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Posted: 3/3/2006 6:08:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2006 6:09:43 PM EDT by C-4]
I have always had a fascination for sturgeon and I found a very neat book about them:



Link

The author talks about the sturgeon population in Wisconsin. Just curious if any of you have done this. My single sturgeon experience was catching one a few years ago in the St-Laurence river in Canada. I have no desire to fish for them but was curious what they are like to catch. The one I caught didn't weigh more than a couple of pounds. It was illegal to keep where I was fishing but I wouldn't have kept it anyway since there are so few of them there.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 6:28:11 PM EDT
Many moons ago I spent some time out in a shanty.... if anyone wants to know what it's like, heres what you do.
Go in your bathroom and take a 5 gal Plastic pail with you.
make sure the bathroom is dark
Place the pail in front of the toilet.
Sit down
Crack open a few green chemlights
drop um in the toilet
puts your elbows on your knees and look down "your hole" for about 8 hours

That's about it...... (drinking a 6 pack of beer, eating a stick of last years venison sausage and chain smoking a half pack of Newports is optional......)

Seriously, it's an opportunity every one should try at least once in their life if they can.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 8:08:05 PM EDT
Some guys refer to it as being like duck hunting up a chimney. But that is for the spearers. There is a hook and line season open on the Wisconsin River and maybe others. I have eaten lots of sturgeon because I have lots of buddies that spear them, and I can tell you that it is a real treat to bring one up to your ice fishing hole when you get one on a tip up.

We (I am from NH) don't have any sturgeon in NH do we?
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 3:26:02 AM EDT
I caught one by Sauk City one time while walleye fishing. I guess it went close to 30 lbs and I was using 5 lbs test line. Fought that thing for almost 2 hours before it broke the line (used up a 1/4 tank of gas in the boat too). Since it was not sturgeon season the DNR guy on top of the dam watched to make sure I did not even bring the thing into the boat. He came over later and checked my license and made sure I had all the stuff needed in the boat. He said if I even brought it into the boat he would have ticketed me because that will kill em.
Other than that I have just caught small ones here and there.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:36:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 5:38:10 AM EDT by C-4]

Originally Posted By Harv24:
Seriously, it's an opportunity every one should try at least once in their life if they can.



You gave an excellent description of what it's like to ice-fish from a bobhouse. I ice fish here in NH but I usually do it outside of a bobhouse and just drag all my stuff around in a toboggan.


Originally Posted By dalesimpson:
We (I am from NH) don't have any sturgeon in NH do we?



I don't think there is any legal fishing for them, but I'd have to check the laws to be sure. According to the book I am reading there most definitely are sturgeon in the Merrimack River and the Connecticut River, but in the CT River, they may only be located in a landlocked portion that is in MA above a dam. There are also Atlantic sturgeon that lurk around the estuaries of the rivers that empty into the Atlantic. But there are no sturgeon in the big lakes of NH that I am aware of. It would be kind of neat to stock them in, say, lake Sunapee or Winnepesaukee. It would be a funny sight to see caviar at deer camp.


Originally Posted By none:
I caught one by Sauk City one time while walleye fishing. I guess it went close to 30 lbs and I was using 5 lbs test line. Fought that thing for almost 2 hours before it broke the line (used up a 1/4 tank of gas in the boat too). Since it was not sturgeon season the DNR guy on top of the dam watched to make sure I did not even bring the thing into the boat. He came over later and checked my license and made sure I had all the stuff needed in the boat. He said if I even brought it into the boat he would have ticketed me because that will kill em.
Other than that I have just caught small ones here and there.



Cool. We have walleye in NH in the CT River which were introduced in the 1950's. I've caught a ton of them but you have to be dedicated about catching them. The river is shallow and they will bite in the spring during the spawning season (I personally don't fish for them then) or in the summer right around dusk and dawn. They only bite for about a 20-30 minute period and that's it. Sometimes I would get up around 3:30AM and fish for an hour in the dark. Once it starts to get light they start biting. Walleye is some excellent eating.

I'm also glad to hear that DNR is very watchful out your way. Same here in NH with Fish & Game. They watch people like a hawk. I'm sure it cuts down on poaching. Fish and game are a limited resource and if not managed correctly can easily get wiped out.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 9:47:32 AM EDT
The Wisconsin River has them in pretty good quantity, and the hook and line season runs from the first Sat. in Sept., to Oct. 15th each year. If you want to keep one, a few years ago, the dnr came up with a plan to have different size limits every other year. I believe it's 50" one year, then 70" the next. I haven't been able to fish for them for a few years, though my cousin caught and released one about 65", while fishing with me in 1997. They put up a great fight and, although they usually want to hug the bottom, they will frequently jump too. Musky or heavy duty catfish tackle is called for.

Unfortunately, next year, the dnr is going to charge, I believe $20 for what was previously, a free tag, that you need if you want to fish for them, and keep one. I think that there will be a big decline in the amount of hook and line fisherman next year. You can keep one a season above the legal limit.

I was actually on the water a few years ago, fishing nearby, when the guys on this website, www.carpecarpio.com/sturgeonfishing.html, caught and released these two sturgeon.

