My business travels found me in Ohio this week. In my suitcase I found my telescopic Soyokaze 20SR rod and coincidentally on my GPS were way points of stream crossings near to my planned hotel stays. After work I used the several hours of daylight to explore these creeks with my micro gear, hoping to encounter a few species not found in my more southern haunts. I was not disappointed.
The first evening I walked up to a small creek full of spawning Silver Redhorse, actively splashing in the riffles. These fish were large, much to large for my equipment! After watching this spectacle for a while I realized I better search for some micros before the sun set. Not seeing any other obvious fish, I decided to rig up with a #6 hook and some earthworm to search for any sunfish that may be hiding in the deep, as the water had a bit of color to it. Imagine my surprise when midway through my second drift I had a significant strike. Surprise soon turned to concern, then fear, as I saw and felt the torture my extremely light gear was experiencing. I had all I could do to keep the rod angles such that the majority of the force was on the 6 feet of 3 pound test line and not the fragile 6 feet of rod. Line is easy to replace, rod not! This Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is certainly the largest fish I’ve caught, and care to catch, with this light gear. After the photo he was safely returned to the water to grow up.
After this event I noticed a small flash in about 18 inches of water so I switched to my micro setup. That evening and the following evening I also caught and released five different species of micros to add to my lifelist.
Spotfin Shiner (Cyprinella spiloptera) – Salt Creek near Zanesville OH
Bluntnose Minnow (Pimephales notatus) – Salt Creek near Zanesville OH
Hornyhead Chub (Nocomis biguttatus) – Auglaize River near Lima OH
Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus) – Auglaize River near Lima OH
Striped Shiner (Luxilus chrysocephalus) – Auglaize River near Lima OH