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Tattooer

1st Lake Sturgeon

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This is my first post also so I'm not sure how easy it's going to be uploading a picture.

The last few years I've mostly fished Muskies. I was completely addicted and couldn't imagine fishing for anything else.

I broke my ribs earlier in the season and it was all but impossible to throw those big lures all day. I couldn't just quit fishing so I decided to do it like when I was little, just throw something out and wait. It was every bit as relaxing as fishing is meant

to be. I caught some really fun fish to boot (the carp were the most fun but I caught some other random stuff as well).

Sturgeon fishing has interested me for some time but I just never got around to it due to my Muskie addiction. The day that the Sturgeon season opened, I decided to do just that. I through a gob of crawlers in the river, put my rod in the holder and sat down. My line hadn't been in the water for 30 seconds before I heard the clicker on my reel. I thought to myself "that's cool, maybe I hooked a carp or a cat or something". There's no telling what you might catch on night crawlers in the Croix. It was in fact my very first Sturgeon.

I am hooked. You all might be seeing a bunch of Muskie lures for sale soon.

I know it's nothing compared to other types of Sturgeon in other regions but for a Lake Sturgeon in Minnesota, 30 sec. after my first cast. I couldn't be happier.

I hope the photo works.

J

a>

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I didn't measure it at all. Just got the photo and back in the water as quick as I could.

I didn't know how long it would take to release or how long it could handle being beached like that. I decided better safe than sorry.

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I didn't measure it at all. Just got the photo and back in the water as quick as I could.

I didn't know how long it would take to release or how long it could handle being beached like that. I decided better safe than sorry.

That's awesome and I'm sure there are many (myself included) who appreciate the effort to get her back healthy. Cool

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Originally Posted By: Tattooer
I didn't measure it at all. Just got the photo and back in the water as quick as I could.

I didn't know how long it would take to release or how long it could handle being beached like that. I decided better safe than sorry.

That's awesome and I'm sure there are many (myself included) who appreciate the effort to get her back healthy. Cool

Well said. It looks to be a ~55lb fish.

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Geez, that's huge. I wouldn't be surprised if that's a high 60s fish and thick, pushing 70lbs. Very nice fish

That's what I was thinking too!

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Thanks guys, I'm assuming from some of the responses that I was right about the stress on the fish.

Is there a general rule of thumb about how long a release should take? Any advice would be appreciated.

I hung out with it in the shallows for 2 or three minutes and then decided to let it just recuperate on it's own. It looked like it was doing fine but it still wasn't moving away. After about 5 minutes on it's own, I thought it might need to be in water a little deeper. I walked out towards it and right before my hands touched it, it swam away nice and easy. I felt like that was pretty good but what do I know?

I'll try to find a release picture to attach.

Thanks again,

J

ReleasingSturgeon.jpg

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In general, Sturgeon are pretty hardy, especially compared to a Musky, but of course the less time out of the water the better.

The water is still pretty warm and I'm guessing that added a bit to the stress.

Every instance is a little different so it's hard to say, "yeah you would've been fine", or "I can't believe you kept it out that long"

You'll learn as you catch more, it's just not very often that someone catches a beast like that for their first one laugh

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In general, Sturgeon are pretty hardy, especially compared to a Musky, but of course the less time out of the water the better.

The water is still pretty warm and I'm guessing that added a bit to the stress.

Every instance is a little different so it's hard to say, "yeah you would've been fine", or "I can't believe you kept it out that long"

You'll learn as you catch more, it's just not very often that someone catches a beast like that for their first one laugh

Every instance is a little different so it's hard to say, "yeah you would've been fine", or "I can't believe you kept it out that long"

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Is that ( 5-8 minutes ) a long time for a sturgeon to recuperate?

I want to do this the right way so please bombard me with knowledge and experience.

Thanks,

J

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I've heard stories of shore released sturgeon that will just kind of hang around and seem like they are not doing too well. I think it might have something to do with the shallow water.

Of course if you battle the thing with light gear for 2 hours, there will probably be some issues.

Of the hundreds of sturgeon that I and others in the same boat have caught, I've never seen a sturgeon that had a hard time swimming away. Most of the time they jet away super fast.

I wouldn't be really concerned about taking 30 seconds to do a quick measurement and hold photo before releasing.

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That makes me feel some what better.

I was using pretty heavy Muskie gear and the fight was about 15 or 20 minutes from about 100 yards away. Did I do something wrong maybe?

In that photo, that's about as high as I could lift it. I didn't want to grab the gills to hold it vertical.

Is there a good method to lift a large Sturgeon for a photo or is it best to keep them in the water?

Thanks again for all of your help.

J

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That makes me feel some what better.

I was using pretty heavy Muskie gear and the fight was about 15 or 20 minutes from about 100 yards away. Did I do something wrong maybe?

In that photo, that's about as high as I could lift it. I didn't want to grab the gills to hold it vertical.

Is there a good method to lift a large Sturgeon for a photo or is it best to keep them in the water?

Thanks again for all of your help.

J

You made the right call there not grabbing the gills and doing a vertical hold. I only hope someday to catch one big enough that I can't hold. Sometimes it takes two people to hold up those really big ones.

For the semi-big ones, I would recommend just holding it like a big log. You will get slimed though smile

62x26.jpg

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I'm not sure what you mean by that. Is that ( 5-8 minutes ) a long time for a sturgeon to recuperate?

Not at all. When the water is cooler, they tend to recuperate and take off much faster, but I've had some big ones out of warm water that we've had to hold boatside for 15-20 minutes before they're ready to go. Sounds like you did everything right!

Bigguns can be tough to hold for a photo. I use the "log" method like Dtro. Of course, that assumes that you have someone to help you get it into your arms. Plus, you don't look like a real big guy (I am), so that fish would have been tough to hold. I think the picture you got looks great!

Now you have to deal with the fact that you'll probably fish a long time before you catch another one even close to that size smile Good luck, though!

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Sitting is often a good way too when in a boat but from shore if you do not mind getting wet you could sit.

As for recovery a few years ago I pulled one in fast as I could and it took half an hour to recoop and swim away but I had gone to shore so we could let it stay in shallow water.

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