Willamette kayak sturgeon and smallmouth report

bass
bass
Lower Willamette River, October 7, 2012.

Had a good day for size of fish but not a good day for numbers. The bass bite was definitely a lot slower for me on Sunday, probably just my failure to adapt to the cooling water. I caught 5 bass in about 6 hours of effort (7:30am to about 1:30pm). 1 on an extra deep diving crankbait (1/2 oz size hot lips express) and 4 on a drop shot. The good news is that the size of the fish was nice, biggest was a hair over 18" and the smallest was over 14". I think if I had slowed down more and fished the drop shot more I may have done better. There was just enough wind to make that somewhat annoying so I ended up tossing the crankbait a lot. I threw the spinnerbait some, but I did not get any hits on it. For some reason I just did not feel it in my bones. I think part of my difficulty is that the wind and current were in opposite directions and when fishing something slow like the drop shot or slow rolling the spinnerbait I was moving really fast upstream with respect to my lure. I should have fished each structure navigating into the wind. As I sit here now I can't believe I was so stupid and lazy not to do so. Here are a couple of pics. I apologize for the blurriness. The camera was in some weird "tap to operate" mode that apparently exists so that you can take crappy pictures.

ROhr1.jpg

l2apd.jpg

l6VK3.jpg

At about 1:30 I was in the vicinity of one of my favorite sturgeon spots so I decided to drop anchor and see if I could wrestle up some gators. The sturgeon fishing was really great. I ended up catching 5 in 2 1/2 hours, 4 that were legal sized and one oversized (6-7', I did not measure). No shakers! The bite was good from the moment I anchored up. I caught a nice 40" fish to start the day off. Then a short while later I picked up a 45". Then I had a bite but when I tightened up it felt like a snag. I kept pulling and it felt like I was moving it a little bit. After about 5 minutes I realized that I was snagged and just slowly dragging my anchor downstream. Once I realized that, I dropped off anchor and was able to get the snag free from below. When I got back to my anchor it was a fair bit downstream from where I was originally but I figured what the heck. After a 45 minute lull I decided to pull up anchor and head back to my original spot. As soon as I did the bite was back on. I picked up two more nice keeper sized in fairly short order. Then I threw back out again and the oversized bit. The funny thing is that at first it felt just like the earlier snag. However, this time I did not try to drag my anchor downstream. I immediately dropped off and drifted downstream. I realized after a minute that my line angle was not changing. The "snag" was moving downstream this time! Just then she took off on a sizzling run. I gave chase in the kayak and was catching up to here. I was getting pretty close when I saw the line angle heading up. She came completely out of the water about 40' from me. I have to say seeing one of those oversized jump is really a terrifying display of power when I am sitting in my little kayak. After that it was a typical fight with one of these oversized. She pulled my around upstream and then down. One funny thing about this fish is that periodically she would swim in circles and I would just sit there and go around a few times before she would take off again. At some point during the fight a fellow and his wife or girlfriend pulled up in a nice looking sled to watch the end of the fight. At the end (I think it was about 25 minutes total) they were able to snap a few pictures when I got here to the surface. Hopefully they can tack them onto this thread. Also at one point during the fight the sheriff stopped by and told me to be careful not to let the fish pull me into the path of a boat. I told him I always try to be careful. I really do, if a boat is getting close I ease up on the drag and move off to the side a bit. Anyway I finally subdued the beast and snapped one picture of my own. Then sadness struck. As I was trying to unhook her she kept trying to dive. I could not get a good hold and she was still pretty green. I had my thumb clamped on the spool as she made one of her dive attempts when CRACK. I look up to see my 7' sturgeon rod is now a 6' sturgeon rod :( Well after a bit more struggle I was finally able to get the hook out and let her go on her way. She thanked me with a huge splash from her tail.

Of course when I got home I could not find the receipt for the tiger stik. So I will not be able to get it replaced under warranty. Just a reminder folks, be careful with your receipts, don’t be stupid like me. It looks like I will be heading to the store later this week in search of another sturgeon slaying stick.

Here is a pic of one of the keeper sized and of the big girl.

HMD0T.jpg

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Finally, I want to end this post with a moment of silence for a brave warrior who gave his all in battle:

tDdst.jpg
 
T
TJR_84
That had to be a great fight for her to break the ugly stick!!! She is a monster. Great post.
 
T
Throbbit _Shane
Bummer on the rod... But that was a nice fish!

Good report!
 
R
rum runner
so do you get a new rod? because ugly stick is unbreakable or americas strongest fishing rod w,e there slogan is lol
 
W
waco
Like usual from you man, Great post! You are like a inspiration of stuff that some of us would like to do! But we can't! :(
 
Last edited:
M
minnowmagnet
Another great post! Sorry about the rod, but come on, there has to be a little bit of gratification in breaking a rod on a fish like that! Looks like the sturgeon bite is picking up. I went out yesterday for a few hours in my kayak near Sellwood and caught 13, all shakers except 1 that went about 45". Looks like you found out where the big ones are lurking. I also caught my biggest bullhead to date which must have weighed over 10 pounds. What a great day, with no wind, a little current (actually heading downriver) and very little traffic.
Thanks again for the awesome post.
 
bass
bass
minnowmagnet said:
Another great post! Sorry about the rod, but come on, there has to be a little bit of gratification in breaking a rod on a fish like that! Looks like the sturgeon bite is picking up. I went out yesterday for a few hours in my kayak near Sellwood and caught 13, all shakers except 1 that went about 45". Looks like you found out where the big ones are lurking. I also caught my biggest bullhead to date which must have weighed over 10 pounds. What a great day, with no wind, a little current (actually heading downriver) and very little traffic.
Thanks again for the awesome post.

Thanks MM. A lot better to break the rod on a sturgeon rather than in a truck door for sure :)

I agree that the sturgeon bite is picking up. It was weird not catching a shaker on Sunday. I think that is the first time that has ever happened to me. I did seek out a spot that had the most current in the section of the river I was in, thinking that the bigger fish might be congregating there for an easier feed. With only one day's worth of results I can't say if this theory is sound or not, but it might be. Won't matter soon anyway with the rains starting up.

BTW, I sent you a friend request on here a while back but you never replied. Sniff, sniff, I will just go away now :)
 
D
dtikey
great post and sounds like a blast pretty awsome doing it all from the kayak well done for sure
 
T
troutmasta
Bad ass!
 

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