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.
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.
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!
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.
The 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!