Suckers: Fishing for Spring’s Most Overlooked Species | Field & Stream

Suckers: Fishing for Spring’s Most Overlooked Species

P_hoto by Bill Lindner_

Suckers are a spring thing. As water temps rise into the 50s, the fish begin their spawning runs into shallow tributary streams. Here, males scoop out rudimentary nests and await the females. Both white and redhorse suckers will measure up to 24 inches and weigh from 1 to 4 pounds.

Bait & Tackle
Light spinning tackle, 6-pound monofilament, a No. 6 bait-holder hook, and just enough weight to keep the rig on the bottom is all you'll need. For bait, string three small redworms on the hook, leaving the ends to wiggle.

Hotspot
Any pool immediately downstream from the mouth of a feeder creek should hold suckers. Slack-water sections or eddies at a tailout below a riffle are also good. In larger tributaries, the downstream side of any logjam is usually solid.

Let's Eat
Suckers can be really good on the table. They're very bony, however, and best pressure-canned, smoked, or ground and made into patties or fish cakes.

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