Fishing for sturgeon is very popular with many anglers. Because it is relatively easy to land quite capital fish and therefore it is considered a particularly popular target fish. Nevertheless, especially as a beginner, you should pay attention to a few things. These can improve your chances of success when fishing for sturgeon.
That’s why we have divided this beginner’s guide into the most important sections, such as rod, lure, leader, rod and general tips and tricks.
Because only with a really good preparation, the chances for a capital sturgeon are much higher. But first you should get to know the sturgeon a bit better.
This will enable you to better prepare for the sturgeon when targeting it and you’ll get a better idea of its characteristics. Have fun with our fish guide for beginners and advanced anglers.
European sturgeon (Acipenser sturio)
The sturgeon looks like a shark, the dorsal fin is often shifted backwards. As it is most common in our distribution areas, we will discuss the European sturgeon in the following.
One of the main characteristics of the European sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) is that it is an anadromous migratory fish. This means that it changes waters to spawn and usually migrates from salt water to fresh water.
However, it is now rarely found in the Northeast Atlantic. The destruction of the environment, caused by river straightening, shipping and overfishing, has led to a decline in its population in large areas.
The sturgeon is valid, is on the red list and is considered an endangered species. For this reason, it is subject to a year-round closed season in many federal states in Germany.
Below you will find some more interesting questions about the sturgeon.
How old does a sturgeon get?
Male sturgeons usually reach an age of 7 to 9 years. Females, on the other hand, grow considerably older. The average age here is between 8 and 14 years.
How big does a sturgeon get?
The European sturgeon grows to a length of up to 3.40 m and can reach a weight of up to 300 kg. The chances of success in catching such a large sturgeon are rather low due to the dwindling population.
Is the sturgeon a predator or a peaceful fish?
The sturgeon is clearly a predator. It does not matter whether it is an Atlantic sturgeon or a North American sea sturgeon.
Although it has hardly any teeth in its mouth, it feeds mainly on live food.
What do sturgeons eat?
The sturgeon searches for its food mostly on the ground. This is an important hint, especially with regard to the assembly to be used.
But we will go into this in more detail later. Its main food includes worms, molluscs and crustaceans. But sometimes he also eats smaller fish.
The size of his food of course always depends on how big he is himself.
Fishing for sturgeon in Germany – Where can you fish for sturgeon?
As sturgeons in Germany are increasingly threatened with extinction in their natural habitat, many sturgeons have been released in the Oder river in recent years to replenish their numbers. These are expected to reproduce naturally over the next 20 to 30 years.
In order not to endanger the survival and reintroduction of sturgeon, you should therefore refrain from fishing for sturgeon in Germany. In some cases it is even forbidden to fish for sturgeon.
In Bremen, however, it is still possible to fish for sturgeon outside the closed season. An alternative are many trout lakes with private breeding that are subject to a fee.
At some trout lakes in Germany many sturgeons are used to offer the angler a little variety in addition to trout fishing. Therefore, fishing for sturgeon is becoming increasingly popular in our latitude.
One possibility for this is the Zwillbrock fishing paradise in NRW:
Angelparadies Zwillbrock GmbH Zwillbrock 40 a 48691 Vreden Tel. +49 (0) 2564 – 950102 Mobile: +49 (0) 160 3448028
Or Fischrei Altfriedland:
Owner: Stefan Timm Fischerstraße 1 15320 Neuhardenberg OT Altfriedland
Alternatively, the La Motta Lakes in Vienenburg:
La Motta Lakes Lierestrasse 38690 Vienenburg
So that your first hide out on sturgeon doesn’t get too boring, we’ll cover the most important equipment, fishing equipment and tips for sturgeon fishing below. Let’s start with the right rod.
Sturgeon fishing equipment & accessories – what do you use for sturgeon fishing?
Fishing equipment and the right accessories are among the most important things for successful sturgeon fishing. After all, some of the predatory fish have a lot of power (of course it depends on the size). Therefore a stable fishing rod is essential.
But also the sturgeon reel and the fishing line must meet certain requirements. Below we show you everything you need to be successful in fishing.
The following comparison table shows you different rods in different price ranges. If you view the table with a smartphone, hold it horizontally for a better view.
By the way: The rod for sturgeon fishing can be very similar to the rods for carp fishing. Especially if you know beforehand that the sturgeon are only 1.50 m long. In many trout lakes they don’t get any bigger.
If there are sturgeons like this in the lake, a 2.70 m rod will do. The casting weight should be around 25 to 150 grams.
