This post is a great example of how quickly fishing in rivers can change in the spring. On Friday I caught 8 common carp, 2 shorthead redhorse, and 1 white sucker. I revisited the same spot on Sunday, hoping to bring home some more carp to pickle. When I arrived on Sunday, I could not see any fish cruising in the shallows and did not see any fish jumping. It was sunnier than Friday, and when I got home I looked up the water temps - 2 degrees warmer. The bite was slower with much different demographics species-wise. I caught 2 silver redhorse, 1 shorthead redhorse, and 2 white suckers. I only hooked into one common carp, but I lost it at shore.
Silver Redhorse (Moxostoma anisurum)
Because of the slow bite, I decided to poke around downstream of the dam to find out what micros lived there. I usually do not attempt hook & line angling for micros unless I can actually see fish in the water. Netting in the vegetation near shore produced two darter species that will be new hook & line lifelisters in the future. I was very happy to find healthy populations of both!
Banded Darter (Etheostoma zonale) - these were plentiful in every patch of water grass
Johnny Darter (Etheostoma nigrum) - less plentiful, found on sandy flats near (but not in) vegetation
I also found this juvenile redhorse, at least that's what I'm guessing it is. The shortheads are still spawning, so I can't imagine that this could be a year of young from them. I did not notice spawning tubercles on either of the silver redhorse I caught, so perhaps they finished their spawn weeks ago and this is a new year of young silver. I haven't done any further research on it, so I'd be happy to have input from people who know more about this sort of thing.
Fortunately, I had plenty of carp fillets in the fridge from Friday, so at the end of the day I was still able to make pickled carp. My friends each took a jar home, and I saved one for myself. I'm not very experienced with pickling, and unfortunately the carp pieces tend to fall apart easily. I'll keep working on the recipe until I get better results. Still tasty though!