Bay Minette Creek Topminnows

I recently took my boat out on Bay Minette Creek to learn a bit about some water that should prove quite productive for the fisherman interested in multiple species.  I did not have a lot of time, but explored enough to know that I’ll be back.  I caught a few different fish, some of which fit into my Lifelist.  I brought my phototank, but upon reviewing the pictures, I’m going to have to change a few things to get the quality of pictures I seek.  In the past, I’ve primarily used the tank while fishing the shaded banks of the local creeks with good success.  This trip I was out in the bright sunlight while photographing and the scratches in the lexan tank were much more evident.  I’ll have to play with a shade screen and maybe more back lighting in this environment….  I might even consider building one with a glass front.

The first Topminnow I caught was this female Russetfin Topminnow (Fundulus escambiae).  I first thought it to be a Bayou Topminnow, but the lack of pigment between the horizontal lines makes it a Russetfin.

Russettfin Topminnow - Fundulus escambaie

The next topminnow caught was a young male that I’ve identified as a Western Starhead Topminnow (Fundulus blairae).  Identifing marks on this guy are the irregular rows of red spots and the lack of vertical dark bars along the side.

Western Starhead Topminnow - Fundulus blairae

Near the boat ramp I caught this plain colored female Gulf Killifish (Fundulus grandis), locally known as a Bull Minnow.  They are used extensively as a bait fish.  This picture demonstrates well another challenge I was having with the phototank… focus issues!

Gulf Killifish - Fundulus grandis

I also caught a small Bluegill while fishing the main chanel.  Being too large for the phototank, I used a new net I made, just for photographing fish a bit larger than the standard minnow.  I think the net will work out well for some interesting pictures.  I made the frame from a seedling Water Oak after the fashion of the Tamo used by the traditional Tenkara fishermen.

BluegillThe final fish I’ll share from the trip is a Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas).  This guy was a hoot to catch as I saw him approach the boat and he took a free falling morsel with barely any weight.  He put a nice bend in the Soyokaze with his lively fight!

Golden Shiner - Notemigonus crysoleucas

4 thoughts on “Bay Minette Creek Topminnows

  1. I agree! Not only do they look better, they’re easier to identify! Oftentimes, for accurate identification it is critical to be able to count fin rays and to have a fight’n chance at it they need to be “deployed”!

  2. Those killifish may be somewhat dull in color, but I would love to keep them nonetheless. You Americans should consider yourselves lucky for the diversity of fish you have!

    • I am constantly amazed at what these waters hold! I agree, I do feel lucky! Thanks for visiting the site. – Arlan


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