Texas Creek Micro-fishing – Sunfish and Bullheads too

I had a few hours after an early morning San Antonio meeting this week, so I decided to explore a few of the creeks in the surrounding area.  I recently purchased a 6 foot 6 inch Daiwa Soyokaze telescopic graphite rod that fits nicely into my traveling suitcase when collapsed.  This ultra sensitive and delicate rod is perfectly designed for the micro-fishing I have been doing.  With no guides or reel seat, a length of line is attached to the terminal flexible lilian and you are immediately transported to those childhood days of cane pole fishing.   What a delight this simplicity returns to the fishing experience!

Cibolo Creek runs east of San Antonio and is a major tributary of the San Antonio river.  I had time to fish one access point at a road crossing.  The water was turbid, but I could see several surface minnows, so started with my micro setup.  A small pinch of worm was all it took to interest my first Texas micro, the Blackstripe Topminnow (Fundulus notalus) and a new species for the lifelist as well!

This species is known to have a silver-white spot on top of its head….which showed up quite well in this photo….

I could see other small schooling fish close to the surface, but they stayed out of my reach toward the center of the creek where the current was stronger.  Now I see why I need that 10 foot version of the Soyokaze!

I then changed rigs for a larger hook and float to test for other inhabitants of this spot.  I was immediately rewarded with a series of Longear Sunfish ( Lepomis megalotis) with coloration much different from those of my local southern Alabama waters.  These fish are beautiful, some with much more blue on the face and extending onto the sides.  Here are a couple noteworthy examples.

I wanted to try another spot to find other species so I stopped at another creek crossing, this time the Santa Clara Creek, which joins Cibolo Creek below where I fished.  This pool was densely murky, so much so that I doubted I would have much luck.  I was quite surprised when I caught several Black Bullheads (Ameiurus melas) in quick succession. I also caught a few small Bluegill and Longears.  The bank was very slippery with a sticky mud and my shoes soon gained several pounds in weight!

On the way back to the motel, I stopped at another spot on Santa Clara Creek and added another fish to the lifelist, the Western Mosquitofish ( Gambusia affinis).  This was a very pregnant female with some colorful highlights.  At this spot I saw a couple juvenile largemouth bass and a sizable Spotted Gar.  Water here was only 12-18 inches deep and the fish were very wary and spooked easily.

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