Sturgeon Fishing On The Fraser River
Landing a fish that is bigger and stronger than you is what Sturgeon Fishing is all about. Little did we know, that reeling in one of those big boys would be harder work than we anticipated. Darcy has been fishing a handful of times, but never Sturgeon fishing, and I had yet to try fishing at all. Even then, I think Darcy got more than he expected, too.
Our guide was Hans from Swiftwater Guiding and he was an incredible guide. So knowledgeable about the fishing world, great conversation and he did lead us to our trophy Sturgeon. He knew every nook and cranny of the river. Fishing, like anything in nature, is unpredictable. Hans said that sometimes you’ll catch a few per a trip, and other days the fish are more selective and stubborn. Darcy, my sister Diana and I had taken my Dad and it was an incredible bonding experience as well. There’s nothing better than sharing experiences with those you love.
It was a beautiful hot summer July day, and with the great warm weather we were also treated to gorgeous scenery. It really was a perfect day out on the water.
We did a four hour fishing trip on the Fraser River in Mission, BC. We had a lot of nibbles, but by the time the four hours was coming to an end, we were losing hope of catching one of the river giants. We had hooked one and lost it, so we had experienced some of the thrill of reeling in a Sturgeon, and did we ever want more. We kept seeing the giants jump out of the water, so we knew they were there, but this day they were being very stubborn. They would suck the bait, leaving only the leather for us to pull up.
Either Sturgeon Fishing has increased in popularity, or the advertising is becoming more in-your-face, but when we saw that we could fish the monsters in the river, we were intrigued.
There really are massive monsters in the river. Bottom feeders that are so powerful you’re sure to hear about epic battles that are measured in hours to bring the catch in. Anglers have to continually rotate on the rod to be able to conquer one of the monsters as it is no easy feat. It took us near an hour to reel in a Sturgeon that was 8’4″ and an estimated 300 lbs, with us rotating on the rod. The adrenaline of reeling in such a big fish will make you want to try to stay on the rod, but it is such an intense power struggle that you will want to give your arms a break, mark my words on that one. It is no exaggeration. Luckily, Sturgeon do not have teeth, so you need not be worried about gripping it by the mouth.
When we were finally able to bring the boat towards the beach, the fish was unhooked and we all jumped in the water to get the money shot. We all held the fish in the water, and even that was no easy feat as it would suddenly squirm and knock you right into the water. It jumped so fast as we were taking a photo that it flung us all into the water. We thought we had won the battle, but really, the Sturgeon got the last laugh. It can take three or four people to hold a Fraser River sturgeon, and by the photos here, I’m sure you can see why.
Know Before You Go:
- Sturgeon Fishing is “catch and release”. We did not keep the fish.
- You must have a fishing license. It cost us just under $20 each, but was cheaper for my Dad since he is a senior and his is valid for an entire year. We had to get Freshwater fishing licences.
- We met at a boat launch in Mission, BC (33328 Harbour Avenue). There was plenty of parking and we didn’t have to pay for parking.
- It will take you at least an hour in good traffic to drive from the core of Vancouver to the boat launch in Mission, BC. Make sure you leave extra time for traffic.
- Our trip was four hours long. We ate right before our adventure and brought some drinks on board. If you’re on an eight hour adventure, make sure you bring extra drinks, food and snacks.
- If you have a good tour guide, always tip your guide.
This is a fishing experience that you need to have at least once in your lifetime. It isn’t an exaggerated fisherman’s tale. You really can hook your trophy fish of a lifetime.