ANCIENTS ON ICE. The pursuit of sturgeon by rod is relatively new in the upper Midwest, but spearing a sturgeon has spawned songs and legends, especially in Wisconsin. As we look forward to safe, hard water here in ND, we cast our gaze outward and into the future for sturgeon on ice in today’s Three Things.
(Featured Photo: A lake sturgeon from the Rainy River. Simonson Photo)
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Sat 12/23 – Chill settles in. Hi 17, Lo 6, Winds NW@15, G25
Tomorrow: Sun 12/24 – Still cold for Santa. Hi 16, Lo 5, Winds NW@16, G28
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 8:26AM Sunset: 4:59PM
Moonrise: 11:44AM Moonset 10:21PM
Overhead: 4:59PM Underfoot: 4:36AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent (24% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 4:30-5:30PM. Moon overhead with sunset will spur some activity in the Edge Hour, but expect gusts to limit field movement.
STURGEON ON ICE. A pair of canucks share their tips for catching sturgeon through the ice on Rainy River, along with a few ways to give you the advantage for these scute-sided dinosaurs. The pop bottle free-up at 5:50 is a neat trick, and tapering the bottom of the hole is also key in landing these beasts.
BY SPEAR, BUT NOT HERE The tradition of spearing a lake sturgeon through the ice is a big deal in Wisconsin. The state issues tags for spearfishermen on legendary Lake Winnebago, where each winter hundreds of these prehistoric fish are taken in the same manner we spear pike in North Dakota. 2017 was an especially successful season, with nine fish over 140 pounds taken from Winnebago and the upstream lakes.
WON’T BE LONG. We’re probably a decade or two off from finding fishable populations of Lake Sturgeon in the Red River and its tributaries, but as for now, the Rainy River along the MN/Canada border provides the nearest legal and worthwhile action for these great fish. Brought back from the point of extirpation, lake sturgeon have become a popular springtime pursuit with anglers on the Rainy, and their on-ice appeal is growing winter after winter.