out of it, and quickly stuck a very nice Sturgy on that too !

Okay, so here's what I caught...

Started out with a couple fat, healthy, and very strong.... but not quite legal keepers (legal size is 46" to 66") of 44" and 45" ! Even with those, I did actually disconnect from the anchor, and chase them around for 10 to 15 minutes each.

Then, at 1pm, I hooked one that I could just tell was BIG ! Seemed like it took this one a minute or two, to even realize it had a problem, as it just meandered around under the boat. Finally, it started swimming upstream, against the tide ? (very unusual). It did that for about 1/4 mile, before turning around, and swimming waaaay back past where I hooked it. I used Google earth to determine that I chased it for right at 2 miles ! It took me 2 hours and 25 minutes, but finally, at 3:25pm I landed that monster :) It measured 75", was VERY fat, and had an approximate weight of 130 lbs ! This is the biggest fish I've ever landed on a micro-light rod :) Whooo Hooo :)

Caught it on my new Shimano Sahara 1000, with the aftermarket carbontex drag washer, and I have to say, that the drag performed flawlessly ! In fact, not once did I ever reach up to adjust it, during the entire battle !

So, after all of that, with my whole boat, in shambles, and my arm feeling like it might fall off, I was wondering, "What could possibly make this trip any better" ?

Hmmmm..... Maybe a nice, solid keeper ?

So by like 4 pm, I'm regrouped, and back on the spot. This is when I had resorted to cutting out the belly of the dead split tail I had in the live well. Took all of about 5 minutes. First I got a couple of tiny "warning bumps".... then the classic Sturgeon pulldown... Swing ! Fish on ! Turned out to be a beautiful, healthy, 60" keeper :)

Now granted, it doesn't get dark until 7:30 or so.... but 1) I really didn't have any bait left anyway, 2) How was I going to top this trip ? 3) I had some serious fish cleaning to do, 4) my arm was all but dead as it was.

So I called it a day.

Now here's the thing, yes, I was on the water for 10 hours, but I spent 1 hour of travel (round trip). Next, I spent about 3 1/2 hours disconnected from my anchor, and fighting / chasing Sturgeon. Then maybe another hour getting the boat into position, poles baited back up, and casted out, etc.

So as far as sitting with baited lines in the water, waiting for a bite.... maybe 3 to 4 hours, of the 10 hour trip. And in those 3 to 4 hours, between fish landed, fish hooked and lost, and bites missed altogether, I bet I had 20 Sturgeon bites !

Just unreal ! I can't wait to go back out next week.

Couple things I will probably change though...

1) I will only fish one rod to start out with, and if the bite is even 3/4's as hot, theirs no need for two rods.

2) I pretty much know I can land ANY sized fish I hook on the micro-lights now.... it just takes a lot longer. That said, I think I'm going to use my swimbasit rods next week, so I can really feel the power of these monsters ;)

So basically next week, I'm going to see how many big ones I can land in a day. Honestly, I think I could land 12 or 15 of them if the bite was the same, and I was using heavy enough gear that I didn't have to cut loose from the anchor (in most cases)

Can't post a photo of the 75"..... as technically, anything over 66" is not supposed to be brought onto a boat at all. Then how do you measure it you might ask ? The F&G says you can put marker strips of tape on the side of your boat, then pull the fish up to these markers to get a good idea.

{the real reason for all of this, coming straight from a few of my F&G acquaintances, is that if they allowed people to pull these fish onto a boat, their would be people who had no intention of releasing them.... but then, if the F&G approached them, they would always say, "We were just fixing to release it". So basically, this reg gives the F&G a leg to stand on. I've also been told that in most cases, pulling an oversizer onto a boat, for a quick measurement, and snapshot, is not really grounds for enforcement. It's mostly when the "intent" to keep the over-sized fish is obvious.}

Posting a photo of such a fish is a whole other situation, as then their is no proof that "one didn't keep it" !

Anyway, here's that really healthy, 60" (about 60 lbs) that I did keep. Just got done eating some more of it this evening ! Awesome ! Tastes like Pork chop. Can't wait to grill some on the B-B-Q'er ;)

10494de0.jpg

Sorry for the epic ramble. I've just been stoked about this trip all week ! Can't wait to get back out there :)

Peace,

Fish

PS > I have posted a post with more emotioncons than this forum allows ?!?! So what are they saying.... I smile too much ? Doh ! So how many smiles are allowed anyway ?

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WTG, Chris! Awesome fish. I can't tell which is skinnier, you or the fish. Lookin very svelte there. :P

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Man Chris, what a day! What pound test are you using on that little reel? Couldn't be more than 8lb and that would still be crazy light line to fight a fish that size on. I would think even their rough skin and boney plates would eventually part the line at some point during a fight as long as you had with that monster. That's one of those days that keeps all of us out there trying to do it all over again! Way to go!

