An Outdoorsman's Journal

                                                                                  Sturgeon on the Flambeau River

Hello friends,


I like to catch big fish and I like to catch big fish out of a canoe. This week I spent 21-hours in a row living in my canoe and trying to catch a legal sturgeon (60-inches). I was alone and anchored on the Flambeau River in Rusk County southwest of Ladysmith.

Sunday, September 16th

High 85, low 50


So here is my plan and I have been looking forward to this adventure since the last time that I was here, and I think that was two years ago. I would canoe up to the “sturgeon hole” where I would drop two anchors and settle in, until noon the next day.

If I got a big fish on I would pull anchor, and let my monster from below pull me around (the last time that I did this I caught a 54). Catching a large sturgeon out of a canoe in a fast flowing river is krazy with a capital K, and that is why I do this. I also fish sturgeon because once you are set up it is time to relax.

What is my version of set up? Two rods out, both have 65-pound braided line and are weighted with 1.5 ounce egg sinkers, a large hook, and each has two night crawlers on it.

So I am truly in paradise and anyone that has spent time on the Flambeau or Chippewa Rivers knows what I mean, a constant view, lots of wildlife, and excellent fishing.

Naturally there has to be problems and mine was a constant flow of vegetation flowing down the river as it has ended its life cycle and high water is moving it towards the Gulf of Mexico. My problem, and it never ended, was that the longest I could fish without having up to 3-pounds of weeds on each line was ten minutes. Weeds covering your bait means no fish.

On the other hand almost as soon as I started fishing I caught a 15-inch smallmouth bass. An hour later I caught a 19-incher that gave an excellent aerial show, and just before dark I caught my first sturgeon which was only 32-inches.

I did have a huge sturgeon clear the water not 30-feet from me and that was very inspiring.

Just about dark I figured I was settled in for the night and very comfortable in a lawn chair when my good buddy Joe Flater gave me a call and informed me that I was not in the “sturgeon hole”. Joe or “Muskie Joe” guides on this river and if he told me to move I was going to.

So I paddled in the dark down river for one mile and found the “sturgeon hole” which I did by hitting the bottom of the river with my paddle until I found 7-feet of water.

I caught a catfish right away and another small sturgeon and the problem with the down river vegetation was really bad.

Once I feel asleep and had a dream that I was in Antarctica in this canoe doing this same thing. There were icebergs everywhere, and I was laying on the floor of my canoe watching the stars when a giant fish grabbed my bait and pulled my canoe underwater with me in it. That fish pulled my rig and me at breakneck speed and when I woke up listening to the current of the Flambeau I have to admit I was a bit scared.

Anyhow I never got out of my rig until 1:00 p.m. the next day. I drove home in a powerful thunderstorm, just about crashed my truck, and that is my sturgeon story. Sunset