Sturgeons sometimes jump when hooked. So make sure that the rod you choose is slightly softer. We have published a product review with different carp rods which you can use as a guide if you want to.
If the sturgeon is larger than 2.00 m, you can also use a catfish rod without any problems. For example, we have had very good experience with the indicatorShimano Beastmaster.
The rod reel for fishing for sturgeon
On average, the number of the reel for fishing for sturgeon should be one greater than the number of the reel for trout.
Especially for small and medium sized sturgeon a 4000 reel is usually sufficient. For example, the Penn Fierce 4000 has proven to be particularly good. And this is what it looks like:
It has sufficient line capacity, a very good line run and high-quality workmanship.
Optionally you can also choose a roll of size 8000.
But you can also use free spool reels for fishing for sturgeon. It is of course up to you to decide which one to use.
Which fishing line should you use for fishing for sturgeon?
When it comes to the right line for sturgeon fishing, opinions differ. Some swear by a monofilament line, others by a braided line. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
A monofilament fishing line cushions the jump of the sturgeon very well. Because it is generally considered to be more elastic.
On the other hand, you can’t set the hook optimally because of its elasticity.
The more rigid braided line, on the other hand, is very good for setting the hook in the often very tough mouth of the sturgeon. On the other hand it does not cushion the jumps as well.
Braided lines are usually used with a line thickness of 0.20 mm to 0.25 mm.
Monofilament fishing lines, on the other hand, are often considerably thicker and have a line thickness of 0.3 to 0.35 mm.
We recommend using a braided fishing line for sturgeon fishing. We can recommend the fishing line from Anzeige Stork in 0.28 mm.
For leader fishing you can use a slightly thinner fishing line of 0.26 mm.
The correct hook
We recommend using a hook of hook size 1 to hook size 2 as a sturgeon hook.
Good sturgeon hooks have an additional barb so that the bait does not fall off so easily and is better “hooked” into the mouth of the sturgeon.
For this purpose, owner hooks in hook size 2 are suitable.
Sturgeon mounts – Which is the right mount for sturgeon fishing?
There are 2 types of mounting which we would like to introduce to you. This is firstly the sturgeon mounting with running lead and secondly a fixed lead mounting. Let us start with the running lead assembly.
Which assembly we prefer you will also find out in the following
In order to always have the correct assembly with you, we recommend our book “The best fishing assemblies”.
Lead for sturgeon fishing
Running lead assembly is relatively simple and requires very few utensils. You can also use this for example to fish for sturgeon in the trout pond. We would like to introduce them to you in the following short instructions so that you can easily reproduce them.
What do you need for the lead assembly?
For one of our favourite sturgeon mounts on the trout pond you need the following items:
- 6 carp hooks (4 to 1/0 gentle hooks are also possible)
- Smoked salmon as bait (more bait you will find below)
- 70 cm 0,35 monofilament leader
- Stopper bead
- Barrel swivel (6 g)
- 1 Lead with 20 to 35 g weight / alternatively with anti tangle
Use a slightly thicker leader. Because if the sturgeon bites once, it can sometimes become really turbulent.
You then pull off and try to escape with full force. Jumps are no rarity here. Therefore the leader should be a bit thicker.
A 0.35 mm thick monofilament leader line is usually sufficient.
First you thread the lead on the main line. Then position the stopper so that the lead does not “tear off” the leader.
A swivel is then placed behind the stopper bead. Hook the 70 cm long, 0.35 mm thick monofilament leader onto this swivel. The sturgeon or carp hook is also attached to this.
The structure looks as follows:
In principle it is a very simple but effective assembly which we can recommend to everyone. We have had the best experience with this assembly.
We have also had good experience with a fixed-glue assembly. However, there is a high risk that the sturgeon will jump out of the water even before the stop could be set.
This can cause the sturgeon to slit out. You should therefore think carefully before you start if this is the first choice for your installation.
What do you need?
Below is a list of everything you need for the fixed-glue assembly:
- Basic lead
- Anti-tangle-boom (you can find it here)
- Leader with hook (size 6)
Basically the assembly of the solid glue is very simple. We will go into this in more detail below.
Set-up of the fixed glue assembly
First you position the anti-tangle boom on the main line. Here you hook in the basic lead.
After the anti-tangle-boom you place a stopper and attach a suitable swivel. The leader including the worm bundle is now hooked into this swivel.
The following illustration best illustrates the structure:
You can find the matching knots in our fishing knot book.
