Sturgeon-How to Catch-Will some of the fisherman please tell me how to catch sturgeon on trot lines. I would like to know what kind of bait to use and what kind of hooks. I have often heard of sturgeon being caught on trot lines but never knew what kind of bait they used. Also when is the best time of season to fish for them?
In Winnebago Lake, Wisconsin, in the summer time, fishermen set trot lines upwards of six miles long, with fishhooks on 18-inch staging every 18 inches. The main line is one inch in diameter. There are about 20,000 hooks on the line, and it takes nearly all day for forty man in twenty boats to bait and set the first time. The sturgeons run up to 70 pounds, but of late years they are small-around twenty pounds. The eggs are used in making caviar. The bait is meat and fish. The lines are floated and each pair of fishermen runs from a buoy to the next buoy, or along several buoys. When the fish were plenty, they ran a fish to ten hooks, but sometimes there would be only a fish or two to the thousand hooks. One five mile line was run without a fish being on it. Of course, to start with, you do not have to have five miles of line; a few hundred feet would serve to test your own waters-perhaps only a hundred feet. The eggs are very valuable; the meat is sold fresh at 6 cents the pound and 7 cents for smoked, in Wisconsin. Size of the bait, of the hooks, of the snoods, and of the main line depends on the size of your fish, but it should be substantial gear. Of course, you may have in mind a different kind of sturgeon. If so, let us know.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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