Species of the Week - Golden Redhorse!

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Corey's picture
Species of the Week - Golden Redhorse!
<p><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size: 22px;">Species of the Week: Golden Redhorse, <em>Moxostoma erythrurum</em></span></span></p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.roughfish.com/sites/default/files/golden_1_0.jpg" style="width: 500px;" /></p> <p><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Hi, folks! In past years we&#39;ve occasionally had targeted forum discussions about a single species in order to enhance and update the information on our species pages and share the accumulated knowledge of all members, both the crafty old salts and the innovative youngsters. During the fishing season, it&#39;s usually too busy to do this, but since things are slow around here, it&#39;s the perfect time to share our stories, tactics, and identification tips.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Anyone who has ever caught this species, please share your knowledge with the group! </span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Special thanks to Outdoors4Life for suggesting we bring this back now.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Outdoors4life's picture
I'll go first!

Large golden

A couple pics for comparison top is root river golden that every has come to love. Below is from the cannon

Lip Shot very unique

Golden Redhorse lips

I fish current breaks with a single crawler with a bottom rig that does not hold in fast current.


It is all perspective!

Acer Home Inspections

TonyS's picture
Good idea, bringing this back

Good idea, bringing this back.  I don't have a ton add to tactics.  I know one river I fish where they are everywhere (though small) - gravelly riffles, sand flats, weedbeds, deep holes, etc.  Most my local waters I don't run into huge numbers (but the size is better).  Usually they are on current breaks.  


I also noticed that I don't have many good pics of Goldens... I attached the best ones I have. 



Deftik's picture
I'm very happy to see this re

I'm very happy to see this return! Unfortunately all i have is photos to submit for this particular fish! 

Eli's picture
This is one redhorse I wish I

This is one redhorse I wish I had a little closer to me. I need to drive ~6 hours to get to them, but once there, they seem to be very plentiful. 

Hoping to encounter a few this June.






Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
Would you stand on the busy r

Would you stand on the busy rail road bridge and dodge trains just to sight fish big Golden Redhorse in skinny water?  I would.  Been trying to catch that elusive 4 pounder for many years now.  Weighed many of them pushing the mark but have always fallen short.  And I cant wait to see what our past and current world record holders have to say about this species too.  Probably my favorite thing about this species is how they break surface and go ballistic when hooked in shallow water.                      Golden season is close, my friends.  Hang in there!

Outdoors4life's picture
Good ole Suicide Bridge!

Doc I miss that spot! I want to go back and see about them goldens and goths this spring.

It is all perspective!

Acer Home Inspections

andy's picture

One of my favorite fish!  Funny thing, I don't think I know of any other name for them - everybody just calls them "Goldens".  They are probably the most abundant redhorse in MN, or at least close behind the shorthead.  Hard to say, because some rivers are either full of one or the other it seems.  You can usually count on the golden redhorse giving you some action early in the Spring, even before other rehorse species.  They seem to hang out with white suckers in mid-size rivers quite often.  


Golden redhorse live alongside black redhorse in certain small, clean streams and small specimens are difficult to discern from their cousins.   Counting the scales along the lateral line is the best way to tell them apart at first, but ID becomes easier after you handle a bunch.  Goldens can't pretend to be as sleek as a black redhorse.  

small creek golden redhorse


I had the priveledge of holding both the MN State and All-Tackle World Record golden redhorse from 2007 until 2014.  I caught it at Roundup 2007 from the Root River, MN.  20.5" long and 3.97 pounds.  

world record golden redhorse

record golden redhorse


mn state resord redhorse

From 2007 until my record was eventually beaten in 2014 from the very same water, I didn't take any photos of goldens other than bank contest shots.   Caught thousands of them.  I guess they just weren't worthy or something, i don't know. It's weird.   I really enjoyed my time as a record holder for this species, and I plan to get back there very soon.  Actually I still hold the 6 lb line class record.  The new record is very beatable in my opinion, and I will be fishing specifically for a 4 pound golden this Spring...


This last year, the day after my record was broken and I shook Superfrog's hand on the bank of the Root, I caught a big golden that stretched the tape to 20.5"--


I'm coming, Superfrog hahaha!


I have caught golden redhorse from dozens of different rivers in MN and WI.  One special river, though, has goldens that average a pound bigger than anywhere else.  Some of you may know that river.  They are very prolific and are willing biters.  They fight great, often leaping out of the water and using the strong current to their advantage.  A mid size stream, very light spinning gear and golden redhorse is a fantastic recipe for good angling.   They are not finicky fish, and will keep you and your nightcrawlers busy on a Spring day.  


Golden redhorse are delicious.  They are sweeter-flavored than silvers or shortheads, like sunfish are sweeter than crappies.  By harvesting them selectively, you can enjoy many good meals and everyone can continue to witness the annual spawning madness that happens in May.  Here's a favorite photo I took, Corey with a stringer of goldens from the Straight River - one of the best golden redhorse waters in MN --

golden redhorse recipe



TonyS's picture
Good point there about Shorth

Good point there about Shortheads and Goldens.  Most my local rivers are crawling with Shortheads but Goldens are in more modest numbers (though I know spots with more Goldens) but I know rivers north of me where Goldens vastly out-number Shortheads...

Nick Li
Nick Li's picture
Only caught one Golden Redhor

Only caught one Golden Redhorse ever here in the Potomac! Great fighting fish and great looking fish as well! Caught at Chain Bridge within the rapids! One of my best days of fishing at that spot!