YouTube video for solid glue assembly
You will find the appropriate YouTube video in the following. It is explained step by step how you should proceed best for the assembly:
Once you have chosen the right rod, reel and the right assembly, you should start to work with the bait.
The following baits have proven to be particularly suitable:
- Boilies (use with a hairline attachment)
- Smoked salmon
- Tilsit cheese
- Canadian thaw worms
- Pellet dough (use with a hairline attachment)
- Piece of herring
- Pellets (use with a hair attachment)
- Bait fish
It is important that you let the sturgeon swim once it has taken the bait. Only at the point where the line is taut, you should set a hook.
Try to keep your rod vertical. This will give you a better chance of the hook in the mouth of the sturgeon being “properly” fixed.
One of the best baits to catch sturgeon are fish boilies. We have had very good experience with these AnzeigeStör Boilies (secret tip).
They are based on bee maggots and have already led to one or the other really capital bite. Use this bait with the already presented fixed-glue assembly.
To get the sturgeons used to the feeding place, we recommend to cast the fish boilies 1 to 2 days before and to feed the sturgeons.
This way they know in advance that this is a promising feeding place.
You increase your chances of getting a sturgeon.
Fishing for sturgeon with smoked salmon
Many anglers swear by smoked salmon from Aldi. In this case it is usually enough to portion it appropriately, as shown in the following picture:
The portioning gives you a good size to place it on the hook later.
Make sure that you fix it sufficiently so that it does not fly off the hook when you throw it. We have already landed some bigger sturgeons ourselves using the salmon method.
Fishing for sturgeon with cheese
Another insider tip is Tilsiter cheese. You can use it to catch a few more carp, but the cheese has proved to be very good for sturgeon fishing.
You can get it for example in the supermarket or at Aldi. Cut it into small pieces and then place it on your hook. Here too you have to be careful when casting it out, similar to smoked salmon.
Many anglers also swear by Canadian Tauwürmer as sturgeon bait.
They are particularly popular on commercial fishing lakes. Depending on the size to be expected, two to eight roundworms are then used. Sturgeons like complete worm bundles.
Here you can see a typical thaw worm:
As an alternative to the thaw worm you can also use Dendrobena (also a type of worm). This is also very often taken from the sturgeon. Here every angler should try out what works best for him.
But if you really want to be on the safe side, then take the Boilies.
Pellet dough is used by many anglers because sturgeons love to eat it. This is mainly because many sturgeons have been fed with it during breeding and are later placed in the large (trout) ponds.
The disadvantage of pellet dough is that it decomposes relatively quickly (in contrast to boilies which last longer). Here it always depends on the consistency.
However, we have made the experience that it is a bit more catchy than Boilies. Therefore you should use the dough until it has decomposed and then switch to Boilies. You can’t do much wrong with this technique.
The pellet dough is just as popular with smaller fish as boilies.
For the pellet dough you usually need a hair assembly. We can recommend Fishing Tackle Max’s AnzeigePellet batter, which is specially designed for sturgeon fishing.
Pieces of herring
Another sturgeon bait that can be caught are pieces of herring. As sturgeons have a relatively small mouth, complete herring are not fed, only smaller pieces.
You will need a fish knife to divide the herring into relatively equally sized pieces. You can also use the salmon bait for orientation (in terms of size). When you have cut some pieces, hang some of them on the hook.
Below you can see some herring that you can theoretically use for sturgeon fishing.
When you hang up the hook you should always make sure that the hook sticks out a bit of the herring. Otherwise it is possible that the hook will not “grab” properly in the mouth of the sturgeon.
In order to avoid false bites it is therefore very important that the hook “sticks out” of the herring a little.
Pellets as sturgeon bait
Normally pellets are only used when fishing for carp or catfish (or wels catfish). Pellets are available in different sizes and flavours.
If you use pellets, you should first “feed” the sturgeon a little. You can vary the size a little (i.e. mix small pellets of 6 mm and large pellets of 30 mm – but use more and more of the smaller ones).
Additionally you can also use some basic feed to “intensify” the taste for the sturgeon.
Due to the intensive smell and the oily consistency, some sturgeons will quickly be “brought to the scene”.
Pellets usually stay on the hair for 4 to 6 hours before they dissolve. Alternatively, you can “wrap” the pellets in some shrink tubing to extend the “shelf life”.
To do this, simply push the pellet into the appropriate shrink tube and adjust the size with scissors.
Then hang the heat shrink tube with the pellet over hot steam (caution: danger of burning) so that the tube is pulled over the pellets.
