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Sturgeon fishing
Bait and Scents

Bait and scents used for sturgeon fishing: Written by Dennis Hull
( Bite Me Guide Service )

Sturgeon are feed by using there noses and for this reason scent is very important. The old timers tales will tell you all kinds of stories about special stink baits and rotted baits for sturgeon fishing. While these types of baits may work well for catfish they do not work well for sturgeon fishing. Fresh is Best. While sturgeon are bottom feeders they are not garbage eaters and they are very tuned in on the native food sources. Upriver food sources include fresh water clams, lamprey eels, crawfish, small fish, smelt, salmon eggs, salmon carcasses, shad and so on. When there are large amounts of fresh natural food sources such as smelt or eels that migrate in large numbers the sturgeon become very sensitive to unnatural smells. For this reason when the smelt are running use fresh smelt without any scents added, if they aren't biting start adding some scent oils but always start out with the natural presentations first. When there isn't a large amount of fresh bait always use some added scents. Some examples of these are shrimp oil, sardine oil, anise oil, and any of the dozens of others that are available. The best way to use these is by injecting your bait with them. They also aid in masking the human odors. Sturgeon will change the scents that they like during the day so do be afraid to mix it up as far as which type of scent and bait combinations that you use.


Probably the best all around sturgeon bait for upriver fish is smelt for keeper sized fish and fresh shad for the oversized fish. Followed by sand shrimp, squid and eel. combinations of smelt, squid, night crawlers also work well for the keeper fish. The oversized are extremely focused on fresh shad and while they will take a smelt they really want the fresh shad that are running at the same time as they are. Frozen shad will work but start your day out by catching some fresh stuff and you will see the difference. Saltwater sturgeon are a little different as far as the food sources go they feed on anchovies, clams, herring, sardines, squid, sand shrimp, mud shrimp and so on. When fishing for these estuary fish probably the best baits are sand shrimp, anchovies, small sardines. Use as fresh of bait as you can get and stay away from too many added scents. plan on bringing lots of bait and moving allot to get out of the sculpins (bullheads)  as they absolutely love sand shrimp and anchovies and mud shrimp. in the deeper holes smelt can also be good.

Copyright 2010 [www.nwfish.com]. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 24, 2012

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