Numerous Wet River Lake Sturgeon surpassing 50 inches, with a superb shot at fish to 70 inches with weights to about 90 to 100 kilos, make for spectacular fishing as soon as the river is ice-free. The decrease river close to the mouth at 4 Mile Bay simply above Baudette, Minnesota is a well-liked spring fishery, nevertheless, sturgeon inhabiting numerous wintering holes prvide alternatives upriver, too, to Birchdale and above.

Giant fish exist once more in the present day because the Lake of the Woods-Wet River inhabitants continues its lengthy highway to restoration. In lots of states with impacted populations, administration efforts to enhance populations embody moratoriums on business harvest, decreased leisure harvest, seasonal closures, low possession limits, dimension limits, sustaining and enhancing spawning habitat, and stocking native waters. In states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan the place leisure fisheries exist on choose programs, laws name for both catch-and-release or annual harvest of solely a single fish, the fishing restricted to particular seasons most often.

Sturgeon from each the lake and river teams transfer upriver to spawning grounds, typically in Could into June. Non-spawning fish within the Wet River migrate to the principle lake in spring, organising dwelling use areas in the principle lake, usually within the neighborhood of the river mouth. Anglers usually goal mid-river holes, much like fishing for blue catfish.

We’ve got good success fishing a slipsinker rig. Fifty- to 65-pound braid works nicely for mainline, as does 30-pound mono. For rods, a superb all-around alternative is a 7.5-foot medium-heavy-power stick to a softer motion within the tip. For giant fish we frequently used the Shakespeare Ugly Stik 2270M and Penn Worldwide 965 and 975 reels. Most occasions 2- to 3-ounces of lead does the trick.

When feeding, sturgeon transfer alongside slowly over backside, utilizing their barbels to detect meals and their thick-lipped extendable mouth to hoover up the edibles. A lot of their food regimen consists of larval bugs, mollusks, leeches, and small fish. Purchase a flat of nightcrawlers (500 rely) and you have to be set for a pair anglers over an extended outing or two. We have not needed to enterprise from ‘crawlers on the Wet River, however you may additionally have minnows available as they are often the bait of alternative relying on the place you fish.

Do not be stingy with the ‘crawlers — an enormous gob on a hook is extra engaging and simpler for fish to seek out. Most occasions you are fishing with rods in rod holders off the edges and transom. Strikes from even the biggest fish are sometimes simply delicate faucets and bounces of the rod tip because the fish vacuums up the bait and slowly strikes alongside. Solely when the fish swims away does the rod begin to steadily load.

The Eagle Claw 84 is a traditional J-hook that works nicely, with dimension 5/0 appropriate for giant sturgeon and a pair of/0 to three/0 for smaller to medium-size fish. An alternative choice is an octopus hook, just like the Lazer Sharp L7226 and Gamakatsu Octopus. In the event you’re utilizing J-style or octopus hooks, keep away from letting the fish run for prolonged interval to keep away from deep hooking. When you see regular bouncing of the rod tip, reel right down to set strain on the hook and maintain reeling as you take away the rod from the rod holder.

As soon as hooked, sturgeon dig onerous, usually pulling upstream towards you and the present. They are often spectacular jumpers, particularly throughout spring and summer time. Throughout fall they usually rise for a showy floor roll. A good fighter they’re, not solely towards angler, but additionally for survival as a species. But when lastly within the boat and cradled within the arms of a fishermen they rework into the gentlest of giants, excellent for a pose and an image earlier than launch.

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