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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am pretty new to sturgeon fishing, have yet to get a keeper. About a month and a half ago I was fishing the willamette, catch and release. Now that its open again I went out with the same bait, (smelt) and couldnt touch a thing. A month ago I wouldnt sit for 5 minutes without a bite.
Is there any rhyme or reason to times to use certain bait?
 

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Somedays just seem to go that way. Keep at it and you will get your keeper. Smelt is generally a good bait and consistently catches fish. There are others including eel, squid, shad, sandshrimp and nightcrawlers. Personally I use smelt 90% of the time in the upper river (above Wauna) with good to excellent success. Sometimes just putting a little shrimp, anise or 'sturgeon feast' scent on the smelt can make a world of difference in results. Other days, they like it straight smelt.

Be sure to move if you don't get into fish within 30 minutes or so. A fish that is not there can't bite your bait. :wink:
 

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froggy, i'm no expert but as far as sturge bait goes i always like to pack a variety of different baits to offer. my standard of course is smelt, but the gator can be finicky so i also always make sure to bring sand shrimp, pickled squid, shad, and whatever else i can find. had my best day last year at t-6 (50+fish to the boat) using smelt and pickled squid combo while other boats in the area were just doing so-so using straight smelt. the other thing i do might sound kinda goofy but a friend told me a guide told him to use 12-d on your smelt....(step on it) he said it squishes out more scent. works for me
 

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Try squid injected with a mix of earthworm/anise/sturgeon feast. If you need to know how to get those buggers on the hook just click here! :cheers:
 

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often, the same bait will work, but not well during a slack time. Under decent current, any bait will work better. You may have been fishing faster water a month ago, when the tide was running. even up at bonniville. As for baits in general, there are times when they will only seem to hit fresher smelt, or smelt with some scent. I like to use eel in the fall and winter too. Trimming off the fins during an ebb tide can help too. Sometimes you'll notice you bait comes up twisted. Try to shorten the leader or trim off the fins and gills so the bait lays flat on the bottom, they will pick it up much more often, especially up higher in the river. Sturgeon fishing can seem easy, but they can be very finicky too, and to fin out what may work best on a given day will determine wether you land a few or many. Good fishin',
GBS
 
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