No Newberg sturgeon love for me

bass
bass
I decided water conditions were pretty good for trying the upper river for sturgeon again. Apparently the sturgeon did get the memo. I got to Rogers Landing around 8am on Sunday. The forecast was for some fairly stiff wind but conditions were not too bad so I was pretty happy. Turns out the happiness was short lived, the area around the ramp was pretty well shielded from the wind, but up by Ash Island it was quite windy and gusty. The wind was blowing pretty much straight upstream and there were small whitecaps everywhere. Wind was stiff enough that it was stronger than the current and blew my kayak upstream around my anchor line.

Even though the wind made things kind of difficult since the kayak was getting tossed around quite a bit. I had to hold the rod to keep the line taut, but not jerking the bait around. After about 5 hours of that with only some pikieminnow bits to show for it. I decided to perhaps call it a day. I headed back down to the launch it was really nice there. I pedaled around looking for any sign of fish in the deep hole down near the plant but I did not mark any fish. Since that area has a bouldery anchor eating kind of a bottom I am always hesitant to anchor up there.

However, since it was calm there I thought that the wind had died down, rather than just being shielded by it. I decided to head back upstream since I assumed it would be calmer there now. About half way up I realized I was wrong but just kept going anyway. I had brought some bass gear and decided to try on the side Northern side channel around Ash Island. However, it was hard to find an area that looked fishy and was not windy. I probably cast for 1/2 hour or so, but I was fishing so inefficiently that I decided to go back and try for sturgeon a bit more.

I anchored up below Ash Island and just got pikieminnow bites. Finally, I was so bored that I reeled in my sturgeon rod and rigged a light spinning rod with a weight and a worm. I have to say I am amazed at how thick the pikieminnows must be below that island right now. Even though with the wind and the waves it was tough to tell it seemed like the worm would hit the bottom and within seconds I would have a bite and usually would reel in a fish. A bunch of times I thought I had not gotten a bite and when I reeled in there was a fish on.

No wonder it is stuff to catch a sturgeon in that area, the bottom must seem like it is paved with food from their point of view. Just crazy how thick the fish were. I thought about hacking one of the pikeminnows and tossing it out on my sturgeon rod, but I was having fun catch fish after fish so I decided I would save that experiment for a day when the wind was not so troublesome.

As I was loading up the kayak and young couple who had been shore fishing walked by and the young man had a nice smallmouth! I think my takeaway from the day is that I was stupid to try and fish in the worst part of the wind. I certainly could not have caught less sturgeon down by the plant (out of the wind) and I would not have felt so beat up by the end of the day. Also, I should have taken some time to do some bass fishing down in that area since I would not have spent the entire time trying to control the kayak rather than fish.

When I was growing up the Pittsburgh Pirates had a radio announcer named Bob Prince, once of his quotes when the Pirates were on a losing streak was "The longer you go on losing the closer you are to winning". That is certainly my motto right now. Some day I will figure out those upper river sturgeon, and with each failed trip just fueling my desire even more that first one is going to be really sweet!
 
E
eugene1
Glad you tried again bass!

Hope you get into them eventually there.
 
bass
bass
I think that even though my lack of fish might say otherwise that I am starting to understand the area a bit better. Since the wind made it tough to pull anchor I was a bit lazier on Sunday than I should have been - definitely not my best effort. One of these days I will break on through to the other side.
 
T
troutmasta
bass said:
One of these days I will break on through to the other side.

Yes sir you will.

They are there, I promise.
 
bass
bass
troutmasta said:
Yes sir you will.

They are there, I promise.

Ha ha, there probably are no sturgeon in the upper river and troutmasta has spent years constructing this elaborate hoax :)

In truth, TM has been really helpful and given me a lot of advice on fishing that area. I know that I am close to success, but often in fishing it is hard to catch that first fish in a new place, or using a new method. However, once you do the floodgates often open once you achieve that confidence that only comes from success.
 
troutdude
troutdude
bass said:
I know that I am close to success, but often in fishing it is hard to catch that first fish in a new place, or using a new method. However, once you do the floodgates often open once you achieve that confidence that only comes from success.

^^^ A good definition of fishing.

Good luck, on your next outing.
 
M
minnowmagnet
John, I think it is cool that you keep trying to catch some sturgeon up above the falls despite a continuing lack of success. It requires some character to keep going up there even though you are notoriously capable of catching fish down below. Even without any intention of keeping one, you strive to find this elusive fish.
Since you mention sturgeon eating pike minnow, I want to share a couple of snapshots I took a few days ago of this shaker that I caught that had his rather large breakfast still in his mouth but still wanted my herring bait for lunch. I can't believe it bit my hook even though it was choking on the pike minnow.
I gave the sturgeon back his breakfast after unhooking it and it seemed pleased to swim off choking on his pike minnow again.
2015-02-19 12.07.59.jpgextra hungry shaker.jpg
 
T
troutmasta
Omg!!!
 
bass
bass
Dang Brian, that is an awesome picture. Pikieminnows are nice and soft finned, seem like an ideal forage. The numbers in the upper river are staggering. It seems like I do not see nearly as many in the lower river.

In the lower river my experience has been that if I am getting pecked at by pikieminnows that I should move. Usually I am getting either sturgeon bites or pikieminnow bites. I am trying to figure out if fishing for sturgeon in the middle of a pikeminnow concentration in the upper river is a good thing or a bad thing. Does it mean that there are no sturgeon in the area since the pikieminnow would scatter or does it mean that sturgeon are attracted to the dense concentration of pikieminnows? Until I catch some fish in the upper river I am just not sure.
 
bass
bass
Lather rinse and repeat of last weekend. Not a sniff from a sturgeon as far as I can tell. After 5 hours of nothing I caved in and just enjoyed catching pikieminnows on light tackle for a while. I ended the day fishing for bass for a couple of hours but I did not have any success doing that either. I did meet a couple of nice guys who sturgeon fish the area quite a bit and they gave me a few pointers on some spots. Next time I will take a different approach to fishing that area. I also ran into a nice young guy fishing from his kayak for bass. He did not have any luck either but it was a beautiful day to be out on the water.
 
D
DrTheopolis
Always enjoy your reports, Bass.

It's been many years, but I've fished up above Newberg (never for sturgeon). And back then at least, tossing spinners on light gear produced an unbelievable number of pikeminnow.
 

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