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Pigashalaka

Minnesota Road Trip for Sturgeon

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Hi, I am taking a road trip with truck and boat from Minnesota to the Columbia River Valley for Sturgeon. We plan to be fishing early August downstream of the Bonneville Dam, just up stream from the Fisheries for a week or so. I have heard this is a great time for oversized fish, as the area opens august 1st. Can anyone comment on this?

Also, I was wondering where a person would be able to find some shad for bait in that area or if I could by some from anyone on this forum. I am also looking for a contact out in this area to ask some further questions too and for some advice. Any help would be extremely appreciated. Thank you, Pig

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i lived in washington for a while and everyone i knew that fished there always caught there own shad right below the dam.i never got the chance to get down there to fish but i have watched some videos of friends fishing and it sure looked like a blast.lots of fish in the 10 to 12 foot range,on some of them they would have to take turns fighting them because they fought so hard and long.lots of great steelhead and salmon rivers in the area also.good luck you will have a blast guaranteed.

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I've fished the Columbia for the big white sturgeon 3 or 4 times but always with a guide. You will not find (or be very lucky to find) anyone that will sell you shad. At that time of year the you will need to cruise the river with a landing net looking for floating shad along with all the guides and anyone else who knows what they're doing. They die after spawning like salmon. If there are no floaters, bring a lighter spinning rod/reel and fish for them with little jigs. Basically, if you have a shad and you know what you're doing, you will get a bite on it. Be set up with plenty of anchor rope and a big ball float to hold your anchor rope up so when you release to follow a fish you can hook back up to your anchor. Make sure you do not set up in the barge shipping lanes as the barges cannot stop and will run you over if you do not move. We've had our boat catch over a ton (yup - 2000 lbs) of fish on our best day. Most of the oversized are 7-9' long weighing 250-400 lbs based on the estimates from our guide. I think in the 3 or 4 times I've been out there we only caught 1 or 2 legitimate 10 footers. The biggest our guide has heard of from a legit source is a 14' and the biggest his boat caught was a few 12 footers over 20 years of guiding. Have a blast out there. I did not get my Columbia River fix this year so please post your results when you get back.

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Thank you so much for the information! We are getting excited to go. We got all the rods and equipment we need. We are driving out on July 30th, to get out there early in August. I did go with a guide last fall and had a blast. However, I feel I can save a lot of money by doing it myself, for I have done a lot of sturgeon fishing on Rainy River in Minnesota, on a smaller scale. Nothing I have ever caught in minnesota or canada compares to the fight of an oversized monster. We got some that were 8-9 feet in October and I went crazy. Hard to do when you are an avid fisherman, but loved every minute of it. I will post pics when I get back. Thanks a ton.

Pig

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Pig,

Being out there with a guide will help you out a ton so you will know the ropes. I've always used Sturgeon Frank out there and learned quite a bit from him. If I felt like driving out there, I'm like you and could do it much cheaper, plus you could always take a break from Sturgeon and fish for salmon. Good Luck and have a blast.

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Thanks again for the reply. When I was out there last fall, we with with Charlie Foster at NW Sturgeon Adventures. He only fishes sturgeon and I called him yesterday and he is hooking me up with shad. Huge bonus, for the shad run was crappy this year. Also, I didnt even think of Salmon fishing at all, but I bet that will be a good time. I'll have to look into that a little bit...

It will be a great road trip, hopefully everything will make it out and back. If you want any more information or some feedback about the trip, shoot me an email...lukejohnadam@yahoo.com

Thanks again..

Luke

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well how did your trip go?hope you took lots of pics to go with the story.i know i have been waiting to hear how you did,i can't wait for a chance to get back out there and do some steelhead and salmon fishing......

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