Monday, April 10, 2017

Early April Sturgeon Fishing Report

Dude!  Nice Fish!
My face is sunburned!   That's about the best report I can give on a Monday morning after fishing all day!   The Kennebecasis River is fully open now for boats as well as kayakers.   I've seen boats approach sturgeon alley from both the Meenan's Cove side as well as the Hampton side so I would have to assume both launches are ready for those with bigger vessels.     The water was really rough on Saturday with lots of ice and grass but was a lot better Sunday and I suspect as the week goes on with a forecast of warm temps and only a few hours of rain, it will clear up significantly for next weekend.
Satuday's conditions:  fishing while this is moving by at a few km/h
The fishing has been good, provided you know where the sturgeon are hiding.   They definately school into groups and move around the river, so if your usual fishing hole isn't producing you may have to move, perhaps only 20 feet.   Last week I didn't spot any in my usual fishing location and moved further up river where I spotted several schools.   This weekend I spotted schools in several different places, including back at our traditional hole.   As the water warms up, I suspect the sturgeon will spread out a little more along what is known as 'sturgeon alley' before finally making their way out though the Saint John river system in a couple weeks time.

Nate always gets his fish!
So far, thanks in large part to my Humminbird Helix 5 SI Fish Finder I'm approaching 50 sturgeon over three trips.   Yesterday was my first guided outings of the year, and 2 of the three guys that came out were able to land sturgeon, as was many of the local kayak anglers whom I regularly fish with.  The best fishing in April is yet to come so if you are wanting to catch a dinosaur plan a trip in the next couple weeks before it is too late!

50+ inches landed on Sunday in the PDL
Now, since the Fall I've been riding my new kayak, the Old Town Predator PDL.   This kayak feature a pedal driven propeller located in front of the seat.   You pedal it like a bicycle and steer with a hand controlled rudder.   As anyone who has seen me out there recently will attest to, this kayak can fly!    It is extremely comfortable, stable and can hold a ton of gear.   For sturgeon fishing however there is one disadvantage, and that is the seat is higher than in any of my other kayaks.    While this makes the kayak even more comfortable than the other Predator versions, it makes it very hard to reach down and grab your sturgeon by the tail.

The cushioned hook I use to help land bigger sturgeon
So to deal with this I fashioned a new tool that I have been using in the PDL, not exactly a gaffe, but rather a cushioned hook on the end of a hockey stick shaft.   Using this tool, I am able to cradle rear half of larger sturgeon and bring the tail up to where I can then grasp it, to lift the fish out of the water.   For anyone who has a kayak with a high seat or has difficulty reaching down to get ahold of your sturgeon, consider making yourself a tool like this, it has helped me land several fish that I may not have otherwise been able to get into the kayak!

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