With their elongated, bony-plated bodies and a weight that can reach over 100 kilograms, lake sturgeon are the largest fresh water fish in North America. Alberta lake sturgeon, in particular, is a unique species, consisting of just two populations split between the nearby North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan Rivers. Although catch and release rules are strictly enforced for this endangered and protected fish, lake sturgeon fishing is a great way to relax in Alberta's beautiful backyard. Here are some tips to help you safely snag that big one.
Lake sturgeon are light biters, and using a stiff rod can prevent you from feeling bites and prompt the lake sturgeon spit out the bait because they feel the rod. Though you'll need a heavy rod, find one that doesn't have a stiff tip. Light tipped medium action rods can certainly land you a big catch, but it's extremely rough on the fish. A light tipped rod with a sturdy backbone, similar flexibility to a salmon rod, and a reel with a fair bit of line capacity is ideal, and the most mindful of the lake sturgeon's health.
Fresh, of course, is best, and recommended bait includes insect larvae, crayfish, fresh water clams, salmon eggs or carcasses, and small fish. If fresh bait isn't available, adding scents (such as shrimp oil or sardine oil) to your bait is sure to catch the lake sturgeon's attention.
Lake sturgeon travel with the tides as they look for food. If you’re not feeling any bites for at least 45 minutes, move. If the tide is out, look for deeper water. If the tide is in, beds of four to six feet may produce a nice catch.
Whether you choose to fish the North Saskatchewan or South Saskatchewan River, the Paradise Inn & Suites Valleyview will be there to comfortably accommodate you. Our on-site Tim Hortons restaurant is open 24 hours to keep you properly caffeinated and fueled for your trip, and our lush Hypnos Sleep System beds await your return.