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Crawlers & Growlers: Sturgeon 2018 Part II



“Crawlers and Growers” Part II

Day two started in a barley haze at 10am in Baudette, MN. I’ll still put blame on the variety of brews and not the quantity as there wasn’t really that much beer drank, that I remember, two weeks later. Fishing at night and into the early morning puts me in a haze no matter what, the second night becomes much easier, however, as the body adjusts to nocturnal mode. Once again, armed with large Shimano Twin Powers and tuna capable rods, we were still on the proving grounds of how fast one of these sturgeon could be reeled to boat side. While most anglers work on embellishing a forty-five minute fight to and hour and a half, we were on the opposite end of that schematic, calling twenty-five second fights, sixteen seconds. Having the equipment to be able to pull that hard on a fish and experiencing the opposing forces was quite impressive, as impressive was the sturgeon, remaining strong willed these dinosaurs refused to roll over when overpowered making for big, green boat side battles. The longest fight of the trip was a pectoral hookup with a 58” fish. Blake had just exchanged the ass kicking Black Hole Cape Cod Nano for the more tepid Temple Reef Stealth STK. This move came shortly after I dumped a large sturgeon after applying really big pressure. As you will see I didn’t change my equipment, but, I did back off a few pounds of drag to 16-18lbs instead of lock down 30lb. So that I am clear on my intentions, I completely understand using gear that is matched for the target species, if anything, I mostly use under gunned gear for all my fishing, lots of ultra light, medium/fast rods and 1000/2500 series Shimano. Already having this big equipment in my arsenal, it just seemed to make sense to bring it and make it work. Bringing a new set of tools to the job site can sometimes spur animosity from others using a medium hammer. I remember when a long muskie rod was 6’6”, I don’t even think those are available any longer, my point is between reel and rod there can still be a fun setting and a comfortable setting and I don’t believe these rods were at all too much hammer. Don’t be ashamed to look at one of these large Shimano spinning reels for this type of fishing, having the reel under the rod, center weighted and balanced makes for a very comfortable setup. I feel that for people with average to slightly below average hand and forearm strength these big spin reels would be even better, as the angler is not fighting the torque of a casting reel that wants to be pulled off axis, side to side.

Once again I will give a shout out to my brewing friends here in MN that filled our growlers with epic tasting brews:

Bad Weather Brewing Company (St. Paul, MN)
– “Migration” Blonde Ale (5.5%)
– “Ominous” Double Brown Ale (7.5%)
– “Immortal Toast” White Stout (6.7%)

Vine Park Brewing (St. Paul, MN)
– “Dortmunder Export” Golden Lager
– “Tornado Alley” German Alt Bier

Lift Bridge Brewing Company (Stillwater, MN)
– “The Warden” Stout (4.1%)
– “93X Brotherhood” American Lager (4%)

Hammerheart Brewing Company (Lino Lakes, MN)
– “Thor’s Porter” Smoked Hot Pepper Porter (9.5%)
– “British Invasion” Pale Ale (6.5%)

Castle Danger Brewery (Two Harbors, MN)
– “Castle Cream Ale” (5.5%)
– “Summer Crush” Ale (4%)

Kona Brewing Company (Kailua-Kona, HI)
– “Big Wave” Golden Ale (4.4%)

Without investing money in lighting and expensive cameras, this video is a rough cut edit of the hilarity that ensued the battles between man, beast, beer and terminal tackle. I had fun editing this down to a manageable length, even though its slightly longer than the first, there is more fish catching and less B Roll footage. Unfortunately, it was a dark bite, capturing it all was difficult, relying on headlamps and whatever light source possible to give the cameras anything to grab onto. I hope you can grab your favorite brew, sit back and enjoy. There is an ample amount of foul language in this video, so put the kiddos to bed and headphones on. You’ve been warned!

Thanks to all who enjoy these episodes, I’m always humbled to hear from you.

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