Microfishing/Roughfishing Lecture

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Logperch28's picture
Microfishing/Roughfishing Lecture

Hello All,

I'm reaching out to you all because I have recently been asked to give a guest lecture on microfishing to the Icthyology class at Virginia Tech. I see this as an opportunity to promote this site, NANFA, Tenkarabum, etc and potentially to get an audience already excited about fishes to even further appreciate the fantastic fishing opportunities that "non-game" fishes provide.

I have an entire hour for the lecture, so I should have plenty of time to introduce them to both Microfishing and Roughfishing. I'm not the most talented lecturer in the world so I would like to let the fishes do most of the talking. So, I would love it if you all could give me any advice for what you think you would want included in such a lecture and/or point me to some cool fishing videos and pictures that I can show.

Thanks in advance,



Corey's picture

Having lectured on this subject myself, I think, in general, you'll find that roughfishing topic tends to be well-received while the microfishing aspect often gets laughed about.The appreciation of large native nongame fishes by anglers is something that most people can appreciate, especially when you emphasize how the various fishes are appreciated in different ways by different cultures as food fishes. I like to refer to them as "under-utilized" since they represent an untapped resource for food and sport, a resource that's abundant and healthy and there for the taking. The other aspect you can emphasize is how roughfishingcan be a very low-tech sport - with the more pressured gamefishes requiring tens of thousands of dollars of equipment and burning hundreds of gallons of gas, you can roughfish by bike or on foot right near your home, and if you're good at it, have fresh fish whenever you want without burning fossil fuels.

RiviereCachee's picture
Pictures, lots of pictures of

Pictures, lots of pictures of micros. 

philaroman's picture


Icthyology students should be more receptive to micros than most anglers...

  • but you should still concentrate on species that are especially colorful, or otherwise interesting in apearance (e.g., logperches, hornyheads, etc.)
  • for the ones that are more drab year-round, but "wear bling for Spring", do a compare/contrast between pre-spawn males, standard males and females
  • get as detailed as you can about invasives -- esp., direct personal experience & most trusted second-hand info
  • show some examples of convergent evolution -- bufs/carpsuckers  vs. carp; G.shiner vs. rudd; bowfin vs. snakehead; etc.  (with a quick mention of divergent evolution -- eels, Sander family, etc.)

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

FishNerd's picture

In my experience, younger people (college students) are pretty open to micro-fishing. I've had people come up to me and ask me how I manage it. Not a universal response of course, though it does seem to be gaining a little traction.

2020 goals:
Greater Redhorse (), Lake Trout (), Lake Whitefish (x), Chinook Salmon (), Coho Salmon ()

andy's picture

Tell them some stories about a trip you took somewhere to fish for a certain species, or to a spot where you know you can catch a bunch of cool species during a fishing session.  Maybe you caught a bunch of fish and rocked it, but maybe you didn't.  You still saw a bunch of cool stuff and shared some laughs along the way with friends.  Tell them about little tucked away small streams which are overlooked along with the various cool native species that live there.  You can spend a whole day exploring Nature up close and not see another person all day.  Meanwhile the designated trout stream 10 miles away is crowded with anglers fishing for stocked exotics. 

Exploring and learning and experiencing new things are a big part of Roughfishing that appeals to a lot of people, and especially those who are in the scientific realm.  The best part is you can often find this close to home, and you get to learn about these local spots very intimately through fishing.  

Tyler W
Tyler W's picture
No Text

The advise to use lots of pictures is good. I take that advise a step further - no text on power point presentations. When you put text on screen people read it, and then you repeat it. And when you start saying thi gas people just read they tune out. Stick to pictures/ graphics and people will actually listen. 

Logperch28's picture
Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions! I appreciate all of them and will try to incorporate as many as possible! I do know some of the kids in this course and I do think that at least the folks I know will be receptive to the idea of microfishing, so I am going to give that a shot, especially focusing on some of the more colorful micros. As I'm kind of new to hour-long lecturing, I think that telling stories about fishing trips that I've made while weaving in other useful information (i.e. coloration variation between spawn/nonspawn, invasives, etc.) and keeping text to a minimum will probably make me the most comfortable and result in a better product overall. I hope that I can pass on the gift of roughfishing to at least a few of these students, as it has really changed my life in a positive way!

Logan Sleezer