What is the Best Time to Catch Sturgeon?
We are often asked when the best time to catch sturgeon is. With lots of experience under our belt, we can tell you!
Firstly, it is worth noting that we are very lucky to have such an extensive fishing season on the Fraser River. Legally, we are permitted to fish for white sturgeon all year, however the winter months (December through February) are a little slower. Water temperatures in these winter months can hover close to the freezing point, which directly affects the metabolism of fish. When water temperatures are this cold, sturgeons will be less enthusiastic than they would be in the warmer seasons making the experience less memorable.
In the spring you will find sturgeon starting to move around when the Fraser waters start to go silty. The waters go silty because as the weather starts to warm up, the rainwater from up North will shed off the snow and go into the river, bringing in silt and reducing the river’s clarity. When this starts to happen it’s a good sign that the temperatures are warming up, and subsequently the fish will start moving around and foraging.
In April, sturgeon fishing in BC really kicks off with the arrival of eulachons - a smelt that lives in the Pacific Ocean that spawns in the Fraser River. Around the last week of April, the sturgeon will ingest eulachons at high levels. As spring moves into summer, the river rises rapidly due to the warming weather. With high water you tend to see larger amounts of debris floating down the water, which can unfortunately impact sturgeon fishing if you are unfamiliar with the river.
Some of the better months for sturgeon fishing in BC are July and August. The weather is warm, the water levels drop, the sun is shining, and lots of sturgeon are out and about! The warmer temperatures not only bring in more fish, but it makes it easier to fish as you can actually jump in the water to release the bigger fish at shore!
Come September with the cooler air and water temperature, we start to see the fall run chinooks, coho, and chum enter the river, which provides a great opportunity to fish both sturgeon AND salmon in the Fraser River. Pink Salmon arrives in September every other year. They average around 5 pounds in weight and are the sturgeon’s favourite food. This means that with the arrival of pink salmon, September may be one of the best months for sturgeon fishing!
Come October, the weather becomes damp and cool. The Fraser River’s water temperatures continue to drop, and the sturgeon begin to feed heavily. Although the weather is not as nice, boats with tops and windows allow us a break from the rain and cooler temperatures, which allows us to continue to keep fishing the big sturgeons that are on the prowl this time of year. By late November, water temperatures continue to drop and so do the sturgeons activity levels and sturgeon fishing beyond this point is weather dependent.
You may like to read, What Do I Need for Sturgeon Fishing?
We hope this article helps you with your sturgeon fishing questions! If you have any other questions and want to learn more about Sturgeon fishing in BC, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 (604)-316-3988. We are more than happy to help!