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I took a Sturgeon charter in Washington State last year, on the Columbia River. Our guide was Clancy Holt, and he was a total professional and comsumate fisherman. We landed 22 Sturgeon in just under 5 hours, when the wind kicked up and blew us off the river - in 15 minutes we went from basically calm water to 30 MPH winds and dangerous whitecaps. We lost about twice as many fish as we landed, and everyone had a great time. We got 3 which were keepers - between 45" and 60". There were times when we had 4 rods getting bit at once, and we had triples on several times. We used dead fish for bait - I cannot reveal any of his secrets, as I was sworn to secrecy. I can tell you that the 8 boats which eventually surrounded us combined for 1 fish, while we were slaughtering them.

These are great fighting fish, and are a great resource. We kept 3, and they are good to eat as well. I was surprised at how little meat we got from those 3 large fish - we got 3 gallon ziplocs of boneless filets, but I figured we would have much more. The meat tastes good, and is a lot more like meat than most fish I am familiar with. It smokes real well.

Clancy used basically the same set-up just described. He used 10oz - 16oz pyramid sinkers, which boggled my mind. He had some prototype G-Loomis 13 foot rods they designed specially for Sturgeon fishing, and he was testing them. Not sure what line he used, but the leaders were braided. He had a special way of threading the bait onto the 4/0 barbless (mandatory) circle hooks. He had all sorts of little tricks, and they worked perfectly for us. He also had a 28 foot boat with a 225 hs tiller-drive motor. It takes a real man to handle a motor like that, and Clancy was a master. He knew the tide tables, and EXACTLY where to position the boat; and so much more. Hopefully I will be able to charter with him in the future - he guides for Salmon and Steelhead, too.

It is amazing to me that there are fishable numbers of these fish so close to home. If I was into this, here, I would find a way to have large amounts of frozen baitfish shipped to me from Washington or Oregon. That is a big hint.
 
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