Sight fishing for Sturgeon
Rick Lawrence, July 14, 2020
There are a few places in Idaho that you can actually sight fish for Sturgeon in a small gin clear creek. Although in Idaho you are not able to keep them or even take them out of the water, sight fishing for monster sturgeon in a fairly small creek is a bucket list fishing trip of a lifetime for almost any serious angler.
I got to do just that this month and had a blast. I got 3 fish in the 4 days we were down there and your group as a whole got 6 total ranging from 53” to 67”. We saw some that were well over 7ft and I couple that might have been over 8 ft and at least 200 lbs., but they are very spooky and we had a hard time not scaring them with the aluminum boat. I think that a kayak would work better and just take some waders or shorts and tennis shoes and get out on the edge of the creek to actually fish for them. Although there is no solid ground on the edges as it is all swamp land, but if you are careful you can walk on the sides. Good sunny days and polarized sunglasses are almost a must so you can see the fish and know when they bite. The bite is much lighter than you would think it would be.
We fished 2 different spots, one that you had to hike in a ways to get to the fish, and the other you could only fish out of a small boat or kayak. The really big fish were all in the larger creek that you had to put a boat in. This is limited to very small boats that you can carry to the water. We used a 12’ v bottom with a 3 hp gas motor and a 40 lb. trust electric. We used the electric most of the time and only used the gas motor to get back up to the spot we put in at
Because the creeks are not very deep you don’t need quite as heavy of gear as when you are fishing some of the bigger rivers. I used a 9 foot surf rod with a big Penn spinning reel for one rod and a 9 ft med bait caster with a Okuma line counter reel for the other. Idaho law says you must use a minimum of 50 lb. mono for your main line, a slip sinker rig with a lighter line on the sinker so it will breakaway. Dacron leaders of 125 lb are what most guy use and you must use a barbless octopus or circle type hook. We used 6/0, 7/0, and 9/0. Fresh bait was the key to your success. You can use any dead bait including fresh caught trout, and that is what we had the best luck on. We also got some on herring but they are much harder to get to stay on the hook.
The 2 creeks are about 7 miles apart and there is a somewhat small primitive but free campground between the 2 spots. If you are pitching a tent there is only one spot that is off the gravel parking lot. It has a shade tree and a fire pit. There is a concrete type outhouse there, but no water other than a nearby creek or the river. If you have a motor home or trailer there is a lot of room to park. There is also a town nearby that has a nice motel if you don’t want to ruff it.
You may have noticed by now that I have not named the spot yet, and that is because I don’t want to blow this spot up. It can’t handle a ton of fishing pressure, so I think I’m going to do a lottery of sorts. For every one that leaves a comment below with their email address I will pick about 5 lucky winners. All I ask is to keep this spot to yourself, although bribery helps. lol
Please don’t comment if you know you can’t go as this in a pretty major undertaking. It’s about a day’s drive and if you fish for 2 days you need to have about 4 days minimum for the trip.