Monday, June 11, 2012

Microfishing in southeastern Wisconsin

After catching an orangespotted sunfish a few days ago, the only remaining sunfish I have left to catch in Wisconsin are a northern sunfish and a warmouth. So, I traveled down to a river in the southeastern part of the state to try for both species. I stopped by a trout stream on the way in hopes of finding a lifer brook trout. The stream was small and clear. Caught 20+ creek chubs and finally one brown trout, but no sign of brook trout. Luckily it was a non-lifer brown trout I caught, because he unhooked himself and flopped back into the water a split second before I could take a picture.

Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus)

I continued on to the river. The water was low and crystal clear. You could tell that restoration work has been done on the river, because there were lots of little piles of rocks been done recently. My first fish was a northern sunfish, a new lifer!

Northern Sunfish (Lepomis peltastes)

Great! So now my goal was to catch a warmouth. As it turned out though, it was very difficult to get past the northern sunfish, because they had nests everywhere and were very agressive. Here's a picture I snapped from a pedestrian bridge a little ways downstream.

I also caught bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, rock bass, largemouth bass, and a hybrid longear X bluegill (or maybe something else). The only one I took a picture of was this green sunfish, because I'd never seen those dark horizontal bars on one before.

Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)

I also hooked into this guy, yikes! I pulled him up on shore to see if it was possible to get the hook out, but luckily the hook came out on its own as he snapped at me. He may look like he's smiling in the picture, but he was not happy with me!

My hopes of catching a warmouth were diminished, so I switched to micro gear. Before long I had a nice variety of micros, with the rainbow darter being a new lifer. Pictures below are blackstripe topminnow, rainbow darter, and logperch. I also saw tons of starhead topminnows, but they were 100% focused on spawning, ignoring my bait completely. A grass pickerel came out of the weeds at one point as well, but he ignored my bait too.

Blackstripe Topminnow female (Fundulus notatus)

Blackstripe Topminnow male (Fundulus notatus)

Rainbow Darter male (Etheostoma caeruleum) - new hook & line species #55

Logperch (Percina caprodes)

I caught a good mix of shiners, the common shiner being a new lifer.

Golden Shiner juvenile (Notemigonus crysoleucas)

Common Shiner (Luxilus cornutus) - new hook & line species #56

Spotfin Shiner (Cyprinella spiloptera)

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