Hells Canyon Sportfishing specializes in making your dream of catching a Monster Sturgeon come true. We understand that for many this is much more than a just a normal fishing trip. For some anglers the chance to catch a giant Sturgeon has been a lifelong dream. For these anglers we offer a very exclusive trip with one goal in mind…Making your dream of catching a giant sturgeon a reality. These monsters can live to be 100 years of age and grow to over 10 feet in length here in Hells Canyon.
Spring (April thru June) Snake River Sturgeon Fishing Trips
Spring Sturgeon fishing on the Snake River means high and often muddy water and hungry sturgeon that are on an aggressive feed. Sturgeon are most dormant throughout the winter months when the water temps are in the low 40’s and 30’s. As water temps and river levels rise with the spring snow melt the “Sturgeon Frenzy” begins. High water will make fishing from shore tougher with the stronger than normal river currents and back eddies. Most often you will find the Guides of Hells Canyon Sport Fishing anchored in the “Eye of the Eddy” where the river bottom drops off into 30-80 ft of water. We are always looking for slower water this time of year. More often than not the current in the middle of the eddy or the center of the “toilet Bowl” will be the place to focus. This is where dying or dead spawned out steelhead will end up on the bottom of the river making a great feed source. You want your bait to hold still and not sweep out of the hole. With any luck in less than 10 minutes you will be getting some action on the end of your line. Feel for the bite, but never set the hook until the fish swims off with your bait. A sturgeon may pick up and drop the bait several times before committing and taking the bait all the way into its bucket mouth and shutting the door! When the fish swims off taking up whatever slack may be in your line wait until you feel the “weight of the fish” before setting the hook. Square your body up to the direction of the fish and when the tension of the line pulls your rod tip down let him have it, right in the chops! Once you have set the hook and are fast to your first fish remember to keep a tight line always. You will be using a barbless hook which can fall out of the fish’s mouth with the least bit of slack. Sturgeon tend to jump this time of year so be ready to keep up with the slack. Watching a sturgeon jump is one of the most rewarding parts of fishing for sturgeon in the Snake River, but also a potential heart breaker…. Often you’ll have the hook pop out if you can’t keep a tight line on the fish when it breaks water.
Summer (July thru Sept) Snake River Sturgeon Fishing Trips
As the weather warms up river activity amongst boaters and fishermen escalates. On any given weekend in the summer you will find sturgeon fishermen in most of the “common fishing holes” along the Snake River in Hells Canyon. By now the Sturgeon here in Hells Canyon have been fished hard for 2-3 months and with fishing pressure building each week the bite tends to become much more difficult. Water temps warm into the 60’s and no longer are the spawned out steelhead available to the sturgeon for food. Their diet changes to fresh water mussels, crawfish, and available fish species like Suckers, Small mouth Bass & Steelhead / Salmon smolt. After many years of fishing for sturgeon in the summer months here in Hells Canyon we get the feeling that the combination of warm water and heavy fishing pressure tend to put the fish into mode where the fish are much pickier on what types of bait you will get them to commit to. There will always be days where your bait may not matter, but on the day where the sturgeon are on a light bite we have found that nothing will out fish live steelhead smolt as bait. There is just something about a nice fresh, soft & bloody trout that will get a picky sturgeon to commit every time.
Fall (Oct thru Nov) Snake River Sturgeon Fishing Trips
River temps begin to cool off by mid-October and Sturgeon will begin to feed up for winter. The bite picks up quite a bit from the warmer Dog Days of the Heat of the Summer. This time of year the Snake River is full of Fall Chinook Salmon, summer run Steelhead as well as the resident species the make up the Bulk of a Snake River Sturgeons diet. To say the least there is no lack of feed for sturgeon in the fall. Most anglers turn their efforts toward Steelhead fishing here in Hells canyon during these months taking Sturgeon fishing pressure to a minimum. Large Hells canyon Sturgeon can be quite easy to catch this time of year for those Sturgeon Heads that would much rather be fighting a 10 ft fish than a 3 lb A-Run Steelhead. Steelhead gills, Salmon bellies, and Fresh trout all seem to work well as bait this time of year. An Avid Sturgeon fisherman should take advantage of this time of year. Pressure is at a minimum, the fish are on an aggressive bite.