Cool In-Fish article

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Cast_and_Blast's picture
Cool In-Fish article
<p>Positive spin on the lowly Sucker.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""></a></p>
TonyS's picture
Cool, I've been thinking

Cool, I've been thinking about using that same tactic this summer but with a centerpin.  I don't think it will be more effective than static bottom rigging but I can imagine waters where trotting a crawler chunk along bottom would effective and a riot!  I love float fishing, I can't believe I hadn't tried it (yet) for suckers.  But then I've finally done my float research to figure out what types to use,

the pyromaniac
the pyromaniac's picture
I'm moving back to an area I

I'm moving back to an area I've fished extensively in my teenage years and my late 20's this weekend.  I know several spots where I'll be putting this technique to work....   Thanks for sharing!

In-Fisherman has always been pretty positive toward suckers and other roughfish.  About 3 years ago they did a segment on their show on how to catch white suckers, sandwiched between a bass segment and a channel cat segment.  It was one of the better shows they've done.  I've seen them do tons of stuff on carp & catfish over the years, and occasionally suckers, sturgeon, gar, snakeheads, bowfin, and other interesting stuff.




Let there be fire!

andy's picture
Cool to see an article like this

It's great to see an In fish article about suckers, but I have to say that the author's approach to sucker fishing is absolutely wrong in my opinion.  Run and Gun sucker fishing with a n active presentation?  Nope. 

TonyS's picture
I'm pretty sure run'n'gun

I'm pretty sure run'n'gun would work for the more active suckers - especially Whites, Shortheads, and Goldens.  I've caught quite few of each slinky drifting crawlers. 


That said, he seems to indicate that this active method would be more effective than static fishing which is almost certainly dead wrong.

Corey's picture

Don't tell them. 

Cool article and good to see!

It's weird .... I've caught suckers doing this, but I think it's much less effective in general than a stationary rig.  However, that assumes that it's me, so you can assume 1) My stationary rig is cast in a good location.  Most people reading this article won't necessarily know where to cast, so a drifting presentation will be more effective than a stationary presentation to a bad spot - and 2) You can assume most of their readers are fishing from a boat, and we all know how hard it is to fish stationary for light-biting fish from a boat.  If you were bottom-fishing from a swinging boat, you'd have trouble detecting bites and be losing your crawler to suckers. The bobber is probably your best option. 

That said, I'm not sure how the dude manages to catch shortheads with a big ball jig and crawler.  The guy is probably drifting this rig past thousands and getting 1 or 2 to hook themselves.

Bubbajoe's picture
I was thinking the same thing

I was thinking the same thing about the ball jig.  I would think a graduated split shot arrangement from just below the swivel to a single hook would be more effective.

TonyS's picture
 a drifting presentation will

 a drifting presentation will be more effective than a stationary presentation to a bad spot

Agreed, I've used slinky drifting to help figure out spots that are hard to read and that can be far better to figure a spot out (at times) over a stationary rig

we all know how hard it is to fish stationary for light-biting fish from a boat.

Yup, stationary bottom rigging from a boat is something I never do unless I have to, usually only for Sturgeon which often require it.

I would think a graduated split shot arrangement from just below the swivel to a single hook would be more effective.

Agreed, a Steelhead-type drifting shot pattern (maybe adjusted to tick bottom) with a small circle hook would be much better - that ball head is really reducing his catch.

perkinsdonald's picture
is that a blue?
Is that a blue sucker in the pic?



The gods do not subtract the alotted span in men's lives the hours spent in fishing.

TonyS's picture
Is that a blue sucker in the

Is that a blue sucker in the pic?

River Redhorse - almost positive.  Definately a redhorse though

J Dunfee
J Dunfee's picture
I use rigs like this from

I use rigs like this from time to time, though this one is admittedly a little better than mine. It does work well when fish are aggressive. I agree that most of the time there are more ideal methods, but when wading are walking long distances a lot of specialized gear becomes a burden; so if I'm mostly scouting the area, targeting another species, or fishing for "whatever bites" it's one method I turn to pretty often. The biggest downside to me(when these tactics make sense) is the angle of the line becomes even more difficult to control, so line passes over fish more often than I'd like.

As for "true" run-and-gun redhorse, 10 minutes a hole; I can see it being effective if fish are feeding heavily enough..

But around me the river stretches with good numbers of suckers are few and far between. So unless I want to walk 10 or 15 miles at a time to run-and-gun this doesn't seem to practical to my situation. Finding a few good spots and going after all the fish, even the tough ones seems like a better solution for me. Really cool idea though.

Gunnar's picture
Yep, that's a river redhorse.

Yep, that's a river redhorse. Muskegon River, MI. Coincidentally saw the same photo on flickr yesterday.


Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers:

2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

Dan's picture
Active vs. stillfishing

Nice to see an article on redhorse, but I have to wonder if the float/jig combo is just taking suckers incidentally.  I've tried lots of active techniques from slinkies to flies, and for most of the year nothing beats a worm resting on the bottom.  On many occasions in low water I have watched groups of suckers feeding and cast a bait within inches of them.  They never react quickly to strike the bait, but sometimes continue to feed for several minutes before happening on my bait, close as it is.

During the spawn it is another story.  Some days the still rod is the way to go, but when water is up and fish are spread out on spawning grounds they will actively hit a tiny egg fly behind a slinky better than anything else.

Outdoors4life's picture

I have seen Fiddle use a jighead before. It shocked me that he did do well with it too.


On the other hand I used to tanke the time to use a worm blower to make the worm float just a tad and I had better fishing with that rod vs the rod I did not use the blower. I don't anymore because I got lazy about it. The little things can change the "luck" quite a bit. I am a fan of using a sinker that will move on the bottom until it hits a current break where it will rest. That is where the food gathers and the fish feed. Placement means everything in bottom fishing.

It is all perspective!

Acer Home Inspections

Dan's picture
Drifting a sinker until it

Drifting a sinker until it hits a slow current tunnel is a great trick!  Sometimes I do best by scrapping the forked sticks and hopping a sinker along from one resting spot to another, giving it a minute or two in each spot before hopping it back in to the current to find another potential fish-holding eddy.

The little details do make a difference for suckers - bait and hook size is another one.  I've gone to small compost-dwelling redworms for most sucker fishing, but I wonder if waxworms, butterworms, or other smaller baits would be even better (especially for picky shorheads).  Anyone ever tried it?