Fraser River sturgeon fishing is a popular outdoor activity among anglers in British Columbia. The Fraser River, located in the southwestern part of the province, is the largest river in British Columbia and is renowned for its abundant sturgeon population. If you’re planning to go sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River, here’s your guide to help you get started.
Getting to the Fraser River
The Fraser River is easily accessible by car or boat. If you’re driving, there are several routes you can take depending on your starting point. If you’re coming from Vancouver, you can take Highway 1 and follow the signs for Chilliwack or Hope. Alternatively, you can take Highway 7 and head east towards Mission. If you’re traveling from the interior, Highway 1 is your best option.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to fish by boat, you can launch your boat at one of the many boat ramps located along the river. Some of the popular boat ramps include the Chilliwack Boat Launch, Fort Langley Boat Launch, and the Hope Boat Launch.
To enjoy a successful Fraser River fishing experience, you’ll need the right equipment. Sturgeon fishing requires heavy-duty gear that can handle the weight and size of these enormous Sturgeon fish. A 9-11 foot rod with a heavy power rating is ideal, along with a large, durable reel that can handle heavy lines and backing. A braided line is recommended since it’s stronger and more durable than monofilament lines.
You’ll also need a range of sinkers, swivels, hooks, and leader material to set up your rig correctly. The sinkers should be heavy enough to keep your bait on the river bottom, where sturgeon tend to feed. The hooks should be strong and sharp enough to penetrate the sturgeon’s tough skin. Fresh bait is essential for sturgeon fishing, with salmon, lamprey, or eulachon being popular options. Make sure it is fresh and of high quality. Sturgeons have a keen sense of smell and can easily detect stale or rotten bait.
Sturgeon fishing requires patience and technique. These fish can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh up to 1,500 pounds, so it’s important to use the right fishing technique to catch them. Here are some techniques you can use:
- Bottom bouncing: This technique involves bouncing your bait along the river bottom to attract sturgeon. The technique is effective since the sturgeon feed on the river’s bottom, and the motion mimics the movement of their natural prey. To bottom bounce, cast your line upstream and allow it to sink to the river’s bottom. Then, slowly reel in your line, allowing the sinker to bounce along the river bottom.
- Drift fishing: This technique involves allowing your bait to drift naturally with the current. It’s an effective technique since it allows it to cover more ground, increasing the chances of catching a sturgeon. To drift fish, cast your line upstream and allow it to drift downstream naturally with the current.
- Anchor fishing: This technique involves anchoring your boat in a strategic location and allowing your bait to rest on the river’s bottom. This technique is useful when fishing in areas with strong currents. To anchor fish, find a spot with a steady current and anchor your boat. Then, drop it to the river’s bottom and wait for a bite.
Before heading out to the Fraser River, ensure that you familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations in British Columbia. These regulations are designed to ensure that the sturgeon population is conserved and managed sustainably. For instance, you’ll need to have a valid fishing license, and there are limits on the number and size of sturgeon you can catch and retain. It’s also important to note that some areas of the river are closed to sturgeon fishing to protect their spawning habitats.
When you catch a sturgeon, it’s essential to handle it with care. Sturgeon are a protected species, and it’s illegal to harm or kill them. If you plan to take a photo with your catch, ensure that you support the fish’s weight properly and handle it gently. Sturgeons can live for over 100 years, and their populations are under threat, so it’s crucial to release them unharmed.
In conclusion, sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River is a thrilling experience that requires the right equipment, techniques, and knowledge of fishing regulations. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of catching a sturgeon while also ensuring that you do so in a sustainable and responsible manner. Respect the river and its inhabitants, and you’re sure to have a memorable experience that you’ll cherish for years to come.