By Marisa Escareno
I rolled up to the boat launch at 6:30 in the morning on March 11, ready for an epic day of fishing. I was super excited to be meeting up with a group of awesome ladies who also love to fish! Nice weather, perfect tides, and all around good company, it was going to be a great day.
We booked our trip with Captain Kyle Dryer and deckhand, Dustin Pestana, of Death Roe Sportfishing. Capt. Kyle and Dustin put their clients on a lot of big fish and they generously offered to run an all girls fishing trip!
I’m getting excited about the trip all over again just by typing this story. Before I go any further my friends were Ashley Watson, Jes Szura, and Sara Marie and as I mentioned they hard core anglers. We are all members of the NorCal Female Fish Slayers group on Facebook.
We launched at about 7:15am in Pittsburg. The girls and I were ready to get to work! Ashley and Sara had never caught a sturgeon before, so they were going to be first in line when the fish started biting!
As Kyle and Dustin set up, we noticed that we would be using custom Stubborn Rods.
With the salmon roe baits in the water we all kept our eyes out for any of the rods to go off. Moments later, we saw the first rod to the left bounce lightly.
Dustin ran over and set the hook…FISH ON!
Sara immediately took the rod and started reeling on the fish. This is the moment that caused all of us girls to officially go crazy. We were all so excited and extremely pumped up!
Dustin grabbed the net and brought Sara’s first white sturgeon on board. The fish was a nice 47 inch slot size keeper! We were ready for more action!
Not too long after, the farthest rod to the right started moving. Once again, Dustin ran over and reeled the hook into the sturgeon’s mouth…FISH ON!
This time it’s Ashley’s turn! She starts reeling and automatically falls in love. The feeling of fighting your first sturgeon is unreal and instantly turns into an addiction. Ashley was about four minutes into her fight when Dustin netted the fish. Ashley had a gorgeous slot fish, which she opted to release!
I was so proud and happy for Sara and Ashley, catching their first sturgeon!
Our adrenaline was so intense right then that we were all twitching with pure excitement and ready for more!
About an hour passed and the bite slowed down, but then my rod had a hit. Captain Kyle set the hook and I instantly knew it was going to be a good fight.
Right off the bat we were all sure that the fish was going to be oversized. After getting the fish in the boat, we were all very surprised that she turned out to be only 53 ½ inches. This fish wasn’t my personal best, however it absolutely kicked my butt!
Alright, now it’s Jes’s turn! About an hour later, another rod got a hit. FISH ON AGAIN!
The sturgeon ended up being undersized by a few inches. Jes released the fish and within five minutes she was hooked up again. This fish was much bigger, she was fighting a hog!
We are all cheering and waiting for this monster to rise up to the surface. When it does it’s clear Jes has the biggest fish of the day so far. It measured 58 inches on the dot in the boat and Jes tagged her keeper!
The bite was getting hot again! My rod got hit and I was hooked up. It was an undersize little shaker around 35 inches long. I was surprised how hard even the little fish fight!
Soon after, things got really crazy when we got a double hook up. Ashley went to the right side and I moved to the left. It was right about this time that we noticed a Fish and Wildlife boat making its way over for a visit.
My sturgeon was another slot fish around 45 inches that we released. My fish was long gone, but Ashley’s was still fighting her hog!
Ashley’s fish kept pulling and seemed to be very upset about the whole business! After 8 minutes of battle, seemed like a half hour, she put a gorgeous slot fish at about 55 inches on the boat and decided to release it. With the fish released the Fish and Wildlife wardens came aboard and checked the boat along with our licenses.
After they left, we got our rods back out and almost immediately got our second double hook up of the day. We were having an amazing day of sturgeon fishing!
The level of excitement at this point was almost unexplainable. The fish were on an epic bite and we were landing them. We both successfully land our slot fish on the boat, Ashley’s fish was a 47 inch keeper and mine was 44 inches. We decided to tag these fish and call it a day.
We made our way back to the boat launch at around 5pm. It was an amazing day of fishing! I was so happy to meet some awesome fishing ladies and we successfully got our butts kicked by sturgeon!
I finally was able to put my Stubborn Rod to the test and I’m beyond in love with it! The day couldn’t have gone any better. A special thank you to captain Kyle Dryer and deckhand Dustin Pestana of Death Roe Sport Fishing who put the ladies and I to work!