Water warm enough for Shovelnose?

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Casey Shanaberger
Casey Shanaberger's picture
Water warm enough for Shovelnose?

Ok guys, I'm planning on going after shovelnose sturgeon for my lifelist in an upcoming weekend (within the next 3 weeks) and I want to know if I'm just going to be fruitlessly fishing for them. The water temperature in the Lower Des Moines River is current in the low to mid 40s and will probably hang there for a while, given that the current forecast holds up. Would that water be warm enough for the sturgeon to be feeding? Or would I need to narrow my search onto deep, slow holes?

RoughFish's picture
Primetime here in central

Primetime here in central Indiana is May-June and I find them out in the deepest part of the river ...... it takes me a 5oz pyramid to keep it in place out there which kind of sucks for bite indication as they can’t fight against the weight. 

RoughFish's picture
I forgot to add this bit.....

I forgot to add this bit..... wear a glove, they’re sharp.

TonyS's picture
Cold Shovels

I've caught Shovelnose in the early April in MN the past several years, usually the temps were in the upper 40's but maybe you could find them in the lower 40's as well.  All the Shovels I've caught in early April in MN have been in deep and relatively slow water.   In the Minnesota river I've caught them in early April fishing in the main channel in an eddy on the backside of a sand bar hanging out with Carp.  I've also caught them in the Mississippi in 50 FOW mixed in with wintering Channel Cats and Lake Sturgeon.


That said, the best Shovelnose fishing I've had has always been in May and June

Beverly riffles
Sand sturgeon

I’ve had best luck using worms for sturgeon. That said up here in East central Iowa there is still honeycomb frost in much of the ground. I have seen no worms yet this spring I would suspect that the first time we get a warm rain and a rise in the rivers with worms floating by, the sturgeon will get going. We have caught them in the Cedar in holes below sandbars but usually in May. Just my experience. That said, never hurts to try. Just like stopping at an apparently sterile garage sale, you never know.