On day three we headed south to begin fishing North Carolina. We arrived at the Eno River at sunrise, meeting up with a new species angler, Ali. It was great to meet someone with common interests! We were excited to be in this stretch of the river; even in town it was very scenic with clean water and moss covered boulders. Miciah quickly caught our target, Roanoke bass. I seemed to catch everything else in the river, and after a while switched to targeting smaller fish.
Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis auritus)
Bull Chub (Nocomis raneyi) - new hook & line species #129
White Shiner (Luxilus albeolus)
I had told myself at the beginning of the trip that I wouldn't pursue darters, because they take too much time to catch. However, when I saw a few of them among the rocks in shallow water, I couldn't resist. After being hunched over for a while and cursing at fish that wouldn't bite, I finally caught one, a very darkly colored Roanoke darter!
Roanoke Darter (Percina roanoka) - new hook & line species #130
I caught some others that were colored differently - less iridescent blue with mottled brown and black on top and paler orange on the belly. I'm going to take a guess that these ones were female?
Mixed in with the Roanoke darters were fantail darters. I'm not sure if these were also Chesapeake fantails (see the part 2 post). They looked significantly different than the Dan River fantails; they had a large teardrop under the eye and washed out uniform bars on the side rather than dark triangular marks on the upper half.
Fantail Darter (Etheostoma flabellare?)
In the slackwater pools to the side we found speckled killifish. They weren't aggressive, but after a while they could be convinced to bite.
Speckled Killifish (Fundulus rathbuni) - new hook & line species #131
With our day only half hour we headed south for even more fish!