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Holy smokes, what a beast!

wow!!! great fish , congrats!!!

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wow! i've never had it but i bet its delicious!! sweet fish. chris!!

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Much thanks guys :)

Well Bluebasser, I'm using a micro-braid, which is about 2 or 3 lb diameter, and 10 lb test. Of course it's hard to compare it straight across with mono. It's just apples and oranges. I put about as much pressure on my 2/10 braid, as I might put on 6 or 8 lb mono (I think about 2 to 3 lbs of actual pulling poundage. {note: most people are quite surprised to find out how little actual poundage they are applying at the hook, even with much heavier gear}.

Anyway, because of the extreme thinness, I am able to put nearly 200 yards on a 1000 series reel ! Also, my G-Loomis rods are rated for 1-4 lb mono (straight up micro-light) which is great when using a braided line with zero stretch.

Let's just put it this way; If one were to put this 2/10 braid on a medium or even, medium light rod, and try to treat it like 10 lb mono (tight drag, harder hooksets, etc) he would be likely to snap it right off.

Oh, and finally, my rig: What I do, is that I use a bloodknot to tie on a long, 12 to 15 ft leader, of 50 lb braid, then a swivel, with a sliding weight above that. Next, about 20" to 30" more 50 lb braid, and then the hook.

The 50 lb braid does fine, when all the pressure its getting, is 2 to 3 lbs.

Interestingly, it's not the monster sized Sturgeon that would be as likely to cut you off. The spines and sharp corners on those big, old ones, are usually kind of dull, and worn off.

It's the fresh, little 30" to 50" fish that will often have razor sharp scutes (the diamond shaped platelets... just modified scales) and not only can they cut your line, but they can't cut the heck out of you too, if you aren't careful !

Next week, when using my swimbait rods, I'll be using the exact same rig.... only I'll be using 50 lb braid, with 80 lb leader.

Peace,

Fish

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i still can't get over you catching those big sturgeon on micro light gear.

what rod are you using? can you post a link to it?

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Man,My mom always told me stories of my granddad fishing for those things.I never could put in retrospect how big she was talking about.Your picture put that in perspective.

Great catch Chris!

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Very cool!

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Thanks again guys :)

Ya' know, honestly Dave, it's not that big a deal really. You just stick a hook in them, chase them around as long as you have to, and maintain even pressure. If they want to rip, I let them, but as soon as they quit pulling, it's my turn :) They will eventually wear themselves out. I think a lot of guys just get impatient, and start thinking that if they don't get them in soon, they will lose them, when in reality, I think a lot more big fish, hooked light gear, are lost, due to guys trying to rush the situation.

Their is actually one kind of interesting thing I didn't mention....

Earlier in the trip, (I think I had already caught the 44" and 45") I ran into 3 guys (two in one small aluminum, and one in another) who told me they had already broke off two monsters. I could see that they were using heavy, bait casting gear, suited for 30 lb mono, or 80 lb braid. I showed them my gear, and one of them immediately told me I'd never land a big one on this gear if I hooked it. I just kind of shrugged my shoulders, and told them, "Well, I've caught 5 Sturgies on this exact gear, in the 100 lb range in the past". They just kind of looked at me, and each other, like I was FOS. Uhhh, okay :)

So right after I hooked that monster, when it was swimming upstream, it actually pulled me close enough to those guys to speak with them some more. They were all tripping on my little rod bent in half.... And I just explained that I'd fight this fish 6 hours if I had to, but that I was pretty confident that I'd land it :)

So then it turned around and fought a long ways from them, and around a bend in the river. After I finally landed the fish, I came back around the corner, and one of the guys asked if I ever landed that fish" ? "Yes" I told him..... "just now". They looked at their watches, and asked, "2 1/2 hours" ? "Well, just shy of that" :) I told them it went 75" and was really fat, probably about 130 lbs. And that I got pictures if they wanted to see them. One of them told me, "Man, I believe you, and I'm impressed.....

But again, this is really something that anyone could do. It's all about knowing your tackles limits. Having your drag set right, and just being patient.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey Grimlin, and just think, the BIG one I got Tuesday, was twice as big as the 60" I posted photos of :) And my all tackle PB Sturgeon, was more than twice again, as big :) These things just get really big ! 200 lb'ers are relatively common here. Their are a few 300's out there. And I really believe that their is still a 500 out there somewhere. I think a lot of guys would be mentally beat, right from the start, if they hooked into that 500 lb'er... But for myself, I'd treat it exactly the way I do a 100-130 lb'er on a micro-light. Even pressure, for as many hours as it takes :) Fear no fish :)

The size of the fish really makes no difference. The principal remains the same :)

Peace,

Fish

PS, Oh hey Dave, I almost forgot.... here's a link to my rod, / info:

http://www.americanlegacyfishing.com/g-loomis-trout-panfish-spin-fishing-rod-sr720-gl2-nep.html

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Question Chris. Is it accurate that in order to have a line class record you must have your line bench tested? So 4# braid in actuality would probably break at a much higher rating than 4#. I know your not in this for any records but you stick some HAWGS! on light line. Nice sturgeon once again. :)

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Congrats FC what a cool fish! I wanna catch one of those.

