Sucker Grabbin' 2012 | Ozark Mountains

A lot of field herpers seem to go fishing, or maintain aquariums, as much as they do herp! Any and all things fish are welcome in this forum.

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KingCam
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Sucker Grabbin' 2012 | Ozark Mountains

Post by KingCam » April 16th, 2012, 2:08 pm

Missouri sucker grabbing; it doesn't get any better!

Hey folk, I know some of you enjoyed the photos from my sucker grabbing trip last year, so here are some from this year!

We were snagging suckers in Southern Missouri, south of Springfield near Branson. Bull Creek

Weather was pretty sketchy this past weekend, so fishing time was very limited. We had just enough success to walk away satisfied :P

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Kristin catching her very first sucker fish :D

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It's me!

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My little brother, Brennan, and I posing with our latest victims XD

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Kristin & my uncle, Mark (the pro)

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Kristin snagged this one so hard it came completely out of the water!

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"Take a picture of how bloody it is!" hahaha

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Not a bad amount of fish to eat!

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Packin' it up for the day.

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And below a couple of random critter shots. We didn't float this river this year, we just fished in one spot, so I didn't have much of an opportunity to do any herping this time around :( Oh well, there's always next year!

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Hope you enjoyed my post :mrgreen:
Cameron Peebles

VICtort
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Re: Sucker Grabbin' 2012 | Ozark Mountains

Post by VICtort » April 17th, 2012, 11:16 am

I did indeed enjoy it. Some pretty unique photos here, the close up of the crayfish with hatchlings is neat, I did not know they would stick around... Also, the sculpin, maybe Andy or someone into freshwater fish can ID it?

About the sucker fishing, (I am not judging, just asking, as I have speared many hundreds myself) have you tried angling for them? That is, using bait and a hook and letting them voluntarily take the baited hook into there mouth and catching them? I caught a great many on worms as a kid, and occasionally on salmon roe, glo-bugs or flies when targeting steelhead. In California, the common species of suckers are regarded as pests, and therefore may be speared as well. They are fabulously abundant in some streams.

Snagging is not a common form of take that I know of, but some exceptions, apparently your sucker fishery, and also for salmon in specific situations, often surplus hatchery fish etc. I imagine snagging can be fun, like any other method of take, some are better than it than others. I would love to stand beside you in a riffle and compare angling success to snagging success.

Suckers are often held in low regard by the anglers who take them incidental to other fisheries. Please comment on their palatability...I tried some from the Feather river and they tasted fine, mild white flesh but with lots of bones. Maybe deepfrying them or cross hatch cuts through the bones (like they fry fish in Amazonia) would render the bones soft and one could safely consume the bones? Many of the suckers I used to spear were very old, having cataracts etc., and they were one of the few underharvested fisheries.

Do you have hellbenders their?

Have fun, Vic

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Andy Avram
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Re: Sucker Grabbin' 2012 | Ozark Mountains

Post by Andy Avram » April 17th, 2012, 5:16 pm

Does your girlfriend commonly go fishing in her underwear? Definitely a good way to increase views on your post!

Seriously though, looks like an interesting outing again. I have heard sucker is good, but I have never had the courage to try it (although in light of the "what mammals have you eaten thread" maybe I need to increase my experiences.

As for species IDs. There are 2 sculpin possibilities in your area, Mottled and Banded. It looks like a Mottled to me, but hard to tell.

The suckers are a type of Redhorse, which appear to be Golden Redhorse. An underside picture of the closed mouth would help, as well as a side shot with the dorsal fin displayed.

As for the crayfish. I knew they carried eggs around under their tails, but I didn't know the hatchlings stuck around for any amount of time. Interesting observation.

