Brian Klawitter

Brian Klawitter is an expert in trophy flathead catfish and sturgeon fishing. He owns and operates BrianK's Trophy Catfishing and Sturgeon Adventures. His guiding and seminars first cover safety, then education on fishing for the "monsters of the rivers."

Posts about Equipment

The Incredible Sturgeon Excursion!

Posted by: Brian Klawitter Updated: December 8, 2009 - 11:24 PM
It was Chris Winchester that asked me back in November of '05 if I thought there would be more people interested in a spring Lake Sturgeon trip to Lake of the Woods. He said we should give it a name...and the Sturgeon Excursion was born.

In years past, Bill Patton, Chris and a few friends would get together just after walleye season closed to fish for the strange looking fish they call Sturgeon.  When they arrived at The Wigwam Resort they would pay for their lodging, then most employees would leave for vacations. After the walleye  season closed, there was nothing to do until it was time to get ready for the next walleye opener in May. Nothing was open unless a trip was made to Baudette 13 miles away. Cabins were $15. a head and the keys were left on the kitchen table when it was time to go home.

Thinking there wouldn't be much interest, I was taken back when the announcement was made in our website's cat fishing forum. In April of 2006 there were about 50 people in attendance. The three day event was incredibly successful with everyone catching sturgeon and many catching the largest fish of their life. Sturgeon  50+ inches and into the 40 pound range were caught and released. There were smiles on everyones faces and the same thing was heard over and over, "I'll be back next year".

Fast forward to the 2009 Sturgeon Excursion. Saying the Excursion is popular would be an understatement! There are at least 3 websites filling at least 4 resorts, plus many folks staying at or near The Wigwam in the following weeks after the Official Sturgeon Excursion. Cabins are book a year in advance! It's been called the "kick off to the next years open water season" as the area fished has been frozen just days before the Excursion.

The nice part of sturgeon fishing is a person doesn't need a lot of tackle. Starting at the terminal end, three or four night crawlers on a 3/0 circle hook, a heavy swivel, a 3 ounce sinker on 20 pound mono or 50 pound braided line wrapped on a reel like a Garcia 6500 all attached to a muskie or catfish rod and you're set!  There are some that use lighter gear. These people aren't doing the fish any favors. This is catch and release fishing only and since man nearly wiped out this fish at the turn of the century, I urge everyone to use the proper gear and support the fish by cradling it for photos ect. Get your measurments if you like, check for a DNR tag, take a couple snapshots and get your fish back into the water. Sexually maturing after 24 years and then only spawning every three to four years, it's very important to release them in be best condition possible.

Sturgeon are a cooperative fish! If you don't like to get up early, don't! If don't like to fish late, don't! There's  enough sturgeon moving through the Four Mile Bay area to be able to fish when you want.  No need for a passport either. Very few fish on the Canadian side, just no need to. Where to fish?  As long as your not fishing on a fellow boaters anchor rope behind you, you're good athough a person needs to remember, these fish like to make you dance. We call it the Sturgeon Dance, where even with the heaviest gear, they will lead you around the boat..all the way around the boat and if they can, into your anchor!  It's just as much fun to watch the next boat dance with a sturgeon as it  is to catch this hard fighting fish yourself!

From a small group of guys in 2005 to the gathering of hundreds in 2010, the April Sturgeon Excursion folks will talk about their turn at the sturgeon dance for a long long time!

Brian Klawitter
briank@in-depthoutdoors.com

Underwater Cameras Are Not Just For Ice Fishing

Posted by: Brian Klawitter Updated: October 13, 2009 - 8:46 PM
Leave the fishing pole at home, you won't have time for it!  Grab your underwater camera and your hand held gps then head for your favorite waters! Now is the time to find that piece of structure that holds fish for your early season ice fishing and maybe for late season too.

The first time I use my camera, I was looking for structure on the Mississippi River. That's right..the Mighty Muddy! The structure I was looking for was depressions or what some folks would call "holes" and under water tree snags.  My secondary thought was to look around and see where the fish were. You've heard that saying that 90% of the fish are in 10% of the lake? Well, it's true!

If you haven't check out this YouTube video, you might want to. It's the end result of about 2 hours on the river last January. This same technique can be used right now on your favorite lakes.

The first part shows some sheephead, a crappie if you watch closely and a school of shad. Shad is bait. Almost every very fish in the river loves shad. Mark that spot on the gps and label it SHAD 1.
Next there's walleyes and sauger with one gar mixed in. Finally into a pile for wintering flathead catfish.

Ok, I saw the fish and I know where they are, what else? If you are like me when watching the video for the first time, you were watching the fish and not watching the structure around the fish or the bottom make up. Once I started taking notice, I found other areas that were made the same way. These areas held similar types of fish most of the time.

Speaking of watching the bottom, this is a very good time to keep an eye on your sonar unit. I noticed every time I motored over one area on the St Croix River, there were small black "bumps" on my fish locater. When I used the camera in that area, I found those bumps to be clam shells. Here I've been boating over a very good walleye/sauger spot all of these years!

Use the ice fishing camera to your advantage this year. Find the fish locations now to increase the chances of your winter fishing success. Who knows what else you'll find in the depths of your favorite lake or river! 

I have a couple slightly used anchors for sale! LOL!

Good Fishin'

BrianK@in-depthoutdoors.com
      

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