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Sturgeon Bait Recipes: The Ultimate Guide

Sturgeon Bait Recipes: The Ultimate Guide

Sturgeon is a species in the genus Acipenseridae and is located in temperate waters in the Northern Hemisphere. No species of Sturgeon occur naturally below the equator. Most species live in the ocean and make their way into rivers and estuaries every couple of years. They do this when they are ready to breed. This usually occurs in Spring and Summer months. There are, however, some Sturgeon who are confined to freshwater systems. So what are the best Sturgeon bait recipes?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll go over our top sturgeon bait recipes as well as some of our favorite equipment for fishing for sturgeon. Let’s jump in.

Best Sturgeon Bait Recipes

There are a few options when targeting Sturgeon with bait. The most effective are Shad, Mullet, Smelt, Lamprey, Squid, nightcrawlers, and Sand Shrimp. Generally, anglers use bait because it offers an irresistible smell. You can maximize this by combining different baits to increase your chances. A squid is always a great option as a base.

It offers a unique smell and oils which attract fish. Slice the Squid into rectangular strips about 2″ x4″ and tenderize with a tenderizing mallet. Now cover the Squid with “French-Fry” sizes of fresh Mullet, Shad, Lamprey, or Smelt. Roll the Squid and bait into a cylindrical shape and tie closed with cotton.

Author Note: This can be tied to your main hook and will release oils and offer an incredible smell when in the water. You should get as creative as possible, combining three or even four types of bait. You can also use anise oil to attract sturgeon, or even WD40.

Sturgeons are highly sought after by recreational fishermen due to their immense size and weight. They are a top predator, and catching them can be exhilarating. They are also highly sought after by commercial fishermen as their eggs (roe) are turned into expensive caviar. You should not try and eat sturgeon though.

This has resulted in numerous species being listed as critically endangered. Sturgeons can reach lengths of eight meters (26 feet), but generally, they are 2-3 meters (7-10 feet). Juvenile Sturgeon grow at an alarming rate until they reach maturity. After that, growth continues but does slow down. 

Sturgeons have toothless mouths and feature four antennae-like tactile barbels. The barbels act like super-sensitive feelers and assist the Sturgeon when hunting and feeding. Sturgeon features scutes (bony plates) on their heads with five rows of similar bony plates along the large body.

They have a tail fin which is heterocercal. This means that the upper lobe is longer than the lower lobe. Sturgeon feed on various types of smaller fish and invertebrates.

Best Time to Fish for Sturgeon

The best time of the year to target Sturgeon are the months of May, June, October, and November. They are most active when the water temperature is between 50 and 65 degrees F. While juveniles may bite at any time, adult Sturgeon seem less active and feed less when the water is cooler than 42 degrees F. They are also less active when the water temperature is over 65 degrees F.

The best time of day to target Sturgeon is the first hour after sunrise (this is known as the golden hour because most trophy fish are caught at this time) and the last few hours leading up to sunset. These times of the day are good for fishing because most species are less active in the dark.

Best Reels for Targeting Sturgeon

Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

The Daiwa BG 8000 is a quality reel, and some might even call it the benchmark when it comes to big sport and game fishing. This black and gold beauty features black Anodized Aluminum Housing (side-cover and body) and an over-sized Digigear system.

It also offers a solid screw-in handle, dynamic cut aluminum ABS spool, and air rotor. Additional features include manual return bale, six ball-bearings plus a roller bearing, waterproof drag system, Carbon ATD, and a braided line-ready spool. This reel has a gear ratio of 5.3:1, a 53.30″ retrieve rate, and a 33lb maximum drag.

The Daiwa BG 8000 features an Infinite Dual Anti-Reverse system and will stand up to large Sturgeon and other game fish. Line capacity (Lb. Test/Yards): 20/550, 25/440, 30/370 J-Braid: 50/730, 65/590, 80/440

Daiwa DF100A Giant Spinning Reel

This is another fantastic reel from Daiwa and is loaded with features to help bag large fish. It offers a gear ratio of 3.4:1 and 30 lb maximum drag. With a left-handed orientation, the handle is manufactured from stainless steel.

The main shaft is also crafted from durable stainless steel and features interlocking sections of angled steps for safe climbing. It also features 20″ Stacking Sticks and is weight-rated for 300lbs. It is compact with one-inch cinch straps. The Daiwa DF100A Giant Spin Reel is built to handle heavy lines and big fish.

If you don’t want to get a spinning reel, we recommend getting a bottom fishing reel.

