All about sterlet and fishing for it
The sturgeon species is listed in the Red Book (IUCN-96 Red List, Appendix 2 of CITES) and belongs to the first category of rarity – individual populations of a widespread species that are endangered.
Please note that sturgeon fish can only be caught in paid water bodies.
Small representative of the sturgeon family. Despite the fact that there are known cases of catching specimens of about 16 kg, among other representatives of the sturgeon genus, sterlet can be considered a small fish (mostly specimens of 1-2 kg come across, sometimes up to 6 kg). The length of the fish reaches 1,25 m. It differs from other types of Russian sturgeon by a large number of lateral “bugs”. Some scientists argue that there are gender differences in food preferences in sterlet. Male individuals adhere to feeding on invertebrates in a fast current in the water column, and females are characterized by a near-bottom diet in calmer parts of the reservoir. Bottom existence is also characteristic of large individuals of both sexes.
Sterlet fishing methods
Sterlet fishing is in many ways similar to catching other sturgeons, adjusted for size. Very often it becomes by-catch when fishing for other fish. The lower position of the mouth characterizes their way of feeding. Recreational fishing in most natural waters is prohibited or strictly regulated. It is an object of breeding in cultural reservoirs. It is worth discussing with the owner of the reservoir in advance the conditions under which fishing takes place. When fishing on a catch-and-release basis, you will most likely have to use hooks without barbs. Sterlet fishing is possible with the help of bottom and float gear, provided that the bait is located at the bottom of the reservoir. Bottom tackle can be very simple, usually using spinning rods. In the rivers, the sterlet keeps to the current. The locals living on the banks of the rivers rich in sterlet are popular with “rubber bands”. In winter, the fish is inactive, and its captures are random.
Before going to a reservoir where sturgeon is found, check the rules for fishing for this fish. Fishing in fish farms is regulated by the owner. In most cases, the use of any bottom fishing rods and snacks is allowed. Before fishing, check the size of possible trophies and the recommended bait in order to know the required line strength and hook sizes. An indispensable accessory when catching sturgeon should be a large landing net. Feeder and picker fishing is very convenient for most, even inexperienced anglers. They allow the fisherman to be quite mobile on the pond, and thanks to the possibility of spot feeding, they quickly “collect” fish in a given place. Feeder and picker, as separate types of equipment, currently differ only in the length of the rod. The basis is the presence of a bait container-sinker (feeder) and interchangeable tips on the rod. The tops change depending on the fishing conditions and the weight of the feeder used. Various worms, shell meat and so on can serve as a nozzle for fishing.
This method of fishing is available to everyone. Tackle is not demanding for additional accessories and specialized equipment. You can fish in almost any water body. Pay attention to the choice of feeders in shape and size, as well as bait mixtures. This is due to the conditions of the reservoir (river, pond, etc.) and the food preferences of local fish.
Catching sterlet on float gear
Float rigs for sterlet fishing are simple. It is better to use rods with a “running rig”. With the help of a reel, it is much easier to haul large specimens. Equipment and fishing lines can be with increased strength properties. The tackle should be adjusted so that the nozzle is on the bottom. The general tactics of fishing is similar to fishing with bottom rods. If there are no bites for a long time, you need to change the place of fishing or change the nozzle. You should ask experienced fishermen or fishing organizers about the nutrition of local fish.
The sterlet readily responds to various baits of animal origin: worms, maggots and other invertebrate larvae. One of the main food options is shellfish meat. Fish, like other sturgeons, respond well to scented baits.
Places of fishing and habitat
The fish is widely distributed. The distribution area captures the basins of the Black, Azov and Caspian Seas, the Arctic Ocean. The peculiarity of the sterlet is that it prefers flowing reservoirs. Despite its wide distribution, it is considered a rare and protected fish in most regions. The sterlet is subjected to predatory prey by poachers, while it does not tolerate pollution of the reservoir by wastewater from enterprises and agriculture. Also, sterlet populations are in a deplorable state on rivers where there are a large number of hydraulic structures or habitat conditions have changed. Fishing is regulated by licensing. Experienced fishermen believe that the active sterlet prefers to stay in places with a moderate current and a fairly flat bottom. During the zhora, the fish comes close enough to the shore.
Sexual maturity in sterlet occurs in the period from 4-8 years. Males mature earlier. Spawns in May-early June, depending on the region. Spawning passes on the stony-pebble bottom of the upper reaches of the rivers. Fertility is quite high. Fish are bred and raised in fish hatcheries. People have bred several hybrids and reduced the period of maturation of cultural forms.