My wife and I recently traveled to Vancouver Island, and on the way back, we were lucky enough to spend a day with Sturgeon Slayers (www.SturgeonSlayers.com) to go after the prehistoric White Sturgeon! We spent the day on a jet boat on the Fraser River with our guide for the day, Tony. Tony's expertise on the river was evident, and it was a real treat to learn the history of the area as well as more info about the White Sturgeon.
I had always seen the fish on television fishing shows, but nothing could compare to the feeling of having one of those beasts on the end of your line! Within minutes of moving to our first spot, we had some fish playing with our hooks, and the first Sturgeon of my life on the end of my line. The sheer power of even a "smaller" fish ("smaller" in Sturgeon terms seems less than 5 ft!). My arms were a little sore, but it was well worth it to bring one of these river dinosaurs to hand for the first time!
We moved spots after the action slowed, and immediately got into a couple of more beautiful fish! We were happy to just see one, but everything else after that was a bonus.
We stopped for a great lunch of bbq'ed steak and chicken...the Sturgeon Slayers boys really treat you to an unreal day on the water! By lunch time, I believe our count was up to 6 Sturgeon landed. As we were eating apples, we got a hit, and a 6-7 ft Sturgeon exploded on the surface of the river. This was the biggest one hooked of the day, and after taking us downstream a ways, it rolled on the line and popped the hook! Oh well, you can't land every one! We moved down to a couple more spots, and all of a sudden Tara was into a massive beast. After a huge (approx. 50 minute) fight, big runs downstream, and some expert maneuvering from our guide Tony with the big jet boat, we had a 7'7" Sturgeon landed!
Needless to say after a fight like that, we were a tired but satisfied group. After a short recovery, we decided to get the lines back in the water, and within minutes, we tagged into another huge Sturgeon!! The fight of this one was different as it didn't take the massive runs downstream, but it really dug for the bottom of the river. And when it is you against one of the big boys, they call all the shots! We managed to get this one to shore, and it was in the 6.5 ft range, I believe, and another beauty!
After two huge fish in a row, we were pretty beat, but still had a little bit of the day left. The lines were back in the water, and a few minutes before we were about to head in, the 9th and final Sturgeon of the day was caught and released. This one was about 5 feet, and a great way to cap off an amazing trip!
I would just like to thank Kevin and Tony from Sturgeon Slayers for one of the most memorable days of fishing my wife and I have ever had! Their knowledge, professionalism, and excellent conservation work were on display for the entire trip. If anyone is interested, there are several articles, websites, and television programs showing the great work these people and groups are doing to manage and assess White Sturgeon populations in British Columbia! Catch, Record, Release!
And if you are interested in a trip for these ancient fish, I can't recommend Sturgeon Slayers enough. http://www.SturgeonSlayers.com
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