How To Use a Sturgeon Rig for Rainy River Sturgeon

Lake sturgeon have stolen the spotlight throughout much of this spring fishing season.  With their sheer size, reaching in excess of 100 lbs and with how plentiful they are, odds for success while sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River are quite high.  In addition, once you are hooked up, the fight can be literally exhausting.  At times, it is human being vs sturgeon in an all out battle.

For anglers who target sturgeon, it is a good idea to use heavy tackle.  A big reel, rod with good backbone and fishing line in excess of 60 lb test are all good ideas.  Although many walleye anglers will accidentally hook a sturgeon while jigging, the sturgeon will become less exhausted with a shorter fight ultimately being better for the health of the fish.

Most sturgeon anglers will use what most call a sturgeon rig.  Typically, this is a 18″ snell made of 60 lb line or leader material attached to a 5/0 circle hook.  Circle hooks help to prevent gut hooking fish.  To weight down this rig, a no roll sinker is the ticket.  Depending upon the speed of the current, a 3-5 ounce sinker will do the trick.

Many sturgeon anglers will purchase pre made sturgeon rigs sold locally around Baudette and Lake of the Woods.  Other will make their own with nuances such as small spinners and beads.

As far as bait goes, a big glob of crawlers, maybe 3 or 4 does a nice job of filling the circle hook.  Some anglers will combine frozen emerald shiners along with the crawlers to offer kind of a stinky buffet.  Whatever you decide upon for bait, make the offering substantial and make sure it has a lot of scent as this is the main way sturgeon hone in on their next meal.

Sometimes a picture says a thousand words, and videos can be even better.  Check out this short video to witness how to bait a sturgeon rig, what it looks like hooked up and a couple of tips on where to fish sturgeon on the Rainy River.

To find out more about sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River or to book lodging or a guide, check out our website at

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