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23 responses to “The Sturgeon and The Cat”

  1. teri

    Fantastic story! Congrats on the sturgeon!

  2. steve

    Congratulations! Good for you. I have only hooked one lake sturgeon, and it was on a camping trip, so I had no way to care for it. I let it go. Felt pretty damn good about it, too.

    We also have a lot of these little shovelnose sturgeon here in the Midwest. A three footer might be four or five pounds. Even so, they are just so different that it is always noteworthy to catch them. I have eaten them, they are wonderful, but some of the rivers here are pretty dirty so there is a lot of catch and release.

    The joke in out boat was always that if it fought like a stick but swam upstream, under the boat and kept on going it was probably a sturgeon. They are an interesting fight.

    I can’t wait to hear about you cleaning it and cooking your trophy. From the size, you should get more than a few chances to prepare it!

    This should be fun!

  3. fishguy

    Hank,
    Can’t wait to see how you prepare that beast. Our sturgeon (Atlantic) have just been federally listed (endangered) so we won’t be fishing for them anytime soon. I’ll be interested to hear how you deal with the notochord. Friend of mine in Florida calls smoked sturgeon ‘meat candy’. Congrats!

  4. Joshua

    Okay… did the cat get the rat??? Hello!

    When I was a kid, I could not understand the people who sat out in their boats all night after sturgeon. Now, of course, I do.

    Great article, Hank.

  5. J.R. Young

    I went sturgeon fishing once on the Columbia River, 20 anglers and something like 75 shakers for the boat. No fish came home that day, but it was one of the funnest days of fishing I had ever had because of the non-stop action.

  6. Laura

    Good story Hank. Dan he told me he caught a sturgeon once. He said the combination of the fish’s primordial appearnce, grace and power, as well as the knowledge that it was pretty old, in fish years, made him feel bad about taking it. Definitely a fish to honor. I do hope you get your caviar queen someday though – that will be epic.

  7. karen

    Enjoyed your sturgeon fishing story very much! I have to say a big “thank you” for your list of links! I went to Ruhlman’s blog and saw a link to a pressure cooking blog from Laura in Italy… excellent site for all things pressure cooked. Thanks again – I enjoy your blog.

  8. Victor

    Congrats on the keeper! Why did you let the guide take the fun out of setting the hook? To me that’s the skill in sturgeon fishing…the hook set. If the hook doesn’t get through the leather like lips, game over.

    I do make one request if you knowingly land a big female full of eggs, think about letting it go to help the fishery. Sometimes you can’t tell, but a lot of times you can. The caviar poachers have decimated the fishery. 10-15 years ago our boat used to land 40+ keepers a year (not all brought home), now we hope to fill our 3 tags.

    I am curious as to how you clean yours. It seems my family and family friends have our own way and I have never seen anyone else clean them the same way.

  9. Tom Warnock

    Hank – I live on a floating homeon the Columbia River and we catch shakers just for fun but I have yet to land a keeper. Had a monster on once – never saw the fish but the bait came up half eaten and the hook was bent straight – there was no boat big enough for that one. I’ve seen the old photos on the columbia River of colossal sturgeon being pulled up onto the bank with a team of horses – using a hay hook and a chicken for bait as the stories go!!!

    Just had some last week – lightly breaded and sauted – very delicious. Most of the Sturgeons we get here are green if I’m not mistaken but I don’t think there is a lot of difference in the flavor.

  10. Christine

    Hey Hank. I really enjoyed reading this and salute you in your victory. Many, many years ago my dad used to go fishing on the Sacramento River and one time inadvertently caught a sturgeon. Since that was not what he was fishing for, he threw it back!
    I have one question: if the legal size limit is 72-inches, about to be reduced to 66-inches, how is it that a 55-inch sturgeon is a keeper? Is that a typo or am I missing something?

  11. Deborah

    I always read, but rarely comment – this is one great story. Congratulations – and I can’t wait to see what you do with this magnificent catch.

  12. Jay

    Holy crap Hank this is great writing….

  13. Rhonda

    Bully for you! It was a Cat-ivating story!

  14. Phillip

    Great tale!

    The cat staring at the crack… I believe you’ve shared that story with me before, but it never fails to remind me of CA deer hunting. Patience. Patience. More patience. Patience to the point of mania. And finally, maybe, usually by accident and not in the crack where you expected it… a deer shows up.

    I haven’t tried sturgeon fishing, and now that I’m leaving the Golden State I probably won’t. We’ve got them back home in the Cape Fear, and some real monsters, but they are in the process of declaring those fish endangered (rightly).

    Good stuff, Hank… as always!

  15. Katie

    Wonderful read! Love your writing style.

  16. Amy Thielen

    Congratulations, Hank! Oh my god, that’s my favorite fish you’ve got in your hands. I wait anxiously to see what you do with it. What a score.

  17. Tom Gowans

    Really a very good post.

  18. Nicola

    Great post, thanks!

  19. dan

    Great story!

  20. Chris

    Found you! A man after my own heart. Great post, great blog.

  21. Kevin

    I’m with all the others complimenting the writing on this one. Great story. Great hunt.

  22. Jeff @ Cheese-Burger.net

    That’s a gigantic sturgeon. Nice story by the way.

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