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The Complete Guide to Catching Sturgeon from the Shore

Sturgeons are bottom-feeders and will feed on aquatic insects, worms, crayfish, shrimp, and snails. Additionally, they will feed on other types of small fish, like Herring or juvenile salmon. Sturgeon are considered one of the most prized gamefish to catch. So do you know to catch Sturgeon from shore?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll go over the best techniques for how to catch Sturgeon from shore, as well as the best lures for Sturgeon.

Let’s get started.

How to Catch Sturgeon from Shore

Sturgeon are incredibly strong and can grow to outrageous lengths. Before one even considers targeting these prehistoric beasts, you need to ensure that you have the correct tackle.

Rod and Reel Setup for Sturgeon

  • A Heavy-duty bottom fishing reel is a must when targeting Sturgeon, and it should be able to hold at least 300 yards of 80-100 lb breaking strain main-line.
  • A Sturgeon rod should be a traditional one-piece design instead of the conventional two-piece set-up that has become extremely popular. Surf fishing rods are a great option.

What is the Best Rig for Sturgeon?

  • Attach a heavy-duty 5/0 – 9/0 hook to a 400 lb monofilament shock leader, which has been connected to a premium Swivel. Although the swivel is small in size, it plays a major role in your overall set-up. A quality swivel is also imperative.

What is the Best Bait for Sturgeon?

You can use numerous baits for sturgeon, keeping in mind that the fresher the bait, the better your chances are of catching a Sturgeon. Recommended baits are Salmon roe, Freshwater Clams, Carcasses, Salmon Eggs, crawfish (freshwater Crayfish), squid, and other smaller fish that can be located within the same habitat. There are times when fresh bait isn’t available.

Author Note: Try some scent to attract these predators out from the deep. Sardine Oil, Shrimp Oil, and Shad Oil are all proven to be successful, and there are numerous other types of fish oils available.

How to Catch Sturgeon from Shore: Location is Also Key

Sturgeon Spawning

If you are new to the area being fished, take your time to observe and locate a potentially good fishing spot. In freshwater, it is advisable to get your bait into deep pools that are surrounded by structure. If you are targeting Sturgeon in saltwater, it is vital to pay attention to the tide.

If the tide is in, try fishing small beds of around 4-6 feet (1.2-1.8m). When the tide is out, it’s best to look for deeper water to fish. It’s advisable to fish rocky points, small channels, sand flats, and ledges.

Understanding the Sturgeon Bite

A Sturgeon’s feeding behavior evolves as the weather and subsequently temperature changes. During the warmer months, Sturgeon will feed more aggressively. They are more active at this time and also because it’s spawning season (generally in July and August).

Constantly observe your rod tip, ensure your drag is loose and be prepared to hear your line screaming off your spool. During the colder months, Sturgeon are less active, and this shows in the feeding behavior.

The bite is slow and repetitive, and the key is patience. Most novice fishermen get the bite confused with the incoming or outgoing tide.

Hook Setting Sturgeon

Once you have identified a bite, it is vital to set the hook as securely as possible. With your weaker hand, hold your spool and bail arm as tightly as you can. Lift the rod tip towards to ensure tension and set the hook. For larger Sturgeon, this exercise can be repeated several times.

How to Catch Sturgeon from Shore: Tension and Speed

Once you have successfully hooked a Sturgeon, it is extremely important to keep tension on the line at all times. If the tension is not maintained, it will give the fish an opportunity to spit the hook. At the same time, try to reel the fish in as quickly as you can.

Author Note: Don’t give the fish an inch because this could result in another 200 yards being torn from your reel. Sturgeon grow to such incredible sizes that it may be necessary to get some assistance.

The Best Lures for Sturgeon

Acme Hyper-Glide Minnow Fishing Lure 

This quality lure is specifically designed to target Sturgeon and is ideal for targeting a wide variety of fresh and saltwater species. Anglers can use this lure to target Striper, Walleye, Sturgeon, Musky, Pike, Bass, Trout, Crappie, and Perch. It offers an extremely balanced swimming action with life-like and realistic skin color.

Sougayilang Fishing Spoons

This lure features a compact and narrow profile design. It is offered in an assortment of five bright colors, which are individually wrapped. This lure now offers an entirely new design and is manufactured from aluminum alloy.

Aluminum alloy is super-strong, lightweight, and easy to string. These lures are great for all stream, river, or lake fishing. It weighs in at 0.2 oz and has a length of 2.5 inches.