Then the pellet is simply pulled onto the hair of the hair assembly and secured with a stopper bead.
The right location for your bait
Of course the best bait is useless if the bait has been placed in a bad fishing spot. Sturgeons are always on the move.
They can never stand still like a catfish for example. They are constantly looking for food.
Especially at trout lakes they swim their circular tracks. And it is precisely these lanes that anglers have to find.
In order to stay on their course, sturgeons usually orient themselves by the edges of the bottom. And this is exactly what you should aim for with your lure if possible.
Most of the time you notice them when you plumb the depth of the water. The edges are usually very close to the bank. Often the sturgeons are not even 10 m away. It is therefore not worth putting the bait very far out on the fishing lake.
Therefore stay close to the shore. This is where he usually prefers to stay. Here the depth can be a few meters.
If you can sail the lake with a fishing boat, we recommend you use a fish finder (here you can find a big fish finder comparison) to find the sturgeon and the edges.
Fishing in different seasons & the best time
In summer with really warm weather conditions are usually completely different than in winter (December, January & February).
But also in September, October and November (autumn) and in spring/spring (March, April & May) the animals often behave differently.
That’s why you should also fundamentally adjust your fishing method. In the following we show you what you should pay attention to, especially in summer and winter.
But when is the best time to fish for sturgeon?
The best time of day is usually at night, late in the evening (when it’s already dawning) or early in the morning. Here you have the best chances to “catch” him on the shore.
During the day your chances are a little less, but here you also have the possibility to catch a sturgeon on land. It always depends on the bait. During the day, we recommend you take a bundle of thaw worms.
Spring / Spring
Spring (March, April and Mail) is the time when many sturgeons become active again.
Here they are actively looking for food again and are usually much more lively than in deep winter.
Here it is worth attaching bundles of thaw worms to the sturgeon rod and holding it in the water. We usually use a classic basic assembly for this.
Also try to stay close to the shore as this is where your chances of catching sturgeon are usually highest.
Sturgeon fishing in summer
In hot summer weather many trout lakes place sturgeon around water to give the angler a little variety. Because especially in summer sturgeons are often very active.
Fishing for sturgeon is especially challenging in summer. Because unlike in winter when the weather is cold, they are at other fishing spots in the lake.
Where do they go in summer?
For example, shallow sandbanks are very well suited for this. Especially if they are in the middle of a trout pond or lake.
Adjacent to the sandbank you will often find swampy ground. And here you will find mainly mussels or snails. These are a preferred food source for bony fish.
Even better are overturned trees, roots or branches hanging into the water. Here the sturgeons like to spend time in summer to seek shelter.
Which bait to use in summer?
Smoked salmon works very well. Once correctly placed on the fishing hook, it can be cast up to 20 m.
Form the salmon into a package and pierce it through the middle of the hook. So that the tip still sticks out. This will give you a better chance of hooking it properly and there will be fewer missed bites.
And one more hint: Keep the salmon as cool as possible, especially in summer, so that it doesn’t spoil so quickly. A cool box can work wonders here.
Shortly after summer and before winter many sturgeons eat their fill. Here too it is worth fishing for sturgeon with a classic fixed-glue installation.
Try placing the lure both in the middle of the lake (on sandbanks) and in the shore area.
Just try what works best for you.
Sturgeon fishing in winter
Sturgeons can also be outsmarted in the cold season. Because they also eat when the temperatures in the water are lower. However, here the bait changes.
You should also pay attention to the equipment.
What do you need to know about fishing equipment?
Sturgeons are very sensitive, especially in winter. Therefore, many anglers tend to knot the sturgeon hook directly to the main line. This allows you to set the hook directly and without delay as soon as you feel even a small pluck.
Also, the brake handle is often left open so that the sturgeon don’t get suspicious.
Monofilament fishing lines 0.3 mm thick or a braided fishing line 0.2 mm thick are often sufficient. This is because sturgeons are much more comfortable and less active in winter.
As an alternative to normal hooks, so-called gentle hooks are also suitable. These can be removed more easily and do not harm the sturgeon as much. Especially if you want to release it again afterwards, it is particularly suitable.
A simple basic assembly is suitable for mounting (explained in the article above).
Where are the sturgeons and where should you place the bait?
Sturgeons are usually found on the edges directly on the bank. This is where they are very often (even in winter) and where they make their tracks.
Therefore it is worth placing the bait near the shore during the cold winter months.
Which lure is the best in winter?
