Friday, September 5, 2014

Northern Wisconsin road trip day 1

A few days before Labor Day weekend Ruoxi and I made the last minute decision to head up to northern Wisconsin on a road trip.  Illinois was hot and muggy with scattered thunderstorms, but the north woods had a clear forecast and pleasant temperatures.

I'm usually pretty forthcoming with my fishing spots, but most of the places we visited on this trip were given to me in confidence, so I'll have to leave out the water body names.  On the drive north we stopped at a lake that has Iowa darters and blackchin shiners.  I saw one darter, but couldn't find it again when I got out my gear.  I got bites from some juvenile shiners, but they were too small to hook.  Ruoxi, however, had no trouble catching a few normal sized fish.

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)

Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

We continued to our primary destination, a river that is known for redhorse.  We fished from a bridge, and sure enough, redhorse is what we caught!  There was very little overlap with the species.  The day started out with silver redhorse, which was a lifer for Ruoxi.

Silver Redhorse (Moxostoma anisurum)

I then caught a couple nicely colored shorthead redhorse.  They really are beautiful fish!  Ruoxi had to wait until the following day to catch hers.

Shorthead Redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum)

Later in the afternoon the bite switched over to goldens.  Sometimes they would bite within seconds of the bait hitting the bottom.  They fought much harder than the silvers and shortheads, even though they were smaller fish.  We had some pretty spectacular jumps that you would expect from smallmouth bass or trout.

Golden Redhorse (Moxostoma erythrurum)

I've never seen so much color on the belly of a golden redhorse.  Pretty neat!

You have to take some head shots.  Redhorse are pretty adorable.

Occasionally our bottom rigged nightcrawlers would get picked up by smallmouth bass.  They were very darkly colored and great fighters.

Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
Ruoxi's was a bit smaller.

An unexpected catch was this hornyhead chub.  We were using #6 octopus circle hooks, and I guess its mouth was big enough to get hooked.  It was a cool new lifer for Ruoxi.

Hornyhead Chub (Nocomis biguttatus)

I also had an usual catch on a circle hook.  This ambitious logperch tried to swallow half a nightcrawler.  He's going to have a sore face... ouch.

Logperch (Percina caprodes)

I'll probably get punched for this, but I'm going to post it anyway.  Ruoxi got tired of standing, so she came up with this creative way to sit on the guardrail.

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