We arose on Day #21 with the
anticipation of going after a fish that would likely be the largest we
ever catch – maybe in our lifetimes.
was the Columbia River
white sturgeon we would
seek today. I’ve
seen pictures of these
behemoths – some growing to well over 10 feet long, a
thousand pounds, and
living well over one hundred years.
We met our guide, Erik Brigham, in Astoria,
at the East Mooring Dock at 6AM. Erik
and his deck hand Mike were geared up and excited to finally meet up
us. They had been
following us online
and hoping they could treat us to a unique northwest experience on the
Inlet today. I
asked Erik what our
chances were. He
was clearly a statement of
It was a cool morning –
degrees, overcast with a hint of rain in the air.
There were easily 50 other boats already
and fishing when we arrived at our spot.
After an hour we had only spotted one other
boat in the area that had
hooked a sturgeon. I
these are apparently harder to catch than I had hoped.” Then, the action started. Within 10 minutes we saw
at least 10 sturgeon
break the surface in an acrobatic display.
Seeing a 5 foot sturgeon shoot out of the
water was an amazing
sight. It also
seemed that they were
concentrated in an area about the size of a football field. Erik decided to pull
anchor and relocate
right on top of their playground – and it worked. 15 minutes later Taylor
was hooked up with one and having the
fight of his life. Then
I hooked one –
DOUBLE HEADER!! Mike,
the deck hand,
took the camera and Taylor and I went to fighting these two fish
minutes later we were
staring at two of the biggest fish of our lives in the ice box
– each four feet
long. Then, the big
guy hit. It took
both Taylor and I taking turns
fighting this one. He
was an “oversized”
fish – meaning he would have to be released, but that was
more than fair as we
already had more fish in the boat than we could eat on the entire trip. Well over a half an hour
later a nearly 7
foot, 150 pound sturgeon lay in our cradled hands on the side of the
– what a beautiful creature.
We removed the hook and watched him glide
back into the deep.
The day was not over though. We landed one more 4
footer before we
relocated once again. We
have sold our buoy location because as we pulled anchor anyone within
of us clambered to move in on our spot.
We moved about a half mile to a shallow water
sand bar location to spend
the last 45 minutes. And
fortune continued as I hooked a very rare green sturgeon. In fact, Erik stated in 10
years of fishing
he has never caught one and only ever seen two.
All he could say was “you guys have
got to buy a lottery ticket today.”