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Well Hookingem, when it comes to world records (light line records anyway) records are pretty much out the window.

But 4 lb braid would not really be a good example, as I don't know of any such line.

Lets just say, 10 lb braid..... Now, 10 lb braid might test just a little over 10 lbs, but so might most 10 lb mono. In that aspect, I don't think their is much difference in braid and mono. The thing is, a person would not typically use 10 braid, for the same applications, on the same gear, as he would 10 lb mono. Typically, when an angler goes from mono, to braid, he jumps up quite a bit in lb test, even when the weight of the gear (or the fish he is after) does not change. Why ? Well for one, because of the thinness, and manageability of braid, he can. But another big reason, is that if a guy simply went from 10 lb mono, to 10 lb braid {even as crappy as mono is !!!} he would be kind of putting himself at a disadvantage.... because 10 lbs, is 10 lbs..... but 10 lb mono is so much more forgiving (with all of that horrendous stretch). No doubt about it, braid (pound test, for pound test) is more fragile than mono. Where a guy makes up for this, is that he is able to use a much higher lb test braid, on the same gear, and it will still be thinner, and more manageable, than mono of 1/2 or 1/3 the pound test.

So, when it comes to IGFA records, IMPO, a guy would probably be better off using crappy arse mono, simply because the IGFA does not distinguish between mono or braid. Basically, if a guy can get past all the stretchiness, kinkiness, coilyness, etc, of mono, it probably is easier to land a fish on 10 lb mono, vs 10 lb braid...... But just keep in mind, on the rods I used to use 10 lb mono on, I now use 30 lb braid :)

Hope this makes sense....

Hey Mat, yea'.... they are some crazy fish ! :) It will really put your heart in your throat, when one comes up and does a crazy, snaky jump... especially right after you just hooked it ! Only the 45" I caught this trip jumped. But in the past, I hooked a 82" that went completely airborne ! :) Whooo Hooo !

And I'll be out there again in just a few more hours !!! :) :) :)

Doh ! Is that too many emoticons ?

Peace,

fish

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Awesome fish man!

For IGFA, I'd be looking VERY hard at some fluorocarbon to set a line class record. Just sayin' ;)

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WTG Chris ! ! !

It sounds like that was one fun day on the water. You've certainly earned it. Your story and photo are great. Those are certainly some honk-in' fish you are tackling with that light gear. It's impressive and sounds like you're got it down.

Speaking of your tackle, this came from the link you posted regarding the rod you use - "A high-performance ultra-light rod designed to fish very light line. It makes catching small fish a lot of fun and has enough power to handle larger ones should the opportunity present itself."

I'm betting the good folks over at G.Loomis did not envision anyone targeting Monster sturgeon with their panfish rod !

Congrats again

A-Jay

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I use nothing but 20# braid on my offshore spinning gear and it holds like steel cable, hopefully you have packed on 2-300 yds of line cause you'll need it, I've been spooled 3 times so far this year. The only negative on braid is the line twist I get from trolling and drifting certain baits that twirl too much, bb swivels have not really solved that problem. The only braid that I have found that I can troll out a little bit ( far from perfect) is Fins.

Beautiful fish Chris !

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Wow Chris, wonderful fish and congrats on the other Giant as well!

Big O

www.ragetail.com

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Well guys, once again, much thanks.....

Unfortunately, I have to post this

update

Isn't this just the way it so often goes ? So, I finally find the hottest Sturgeon bite of my life.... and rumor has it, it had been going like this for at least 2 months ! I have a hard time believing it was quite as hot, as my trip last Tuesday..... but I do believe they were doing pretty darn well there, for the 2 months prior to my trip !

So, I make all of these BIG plans.... I get a whole bunch of GREAT bait together... I get up an extra hour early (2 am) I'm running when its almost still to dark to see.....

And the Sturgeon have just flat vacated the area :( :( :( :( What's worse, I have strong reason to believe they won't be back until at least this Fall, if not next Winter ! :(

Oh well. I know what to be ready for (and where) next time around.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So what was I to do with my second day off this week ??? Well, I did the super Spring cleaning on the boat, pressure washed the carpet {have to have it spotless and bone dry next week, for any possible quagga mussel inspections}.

.....then did a good wash and detail on my baby ;) {the truck}

Now during my workweek, it will be time to start getting the bass gear straight :)

Anyway, everything happens for a reason, right ? This year has been a bit delayed for the Largemouth spawn.... but right about now (or, my next days off :)) should be just the right time to stick some big green ones.... maybe a brown one too :)

Peace,

Fish

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