White sucker run

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Muddy Waters
White sucker run
Saw a school of colored-up male White Suckers in a riffle of a warmwater creek in SE MN yesterday!
andy's picture
Thanks for the report!

I can't wait to get on some spawning run suckers.

Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff's picture
Water temps? and introduction

Hi,  (Rough Stuff is a cycling term for my definition, BTW)



I'm getting back into fishing local brooks and ponds and found this sitte to be just what I need!

I always notice the white sucker run in the spring, and wondered what water temperatures this usually ocurred at.  Gotta get another food-service bimetallic thermometer in 1-degree increments for checking temps (last one fell into the water) but don't know other than time of year when the sucker runs happen.

Any idea about water temperature?

As I am more interested in the non-game species, and seeing what is in these waters, microfishing is the way to gp for me.   Also interested in setting up a cool water natives tank someday

I have used my minnow trap, but will also try light lines and tiny hooks and bait as well.



Where is the fish?

FishNerd's picture

I don't usually track the water temperature myself but the Fishes of Wisconsin book lists the temperature of the White Sucker run at 45°

2017: Total species (44), New species (12)
2018: Total species (95), New species (51)
2019: Total species (115), New species (50)
2020: Total species (63), New species (9)
2021: Total species (50), New species (5)

Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff's picture

Thank you.


Gotta order my thermometer or find a science or food service supply that has the one I want.

Where is the fish?

Tyler W
Tyler W's picture
You don't track the water temp?!

I'm... rather obsessive about water temperature and fishing. I once took my kids to check on a spot and my daughter (who was about 5 at the time) said, "Dad! You forgot the thermometer!" 

I find that fishing really gets good when water temps stay at or above 50F. Falling temperatures are bad even if they are over 50F. 

White suckers are the first fish to run in the spring. Basically as soon as the ice comes off they'll get active. 

So, you can catch them when water temp is still 32F. But, they'll actually spawn closer to the 45F - 50F mark. Oddly enough, I've never found colored up white suckers to be easy to catch. They don't seem to mix food and sex.

On the other hand, I have watched redhorse lay eggs and then eat a worm one minute later. 

SomewhereDownstream's picture
White sucker spawn

Here, they usually spawn in mid-April, over a month after ice-out. I've never had much luck with active spawners, either, but I've caught a lot of non-spawning fish at exactly the same time in slightly different places. It's definitely my favorite time to fish for them.


Rough Stuff
Rough Stuff's picture
White sucker run

Temps were 55F but I did see some suckers settled-in in a large brook from a high bridge above.

Also missed a nice pickerel.  

Iowa state site says 57 for spawning but it seems a bit late for me now. It was a late/weird spring.  

I recall getting one on a worm at a rod&gun club kids event but the others were either on worms, doughballs or just dropping a metal lure in front of them on gravel substrate at small dam footbridge and waiting for their vacuums to pick it up. 


Where is the fish?

smurph's picture
Rum Redhorse run is on

I was down at the anoka dam on sunday and the shortheads were stacked right below the falls, caught a handful in between the pesky smallmouth and rock bass. There were some massive carp cruising around as well that each when hooked proceeded to spool me before snagging up.