Hunting GPS Maps and Sturgeon Fishing the Snake: Captain’s Column
By angelamontana

Posted: September 5, 2013

It has been a challenging road for Hunting GPS Maps since they first started to sell their revolutionary chip that gives hunters property lines and land ownership information through a Garmin GPS unit. Don’t get me wrong, the business located in Missoula has been extremely successful; the challenges have come with the rapid expanding business and by improving the cutting edge technology that started business in the first place.

Eric Siegfried, who founded Hunting GPS Maps in 2008, and Rob Hart who joined him in 2010  and is the Vice President of Operations, now have 22 full time employees and a brand new 6500 square foot building on Brooks Street to house them in. The big news this fall for sportsman that hunt Montana will be the new Block Management information that Hunting GPS has included as part of the information on their Montana map. “We are happy to be able to work with FWP and include this valuable tool for our Montana customers at no additional charge”, said Hart.

For more information log onto www.huntinggpsmaps.com.

I recently went on a white sturgeon fishing trip on the Snake River. On this trip however I wouldn’t be doing any fishing I would be helping Matt Beard from Justice Productions film the experience.

Jim Johnson, a friend of mine from Lincoln, had purchased the trip through an auction at a local Safari Club International Banquet held earlier this year in Missoula. The trip was donated by Nate Luther of Lewiston Idaho, who is a licensed guide on the Snake River. Luther, who has been fishing for the catch and release sturgeon for a few years on the Snake, says they can get as big as 10 feet long. “Once in a while we get lucky and one of our clients hooks into a big fish and when they do the fight is definitely on”.

Johnson, who would like nothing better than to catch a sturgeon that big, has little experience fishing for the pre-historic fish. “The largest surgeon that I have caught was 24 inches so I am looking forward to hooking into a big one”, he said as we boarded Luther’s 24 foot jet boat from Hellers Bar in Washington.

Luther uses an 8 ounce weight with a circle hook tipped with garlic flavored squid or a slice of tuna or salmon. The lines are dropped in a deep hole that can range up to 65 feet deep in the Snake Rivers famous Hell Canyon. Luther then anchors by that hole in the river or he pulls the jet boat to a nearby shore. With the set-lines out, it is wait and see if a surgeon comes along and decides to take the bait.

It took a couple of hours and a couple of different deep holes before Johnson hooked into a huge sturgeon. The fight lasted 20 minutes, but, in the end, the fish won as the circle hook broke. “That’s only happened to me a couple of times so it must have been a big one”, said Luther. Johnson did end up landing a 55 inch sturgeon by the end of the day.

You can view the video we took on the trip by logging onto www.montanaoutdoor.com.

(Written by the Captain; Cover photo: vimeo)