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Johnsfolly

Lifespecies for Livie in Maryland

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I took till near the end of my last stay in Maryland to have family with me, my wife and my daughter. (Yes there was a bit a drama even on this last trip from MO to MD). With Livie coming out I had made plans to try to get her as many new life list species as possible before we went back to Missouri. My Betterhalf likes to ocean bottom fish, so I booked a half day party boat trip for that Sunday. They pulled into MD by mid afternoon on Sat and it was raining. I had also found out that the party boat trip was cancelled due to high seas. So with rain, unpacking, etc. no fishing on Sat. The storm hit on Sunday with high winds and more rain. In fact it rained all day long. Finally Monday came with sun and no rain. We only had Mon and Tues evenings to fish before we headed back to Missouri.

My plan was to hit the tidal creek near our house first. I had hopes that we could get two or three new micros for her. I checked near the boat ramp and did not see any sheepshead minnows that were large enough for my microhooks. I had on a small pink/white trout magnet jig and Livie had a #20 hook with a tiny piece of white plastic from the same jig. I would tease the fish up to the surface and she would try to get them to bite the small bait. I ended up catching the first fish and was shocked to have caught a redear sunfish on the pink/white jig fishing in brackish water.

20180604_192103.jpg

We never did catch another one. Livie did catch her first new lifelist species of the trip - an Atlantic silverside minnow. 20180604_192951.jpg

We each caught a silverside, but spent too much time at this spot and headed to a new location before it got too dark. When we got to Tuckahoe creek, Livie tried the pink/white jig and caught her first redbreast sunfish.

Livie s first redbreast sunfish - Tuckahoe creek - 04Jun18.jpg

Then  another on a small piece of worm.

Redbreast sunfish (2) - Tuckahoe creek - 04Jun18.jpg

We moved downstream to the spot where I had seen some topminnows and caught my first bluepotted sunfish. We took the same approach with me trying to coax in the fish with a larger bait and Livie catching them on the #20 with the small white plastic bait. We got into fish immediately and she hooked into the first of the topminnows. Then another that was a bit darker and more vividly striped.

 

Livie Banded Killifish (1) - Tuckahoe creek - 04Jun18.jpg

Livie Banded Killifish (2) - Tuckahoe creek - 04Jun18.jpg

From what I found these are just likely female and male banded killifish. After catching a few (and with some whining from dad that he had not caught one of these fish before either :rolleyes:) Livie handed me the rod and I caught another couple of females.

Banded Killifish (female) - Tuckahoe creek - 04Jun18.jpg

And then this one - which seems to be just a juvenile banded killifish and not a different species.

Banded Killifish (juvenile) - Tuckahoe creek - 04Jun18.jpg

I did catch the first bluespotted sunfish (yes that is the #20 hook in its mouth) of the evening then I had to give Livie the rod back to try for one herself.

Bluespotted sunfish - Tuckahoe creek - 04Jun18.jpg

Livie finally did catch two of these sunfish that evening with this last one caught after we switched the white plastic with a yellow piece.

Livie Bluespotted sunfish (2) - Tuckahoe creek - 04Jun18.jpg

It was near dark and we did not get a chance to get up to the lake to try for pumpkinseed or redear sunfish.

20180604_204920_HDR.jpg

 Livie was happy with four new life list species for the evening. Hopefully tomorrow it wouldn't rain and we could try for more fish.

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On Tuesday there was a threat of rain, but I took Livie up to Tuckahoe lake to try to get her into some other sunfishes. As we walked the bank, there was no evidence of the sunfish nests that I had seen and caught fish off of earlier in May. I knew that we were likely to catch fish, but not sure which ones. I wasn't going to do anything fancy, just a small jighead with a piece of nightcrawler under a float. Livie made a cast and got bit almost immediately but did not get a good hook set. Then another bite and another, but no hooked fish. Once the bites stopped I had her reel in to get another worm. She hooked and landed her first fish, a small largemouth bass on her fourth cast.

Livie LMB - Tuckahoe Lake - 05Jun18.jpg

Now she had it down. She caught a few nice bluegill next.

Livie Bluegill (1) - Tuckahoe Lake - 05Jun18.jpg

Then she got another bite and landed her very first pumpkinseed sunfish! Another new life list species.

Livie 1st Pumpkinseed (1) - Tuckahoe Lake - 05Jun18.jpg

After the pumpkinseed it was more bluegill and another small largemouth bass. Since I have not caught a largemouth in Maryland I asked for the rod (OK I took it :rolleyes:). I got into the bluegill as well. Even a few nice ones as the sun was going down (they do look much bigger in Livie's hands).

Bluegill - Tuckahoe Lake - 05Jun18.jpg

Livie did catch another pumpkinseed, but never any redear sunfish that were so plentiful in early May. Before we headed home, we headed to the creek below the lake. We were looking for eastern mosquitofish, but only caught a few more banded killifish and redbreast sunfish.

Though there were several other species possible where we fished. Livie did end up with 5 new life list fish. She now has 26 different species for this year and is nearing her 40 species goal :D!

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