350 lb Fraser river White Sturgeon
<p>Brent from Missouri, USA called me up and asked me "what are the chances of me getting a 100 lb or bigger Sturgeon?" I told him the average size is from 50 - 200 lbs so the odds are fairly good. So he decided to book a charter for Feb 19th and give it a go. His biggest freshwater fish had been about a 90 lb Blue Catfish and he showed me the picture to prove it. Impressive I thought!
So we met at 8am at the Mission, British Columbia boat ramp, launched the 21 ft CustomWeld jet boat and headed to one of my favorite big fish spots about 10 miles down river. It was a very nice morning, no wind and scattered clouds with some sun which makes it pleasant. Even if it was blustery we did have the comfort of a fully enclosed cab area that seats 5 people comfortably.
After I got my spot, which is a rather large hole, I scouted out the bottom of the river with my sounder and once happy I dropped the anchor down and set up the boat in the very slow current. 2 rods were put out, 1 for each angler aboard and we sat back and waited. Not much happened for the first 45 minutes mostly because we were waiting for the tide effect to be in our favor. I moved down river about 50 yards and set up again. by now the current speed was starting to look good and within 5 minutes one of the rods started signalling that a fish was gently taking the bait. I waited for the right moment and set the hook! It felt as if I had snagged the bottom of the river but it was a fish. I quickly passed the rod to Brent and he started fighting what was a rather large fish. I knew it was over 100 lbs by the way it commanded line from the reel and just kept going. After a 100 yd run or more the fish stopped and the battle became one of pumping the fish back towards the boat. I reminded him to keep good bend in the rod as we use single barbless hooks. I think it was all new to him and that huge fish shook the hook after 5 minutes. He said that he learned his lesson and will do better if we get another one. About 10 minutes later we hooked another one but this time it was to the side of the boat under 5 minutes, a clear sign of a fish under 100 lbs. This Sturgeon was a juvenile of 4 feet in length and about 35-40 lbs. It made for a nice picture and was quickly released. Our Fraser river Sturgeon fishery is 100% C&R ensuring that there will be trophy fish for the next angler and next generation.
The rods go out again, frshly baited and ready for action. While we are waiting a few Sturgeon were seen rolling at the surface which is a clear sign they are active and a hookup is very likely any minute. Sure enough the outside rod signals another fish is slowly taking the bait. You have to wait for the right motion before setting the hook on a slow motion bite and I did. Hook sets must be fast and hard! "There it is" I yelled and quickly passed the rod over to an eager angler. As before I knew the fish was quite big because it feels like you hooked the earth's crust! Within seconds of passing the rod there is line screaming off the reel at quite the pace. We probably lost half of the line on the spool that holds 350 yds of 150 lb Power Pro braided line. Sturgeon will go for long runs but as with most fish they too will stop and change their game plan. We ended up following this fish down river then back up river over and over again. We even had it near the back of the boat at the surface which is usually the signal to take it to the nearest beach for careful handling and photo's, but it decided to go full out for another 10 minutes. Finally the fish came to the surface again as we were just 20 yards from a nice beach and I nosed the boat up to shore, killed the motor and jumped out to start the shore procedure. It's not easy wrestling with a giant Sturgeon all by yourself. Brent assisted and we were able to take control of the massive fish. I quickly jumped back and took a bunch of pictures and then we took a measurement of the Sturgeon. The length was 103 inches, or 8ft - 7". This translates into 350 lbs on the official White Sturgeon weight chart. Brent was ecstatic! We both were actually. He more than tripled his quest of a 100 lb Fraser Sturgeon within 3 hours of our start time. Since he achieved his dream wish and had been doing battle for over an hour he decided to call it a early day and revel in the glory, and to rest his aching arms and hands.
Fraser river Sturgeon fishing delivers many fulfilled dreams, that day was another and that makes me happy.
See you up here one day!
4ft Fraser river Sturgeon is a little guy
About The Author: Captain Brian McKinlay
Company: Silversides Fishing Adventures
Area Reporting: Vancouver and Fraser River valley
Bio: Silversides Fishing Adventures(since 1996). Our fishing guide service provides reliability and professionalism. We takes great pride in our abilities and passion for true sport fishing, while offering our guests friendly professional service whether its a half day trip or one of our custom BC fishing packages on the Fraser river! Silversides guides for all 5 pacific salmon and monster Sturgeon on the famous Fraser river and it\'s many tributaries. Our guided fly fishing trips for Salmon, Trout and Steelhead are recognized as the premier fly guide service in our area. Jet boat charters or walk and wade. Located in Mission and Vancouver. We know guiding and fishing - you can fish with confidence!