The Best Rig for Sturgeon

Sturgeons have the ability to grow to extreme lengths, so bigger and stronger is always best when constructing your rig. Attach a 400 lb shock monofilament leader to a heavy-duty 5/0-9/0 hooks. I am enjoying the BKK circle hook and finding myself recommending them to anyone who asks me about big game fishing.

Author Note: On the other end of your leader, connect a heavy-duty premium swivel. They are extremely important, and it will be worth your while to pay a little extra. Swivels manufactured in the United States are always recommended.

The Best Braided Line for Sturgeon

HERCULES Super Cast 8 Braided Fishing Line

This braid offers excellent value for money without compromising on quality. Hercules Hi-Grade Performance Braid is available in an Army Green color. It is 1.2 mm in diameter, 300lb tested, and designed for saltwater fishing. It features Superior Casting Ability, 8 x strand braids with Diamond Weave design, and is smoother and rounder.

This increases reel capacity and drastically reduces line memory. This quality braid also features outstanding knot strength, combined with abrasion resistance, and is manufactured from UHMWPE. UHMWPE is considered to be the worlds’ strongest fiber and features enhanced coating technology. Hercules Braided Line offers zero stretch and super-high sensitivity. This super-braid is ideal for targeting large Sturgeon.

The Best Monofilament Line for Sturgeon

Shaddock Monofilament Fishing Line

This is a great monofilament fishing line. It is manufactured from 100% nylon material, is abrasion resistant, and super tough. Shaddock offers unique technology and produces a line with outstanding strength to diameter ratio. This fishing line offers ideal control and sensitivity, accurate and long-cast ability, and better knot holds.

It is tested to 396 lb, is clear blue in color, and each coil is filled with 547 yards of quality fishing line. Shaddock Monofilament fishing line offers High tensile and shock strength, lower sinking rate, provides more forgiveness during hook-sets, and outstanding shock strength for fierce and sudden impacts.

Sturgeon Eggs and Caviar

Sturgeon eggs are highly sought after all over the world. Traditionally, the term caviar only refers to eggs (roe) from wild Sturgeon. Initially, it was only roe from Beluga, Sevruga, and Ossetra Sturgeon located in the Black and Caspian Seas that qualified as authentic caviar. Caviar may also describe the role of other species of fish and Sturgeon. These species include Carp, Whitefish, Lumpfish, Trout, Steelhead, and Salmon.

Why is Sturgeon Caviar So Expensive?

There is cheaper caviar available that comes from Sturgeon that produces large amounts of eggs in a short amount of time. The more expensive caviar comes from Sturgeon, which are extremely rare and slow-producing. These days almost every single Sturgeon egg on the market originates from a fish farm.

Do Farmers Kill Sturgeon to Extract Caviar?

Caviar was at one point food for Kings, Royalty, and Czars but meant death for the Sturgeon. Thankfully there is a new technique called “no-kill” caviar or “cruelty-free” caviar. This technique allows the caviar to be extracted without even cutting the Sturgeon open. Angela Kohler, who is a German marine Biologist, spent nine years developing this technique.

Author Note: It involves first viewing the Sturgeons eggs via ultrasound. Secondly, a signaling protein is administered a few days before harvest. This signaling protein induces labor and allows the eggs to be released from the membranous sack in the belly cavity.

At this point, the valuable ripe eggs can be removed from the belly with soft and gentlw massaging. This process can be repeated every 16 months throughout the Sturgeon’s life.

Additional Sturgeon Facts

Siberian sturgeon

Sturgeon are incredible fish that have the ability to achieve lengths of up to eight meters (24 ft). They are highly sought after by recreational and commercial fishermen. They can be found in temperate waters in the Northern Hemisphere but don’t occur naturally below the equator. Sturgeon can be targeted using artificial Lures, live or dead bait.

The best time of the day to target Sturgeon is the first couple of hours after sunrise and the last few hours leading up to sunset. Heavy-Duty tackle is imperative when targeting these beasts. When constructing your rig, it is advisable to use an Ultra-Strong BKK Circle hook connected to a 400 lb monofilament shock leader, which is connected to a premium quality swivel.

Sturgeon produces quality caviar (roe) and have been overfished for many years, which has resulted in them being listed as “critically endangered.” A German Marine Biologist, Angela Kohler, has developed a technique called “no-kill” or “cruelty-free” caviar. This allows the caviar to be harvested from the female Sturgeon without killing it.


The best bait recipe is a combination of Squid, Shad, Smelt, and Mullet. Bait releases oil and smells into the water, which attracts fish. The best time to target this species is in the Spring and summer months when they are most active (May, June, October, and November). We hope you enjoyed this article on the best sturgeon bait recipes.

Happy Hunting!


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