Wednesday, May 23, 2012

spawning redhorse

While not my normal target species, some of the info I have come across online about this fish they call the redhorse has been almost too much to resist. The sucker runs of the spring can be pretty prolific as I have experienced while fishing the Lake Michigan tributaries in the early spring. Here I have caught more of these white suckers, while fishing steelhead, than I’d care to admit. With that being said, I still have never caught (or targeted) a redhorse.
wisconsin river redhorse
The redhorse makes their spawning runs up the rivers also in the spring. The magic water temperature seems to be in the mid forties and this could take place usually between the months of March and May depending on your region. While their primary purpose in the river is to spawn, often these fish can be coaxed to feed.

Real Life Applications-

It wasn’t until fishing the upper Wisconsin River that I actually came across the redhorse. Here pods of fish had almost taken over some of the more choice pools. To me, it was almost like watching the salmon runs of the fall. I watched the spawning pair of redhorse cutting a redd at the front of the pool while the rest of the group hung at the back. With a baitfish imitation already tied on I began to work the pod of fish. Slow and methodical wasn’t producing and it wasn’t until I burned my bait through the school at lightning speed that I got a strike. This wasn’t one of those I’m hungry and going to eat you strikes, this was a get the hell off my nest I’m going to kill you strikes. Either way, it produced in a big way.

on his way back to the orgy
Never underestimate the territorial instincts of fish on the spawn. Stay tuned for more of my adventures from the Northwoods.

15 comments:

  1. Awesome, I target Carp, another minnow family fish, during spawn, they fight tremendously hard!

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    1. Devin, you and me are kinda similar in the fact that we will fish for anything that swims ;)

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  2. awesome! Way to target and land a fish others ignore! How was the fight?

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    1. a real brute, the wide profile did give it some advantages in the current

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  3. Nice fish! i bet it put up a great fight in the shallow water.

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    1. it was great, can't wait for another shot at one!

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  4. Looks like fun! Have to give that a try! Right now I'm tageting Gar! Hope to have one on the line soon

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    1. ive worked a few gar in my day but never could get the bastards to strike, hope you make out a little better then me

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  5. That thing is a tank! You have to love the predator instincts of a fish on bed. Well done!

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    1. when you leaving for your camping trip? Where you heading? and what you fishing for?

      im taking my wife camping in 2 weeks in the driftless, any good campgrounds there with some clean facilities you would recomend? viroqua county please

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    2. I left friday and got back Monday afternoon. Did a little fishing with only one follow on a class 2 stream near petenwell. As far as Viroqua camping check out Sidie Hollow. It is owned by Vernon co. Super scenic, Clean new bathrooms and it was only 15 bucks a night. Has a lake on site as well. The only other one that I know of is the west fork sportsman club. I think it is 10 buck to be a member and its 15 or 20 a night for camping. Check there website for the prices, cause i am not 100% on the sportsman club. Sidie Hollow was awesome and I am planning on returning in the next few weeks.

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  6. We netted Red Horse as kids in a Rib River swimming hole called AmCo Park (Marathon County), also black suckers.

    Put on the swim goggles head out to the dive rock, on a bend in the center of the swimming hole. Trout net in hand, then go under to look for them laying on the bottom along rocks. Sleeping or in a lazy summer daze, laying around like suckers like to do.

    Carefully put the net in front of fish (they seemed oblivious), then a bump on their backside with my other hand and 'Action'. They would startle, and bolt forward into the net stirring up a cloud of bottom silt.

    I'd come up with a big sucker in the net and impress all the high school girls with my 'skills', LOL. It was fun, have to admit.

    Thanks for the memory, nice post.

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  7. Nice to see you got into them - though they're hard to ignore, and all over the place in Mid-May. I want to note that their ideal spawning temperatures are right there with the smallies, right in the 58-64 degree range moreso than the 40's.... At least it's the case for here.

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  8. Nice silver redhorse. I have never seen a redhorse hit a fly, but they do eat voraciously in between bouts of spawning.

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