Surprise micro while sucker fishing

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Carp Chaser
Carp Chaser's picture
Surprise micro while sucker fishing

Chasing some white suckers Saturday, found a good number gathered above a riffle. They were dressed up in spawning coloration and stripes, every spring I enjoy seeing this. 

Above the fast water the suckers look like this, enhanced pic.

Moved downstream to deeper water. Had lots of aggressive bites that I missed. Managed to catch two. Noticed these suckers lacked the stripes. Put up a solid fight! 


Also had some rapid fire bites as I cast and my sinker settled along the bottom. This had to be from smaller fish. Another bite came and a bullhead sized fish was splashing at the surface... 

...Seconds later I had a mottled sculpin in my hands! They've been on my mind but never caught one until now. Crazy thing was it inhaled the large hook and worm. I admire the character and traits of sculpin. They are built to handle fast current, sitting under rocks hardly ever noticed by people!

Camo to the max  


The next day I fished this spot again, trying to figure out the sculpin. Turns out the rapid bites I was getting after casting out were coming from common shiners. Tried fishing around rocks closer to the riffle. No sculpin this time. Better chance in the evening? A guy came over and asked what I was fishing for. He said he noticed a school of minnows in a different spot. I had missed this before, turns out he was right.


Small minnows were schooling around some submerged rocks. I had to see if one would bite. They were just nipping the end of my bait, tough to hook. Noticed some larger fish down between two rocks. Caught a nice darter! Think it's a johnny, in brilliant colors.


Was also seeing something bigger near the bottom swimming around, dark stripe along the side. Hoping they were redbelly dace. Hooked one, but it wasn't a dace. Similar to a fathead, but shiny and metallic along the belly. A brassy minnow perhaps? Anyways, doesn't matter if it's a new species. Had a great time! 


Had to add one more pic. From a couple weeks ago. I didn't actually catch this, it jumped out of the water at a different spot and landed in a depression on the bank. Went to put it back in the water and saw it was a northern redbelly dace I believe. In awe of this fish!!


Get out to the creeks and ponds in your area. Who knows what you'll find.


Eli's picture
Nice surprise for sure. I'm g

Nice surprise for sure.

I'm gonna try for mottled sculpin this Wednesday, I think.




Mike B
Mike B's picture
That's a really cool sculpin

That's a really cool sculpin you got there. Just very neat little animals all around. 

mike b

UpperMi roughangler
UpperMi roughangler's picture
Those are such cool fish. I'm

Those are such cool fish. I'm sure that there has to be some in my creek. There are Common Shiners and Northen Redbelly Dace all over as well as a few small white suckers. Not sure why no big spawning suckers have shown up yet, but a larger creek a few miles north of me people say now has hundreds of suckers. Sadly, everyone in my area spears them and thows them on the bank. Most of the fish, I'm afraid, have already met this fate.

Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
Cool stuff man.  I liked catc

Cool stuff man.  I liked catching the mottled sculpin.  We got them by bumping rocks with out feet then sight fishing the flushed sculpins.  They were agressive as hell and I found it really funny how voracious they were.  They would absolutly crush the tiny crawler chunks.  Not sure if thats a brassy or a fathead.  It does look pretty similar to the one fiddlefish has posted on here.  I cant tell em apart.  And thats a male johnny for sure.  Crazy how different the males and females look.  Wonder if thats a spawning colors thing? 

Carp Chaser
Carp Chaser's picture
Thanks for the comments Eli,

Thanks for the comments Eli, Mike, upperMi, and Doc. Have fished this spot for around 15 years, Phil for over twice that. And never seen or caught a sculpin there! So it was a fun experience.


Doc, have heard that's how people look for sculpin. Pretty cool! And you're right, that fish looks just like the one fiddlefish has. Might post it somewhere just to confirm what it is. 

"There's always a bigger fish"