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Anyone ever fish for Redhorse?

Blackwater

Twelve Pointer
When I was a youngster there were some of the cash strapped farmer/sportsmen in the area who set fish traps in the feeder streams of the Lumber River in order to supplement their food budget. Now this practice was illegal, and I'm not going to confess to being a part of it, but I do know how to build and set a trap because I've seen it done. You might catch panfish, bass, jack, blackfish, turtle, otter or sucker, depending on the time of year, but the best eating fish I've ever seen come out of a trap was the redhorse which were usually caught about this time of year.

The redhorse is in the sucker family, has several varieties, has much the same forked bones along the side as the pickerel, and in spite of being a sucker and denigrated by most of the fishing community are excellent eating since they like to live in clean, clear water with no silting, and as those in the know can attest, the fish which come out of the blackwater streams and rivers of the Eastern part of the state taste better than those coming from the clay country to the West.

I was just wondering if anyone else on the forum has had any experience with the redhorse. I've never fished for them in the traditional sense, but there are those who do in different parts of the Eastern US.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...y-fish&usg=AFQjCNFdB-RS9zV8Ph8C16FCYJyRnn94MQ

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...vkzE2YXkat9EILtitIfRIQ&bvm=bv.148441817,d.cGc
 
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ABolt

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Back in the '80s we used to catch them by whatever means possible to use them as musky baits in the rivers of northern Wisconsin. Never heard of them around these parts, and they seem to have vanished from the rivers that we still fish up north...
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
When I was a youngster there were some of the cash strapped farmer/sportsmen in the area who set fish traps in the feeder streams of the Lumber River in order to supplement their food budget. Now this practice was illegal, and I'm not going to confess to being a part of it, but I do know how to build and set a trap because I've seen it done. You might catch panfish, bass, jack, blackfish, turtle, otter or sucker, depending on the time of year, but the best eating fish I've ever seen come out of a trap was the redhorse which were usually caught about this time of year.

The redhorse is in the sucker family, has several varieties, has much the same forked bones along the side as the pickerel, and in spite of being a sucker and denigrated by most of the fishing community are excellent eating since they like to live in clean, clear water with no silting, and as those in the know can attest, the fish which come out of the blackwater streams and rivers of the Eastern part of the state taste better than those coming from the clay country to the West.

I was just wondering if anyone else on the forum has had any experience with the redhorse. I've never fished for them in the traditional sense, but there are those who do in different parts of the Eastern US.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...y-fish&usg=AFQjCNFdB-RS9zV8Ph8C16FCYJyRnn94MQ

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...vkzE2YXkat9EILtitIfRIQ&bvm=bv.148441817,d.cGc
Yes, used to in a small creek fairly close to here. With light tackle they were a hoot. Woodmoose would even like them pickled. But we weren't concerned with eating them it was just recreational fishing. You had to stay on top of them. They were there and then they were gone.
 

Mack in N.C.

Old Mossy Horns
I posted the same question on here or it may have been ncangler a few months back.

I have only caught them in lake Cammack but have seen lots in the Dan and Roanoke. I plan to catch some this year. We also used to bowfish for them and suckers in pumpkin creek. Gig em too. Google roughfish.com as they sucker fish all the time.
 
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specialk

Twelve Pointer
yes, small shallow creeks would hold some in the spring.....we would walk the banks slowly and shoot with .22's when we were kids....
 

HarryNC

Six Pointer
When I was a kid in Pennsylvania, my brother and I would catch them in a creek behind our house, and use them for Northern Pike and/or Musky bait. An ultralight rig, a #8 hook, a split shot and a small piece of red worm or nightcrawler was the best setup. When they're spawning in the early Spring (probably right now, here, with the warm weather we're having), they would stack up in pools below a barrier (dam, really shallow riffle, etc.), and we'd have a blast. The creek we fished was small, so size was limited (6" to 12"), but they can get pretty big in bigger water (2-3 lbs, or so).
 

Blackwater

Twelve Pointer
So far no one else has admitted to eating them. Too bad, because they're great eating. Another method of catching them I forgot to mention is in gill nets. People I've known, and again I'm not going to admit to doing this myself, have been known to really sack them in gill nets set out in sloughs in a couple of blackwater rivers in the Cape Fear drainage. Most of the oldtimers I grew up with are gone now and the practice of netting is falling to the wayside as a result.
 

