The Fish Sniffer - First Time Sturgeon Kayaker Scores Big!
First Time Sturgeon Kayaker Scores Big!

Written By: Blake Trinkler, Headwaters Fishing Team, March 18, 2014
Species: Sturgeon
Location: San Pablo Bay,

First Time Sturgeon Kayaker Scores Big!
First Time Sturgeon Kayaker Scores Big!

A little back store about our author…Blake Trinkler is the owner of "The Flip Flop Shop" in Modesto. He stopped by the Headwaters a few months back excited to get into kayak fishing and with grand ideas of what he wanted to do with the sport. After a few visits we hooked Blake and his buddy up with brand new Jackson Cuda 14, Fish Finders, and all the safety gear needed to paddle the salt. It's been a few months and Blake has caught a ton of fish off his kayak, but his weekend trip to San Pablo Bay topped them all. I will let Blake tell the rest- Dan Arbuckle, Headwaters Kayak

My buddy and I headed out from Modesto about 4:30am stopped at a bait shop on the way. We picked up both frozen mud shrimp and live ghost shrimp.

We arrived at China Camp Village and learned they don't open the gates until 8. We launched around 8:20 and the goal was to make it to the Pump House. We were clueless, this being our first time on San Pablo Bay and our first time sturgeon fishing. Plus it was foggy.

Let’s just say after almost 2 hours of paddling against the current we ended up about a quarter mile from where we launched. But since I marked fish on the sonar, some of which seemed to be huge, we decided to anchor and start fishing. 

We landed our first fish about 10:45, a 24 inch striper on a mud shrimp. The second fish was a 38 inch sturgeon my buddy hooked around 11:30 a.m.

At that point, I decided to roam around and mark some more fish. I found some and got my gear back into the water. About 12:30 my rod showed a soft hit and the line started running. I’d guess over 100 feet was taken.

I pulled anchor and started the battle, after probably another 100 feet of line the fish decided to come back toward the yak. Thank God for my Avet reel. I was able to keep up with the fish and keep the line tight.

The fish passed by me and I was almost dumped. It turned me in almost a complete 180. The battle seemed to go by very fast, but my buddy believes it went on for over 30 minutes.

The hardest part was trying to pull the sturgeon on to the yak. My guess would be that it weighed 70-80lbs. We took pictures and a video then set the fish free.

I figured I would give my first sturgeon back to the fish gods, plus we didn't want to head in quite yet…. I caught a 20 inch sturgeon later in the afternoon. After releasing the fish we headed home. What a great day!


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