Here are a few more pictures of the blue sucker I was able to catch recently. I took a vacation last year targeting this fish which was a failure after planning it a week or so too late for the party. I saw one blue that trip and it was a dead one that looked spawned out washing up against the bank
This year I scouted the spot for two weeks as the water temperature neared 55 degrees in anticipation of them arriving. On the 5th I arrived in the morning and as I was tying on my first rig a huge Lake sturgeon jumped maybe 10 feet in front of me. This got me very excited as we only have lake sturgeon in a few miles of river here in Indiana due to dams and they are extremely rare. These sturgeon spawn at the same time as the blue suckers and it wasnt long until I saw a few blue suckers surfacing here and there. I fished the entire day using inline (carolina) style bottom rigs and caught NOTHING.
I was so bummed out after seeing both lake sturgeon and blues in person, fishing for 6 hours, and getting nothing that it ranked as one of the most disappointing sessions ive ever had. I knew the fish hadnt begun to spawn yet as there were no traces of eggs and they werent present immediately against the bank. The water temperature that day was 52, overnight forecasted a low of 49 and I was doubtful that overnight the temperature would get high enough to trigger the spawn.
The next day I called into work and pulled what we call an "operation river rat" (not going to work to fish). When I arrived I saw even more blues surfacing than the day before. This place is the most snaggy place I have ever fished and I lost around 20 full rigs (sinker,swivel,hook, bead) the day before, so I decided to take a different approach than the day before and tied a high-low rig like i use in the ocean. This allowed my rig to snag and easily be broken free if I hooked up. I used bank sinkers and tied regular clinch knots instead of improved so the sinker would pull off more easily. The first hook was maybe 6 inches from the weight and the second a foot or more above that. Hookbait was a piece of worm just large enough to cover a size 8 baitholder style hook. I tossed this rig in and within 15 minutes I had a fish on. I got it up to the surface and it was a blue. I was struck with terror and grabbed my shitty little net and scaled my way down the bank to a better spot to land it and it was at this moment that it popped off and i watched the current take it down stream as it suddenly regained some energy and slunk away.
Needless to say I was pretty upset about the whole situation but cast out again and not 10 minutes later I had another one on and this one I brought to hand.
There he is in all his glory.
I didnt take too many pictures partly due to my excitement but mostly due to me wanting to put the fish back in the water.
I didnt target them anymore after landing this one and switched to larger hooks for lakers with huge worm gobs. After two common carp I hooked into something a little more solid which turned out to be a buffalo. Normally I wouldnt even take him out of the water to unhook him but this one had extremely fleshy lip and I had to take some photos. After consulting some experts it turned out to be my black buffalo. After two false alarms I finally got my third and final buffalo.
It was a great day at the river and well worth the struggle of hangups and lost tackle.