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Memorial Weekend Multispecies fishing

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Decided to head down to a favorite clear water river on Sat trying to get in a multispecies trip before the rains blew out the river, AGAIN :angry:. I have been wanting to fish this river on several occasions to catch the darters in their spawning coloration, but with all the rains that just hasn't happened this year. So with Livie in tow we headed south with a variety of rod set-ups in mind. My goal was to help my daughter catch some new species, particularly some new darters and minnows. I know that there are at least three darters species and two of those, the rainbow and greenside darter, she has never seen nor caught before. Also this river has a bunch of smallmouth, largemouth, and rock bass.

Livie got excited, because she caught a longear sunfish off one the many beds she could see from the bank on her first cast with the jig and float set-up we use for sunfish in the ponds and lakes we have fished this year. Spawning longears are one of the prettiest fish in the stream and she wanted to catch a nice spawning male. She did end up catching this real nice one.

Olivia - Longear Sunfish - Maries River - 27May17.JPG

I had on a 1/32 oz tube jig with a white/chartreuse slider body and caught the first smallmouth of the day, a feisty 10" fish.

Smallmouth Bass - Maries River - 27May17.JPG

I handed Livie that rod to fish for a smallmouth while I picked up the ultralite that we were using for the microfishing. On her second cast Livie hung up the jig, once she got it unsnagged her first northern rock bass hit the bait.

Olivia - Northern Rock Bass (1) - Maries River - 27May17.JPG

She did eventually get a smallmouth on the line with the jig, but due to her injured thumb lost it before I could get a photo. I was fishing a #14 hook with a small piece of worm and caught a small hornyhead chub and a few bleeding shiners while Live fished the jig. We headed upstream and were fishing under the bridge when the first of the rains came in. We only got a 5 to 8 minute shower at first. There was a large pile of trees under the bridge that had some deep water on the bank side. Livie got onto the blowdown to retrieve my line (switched out the white/chartreuse for a grn pumpkin/chartreuse tail slider body) and we both caught a bunch of green sunfish in the tangle of limbs in front of her in the photo.


There were also several species of minnows where the current came into this hole. We both caught blacksided topminnows, but both missed hooking one fo the three or four brook silverside minnows swimming in that hole. The #20 hooks were too large and I fought to not put on the #26 hooks I had in my tackle bag figuring that we would fish this on the way back to the car. Livie was not able to hook one of the bleeding shiners, but caught her very first Ozark minnow out of school of 15 to 20 fish. I actually did not catch one from that school and had to find another school just a little bit further upstream before I landed an Ozark minnow.

Olivia - Ozark Minnow (2) - Maries River - 27May17.JPG

At that time Livie was trying to catch a water snake that had a large tadpole in its mouth. She never did catch that snake, but had several chances.

When I got into these shallows, the darters forced my hand to switch to the #26 hooks.

Maries River upstream - 27May17.JPG

I only caught orangethroat darters, but LIvie was able to catch her first rainbow darter and a couple of bleeding shiners

Olivia - Rainbow Darter (2) - Maries River - 27May17.JPG

Olivia - Bleeding Shiner (1) - Maries River - 27May17.JPG

Olivia - Bleeding Shiner (2) - Maries River - 27May17.JPG

Then the rain set on us again and we both heard sirens. So that ended our trip. We never did get up to the spots where I have caught greenside darters in the past and didn't fish under the bridge again as we were headed back to the car.

Maries River downstream - 27May17.JPG

After we left, we drove through a pretty bad storm with lots of rain and high wind gusts. The river actually rose 3 feet by Sat evening. So it's going to have to be by the weekend before it may clear up enough to sight fish this spot again. That's without any additional rains, but there is more in the forecast. Livied ended up with at least 9 different species and one sunfish that I need to get verification as a possible orangespotted sunfish. I caught 12 different species. All in all a great day and a successful multispecies trip.

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