- Date: January 9th 2008
- Author: Zack
- Lunker Hunter Forum
Above: Handful of Stripers, Caught By Lunker Hunter Pro Staff Member Brian Mendenhall
Zack : Delta White Sturgeon Hunt
Dropped a $50 and got my new license along with the two pole stamp and have been waiting for the weather to break. All of this rain has been making my horny as hell to go out and hunt Dino's. Normally I work 7 days a week and am limited to fishing mostly at night but with this break in the weather I couldn't resist and headed out to enjoy all of the beauty the delta has to offer.
After a bit of a ride we started to scan various locations where sturgeon hold / feed to see if we can find any that are on the bottom stuffing their pie holes. We don't find any concentration of fish but find a few scattered thick marks and drop anchor before we miss the last of the incoming. As we sat and waited I got one very light rhythmic bite and after a swing and a miss I set my rod back down and waited for his return. He does not come back but we are treated to a very nice aerial show of jumpers who seem to all be in a line roughly 25 feet from shore various distances from each other and then something happends that if I was not there I would have never believed. As we are sitting there taking turns talking story back and forth there comes a very loud SMASH below stern that is SOOO hard it sounded like my boat was hit by a sludge hammer! The blow had so much force that it actually jogged my 115 horse outboard forward a few inches and a 1/2 a second later a white sturgeons head (that I would guesstimate to be a six foot fish) popps up and thrashes forward on to my motor linkage and back toward the water followed by a large tail slap, splash and he was gone! I have heard of fish ramming boats but always thought that was an over active imagination but seeing was believing. We both jumped just about out of our skin due to sturgeon fishing is such a relaxing experience and now this!
We figured the fish like the rest of his buddy's must have been deep and thought he'd haul ass as fast as he could to the surface and get all the way out of the water for a spectacular splash but got a major goose egg instead! lol
The incoming has now petered out and we pull anchor and decide to scan along the line of jumpers. We are on the edge of the bottom contour looking when we find fish along with this slug (pic below).
We drop the hook and wait....
Not more than 15 minutes later I get bit. Very light bite followed by a swing, and I missed again!!! I DO NOT reel in to check bait but wait for him to sniff out my bait again and come back. This time he does. I have two poles out with one being a classic sturgeon set up (7.6 ft. fenwick pacific stick/ Penn 525 mag) and the other a light tackle set up (7.6 ft. Lemiglass cal mooching rod / shimano Corsica sp) loaded with 12 mono. This fish is knocking on the light tackle rod and I catch this nibble right at the pull down and its FISH ON! After many screaming runs up and down the boat I notice my other rod is pumping. I instruct my partner to hit it and he makes ready but the fish is gone so we concentrate on boating this fish. After some time begin to see a lot of bubbles grouped behind the boat and realize this fish has just about had it. He now breaks the surface and looks to be over 5 feet. This is not my first rodeo as I have been fishing white sturgeon most of my life and I lighten my drag just a bit and ready for him to give us his last hurrah from his motivation of realizing having his head out of water is ALL badd. We get him boat side and I again notice my second rod pumping but this time it is pumping like there is no tomorrow and tell my partner to hit it and its FISH ON AGAIN!!!
My partner tries to give me my second rod to fight another fish and I refuse and insist it is his turn for a fish. While putting the snare on my fish I can see he has a monster! I quickly get my fish into the boat and get a measurement. It tapes out at 65 inches. My 1st keeper for 08. Sturgeon are my favorite fish bar none and I dig em so much I put all back so they can procreate and make more. I then quickly toss him back over (Sorry no pic) so I can assist my friend with his fish. This sucker ain't no joke and is now running up river. To me if there is any indication you have a monster on running up river against current is it. Big fish don't just run away they go ANYWHERE they like. He makes runs across our bow a few times and is giving my friend fits while we have to dip the pole in the water back and fourth while this fish attempts to foul us with the anchor rope. Next he runs under the boat and runs from the bow to stern with us running after him to clear the outboards. It is at this time that it occurs to me that I should turn on my sonar (LCX 111hd) and record this fish below us fighting his ass off. He is now below the boat and this is what we see on the sonar!
He runs straight up river and under the boat again and at this point my partner tells me to take the rod. I tell him "NO It's Your Fish", and he says "Hell NO I'm Fucking Spent"!LOL
You don't have to ask me twice and I take the rod and battle him another 10 minutes before we have him boat side. He is a good one and we pick him up and get a quick measurement on him for records sake and after a quick pic it's back in the drink and with a big slash we say our good byes and he has our respects. Both of us were out of breath and looked like we went 15rounds and lost! LOL
Fish tapped out at 74-76 inches!
We got the rods back in the water and a few minutes later I hooked up again! I was barely into the fight when I noticed a large boat full of anglers racing up toward us. Being the way I am I don't only fish night & week days out of necessity but mostly because I like the peace and quiet and can be left alone by anglers that have poor fishing Etiquette and do stupid, or ignorant things like anchor off of your bow, etc,etc, so I quicky sit down and put my reel into free spool and let the bend out of my rod so this boat full of anglers now approaching will not see I have fish on and possibly crowd me. The boat passes by and once I reel in my slack I notice the fish came off and left as well. No worries, there will be others and I still have my peace and quiet. After an hour with no more action we decide to move. I scan for what feels like an hour before I find fish in a very deep hole in 60 feet of water. I know this post is already getting two long so I'll try to wrap it up. LOL The score between my partner and I is now 2 - 0 and we are in our last hour with the sun down and are about to call it a day when he comes on STRONG in the 4th quarter and kicks my ass by boating 3 fish.
A 50 something, 65, and 70 something!
While he was fighting I as usual left the other rods out and had a fish on briefly but it came off.
Over all another great day, and night on the delta and for me my birthday came one day early. ZACK