Firefly

Old Mossy Horns
So far no one else has admitted to eating them. Too bad, because they're great eating. Another method of catching them I forgot to mention is in gill nets. People I've known, and again I'm not going to admit to doing this myself, have been known to really sack them in gill nets set out in sloughs in a couple of blackwater rivers in the Cape Fear drainage. Most of the oldtimers I grew up with are gone now and the practice of netting is falling to the wayside as a result.
There used to be a gill net season for them in SC, friend of mine used to catch them down there during spring..Not sure SC still has the gill net season for the Redhorse Suckers..
 

2boyz

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Back in the day...... Wading creeks off the Fishing Creek and Tar River was productive using s gig and a Coleman lantern. The fresh roe was cooked and eaten with scrambled eggs. A gigging license was required for "horse fish".
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
I grew up in northern Wisconsin,,,,every spring the suckers and redhorse would run out of the lakes and up the rivers/streams for spawning,,,,,where I lived all of those were trout waters and the trout season didn't open until first Saturday in May,,,,,,the sucker run was normally mid to late April,,,,,only legal method was by hand as you couldn't use a rod & reel until trout season opened and nets were always unlawful on trout streams - DNR protected them dang trout!!,,,

spent many a night wading streams with a gunny sack filling it up with suckers,,,,,,,,,quite sporting to catch by hand,,,,,,,,

and yeap,,,,good pickled,,,,,,,but most of mine went to dog food (trained a sled team in my teenage years,,,,,,,that was before global warming!@!!)
 
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nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I grew up in northern Wisconsin,,,,every spring the suckers and redhorse would run out of the lakes and up the rivers/streams for spawning,,,,,where I lived all of those were trout waters and the trout season didn't open until first Saturday in May,,,,,,the sucker run was normally mid to late April,,,,,only legal method was by hand as you couldn't use a rod & reel until trout season opened and nets were always unlawful on trout streams - DNR protected them dang trout!!,,,

spent many a night wading streams with a gunny sack filling it up with suckers,,,,,,,,,quite sporting to catch by hand,,,,,,,,

and yeap,,,,good pickled,,,,,,,but most of mine went to dog food (trained a sled team in my teenage years,,,,,,,that was before global warming!@!!)
^^^^^^^^ Why did I know he had pickled those rascals? ;)
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
guess I am predictable!!
Nope, but I have kinda narrowed your tastes down on a few things. My father loved pickled stuff, and salted fish also. I guess I got ruined young. I was brave enough to try a pickled pigs foot YOUNG! I can't remember that taste just like it was yesterday. Some things just don't leave you. LOL
 

stilker

Old Mossy Horns
Used to get a few red horse when we went gigging..some of them were a handful on the end of a gig.
 

darkthirty

Old Mossy Horns
When I was bowfishing so much, we'd always shoot a few. One of my buddies would always put them on ice and eat'em. I've had it. It's a very white fish. Several buddies still go sucker gigging every year in the creeks in central NC. Full moon in march is always when they will go. I've had it canned that a buddy will pressure cook and use in patties. Tasted just like any other fish party I've ever had.

Redhorses are about like shiners. There are so many different red horse species out there that unless your extremely up to date on taxa and the various ways to identify them, it's practically impossible to distinguish some from the others. A few you even have to count scales on the lateral line to distinguish. I was helping with a study on the sicklefin red horse on the Cherokee reservation and we had to use "food grade" pit tags when tagging them (plastic instead of glass) because many of the residents there still utilize their spring runs every year and eat them.
 
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Bailey Boat

Twelve Pointer
When I was a kid back in Arkansas in the mid 60's they ran up the creek below the house. It was always a blast to go snag a bunch. I always gave mine away since they weren't big around my household.
I always questioned the legality and ethics of snagging but all the adults did it, so did the kids....Sometimes on the weekends a couple of the wardens would show up and do the same thing so maybe it was a legal method of take back then..
 