In winter especially roe works very well. Very smelly dough is also an alternative. But we have actually had the best experience with roe.
Smoked salmon or dew worms, on the other hand, tend not to work in winter.
Below is a YouTube video of Fishing-King about fishing bait in winter. It lasts just 3 minutes and sums up the most important points:
Where can you fish for sturgeon?
Whether you choose the trout pond, the trout lake or the river, you will definitely encounter different conditions.
In the following we would like to show you what is really important and how you can best meet the conditions.
Sturgeon fishing at trout pond / trout lake Tips
As sturgeons are very often protected in the wild, many anglers turn to trout ponds and trout lakes.
Because here artificial stocking takes place to keep anglers happy and to offer them variety.
The following tips will help you get the most out of your hide.
Bait at trout pond / trout lake
At trout pond you should try it especially with rope worms. But also corn in combination with maggots has already proved to be catchable.
Below is a list of the most important and most catching baits for sturgeon fishing that were artificially used in the trout lake:
- Roundworms (best in a bundle)
- Fish shreds
- Mussel meat
- Halibut pellets
- Smoked salmon
- Cheese (Tillsitter) + thaw worm (Caution: attracts carp)
The bait should be placed directly on the ground (e.g. with a basic mounting) because they are very good at handling heat. But it is also possible to catch sturgeon on the surface.
The lures are best applied with a bait needle.
Equipment at trout lake
Below are some utensils that have proven to be particularly good on the trout pond
- Leader 50 to 60 cm with 16er FluorCarbon
- Main line: 18 mm monofilament
- Fishing hook size 4 to 10
- pose (6 g) with a pose mounting
The best fishing equipment is useless if you don’t have patience. A raised hide can take several hours.
Below is a short 19-minute YouTube video where Peter Merkel pulls several sturgeons from the trout lake:
Fishing for sturgeon on the river
As the sturgeon is an endangered species, it is largely protected in Germany all year round. This means that they may neither be caught nor removed and target fishing for sturgeon is often prohibited.
And if you do catch it accidentally, you should always carefully put the sturgeon back.
Otherwise you are liable to prosecution. An alternative are trout ponds where the stocking is artificial and fishing for sturgeon is allowed in principle.
Fishing for sturgeon
At some point the time comes when the first sturgeon bites. Now you should make a first strike with a small jerk to attach the hook in the mouth of the sturgeon. It always takes the sturgeon a few seconds to realize that it has been hooked.
As soon as he realizes this, he usually starts his first escape attempt. When fleeing he is a bit slower than for example a carp. As a rule, however, the sturgeon will try to escape from time to time.
You should simply prepare yourself mentally and not be put off by the sudden escape attempts.
At the beginning of the drill they like to stay on the ground so you can’t get them off. They then stick to the bottom like a magnet.
Here you should just be patient and wait until it “comes off” the bottom again.
Some sturgeons also jump out of the water, probably from panic, fear or aggression. If this happens, it is important to keep the fishing line under tension to prevent it from breaking off.
At some point the sturgeon is tired and exhausted. Now is the time for landing. You can tell that it is ready for landing by the fact that it is slowing down and coming to the surface.
Often he turns with his back down and you can see his white belly. This is a sign that he is already giving up.
In order not to hurt the sturgeon you should use a large landing net, like the one you know from carp fishing, for example. A sufficiently large landing net is also quite useful.
If the ground is not gravel or stones but damp grass, this ground should not be a problem either. This way you can save yourself the unhooking mat.
Make sure you have a long loosening pliers with you before you start.
The reason is the following: The hook is very often in the angle of the mouth, but the long trunk of the sturgeon prevents it from coming loose. Therefore we recommend to use long tongs in any case.
Here we can recommend the model from Daiwa.
Tips for sturgeon fishing in general
Once you have checked him off you can take a photo with him if you like:
To take a good photo you should grab him by the root of his tail with one hand and under his pectoral fin with the other. Thereby he can not slip away so fast.
Afterwards let it go and let other anglers enjoy it and it can live on. Most of the time sturgeons turn on their backs after the exertions as soon as you put them in the water.
To prevent this you should grab it by the root of its tail and put it upright in the water. Do this until he starts to move.
Then send him back to freedom.
We hope that our little beginner’s guide for beginners and advanced anglers with lots of tips and tricks for sturgeon fishing could help you a little.
If yes, why not share the article with your friends on Facebook or link it on your homepage. If you still have questions, you can always write to us.
We are available for those at [email protected]