Sturgeon & Walleye Firsts
September 23, 2016
Don and Andy were with me again today but this time we fished locally. By the time they figured out how to get here, it was 11:30 and once again I was under the gun to produce. I really wanted to get them into some sturgeon and started out giving it a try. The winds were pretty big and out of the NE, blowing 15 to 20 knots with stronger gusts at times. We managed to get the anchor to hold and I realized quickly that the rod holders would be useless. The boat was surging with the wind against the current, making it impossible to detect bites. We immediately went to holding them and it didn’t take long before I had the first one locked up. Andy received the rod and landed a smaller than usual sturgeon but was happy to have caught his very first one. Although the fight was good, I told him it was nothing compared to what he would have if he hooked into a big one. We got the lines back in and waited a little while before I detected another bite and immediately was tight to a larger fish. I passed the rod to Don and he had about a one minute battle before the hooks just pulled out and the fish was gone. Too bad too as it felt heavy! We regrouped and got the lines in once again and about 10 minutes later after contemplating a move, I reared back on another one. I gave the rod to Don again, in hopes of him landing his first sturgeon. This time it stayed pinned and he had a battle! Lots of line peeled from the reel and about one minute in, the fish showed itself with a great leap that we all got to see. Although the fight lasted about ten minutes, Don was able to bring it to net only a little exhausted. I was glad, because the hard part was next! We got everything prepped and I helped him lift it for the pics. Several good ones were taken and a quick release right back afterwards. One down, one to go! I really wanted both of them to fight a big one and reset the lines in hopes of getting Andy a larger one to play with too. Despite all our efforts to hook up, we waited a long time and were pulling out before 3:00 to fish the remainder of the day for walleye & bass. Right when I was about to tell them to reel in, I once again felt a bite and loaded the rod up on another big fish. Andy was about to get his chance at fighting something large! Talk about a “Hail Mary”! He couldn’t believe how strong this one was and once it took to the air, realized why. It was definitely a good one and larger than the previous one Don had landed. He fought it great with a little coaching and had to do the sturgeon shuffle a few times when the fish changed direction below the boat. In under ten minutes he had the beast alongside and I was able to finally net her. It wasn’t as long as Don’s but it was definitely fatter. We set everything up and shot several pics before setting her free. I still don’t know why anyone would want to kill one of these creatures! Mission accomplished! Now we were off to see what we could do about catching Andy his very first walleye. Although the winds were terrible and from the NE, I was sure I would be able to get them into some good fish. Once I located what I needed, they began casting lures to try and entice some of the fish I was marking. Don had no trouble getting the hang of it and boated several before Andy started hooking up too. It may have taken him a little longer but once he caught a couple, he knew what to feel for and was boating plenty on his own. I had stayed out a little longer than usual due to their late arrival and ended the day with a few more fish just before 6:00. I think this day was a successful one with both of them getting sturgeon and finishing with many walleye at the end. Tomorrow is their last day here and I will be heading back in the morning to hook up with them. This time I have the road trip but at least I know where I’m going and should be arriving by 8:30 to hopefully have another great day of fishing. I’m sure that if the winds allow, they will be catching plenty of small & largemouth bass to complete their three day trip. Who knows, maybe even a large northern or two!!