There are other rivers around the state that have a season also, and they are trying to stock the fish in parts of the upper WI River system up near Steven's Point, and Wasau, I guess. The biggest place they seem to fish for them now is below the Dells or Sauk City dams.

You can also get some info. at www.lake-link.com
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 10:27:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lazyshooter:
The Wisconsin River has them in pretty good quantity, and the hook and line season runs from the first Sat. in Sept., to Oct. 15th each year. If you want to keep one, a few years ago, the dnr came up with a plan to have different size limits every other year. I believe it's 50" one year, then 70" the next. I haven't been able to fish for them for a few years, though my cousin caught and released one about 65", while fishing with me in 1997. They put up a great fight and, although they usually want to hug the bottom, they will frequently jump too. Musky or heavy duty catfish tackle is called for.

Unfortunately, next year, the dnr is going to charge, I believe $20 for what was previously, a free tag, that you need if you want to fish for them, and keep one. I think that there will be a big decline in the amount of hook and line fisherman next year. You can keep one a season above the legal limit.



Thanks for the links. Interestingly, scientists haven't quite figured out why they jump either. There are a variety of explanations though. I mean, sturgeon will jump without being on a line. I can't be certain, but I may have actually heard and seen them jumping in the St-Laurence River. They usually do so at dusk and dawn so it is difficult to see what fish is actually jumping. There are also a lot of carp up there so maybe it is them doing the jumping.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 11:11:06 AM EDT
I have had them jump or roll on the surface, while hooked, and sometimes when I've been anchored fishing for them, they have rolled or even jumped, and often times a little while later, they will take your bait.

There is an interesting article about lake sturgeon during the spawning time in the current Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine and here is the article online. www.wnrmag.com/stories/2006/feb06/sturgeon.htm
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 3:03:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lazyshooter:
I have had them jump or roll on the surface, while hooked, and sometimes when I've been anchored fishing for them, they have rolled or even jumped, and often times a little while later, they will take your bait.

There is an interesting article about lake sturgeon during the spawning time in the current Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine and here is the article online. www.wnrmag.com/stories/2006/feb06/sturgeon.htm



Thank you for the additional link. I only ever remember eating smoked sturgeon once. I would feel bad about eating caviar, but I have tried 'junkfish caviar' (lumpfish, whitefish) as one of the caviar dealers describes it to the author.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 10:50:41 PM EDT
People catch them up here in the St Louis river occasionally. I have yet to catch one, but I fish artificials more than bait fishing. Amazing fish that get HUGE!
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 4:08:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By inferno715:
People catch them up here in the St Louis river occasionally. I have yet to catch one, but I fish artificials more than bait fishing. Amazing fish that get HUGE!



How far is Lake Winnebago from you? They have one of the largest sustainable sturgeon fishing in the world! I can't think of another freshwater fish that grows larger than sturgeon in North America.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 6:53:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By inferno715:
People catch them up here in the St Louis river occasionally. I have yet to catch one, but I fish artificials more than bait fishing. Amazing fish that get HUGE!



How far is Lake Winnebago from you? They have one of the largest sustainable sturgeon fishing in the world! I can't think of another freshwater fish that grows larger than sturgeon in North America.



Approx a 6hr drive. I know where it is, I have family in the area.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 9:44:15 AM EDT
I about 12 or so miles from Lake Winnebago. Our Sturgeon get big, but not as big as the ones that they catch out west.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 7:32:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dalesimpson:
I about 12 or so miles from Lake Winnebago. Our Sturgeon get big, but not as big as the ones that they catch out west.



But at least you guys have a season for them. Out West they can only catch them IIRC.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 7:39:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By dalesimpson:
I about 12 or so miles from Lake Winnebago. Our Sturgeon get big, but not as big as the ones that they catch out west.



But at least you guys have a season for them. Out West they can only catch them IIRC.



Yeah, it's kind of pointless to practice catch and release when you are spearing through the ice. LOL I have tangled with more than one sturgeon on the Wolf and Fox rivers, and have had a sturgeon nearly land in my boat on Lake Poygan. They are a remarkable fish to see. A couple of times I have gone up on the upper Fox river in the spring to see the monsters spawn.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:46:06 PM EDT
Can you spear as a white man in WI? Or is it sturgeon only? Spearfishing doesn't interest me at all, I'm just curious.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:21:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By inferno715:
Can you spear as a white man in WI? Or is it sturgeon only? Spearfishing doesn't interest me at all, I'm just curious.



I believe the only species we causasians can spear in WI are, sturgeon, carp and other rough fish. If you are a tribal member you can spear all kinds of fish, especially Walleye.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:36:23 AM EDT
I don't know how to fish for a particular type of fish.

We bought poles, reels, some tackle, worms, a net, a fillet knife and went fishing a few times this past year. Fished from docks, banks and bridges. Caught a couple varieties of bass and a few bluegill in the lakes of Kettle Morraine North. Nothing worth eating.

Went on a few fishing trips with my grandfather as a kid. We always brought back fish, and I learned to fillet 'em and cook 'em. Never figured out the bait/tackle/technique/location nuances of going after a particular species though.

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