How to Catch Sturgeon: Best Tips and Techniques for Success

Sturgeon is a prehistoric fish that can be found in many freshwater bodies across the world. These fish can grow to be massive, with some species reaching over 20 feet in length and weighing over 1,000 pounds. Catching sturgeon can be a thrilling experience for any angler, but it requires specific equipment and techniques.

To catch sturgeon, you need to have the right gear. A sturgeon fishing rod should be six to nine feet in length and made of a single piece. The reel should be outfitted with line that can hold at least 80 pounds and have enough line to run 250 yards. Sturgeon are bottom feeders, so you will need to use a weight to keep your bait on the bottom. Bait can vary, but some popular options include worms, shrimp, and salmon eggs. Once you have your gear and bait, it’s time to find the right spot to fish.

How to Catch Sturgeon Fishing Basics

If you’re looking to catch sturgeon, it’s important to have the right equipment, bait, and techniques. This section will cover the basics of sturgeon fishing, including the gear you need, how to rig your line, and the best techniques for catching these bottom feeders.


To catch sturgeon, you’ll need a heavy-duty rod and reel that can handle the weight and power of these fish. Look for a rod that is at least 7 feet long with a heavy power rating of at least 50-80 pounds. A level-wind reel with a line capacity of at least 80 pounds is also recommended. Make sure your reel is outfitted with line that can hold at least 250 yards.

Other gear you’ll need includes a landing net, pliers, and a wet towel or gloves to handle the fish safely. You may also want to invest in a fish finder to locate sturgeon hot spots.

Bait and Rigging

Sturgeon are bottom feeders, so you’ll want to rig your line with a heavy weight and a 5/0 circle hook. Use a slip sinker to keep your bait on the bottom, and attach a barrel swivel to prevent your line from twisting. Some popular baits for sturgeon include shad, eels, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, and clams.

When rigging your line, make sure your bait is secure and won’t come loose during casting or retrieval. You may also want to try different rigging techniques to see what works best for you.


Patience is key when fishing for sturgeon. These fish can be elusive and may take a while to bite. Look for deep holes in rivers or areas where the tide is strong, as sturgeon like to hang out in these habitats.

Once you’ve found a good spot, cast your line and wait for a bite. When you feel a tug, give the fish some time to take the bait before setting the hook. Sturgeon have a bony mouth, so a circle hook is recommended to prevent the hook from pulling out.

When reeling in your catch, be prepared for a powerful fight. Sturgeon are strong fish and may take some time to land. Once you’ve successfully caught a sturgeon, make sure to handle it carefully and release it back into the water if it’s an oversize sturgeon or outside of the harvest season. Remember to always follow fishing regulations and practice conservation when angling for this prehistoric game fish.

By following these sturgeon fishing basics, you’ll be well on your way to catching these ancient dinosaurs of the deep.

Sturgeon Habitat and Behavior


Sturgeon are primarily found in freshwater rivers and lakes, but they can also be found in saltwater estuaries and nearshore areas. The Fraser River in BC Canada, Columbia River in Oregon, Snake River in Idaho, Kootenai River in Montana, and the Sacramento River in California are some of the best places to catch sturgeon in North America. In Europe, sturgeon can be found in the Danube River, Rhine River, and the Volga River in Russia.

Sturgeon prefer deep, slow-moving water with a rocky or sandy bottom. They also require areas with good water quality and plenty of oxygen. Sturgeon are sensitive to changes in water temperature, so they tend to stay in deeper water during the hot summer months and move to shallower water in the fall and winter.


Sturgeon are bottom feeders and primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. They are known for their long lifespan and slow growth rate, which can make them difficult to catch. Sturgeon can live for up to 100 years and can grow to be very large. The biggest sturgeon ever caught was over 1,500 pounds!

Sturgeon are also known for their unique spawning behavior. They typically spawn in the same area where they were born, which means they often have to travel thousands of miles upstream to reach their spawning grounds. Sturgeon spawn in the spring and early summer, and the eggs hatch in about a week.

Understanding sturgeon habitat and behavior is key to catching these elusive fish. By targeting the right areas and using the right bait and techniques, you can increase your chances of catching a trophy-sized sturgeon.

Sturgeon Conservation and Regulations


Sturgeon are a long-lived and slow-growing species that are vulnerable to overfishing and habitat degradation. As such, it is important to conserve and protect sturgeon populations to ensure their long-term survival. Conservation efforts include habitat restoration, stocking programs, and catch-and-release regulations.


Fishing regulations for sturgeon vary by location and species. It is important to check the local regulations before fishing for sturgeon. In general, sturgeon fishing is highly regulated, and there are strict rules in place to protect the species. Some common regulations include:

  • Catch and release: Many areas have a catch and release season for sturgeon, which means that anglers must release any sturgeon they catch back into the water unharmed.
  • Oversize sturgeon: In some areas, it is illegal to keep sturgeon that are over a certain size. This is to protect the largest and oldest individuals, which are the most important for breeding and maintaining healthy populations.
  • Possession: There are limits on the number of sturgeon that can be possessed at any given time. This helps prevent overfishing and ensures that there are enough sturgeon in the population to sustain the species.
  • Lake of the Woods: In Lake of the Woods, there are specific regulations in place for sturgeon fishing. For example, there is a catch and release season for sturgeon, and anglers are not allowed to use gaffs or treble hooks when fishing for sturgeon.

By following these regulations, anglers can help ensure the long-term survival of sturgeon populations. It is important to be knowledgeable about the regulations in your area and to follow them carefully.

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