It's not very often that a lifelist fishing double date occurs! Our friends Josh and Joy Leisen were passing through Illinois on their way to Wisconsin for a wedding, so I took them to Sandy Creek, one of my favorite Illinois fishing spots. The day after their friends' wedding, Ruoxi and I took Josh and Joy to a couple more fishing spots in Wisconsin and near the IL / WI border. We had a great time!
Sandy Creek has large numbers of colorful red shiners and spotfin shiners. The red shiners were new lifers for Josh and Joy, and they were very happy to each catch colorful specimens.
Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis )
Spotfin Shiner (Cyprinella spiloptera)
We caught a handful of other species, including this bluntnose minnow and golden shiner. The golden shiner is a new species from Sandy Creek for me, so that was cool. I think I'm getting close to 40 different species from that one short stretch of the creek.
Bluntnose Minnow (Pimephales notatus)
Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas)
Two days later, Ruoxi and I took the Leisens to a spot for bigmouth buffalo. Josh and I each hooked one, but we didn't have a landing net and unfortunately lost them at shore. While Josh and Joy diligently tried for more buffalo, Ruoxi and I moved upstream to catch a few catfish and carp. Ruoxi racked up quite a few new lifers at this spot!
Black Bullhead (Ameiurus melas)
Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus)
Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)
Bowfin (Amia calva)
Next we stopped at a microfishing spot and had a picnic lunch. We saw a bunch of minnows in the water, but they refused to bite. Lunch was good though, so we were in good spirits. We continued on to a small river near the IL / WI border. This spot is great for sunfish and micros. Ruoxi accidentally caught this colorful northern sunfish, which was quickly released unharmed.
Northern Sunfish (Lepomis peltastes)
Other sunfish were in good numbers too, and we got to see a good variety of them.
Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)
Josh and Joy took their own photos, and I'm sure they'll post up a report sometime. We had a great time fishing with them, and can't wait to do it again!