Thursday 2 October 2014

Sturgeon Fishing With Cascade Fishing Adventures. Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada

This is going to be tricky! How do I tell you about my amazing eight days of fishing for white sturgeon on Canada's Fraser River without going on and on and on and boring you all to death?! I could write for hours, but I'll try and keep it as brief as I can. Put simply, I wouldn't have changed a thing. From leaving home to getting back, the whole trip was fantastic, the flights, the hotel, the food, the place and it's scenery, the company and of course the fishing! Mike and I had opted to fish with Cascade Fishing Adventures, one of the many guiding companies based in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Every day we would be picked up from the hotel by either Marc (owner of Cascade Fishing Adventures) or his top guide CEJ, both of whom were great anglers and brilliant company. The boats and fishing tackle they supplied were top notch and we would spend between eight and nine hours on the river each day having a blast! From riding in the boat, to catching the bait, to checking out the awesome scenery and keeping our eyes peeled for bears, the whole experience had me grinning from ear to ear and that was before even catching a sturgeon. So, on to the fishing then! White sturgeon fishing is incredible! These fish scrap hard and for a long time, by the end of the holiday my arms and back ached but it was well worth it. Using baits fished on running lead rigs from the anchored boat, Mike and I were in to sturgeon from day one. I caught a few nice warm up fish of about 40lb or so but Mike struck in to bigger fish from the off and by the end of the day he had brought a 6 foot sturgeon, estimated to weigh around 100lb along side the boat for a quick photo. Day two produced my first 100lb plus fish and a 155lb sturgeon for Mike. Day three and the fish were getting bigger, I took the biggest at 6 feet 6 inches with a weight of 167lb. I was well chuffed and we weren't even half way though our holiday yet! The rest of the trip continued in much the same way as days one to three, we enjoyed superb fishing, some great weather (some not so great) and good times. I could wrap up this blog post now with a list of the fish caught, lengths, weights and the like, but a few of our days need a more detailed look, the first being day four. Day four was overcast, damp and chilly to begin, our guide for today was Marc and we were soon anchored with baits in position. Mike landed a 5 foot fish and then my rod was bent over in the holder by something we hoped would be a little larger. As I picked up the rod, braid was already disappearing fast from the reel and so Marc upped the anchor and put the boat in to reverse to follow the fish. This one felt very heavy and showed me who was in charge for ten minutes or so before I was able to gain a little braid back. With the fish about fifty yards off the back of the boat it decided to make one of the leaps that this species is famous for, hurtling itself in to the air and showing itself off, the entire length of the fish went airborne and what a fish it was, it looked huge! The battle continued for three quarters of an hour with the giant sturgeon making several more long runs and some spectacular leaps but I eventually got the better of it and it surfaced next to the boat, exhausted and ready for measuring and photographing. CEJ had been fishing near by and came over to help, the monster measured 8 feet and 10 inches in length and with a large girth an estimated weight of 403lb was given. What an enormous fish! Marc, CEJ and I lifted it for some pictures before safely releasing it back to the murky depths. An incredible day that saw me land a 6 foot fish later that afternoon too. Amazingly that fish wasn't the biggest one I hooked during our eight days fishing. Day seven saw me attached to a beast that CEJ confidently predicted as being bigger, but unfortunately it threw the hook after ten minutes. We'll never know just how big it was, but monster fish are seen and caught on the Fraser River every year. The biggest sturgeon Cascade Fishing Adventures have landed measured over 11 feet long and was estimated to weigh over 850lb! Sturgeon approaching 14 feet have been hooked and lost and even bigger ones seen. Mind boggling stuff! Day eight, our final day, turned out to be the best days fishing I will probably ever experience. With CEJ as our guide, Mike and I landed five big sturgeon for a combined total weight of 1194lb! Mike had the biggest at 8 feet and 315lb, my best for the day was 7 feet 4 inches, weighing 248lb. Incredible! What a way to end our holiday! Mike and I landed twenty seven sturgeon over the eight days, this included the pair of 8 footers and three over 7 feet in length. It's going to be a while before I top that I think?! I'm going to stop now but I haven't even mentioned the seals, the birds, the friendly locals, the enormous trains and the V8 powered trucks that everyone seems to drive. Oh, did I mention I met Jeremy Wade from ITV's River Monsters? He spent a couple of days fishing and was staying in the same hotel as us. We had a quick chat and he was happy to pose for a photo. A very nice chap. Right, I really must stop! I must give a huge thank you to Cascade Fishing Adventures, these guys are great, highly recommend! The Coast Hotel, the best place to stay in town and to Mike Cuff for his company. Below is a list of useful links and I will post more pictures on here in separate posts, keep a look out for them. To summarise, BEST HOLIDAY EVER! I will return!

Cascade Fishing Adventures -
Coast Hotels and Resorts -
Air Transat -

Biggest of the trip - My 403lb monster sturgeon

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