Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hinkson Creek, Boone County

I finished all of my Owen-related chores early last night, so Diana let me go microfishing for a couple hours when she put him to bed!

I didn't have too much time, and I wasn't sure which creeks had running water (Grindstone Creek behind our house...a tributary of Hinkson bone dry), so I headed to Capen Park. I've been driving over Hinkson Creek there all week on my way to the corn field so I at least knew it had standing water, if not running.

Luckily, the water was running at Capen Park!

I saw a group of small sunfish almost straight away. I started with a scented rubber band on a tanago hook, but in the dim light it was impossible to see and I wasn't catching anything. I quickly switched to bright pink PowerBait worms on a tanago.

Almost immediately upon switching, a small sunfish took the bait.

Unfortunately, that was the only fish I caught in my first hour. I had ~5-6 fish out of the water, only to have them fall off before I could get them over dry land. I think they were mostly minnows, but one was almost certainly a darter! I still haven't caught a darter on hook-and-line, so that one was particularly frustrating.

I worked my way over to some deeper water beneath Capen's cliffs and pulled out a ~5" Green Sunfish. Normally, I pull my bait away when I see a Green Sunfish/Bluegill heading for it, but I just wanted the monkey off my back last night!

Green Sunfish
Hinkson Creek
The deepest pool I encountered last night. Probably ~2-3 feet deep in the middle. This was a crayfish/Green Sunfish hotspot.
Once I caught the Green Sunfish I started having better luck. I tried to catch some small Largemouth Bass, but a Creek Chub darted out and stole my bait.

Creek Chub
There were large schools of minnows flashing in some shallow riffles, so I spent a lot of time trying to catch them. I had three or four fall off the hook (it's very hard for me to get a hookset with the tanago hooks) before I caught two back-to-back. I have no idea what they are yet, and have started a thread at NANFA hoping to find an answer.

Edit: Looks like it's a Sand Shiner, lifer #39!

As it crept closer to sunset, I started getting more bites, but still not many more caught fish. Another sunfish came in and just barely got the tip of the hook:

I spent a few minutes trying to catch a topminnow to finish the night:

Blackstripe Topminnow
After de-hooking the topminnow I just tossed the bait into the water so I wouldn't get it tangled. Naturally, a Green Sunfish darted out to grab it.

This stupid fish got himself hooked deep. Luckily, the forceps I carry for dealing with the tanago  hooks allowed me to safely extract it and release the fish.
Species encountered:
  1. Longear Sunfish
  2. Green Sunfish
  3. Bluegill
  4. Largemouth Bass
  5. Creek Chub
  6. Shiner sp.
  7. Orangethroat Darter
  8. Blackstripe Topminnow
Also, while not a fish, I lucked into my 70th life herp species yesterday!

Prairie Kingsnake

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