Andy

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KingCam
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Re: Sucker Grabbin' 2012 | Ozark Mountains

Post by KingCam » April 25th, 2012, 8:13 am

VICtort wrote:About the sucker fishing, (I am not judging, just asking, as I have speared many hundreds myself) have you tried angling for them? That is, using bait and a hook and letting them voluntarily take the baited hook into there mouth and catching them? I caught a great many on worms as a kid, and occasionally on salmon roe, glo-bugs or flies when targeting steelhead. In California, the common species of suckers are regarded as pests, and therefore may be speared as well. They are fabulously abundant in some streams.
No, I've never tried fishing for them with bait. It's not really about how many you can catch, it's more about just the fun of it. Snagging them is very active, involved, and exciting.

It's fun to get several people lined up along the stream, the people at each end are the "rock throwers." They are responsible for keeping the fish corralled between the two ends. By throwing rocks you can prevent the school from swimming too far down or up stream. By "bouncing" them back and forth you start to notice swim patterns and can learn where to best place your hook. When the school comes over it's always a challenge to see if you can snag the leader of the school. It's a great deal of fun, and incredibly exciting when you do finally time it just right :)
VICtort wrote:Snagging is not a common form of take that I know of, but some exceptions, apparently your sucker fishery, and also for salmon in specific situations, often surplus hatchery fish etc. I imagine snagging can be fun, like any other method of take, some are better than it than others. I would love to stand beside you in a riffle and compare angling success to snagging success.
Sucker grabbing/snagging is a big deal in the Ozarks every spring. They even have festivals around it "Sucker Day." Again, it's not really about how many you can catch. Sucker tends to get mushy after it's frozen or if it's not put on ice and cleaned in a timely manner. You only wanna catch as many as you think you'll be able to eat within a few days.
VICtort wrote:Suckers are often held in low regard by the anglers who take them incidental to other fisheries. Please comment on their palatability...I tried some from the Feather river and they tasted fine, mild white flesh but with lots of bones. Maybe deepfrying them or cross hatch cuts through the bones (like they fry fish in Amazonia) would render the bones soft and one could safely consume the bones? Many of the suckers I used to spear were very old, having cataracts etc., and they were one of the few underharvested fisheries.
They are also held in low regard here. Many fisherman don't even eat the fish they snag (which is against my own personal values, not judging, just saying). I like to describe the taste as somewhere between Bass and Catfish. They taste good in my opinion, but the multitude of bones is bothersome to most. Thorough scoring and high heat cooking is a must.
VICtort wrote:Do you have hellbenders their?
In dwindling numbers. I've never seen one, but supposedly they are in the area.
Andy Avram wrote:Does your girlfriend commonly go fishing in her underwear? Definitely a good way to increase views on your post!
HA! hahahahahahaha :lol: :beer:
Andy Avram wrote:Seriously though, looks like an interesting outing again. I have heard sucker is good, but I have never had the courage to try it (although in light of the "what mammals have you eaten thread" maybe I need to increase my experiences.
I quite like how sucker tastes, to be honest. Read my response to VICtort just above for a description of taste, etc.
Andy Avram wrote:As for species IDs. There are 2 sculpin possibilities in your area, Mottled and Banded. It looks like a Mottled to me, but hard to tell.
Yeah, I know very little about fish. It was certainly a cool little critter.
Andy Avram wrote:The suckers are a type of Redhorse, which appear to be Golden Redhorse. An underside picture of the closed mouth would help, as well as a side shot with the dorsal fin displayed.
Yeah, I really need to focus on getting better ID photos, but when you're on the river in the excitement of catching them you really couldn't care less about which species they are :P My uncle kept saying "There's yellows and blues, I think these are blues, the yellows have bigger scales and taste better, but I don't really know how to identify them properly."
Andy Avram wrote:As for the crayfish. I knew they carried eggs around under their tails, but I didn't know the hatchlings stuck around for any amount of time. Interesting observation.
I've seen a few like that in years past. It always surprises me how long they hang out with the mother. She couldn't even attempt to get away from me, her swimming abilities were severely impeded by her mass of youngins.

Thanks for the comments, guys :D

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