Goture Long Distance Cast Lures

This bucktail adds a significant amount of color to an already deadly lure and simultaneously magnifies the spoon’s proven swimming action. This lure also offers a surprisingly low line twist. The Goture Long Distance Cast Metal Spoon is aerodynamic and offers a slab-sided design.

This is a fantastic Soon and is excellent for targeting Sturgeon and many other fresh and saltwater species. The new addition to the Goture Range has been upgraded with an original and authentic bucktail on the rear treble hook.

It is a heavy-duty lure and features a Corrosion Resistant, Solid Electroplating Metal Construction, and is precision-engineered. This lure is exceptionally well-balanced and is easy to cast, even in windy conditions.

The Best Rod for Sturgeon

Ugly Stik Tiger Casting Rod 

The Ugly Stik Tiger Casting Rod features legendary Ugly Tech Construction with a delightful combination of fiber-glass and graphite. This rod is exceptionally strong yet sensitive at the same time. Insert pop-outs are eliminated with this Ugly Tuff One-Piece, stainless steel double-footed guide.

This quality rod features conventional reel seats with stainless steel cushioned hoods and premium robust and fighting length EVA grips with rubber gimbals. The Ugly Stik Tiger Casting Rod is a perfect bait rod for targeting large game and sport fish. The is a great option for learning how to catch sturgeon from shore.

The Best Rig for Sturgeon

South Bend Sturgeon Rig

For the slightly more experienced fishermen, there is what’s called a “Sturgeon Rig.” The “Sturgeon Rig” consists of an 18″ Snell, which has been made by attaching premium quality 5/0 circle hooks to a 60lb main and leader line. A no-roll sinker is the best option to get your delicious bait down to the Sturgeon.

Sturgeon Facts

Sturgeon is a large prehistoric fish in the genus Acipenseridae and is made of 27 different species that can be found in most of the Northern Hemisphere. They are believed to have been around for around 240 million years.

Sturgeon are native to the sub-Arctic, temperate, and subtropical lakes, rivers, estuaries, and coastlines of North America and Eurasia. Sturgeon are a late-maturing and long-living species with numerous distinctive characteristics. They feature strong elongated bodies with armored skin, consisting of five lateral rows of scutes (bony plates) and a heterocercal caudal fin, which greatly resembles a large shark. There are no scales on their tough skin. 

The largest Sturgeon on record was a Beluga female and weighed in at an impressive 3463lb (1571kg). She had a length of 24ft (7.2m) and surprisingly was caught in an estuary. Generally, Sturgeon grow to a length of around 7-12 ft.

Most Sturgeons are anadromous, which means that they can survive in both fresh and saltwater. Some Sturgeon species will only inhibit freshwater environments, while some species will only inhibit saltwater environments, particularly around natural water systems and estuaries near coastal towns.

Author Note: These systems are attractive to Sturgeon because they ultimately venture out into the open ocean. No species of Sturgeon are known to exist naturally south of the Equator. 

Can You Eat Sturgeon?

Sturgeon can be consumed raw, grilled, boiled, and can even be marinated. It is considered to have a strong flavor and consistency. The best way to enjoy the full flavor is by consuming the flesh raw.

Are Sturgeon Endangered?

Sturgeon Spawning in the Wild

Unfortunately, numerous species of Sturgeon are under serious threat. There are several species of Sturgeon harvested for their roe, which is then made into luxury caviar.

Conservation threats combined with serious overexploitation of this species has resulted in most of these species being listed as “critically endangered.” Being critically endangered means that these species are near extinction. This is a result of excessive pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction.


Sturgeons are prehistoric fish that grow to an incredible size. They are extremely powerful and offer memorable fights. They can be located in most streams, rivers, estuaries, and oceans in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sturgeon are slow maturing and long-living and only reach sexual maturity at the age of 15 years. They are anadromous bottom-feeders that feed on aquatic insects, worms, crayfish, shrimp, and snails. Sturgeon will also feed on other types of smaller fish, like Herring, Flounder, and Salmon.

Sturgeon can easily be targeted from shore using lures, live and dead baits. The best bait to use is Salmon Eggs, Freshwater Clams, Carcasses, Salmon Eggs, crawfish (freshwater Crayfish), and other smaller fish that can be located within the same habitat.

The best lures are spoons and hard-body diving lures, which can get down deep. Numerous species of Sturgeon are commercially harvested for their roe, which is turned into luxury caviar. This exercise, combined with pollution, habitat destruction, and overexploitation, has left these species on the brink of extinction. We hope you enjoyed this article on how to catch Sturgeon from shore.

Happy Hunting!


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