Blue Sucker

Saturday, April 6, 2019

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.


andy's picture

Thanks for the detailed report from what I would consider an epic Roughfishing outing.  Blue sucker and black buffalo in one session is really an amazing accomplishment.  Congrats man, you earned the Golden Fish Award!

Dr Flathead's picture

Amazing outing! Congrats on the really cool lifers.

Eric Kol's picture

very well done. I appriciate the detailed account of your rigging, the water emps and the lead up. You'll get that sturg yet


Carpy Diem!

RoughFish's picture

Thanks guys..... glad you liked the rigging details Kol, just trying to contribute a little bit of ideas for others targeting them.... traditional bottom rigs just wouldn’t stay put even with 6oz pyramids. I may have to visit MN again one day to better target a lake sturgeon, our population is protected and very small and their summer haunt is along all private land and almost impossible to get to by boat.

FP4LifesDad's picture

Awesome write up, pics, and fish, thanks for sharing and congrats on an epic fish!  Probably a dumb question but I'm not really familiar with the rig you were explaining.  If you seen the fish surfacing was your crawler somewhat suspended in the water column then but still anchored to the bottom?  I wonder if drifiting for them with a bait would work since they're near the surface?  Thanks for the info, it's exactly why I love this site and like sharing info with you guys as well.  Two epic fish a blue ghost and a black buff, awesome!

Graceclaw's picture

Wow, what a Black Buffalo! Crazy to catch both on the same day, as everyone else noted. My question is: Why don't you usually take them out of the water to unhook them? Do they bash themselves up on your rocks really badly? 

RoughFish's picture

FP4lifesdad- the high low rig has your weight tied on the very end of the line and above it 2-3 dropper loops which are just loops that hang off the main branch of the line 3-4”. You can slide the loop through the eye and over the shank of the hook and attach baits or jig heads to these loops. I was using two loops, one ~6” from the weight and the other a foot above that. I think I’ve seen a write up on targeting asian carp at Carlyle dam in Illinois on here that had an illustration of the dropper loop being used to fish twistertail grubs in the current. I use the high low rig with jigheads and twistertails here for skipjack when they run, best way to get em.

Graceclaw- several reasons I don’t take them out of the water I suppose but the rocks are the main reason. I don’t want to drop them or get covered in buffalo spunk. I’ll only take them out now if it’s a chunk and I want a photo (or a really small one would be cool).


FP4LifesDad's picture

Gotcha, now I know what you mean.  I think I did read that here on a carp rig.  Thanks for the information, I think in MN they have to be with in 6 inches of each other or something like that, I've never tried a rig like that but look forward to giving it a whirl!

Hengelaar's picture

Holy crap, that is awesome stuff!
Blue Sucker AND Black Buff in one session! Man, that is the stuff of legends. Just ultradreamy.
Many congratulations on some fantastic angling.



Fishn sure is neat

Goldenfishberg's picture

Wicked! Bang up job man and a great report congrats many times over, such a sick pair of lifers!!

Ya just Can't catch um from the couch.