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Boojum

Ten Pointer
I have caught a lot of redhorses over the years, but I have never fished specifically for them. I've even caught them on flies (nymphs) several times, and one huge one from the Tuckaseegee on a small Cordell spot while I was white bass fishing.
 

F-V_DuxNBux

Eight Pointer
My dad and uncle use to snag them when they would run up the creeks. My aunt would can them, like tuna or salmon, and make patties out of it later on.
 

PPosey

Twelve Pointer
I have caught alot over the years in the LittleT while catfishing,, also have snagged a few while bass fishing with a ultralight rig, that can be a real rodeo. There are far fewer of them than there were 20-30 years ago, Had a friend who pressure cooked them then made patties from the meat and fried in butter, that was really good.
 

Mack in N.C.

Old Mossy Horns
When I was bowfishing so much, we'd always shoot a few. One of my buddies would always put them on ice and eat'em. I've had it. It's a very white fish. Several buddies still go sucker gigging every year in the creeks in central NC. Full moon in march is always when they will go. I've had it canned that a buddy will pressure cook and use in patties. Tasted just like any other fish party I've ever had.

Redhorses are about like shiners. There are so many different red horse species out there that unless your extremely up to date on taxa and the various ways to identify them, it's practically impossible to distinguish some from the others. A few you even have to count scales on the lateral line to distinguish. I was helping with a study on the sicklefin red horse on the Cherokee reservation and we had to use "food grade" pit tags when tagging them (plastic instead of glass) because many of the residents there still utilize their spring runs every year and eat them.
My plan this year(one of them) is to catch a shorthead and a V Lip redhorse in the Roanoke. Very Doable. My next plan for Redhorse is to catch a Robust Redhorse. Will have to fish the Pee Dee for Buffalo and maybe a Robust will show up! I know this may not or probably will never happen and I just may retire from fishing if it does but those are my goals on Redhorse.
 

Ails

Button Buck
Bumping an old thread here, but it’s almost time for the suckers to show up. I had never heard of these things until I moved to Piedmont nc and found one floating in the creek behind my house. I fish for them in late feb/early March when they show up to spawn. I can get them to eat small nymphs. Feeling the bite is pretty difficult but I typically sight fish them. Its about like catching a drum in a creek.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
Bumping an old thread here, but it’s almost time for the suckers to show up. I had never heard of these things until I moved to Piedmont nc and found one floating in the creek behind my house. I fish for them in late feb/early March when they show up to spawn. I can get them to eat small nymphs. Feeling the bite is pretty difficult but I typically sight fish them. Its about like catching a drum in a creek.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
that may be the best "new fish utilization method" i have heard in decades.
From gigs to a fly. Awesome.
Congratulations.
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I never saw anyone or tried one on a fly but have had them on light spinning gear. They were a hand full. The place I used to fish for them was up in Davie County and I haven't done it in several years. The guy that I went with is even older than me and in declining health. We used to have a ball when they were running.
 

Wilmywood

Button Buck
When I was just getting into fly-fishing I used to sight fish for them in crabtree creek every spring with nymphs. It was about as close as I could get to trout fishing in wake county. Had a blast doing it and caught some pretty good sized channel cats as well.
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
When I was just getting into fly-fishing I used to sight fish for them in crabtree creek every spring with nymphs. It was about as close as I could get to trout fishing in wake county. Had a blast doing it and caught some pretty good sized channel cats as well.
I can only surmise that either on a fly rod was a blast.
 

dobber

Twelve Pointer
Back int he day we used to sucker fish, normally started out with a rod and reel and then went straight to nets, completely legal back then. Some spots were set up just perfect throughout the years, force a chanel with rocks and scoop em up. Friends dad used to try and get a few truck beds filled up, take them behind the barn and just dump them. A lot of "organic" chicken eggs were created from the maggots in these sucker piles.
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
growing up the redhorse and other suckers would do thier spawing run in the spring after water warmed a bit,,, usually April/May timeframe up there,,

deal was, you couldn't use nets, spears, or fishing rods if it was a "trout stream" and up there, all streams were trout streams,,,

so only way to "fish" them was by hand,,, it was a BLAST for a kid - did it every year till I left there,,,

we didn't throw them back though,,, food, bait, and fertilizer,,,


 
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