How to rig your bait, sturgeon fishing from a boat Part 4

Part 4 of Sturgeon fishing from a boat, bait rigging setup

Now it’s time to get that bait rigged up for sturgeon fishing from a boat, as we have seen in the previous 3 episodes.

In this episode we are going to bait up using a few of the most common baits, Smelt, Squid and whole Shad using the leaders from the last episode.

The general rule I use is a leader about 3 times the length of the bait. This will get you the length to put about 4 to 6 half hitches down the bait.

This method will work for all 3 of the baits we are going to rig up.

Start by putting the hook in the bait as show in the picture below.

Sturgeon bait, hooking a smelt

Push the hook through his head until it comes out of the mouth, trying to lodge the eye of the hook in its head. Remember that sturgeon are not hook shy, so make sure that the hook is really exposed.

Sturgeon bait, smelt hook exposed

Start wrapping half hitches down its body, making sure you cover the gills and fins. This keeps them secured so they do not get caught in the current and make your bait spin.

Sturgeon bait, rigging a smelt

Sturgeon bait, Shad rigging

You can also cut off the gill plates, fins and tail instead of having to worry about getting all the fins secured.

Another method that can be used to secure your half hitches, is to put slices in the bait vertically, from back to belly. This can keep your half hitches lodged in the slices and keep them from sliding down on the bigger baits.

When you are sturgeon fishing from a boat, you want to make sure that your baits sits as naturally as possible on the bottom and cutting off or covering the fins, tail and gill plates will help ensure that.

Here are some samples of what your bait will look like when rigged.

rigging Sturgeon bait, Shad

Rigging Sturgeon bait, Smelt

Rigging Sturgeon bait, Squid

Don’t forget, for all your anchoring needs to get setup to sturgeon fish from a boat, go to


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