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Thread: Catching "Suckers"

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    Default Catching "Suckers"

    We've all seen those massive schools of suckers that are all 3-5 pounds....anyone ever figured out how to catch them on a rod? What are those things? big whitefish?

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    Shuck's, I thought this thread was about businessmen expanding their customer base.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    No I don't think they are white fish. I think they are longnose suckers.

    http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/pubs/not...nosesucker.php

    If you want to catch them you can take a medium sized jig and cast to the far side and jig up from below the fish. The only other way I have seen people catch them is snagging them.

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    That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking too.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Suckers

    Suckers will bite on worms or salted minnows just like bullheads and carp. Just use a sinker small enough to keep the bait on the bottom and a snelled hook up about 10-12".

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    I tried to figure out how to edit my title because now I want to know how to catch whitefish on the fly.......anyone?

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    White fish will bite on egg paterns, nymph paterns and some times flashy luer type flys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    I tried to figure out how to edit my title because now I want to know how to catch whitefish on the fly.......anyone?
    Are you going to be flying, or are the whitefish going to be flying...I'm not sure :-)

    Actually, I miss whitefish. We used to catch them mostly with nets, dipnets, and gillnets. But occasionally they would bite on eggs and even spinners. Never tried fly fishing for them. Actually, growing up on the Innoko, I hadn't even heard of fly fishing in those days.

    Whitefish are one of my favorite eating fish. I really miss getting a good supply of whitefish. Anyone know where we can catch them in South Central?
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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    There are some white fish in the susitna river drainages, but I have only seen a few. Never seen them targeted.

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    Whitefish in Colorado rivers will hit flies, the same flies trout eat, so I'm guessing they will up there too.....stoneflies, caddis, eggs, copper johns, san jaun worms, whatever kinds of bugs or food are in the water. Out here they like the real slow deep pools, so lots of weight is key. I've never heard of any caught on dries and never seen a whitefish near the surface, so I would stick with nymphs. I'm not sure if they eat baitfish or not, I've never caught one on a streamer, only nymphs.

    They are good fighters.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Didn't know we had suckers up here. Back in Michigan sucker fishing was the first river run of the year everyone can fish so it was always a family outing. Great fighters for there size and very easy to catch, it's hard to think of a better "kids" fish. They are also OK to eat smoked. Where are you seeing big schools of them?
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default suckers

    growing up in central Montana - we would pickup suckers when worm fishing for trout in a small stream - Flatwillow Creek.

    Some people eat them - but we didn't. Very bony. When drowning worms for the Big brown trout in that small stream sometimes we would only catch suckers - so we would fillet a side of sucker meat and use that to fish for the browns. We would almost never catch a sucker on sucker meat - but would catch the big brown and sometimes rainbow trout...(by big - I mean skinny and long up to 10 pounds - 30 inch browns).

    Most of the time we despised hooking a sucker...and there is always the joke of which end of the rod the sucker was on!

  13. #13

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    I have seen them and caught them in the Big Su wherever a clear stream dumps in. Once the salmon runs solidlly establish themselves, I believe that the temptaion of a free salmon egg meal is too much to resist. I have caught them by accident when fishing for silvers with various flies. They have actually sucked in large maribou flies. Anyone who enjoys salmon or trout fishing should depise these things. A school of these fish can decimate salmon spawning beds as well as trout beds.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Suckers are comon and can be found in most lakes and streams. They school up in spring for spawning. Most of the rest of the year you don't see them much. If you want some place specific look for suckers in big lake near fish creek.

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    http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/pubs/not...nosesucker.php
    The longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus) is the only species of sucker located in Alaska. It is found throughout the state (except for islands)
    in Alaska they are usually shorter than 23 inches.
    Life history: Longnose suckers spawn between May and July depending on location. They sometimes travel to streams with gravel bottoms and cold water. They can also spawn and thrive in lakes or ponds. Unlike salmon, the longnose sucker does not build a nest for fertilized eggs. Instead, the fertilized eggs fall into crevices in the gravel. During spawning, which usually occurs during the daylight,
    Food habits: The longnose sucker feeds primarily on the bottom of streams or lakes. It swims slowly along the bottom in search of invertebrates, which include insects, mollusks, snails, and crustaceans, and sometimes eats aquatic plants, algae and fish eggs. Its
    I have heard that there are catchable populations in South Rolly lake. Also there are good populations in east and west papoose lake. In october schools can be seen in the Little Su upstream of the highway bridge.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

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    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    I have seen them and caught them in the Big Su wherever a clear stream dumps in. Once the salmon runs solidlly establish themselves, I believe that the temptaion of a free salmon egg meal is too much to resist. I have caught them by accident when fishing for silvers with various flies. They have actually sucked in large maribou flies. Anyone who enjoys salmon or trout fishing should depise these things. A school of these fish can decimate salmon spawning beds as well as trout beds.

    It seems people used to say the same thing about Dolly Varden. Bio diversity is good for an eco system. These fish have co existed for a long time. These fish should be admired and respected, not despised. If I am fishing, I am never disapointed to catch a fish, regardless of species.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

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    Default Suckers!

    There is a large school of them in Kashwitna Lake up near Willow; I saw them from Paul Englund's dock several times when we were loading up for flyouts with Susitna Air (back before Willow Air bought them out).

    They were fun to watch; the school looked like it had over a hundred fish in it...

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  18. #18

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    On lake Michigan off the pier heads in the winter they catch whitefish on the bottum with either sinle eggs cured or boiled. Maybe 2 or three eggs on a little treble hook. Good eating for sure.

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    There are a ton of them in the Chena Slough in North Pole. I've never tried to target them when I was fly fishing for grayling, they look massive compared to the grayling, but then again the grayling aren't very big in there. Mid May or so is when I started seeing them.

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    Dead drift beadhead nymphs under an indicator.

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