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Johnsfolly

More Micro Tomfoolery - Madtom

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Saturday I had a couple hours before sundown to get out and fish Whetstone creek CA. I have been looking for a spot to catch orangespotted sunfish and this creek has a good population. It also is one a few creeks in central Missouri that has the blacknose shiner. I fished this creek back in Sept and did not catch either of these two targeted species. I'm sure that I had seen several schools of the blacknose shiners. They were a spooky bunch of minnows. So this trip I put my spinning reel on my 9' fly rod. That set-up has worked for me in the past on spooky fish. The first pool was very clear water and I felt good about my prospects as I headed to a deeper pool that had the largest school of minnows on my last trip. The pool was an example of some of the issue with fall fishing, leaves. The deeper section of the pool was completely covered in leaves. No way to sight fish this pool. I went further down stream and got into cleaner water on the head of the next big pool. Also had active fish. I had lots of hits by little fish and only landed this carmine shiner.

Carmine Shiner (1) - Whetstone creek - 21Oct17.JPG 

I continued further downstream. Still getting hits by the smaller minnows, but no hook-ups. The larger fish shied away from my baits. I was running our of daylight and was not as patient as I should be to catch some of these spooky fish. In another long pool I caught this minnow near some brush. I got confirmation that this is likely to be a blacknose shiner, but the glare from the LED light on the camera was obscuring the lateral line coloration. I'll have to get back as try to get a better picture. (didn't have my photo bag).

Blacknose Shiner (1) - Whetstone creek - 21Oct17.JPG

I just wish that I could have got one of the larger minnows to bite. Just before it got too dark, I switched and targeted sunfish. I was only able to catch a single creek chub before it got too dark to see my float without my headlamp. As I headed back upstream I was constantly looking for possible fish, particularly the diminutive catfish, madtoms! I have been obsessed with catching a madtom since I last tried to catch these catfish. I never got one to hand on that trip. I found a bunch of madtoms in a calm pool. They would shy away from my headlamp. I found that I could find the fish using the high intensity beam and then turn it down once I spotted fish close enough for me to drop a bait near the fish. Maybe it was the lack of heavy flow, but once I got my bait near a madtom it wasn't long before the fish would circle the bait like the sharks you see on nature shows targeting a chum block. I got bit often and like the last time would get the fish up an out of the water, but not into my hand for a photo and release. I finally got a solid hook set and landed this slender madtom :)!

Slender Madtom (2) - Whetstone creek - 21Oct17.JPG

The madtom and blacknose shiner are the 16th and 17th new lifelist species that I have caught since March. Now if I could just catch a flathead catfish!

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2 hours ago, Flysmallie said:

Man I would really like a madtom or two for my aquarium. I had one a few years ago and it was a really cool fish. That and a logperch is on the list of wanted aquarium fish. 

I didn't get a chance at getting down to fish your way last weekend. Planning on getting down there in the next couple of weeks. May be able to catch one or two near you when I am down that way.

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