Saturday, July 20, 2013

Grindstone Creek, Boone Co.

Last night, I ventured down the hill to Grindstone Creek behind our house here in Boone Co. I was hoping to target some Orangethroat Darters, but it was not to be. We've only had ~1/4" of rain in the past month, so I was expecting low water. Unfortunately, the creek was much lower than I expected.

This rocky path is actually Grindstone Creek.
I walked downstream a few hundred feet to my favorite deep hole, and was stunned to find that even it was nearly empty.

That puddle is all that's left of a hole that's typically 20 feet wide, 70 feet long, and up to 10 feet deep. It was full of hungry little fish.
I took my 13.5' crappie pole and rigged it with an Owner Smallest Tanago hook a few inches below some split shot. I threw a magenta Unibobber above it all, just so I could see where my line (8x tippet) was.

I've been experimenting with bait for microfishing lately. I started out with earthworms, but I don't like the smell, they're tough to corral, and they can be tough to get onto a hook. I've tried Minnow Bait, but it doesn't stick well to the tiny hooks. I switched to PowerBait scented, tiny pink worms, and they work pretty well, but they're still tough to get on the hook. Last night, I tried a rubber band dipped in crawfish FishSticks attractant. This was, by far, the easiest bait to get onto those tiny hooks that I've tried.

Maybe it was just the hungry fish in the tiny puddle, but the rubber band got slammed immediately.

A ~70mm Green Sunfish was the first fish I caught on a rubber band. I like the FishSticks attractant because it's like a glue stick and I can just dip the rubber band right into it.
I caught a couple sunfish, then I noticed that there were some topminnows on the far side of the puddle. Topminnows had evaded me up until then, so I focused on them.

A couple of the topminnows struck the rubber band, and I even hooked one, but I was failing to get one all the way in. I stalked the minnows to the other side of the puddle (which was still ~20 feet x 15 feet) and finally connected with one!

Lifer #35: Blackstripe Topminnow!

I forgot my little acrylic box for photography at home.
I walked down the creek another ~200 feet and found another puddle I didn't expect to find. It was only ~8 feet across, but it was at least 40 feet long. Based on the Common Snapping Turtle that disappeared, I'd guess it was still at least 3-4 feet deep.

I was getting tons of strikes on the rubber band, but the fish seemed too big for the hook. I switched to a size 18 fly hook tipped with a PowerBait worm and I landed a couple more fish before calling it a night.

This Common Shiner was the largest fish I caught yesterday.

Fish Caught:
  1. Green Sunfish, 73mm
  2. Green Sunfish, 80mm
  3. Bluegill, 70mm
  4. Blackstripe Topminnow, 63mm
  5. Common Shiner, 117mm
  6. Bluegill, 68mm
  7. Green Sunfish, 94mm
  8. Green Sunfish, 84mm

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