Friday, June 29, 2012

The other rough fish..

Some people hate them, many have never heard of them and I know grown men that are scared to touch em.  The west coast from Central California north to Canada and maybe even south east AK has a bunch.  Often confused with carp, a trout or "I caught this fish but I'm not sure what was" ..I'm talking about the Squawfish, AKA Sacramento Pike, Pikeminnow or what ever they are called depending on where you live. My dad threw them on the shore in frustration but I kinda like em. They are game, eat flies like no tommorow and there are worse fighting fish out there. They are voracious in there persuit for fin fish and anything on the surface they can fit in there mouth so I say, Whats not to like about them! These fish were in the 20-24" range but I got a glimpse of a fish pushing 30. In large lakes they will get pretty damn big.



Wifes Granddad lives adjecent to a nice quite backwater slough, surrounded by beautiful riparian forest that does a loop off a main river. This slough is about a mile long with large open ponds with slow moving water. They are connected by  narrow cobble connecting streams.  Lots of life and never fished. Excellent bass fishing in the warm pockets, a few Carp and the occasional big bow but the sight and dry fly fishing for hefty Squawfish is fantastic! Ha!







At home Carp are still hanging in there and I snuck out the other day fror Stripers and it was pretty damn good. A second wave of spawning Carp is moving in and making things a little tough by murking up the flats and sort of killing my game. I hate fishing around spawners and have been looking for new water till things calm down a little.




8 comments:

Mark Kautz said...

The Squawfish is a common fish in the American, but here again a lot of people don't know what they are.

Matt said...

I dig the squawfish too. I was on the Russian river a few years back trying to catch smallies. Caught none, but catching 20-inch squaws that were chasing my wooly buggers in a foot of water and fought great made the day!

Gregg said...

Yours are the Sacramento sub species if memory serves me right. Ours the Columbia R. variety and I believe the northern bunch are the Fraser R. Pike Minnow. PM is the official change as of say 10 years ago. I have no problem with them. They hit flies hard, very hard, sort of give up and fight well again at the end. Sounds like their namesake! Ours sort of croak when caught and give up what the've eaten often. Glad you brought attention to this much detested native fish, blamed for being smolt eaters when SM Bass, walleye, and other predators are the real culprits as well as avian smolt specialists.

Gregg

Carlos Del Rey. said...

The squawfish its really nice, morphologically looks like my barbels.
with that type of dries it can fish?

Gregg said...

The Pike minnow will eat anything hatching at the time it finds in good numbers. Mine are in both warm and cool water and rise to caddis with trout but are suckers for any large fly, especially stonefly imitations and hoppers and such. Your barbels fight better Carlos I am sure. I forgot to mention, the largest are endangered, the Colorado River Pike Minnow, which reached sizes to 80 lb. historically. Anyone correct my possibly old terminology of this fish if need be.

Gregg

David McKenzie said...

HEy Carlos..Gregg is correct. They aren't very selective. For Dries I like foam Hoppers, Cicada, Terantula's, Stimi's Etc..Large Streamers and Leaches often catch the larger fish for me though.

J. said...

I wrote a post about these guys! I don't like them! truth be told they do put up a good fight but I hate going through the emotions of catching a fish (thinking its a striper) only to find out its a sqaw! hey i heard there is a kill on contact rule for these guys, is that true?

David McKenzie said...

J, There is no kill rule imposed in California as far as I know. Where they are native, they should be let be as far as I'm concerned. With that said, there are watersheds in Cali where they have been introduced and have taken over and hurt the Salmonid residents.