Fishing for Hornyhead Chubs?

Discussion in 'LOCAL TENNESSEE TALK' started by festus, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    I've always heard that people eat and catch hornyheads in upper East TN, I even recall seeing newspaper articles about it. I had a friend who lived up there for a while at Mountain City and he says some even eat them. Not very appealing to me, but they make good bait for cats, bass, walleyes, and muskies. They're a different species from creek chubs. I have caught them 8" to 10" long, there's one place called Crooked Fork Creek that's full of them.

    I Googled up this from the 'net:

    Hornyheads (stoneroller) usually begin their spawning runs this month. Fishing for hornyheads is a long time tradition in Northeast Tennessee, probably before trout were regularly stocked in the local mountain streams. Although these minnows rarely get bigger than 9 or 10 inches, they can be lots of fun to catch with crickets, nightcrawler chunks, even size 10 or 12 nymphs with a fly rod. Hornyheads are considered rough fish, and there is no catch limit, so its possible to catch 40 or 50 in just a couple of hours. Large spawning males are easily recognizable by the large knots on the front of their head. Give it a try if you haven’t, they make for great eating.
     
  2. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

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    6,133
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    Indiana
    Well flatties think they're great eating around here..... I don't fish for 'em; I cast net them in creeks (much easier) Sometimes gettin' 5 or 6 in one cast... try it.
     

  3. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

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    1,534
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    Thats exactly what I've been using for bait from the creek..I don't think I would eat them but the cats sure do love em..
     
  4. Quint

    Quint New Member

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    293
    State:
    N.C.
    Caught a-lot of them as a child in creeks and one small pond close to my house. They bite corn, white bread balls and worms real well also. I have seen a major drop in the population of them in the creeks I caught them in as a child. The water qulality and flow as taken a down fall along with the horry head #'s. My dad and several other old timers I know ate them growing up and claimed them to be good table fair called the meat sweet but boney. And they do make a good bait fish! I was even in the local newspaper as a child catching them in a small creek below my house. And a few of the kids I fished with took them home to eat back then. The main one I recall did'nt even have a fishing rod, he would set a 5 gal bucket under a trees root ball after a rain when the water was up and catch them in the bucket! Good memories!
     
  5. SGTREDNECK

    SGTREDNECK New Member

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    I will have to try them for bait. Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. Flootie16

    Flootie16 New Member

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    1,268
    State:
    Indiana
    Then where the hell were they thursday night!:angry:
     
  7. TennesseeJugger

    TennesseeJugger New Member

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    2,029
    State:
    Watertown, Tenn
    Never heard of them until now, Thanks!
     
  8. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

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    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    I GAVE YOU A DOZEN OF 'EM..... WATCH-U-TALKIN' ABOUT WILLIS? lol
     
  9. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

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    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    They should be able to be seined out of most creeks. I wander how they would compare to dead threadfins??:eek:oooh::cool2:
     
  10. ammo warrior

    ammo warrior Member

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    868
    State:
    Columbia, MO
    That's how you catch horny chubby cats... :big_smile:
     
  11. festus

    festus New Member

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    My nextdoor neighbor works at Brushy Mtn. State Penetentiary in Morgan County. He says a man was issued a citation for seining horneyheads in Flat Fork Creek, which is adjacent to the prison. The game warden said horneyheads are an endangered species. OK, I checked the 2009 Tennessee Fishing Guide, and it really doesn't say these chubs are endangered.

    However, it states:

    "The catching of minnows for the purpose of sale in Cannon, Lincoln, Macon, Moore, Smith, Sumner, and Trousdale counties is prohibited. The possession limit on minnows is 250 per person in Lincoln and Moore Counties and 150 per person in Cannon, Macon, Smith, Sumner, and Trousdale counties.

    It is unlawful to sell, take for sale, or offer for sale, Horneyhead (stoneroller) minnows in Carter, Unicoi, Washington, Johnson, MORGAN, and Sullivan counties."

    How can anyone be ticketed for something that isn't stated in the rules and regulations book? I'll ask more when I see my neighbor again. Maybe the man with the seine offered or intended to sell the horneyheads.

    Anyway, I have included a few photos of creek chubs and hornyhead chubs. I sent TWRA an email and questioned them about this. I have a creek in my backyard that contains both hornyhead and creek chub minnows, and don't want to get a dern ticket for fishing with illegal bait. :roll_eyes:
     
  12. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

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    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
  13. festus

    festus New Member

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    Yep, I've seen a few of those but I didn't know they could reach 22" long. Usually they are in cold clear creeks. One day I bought a few dozen tuffie minnows and got a couple of small ones mixed in somehow. The redhorses are more common around here.
     
  14. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

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    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    Those favor largemouth fingerlings :smile2:
     
  15. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

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    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    Well the ones I've been catching I think are the horny head chubs.I'll take a pic next time and you can verify for me Festus..Catching these creek chubs is kinda new for me we never used em down in Louisiana..I have no intentions of selling them any way..I usually don't really take more than 20-30 at the most..
     
  16. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

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    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    they are great bait, but i dont know about eating them.
     
  17. tndogman

    tndogman New Member

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    17
    State:
    Tennessee
    I remember my father saying that, when he was growing up in Santa Fe TN, they used to eat the larger creek chubs, etc., but this was during hard times at the start of the Depression; he said that around this time his Uncle had to trade his tobacco crop one year for a used overcoat. I keep reading what a fine catfish bait they are - supposed to stay active a long time when hooked. Thinking about getting some small fly-fishing type hooks and catching a few for bait.
     
  18. Catfish_Commando

    Catfish_Commando TF Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,005
    State:
    Georgia
    I want to meet the dude that name this fish! :smile2:
     
  19. festus

    festus New Member

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    Yep they do, AJ. Especially with the stripe. Actually, a spawning male creek chub or horneyhead also resembles a fingerling rainbow trout. Lots of color.

     
  20. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    The creek chub has a spot on the front of the dorsal, the horneyhead doesn't. Other than that, they're almost identical, except the creek chub grows a little larger.....Anyway, I wouldn't worry about using them for bait. I haven't heard back from TWRA to see if their regulations have been changed.

    I kinda wonder if TWRA wasn't picking on this fellow seining the creek chubs because Flat Fork is on state property. Flat Fork heads up in Frozen Head State Park and is stocked in the spring with rainbows and brookies. Downstream it passes through the prison yard. Maybe they didn't want this guy on the property or thought maybe he was keeping trout in his seine.


     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009