Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th Madison Species Competition

Two days before I moved to Illinois, Ruoxi and I decided to do some urban fishing in Madison for old times' sake (old for me anyway, relatively new for her). One of my favorite spots is the Yahara River between the Rutledge St bridge and Lake Monona. A lot of fish will come into the river from the lake and stop to hang out under that first bridge. There have been days in the past where I've caught 10+ species there.

Ruoxi, being the good sport that she is, agreed to a species competition with me. The water was cloudy green, which is not uncommon for summer and meant most of our fishing was blind. We baited up our hooks and right away I took the lead with the first species!

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) - species #1 for Ben

Right away Ruoxi tied things up with a surprisingly dark green sunfish.

Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) - species #1 for Ruoxi

I kept catching bluegill after bluegill, and meanwhile Ruoxi took the lead with a handsome rock bass.

Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris) - species #2 for Ruoxi

The contest was not looking good for me at this point! Ruoxi continued her sunfish slam with a small but colorful bluegill.

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) - species #3 for Ruoxi

We moved down to the mouth of the river where it empties into Lake Monona. By casting out to the spot where the river water slows down and mixes with the lake water, I was able to find a dinky yellow perch.

Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) - species #2 for Ben

As we moved back up the river my luck began to change. With a rock bass in hand, the contest was now tied up!

Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris) - species #3 for Ben

We crossed the bridge and fished among some larger rocks. I suspected that we'd find one of my favorite sunfish there, and sure enough we quickly each caught pumpkinseed.

Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) - species #4 for Ben

Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) - species #4 for Ruoxi

Ruoxi had a nice smallmouth bass on the line momentarily, but it shook its head and tossed the hook. We fished for just a while longer, and finally the tiebreaker ended up being this tiny green sunfish.

Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) - species #5 for Ben

Sometimes it's the simple trips that are the most enjoyable. Thanks Ruoxi!