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Sturgeon are a primitive fish found mostly in freshwater and the largest game fish in North America. Their size can range from a few inches long to over 15 feet in length, though this maximum size is a topic of much discussion among those that pursue the White Sturgeon.
Most species are at least partially anadromous, spawning in freshwater and feeding in nutrient-rich brackish waters of estuaries or undergoing significant migrations along coastlines.
However, some species have evolved purely in freshwater environments, such as the lake sturgeon and the Baikal sturgeon, or have been forced into them by the anthropogenic or natural impoundment of their native rivers, as in the case of some subpopulations of white sturgeon in the Columbia River and Siberian sturgeon in the Ob basin.
White Sturgeon and Green Sturgeon are the most popular species sought after in the United States.
Sturgeon fishing is one the favorite pastimes of anglers around the Pacific Northwest. With fish ranging from under 1 foot to over 14 feet, sturgeon fishing can provide a true test of an anglers patience and fishing abilities.
The Columbia River is one of the largest Sturgeon fisheries on the planet. Holding the world record for the largest Sturgeon ever caught weighing in at over 500 lbs. “Shaker Sturgeon” or undersized Sturgeon can provide a day filled with fishing excitement, while also providing the opportunity to catch that big one of a lifetime.
Sturgeon will eat what their habitat provides so that usually means things such as shad or shrimp or just something really smelly that’s on the bottom of the water, so plan your bait accordingly.
Sturgeon Fishing Locations
One of the oldest families of bony fish in existence, sturgeon are native to subtropical, temperate and subArctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America. Sturgeon range from subtropical to subarctic waters in North America and Eurasia.
In North America, they range along the Atlantic coast from the Gulf of Mexico to Newfoundland, including the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, Missouri and Mississippi rivers, as well as along the West Coast in major rivers from California to British Columbia.
They also occur along the European Atlantic coast, including the Mediterranean basin, in the rivers that flow into the Black, Azov and Caspian seas (Danube, Dnepr, Volga and Don), the north-flowing rivers of Russia that feed the Arctic Ocean (Ob, Yenisei, Lena, Kolyma), in the rivers of Central Asia (Amu Darya and Syr Darya) and Lake Baikal.
In the Pacific Ocean, they are found in the Columbia River, the Amur River along the Russian-Chinese border, on Sakhalin island, and in the Yangtze and other rivers in northeast China.
Sturgeon Fishing Seasons
Sturgeon fishing seasons vary with the location of the fish. In the Pacific Northwest, the best time for Sturgeon fishing is from late June through early September. Taking a trip with a sturgeon fishing guide or Sturgeon fishing charter service to find the right location to hook into the sturgeon fishing in your selected location.
Fishing for oversized Sturgeon in the late summer and early fall can provide anglers with the opportunity to hook the fish of a lifetime.
Sturgeon Flavor and Cooking
Sturgeon is regarded as one of the best-eating fish and are also heavily used for their roe in some areas, where it is prepared for sale as caviar. The sturgeon has a white flaky flesh that is delicious when grilled, baked or broiled.
There is no shortage of recipes for preparing your catch after a successful day of Sturgeon fishing. If in doubt, ask your Sturgeon fishing guide or Sturgeon fishing charter captain for their favorite method of preparation or their favorite recipe.