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DonBo

Big Sturgeon Question

29 posts in this topic

I have a new place on a lake in Wisconsin that is famous for big sturgeon, 50-60 lbs is not uncommon.

I have never fished for them before and was wondering how heavy and what type of line I needed to have a decent chance of catching one of those bad boys? I won't be buying a new rod. The one I plan on using is a 7' MH casting rod with a not very big reel. (smaller spool) Because of this, I was thinking maybe one of the new small diameter braids? Also how big and what type of hook should I use.

I understand most people just use a gob of nightcrawlers with a heavy sinker.

I also know the season isn't till Sept, so don't start with me. grin

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If I was getting a big sturgeon setup and specifically targeting sturgeon on a regular basis, I'd spool up nothing less than an abu garcia 6500 with 80lb braid. I was talking to a guy in Intl. Falls who regularly fishes sturgies, he uses 100lb braid. You can certainly land a big fish with less than that, but with a fish like sturgeon, I'd like to have lots of confidence in my line. Stronger line also means you can set your drag heavier, which makes for shorter fights. Shorter fights and less exhausted fish make for healthier fish and successful releases.

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#5 gamakatsu octopus or octopus circle for hook.

I use a abu garcia 6600 with power pro #40 and MH rod

You will want a bigger reel for torque while, reeling the smaller reel will carry enough line but the drag and torque maybe insufficient.

DonBo if your interested be happy to have you in my boat on the St.Croix . Can give you some ins and outs before you go to Sconie land.

Its getting close cant waite

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Is your boat back in biz?

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Not yet mad The guy is slow but does good work should be soon. He has had in front of his garage for a weak and a half. Stopping by his place tonght to see his progress and maybe light a kindly placed match under him.

I cant complain he is a real nice guy and he does this for a living durring the day and he is really fair for what he does.

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That sux. My boat is home from the lake this week, 1st time all summer. Was thinking of hitting the Croix Sun morning. Interested?

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I donno if i'd even try it without the propert equipment. The biggest one I got was only 54" and it took me over 20 minutes on a pool cue w/ a st. croix avid reel spooled w/ 60lb power pro. Granted that was in some pretty stiff current, but still....

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You can probably get away with lighter equipment on a lake, especially from in a boat vs on a river, especially if you're on shore. From the sounds of the reel you'd be using I'd guess a 50 or 65lb braid would suffice. Maybe use only enough backing to prevent spool/line slippage and go with plenty of mainline.

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Backing? You're talking to a walleye/crappie guy. What would you recommend for backing? How much? Why? Tie the hook directly to the braid?

And yes, from a boat, in a lake, no snags.

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How much - just enough to cover the spool

Why - so the braid doesn't slip on the spool

Tie directly to the braid, just make sure to use a polymer knot

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That sux. My boat is home from the lake this week, 1st time all summer. Was thinking of hitting the Croix Sun morning. Interested?
I would love to but I'm starting up another job tomorrow.

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Darn work always getting in the way of fun...

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[spelling police]

How much - just enough to cover the spool

Why - so the braid doesn't slip on the spool

Tie directly to the braid, just make sure to use a palomar knot

[/spelling police]

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DonBo - you OK with the backing concept? As stated earlier, mainly to prevent line from slipping on the spool - braids are typically coated and tend to be slick. Also, in some instances such as musky fishing a reel could hold 250 yards of 80lb braid. Absolutely no way you need that much - gets real spendy. Yet if you don't fill up the spool your casting suffers and you end with a lower rate of retrieve(think lower gear ratio).

In your case with sturgeon you probably want plenty of braid to handle the long runs they are capable of. You get a big one going you aren't stopping it without some heavy arse tackle. Granted you can follow with the boat so that a plus.

For backing I'd go to walmart - they have 1/4lb spools of trilene big game or stren high impact in 20lb test for dirt cheap.

Best bet for now is to take a look at the reel you'll be using and find out what the line capacity - we'll get er figured out from there.

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Looks like I may just be in the market for a new rig after all. I doubt my reel will handle the amount of line you're all recommending. I'll take a look at it and see.

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If you do it right Don it can also double as a musky or cat rod, though for sturgeon you'd probably go slower action which would make it tough to cast with, though you could troll with it. That'd help you get a little more value out of a set-up that otherwise goes unused 11 months of the year.

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I'm thinkin' I could use a trolling set-up. That may be the plan.

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As stated earlier, mainly to prevent line from slipping on the spool - braids are typically coated and tend to be slick.

To prevent braided line slipping on the spool, just tape the first loop and knot to the spool. You don't need mono backing. This works. A reel repair specialist told me this trick and it works...no slipping.

I use a minimum 7 foot Extra Heavy Musky rod with a minimum 400 series Shimano or Okuma baitcasting reel spooled with 65lb Power Pro or Spiderwire Stealth. Why mess around with anything less than that for a fish that might weigh 50 to 100 lbs?

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You don't need mono backing. This works.

Yeah, but why waste money on 300+ yards of expensive Power Pro when the majority of that will never see the light of day? I put on about 125 yards of Power Pro on my reels--the rest is mono.

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^^^^ What RW said ^^^

It makes no sense to fill up those big reels with expensive line. Use the tape trick on the small spinning reels.

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I thought it slipped only on baitcasting reels Darren? You saying my spinning reel will need tape or mono backing? I hate using mono backing because if I end up losing line over time then I'm stuck with only 25 yards or so of Suffix braid and mono after that and I don't feel comfortable with a big fish with a mono-braid combo like that especially with a uni-uni knot.

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I thought it slipped only on baitcasting reels Darren? You saying my spinning reel will need tape or mono backing? I hate using mono backing because if I end up losing line over time then I'm stuck with only 25 yards or so of Suffix braid and mono after that and I don't feel comfortable with a big fish with a mono-braid combo like that especially with a uni-uni knot.

If you get lucky it won't slip. However the whole idea is that mono stretches so you can get a good tight not to any reel that doesn't have the whole through (which is all spinning reels). Braids however don't stretch so sometimes you get a nice tight not, other times maybe not so much. On a spinning reel either tape or as little as 6 feet of backing will do the trick.

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300 yards of line! What are you going after....sailfish, tuna? We're talking sturgeon where a 40 yard cast and 100 yard run with 50+ pounds of good braided line gets you any lake sturgeon in North America.

After spending hundreds of dollars on high end equipment, you're going to save yourself $5 worth of line that might lose you the fish of a life time. No thank you.

Tape the line and knot. Use a wet palomar to tie the swivel to the line and you'll never have a problem with slippage, loose knots, anything.

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My reels hold 300+ yards of line. A reel performs best with a full spool. Just makes sense to me. If I put tape on the spool and just 100-150 yards of Power Pro, my reels would be darn near empty and cast like [PoorWordUsage], not to mention the retrieve would be incredibly slow.

Fish however you want, but mono backing is what makes sense to me.

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