Sucker Fishing

Discussion in 'LOCAL MICHIGAN TALK' started by Sparky Larson, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    OK guys, here is the plan! Sal and I are planning to go up to Omer on the 22nd of March on a recon mission. I'll keep you informed as to how we do. If they aren't catching too many fish, I plan on going back up on the 29th of March, cause I know they will be in by then.

    Sparky
     
  2. buddah

    buddah New Member

    Messages:
    1,622
    State:
    Pennsylvania Wi
    what are you guys using for bait? I usually catch them by accident when fishing for channelcats. They can really put up a fight if they have a mind too! Good luck to you both on your fishing trip!
     

  3. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Where I fish, we usually use a small piece of sponge, or red yarn, on a small #10 or #12 trible hook, with a split shot or two about a foot up from the hook. We cast for them in the river. When the run is on, they are so thick in there it is hard not to catch one every 5 to 10 casts. I have caught as many as five fish in five casts. Thats the exception, more than the rule.
    Sparky
     
  4. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Sparky-
    Are you trying to avoid the weekend crowds?
    I don't think I can get away on a weekday in late March.

    Keep us posted anyway, OK?
    Thanks,
    Tony
     
  5. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    You are right Tony, that week-end crowd is something else. Thats why I usually go on a Thursday, and smoke fish Friday & Saturday.
    There is no dought about it though, that last week in March is a wild one. (Or it always has been for the past few years).
    Sparky
     
  6. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

    Messages:
    3,194
    State:
    Beebe AR
    Good fishing folks
     
  7. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste

    That's what I figured, I bet it gets pretty intense- sometimes even dangerous. Still, keep us posted, you never know.
    Tony
     
  8. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Oh, I wouldn't go so far as to say dangerous, but it's a real hoot. There are a lot of lines in the water, and a lot of kids to content with. The night of the 31st is the real Hoot though. At midnight, it is legal to drop the nets, and that is when the real party begins. People stay up all night! As a matter of fact, the spectators out number the fisherman. The little town of Omer, turns into a real metro area. It's a great time to party, but the fishing gets kind of tight.
    Sparky

    PS
    Thats why I go during the week, and before they drop the nets.
     
  9. Angler Management

    Angler Management New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Michigan
    Fishing with Sal- at least you'll find one sucker! :big_smile:

    Sounds like fun. We typically fish at night in Omer. You'll avoid most of the crowds and the drunks will tail off around midnight. We use a one inch, glow in the dark Mister Twister on a #8 Octopus hook. Use an old camera to flash the tail so it glows and if the fish are in, you'll catch 'em every other cast at times. The Octopus hook is generally right in the corner of the mouth.
     
  10. Whiskerwhacker

    Whiskerwhacker New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Michigan
    I don't always know for sure, but I can often adjust my schedule during the week. If anybody is going and wouldn't mind dealing with an "I've never been sucker fishing in my life" kinda guy I would love the opportunity to score some bait for the upcoming season. Keep me posted.
     
  11. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Can't wait to see pics of what all you catch.Good Luck fishing!!!
     
  12. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Well, I went to Omer this morning! It rained and rained, but it was a nice trip this time of the year. No Fish. As a matter of fact, the ice just broke out the first of the week. But, by this time next week, the fish will be in. This year, the ice did very little damage to the bank or the camping area. So, thats a good thing.
    Any ways, I have planned to go up next Thursday. I'll be at the North Forest Cafe in Standish for breakfast at 7:00am. if anyone wants to join me.
    Sparky
     
  13. Whiskerwhacker

    Whiskerwhacker New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Michigan
    It is likely we will join you. We may be on our way home by then but who knows. I will let you know when I know for sure.
     
  14. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Sparky, I'm interested in the smoking aspect of your trip. Smoked Suckers? Is this the same fish I can catch here in central Ohio? If so how about a short tutorial on the subject. :big_smile:
     
  15. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    You're right, the same suckers you have in Ohio are the same ones we have here. (White, Black,and Redhorse are the main ones.
    Smoking fish is an Art, but anyone can learn how to do it. Not only is it fun, eating them is the best part.
    Smoke houses come in many different shapes and forms. From metal, to brick, to wood. A friend of mine just made one out two old clothes dryers, one stacked on top of the other, with five racks in it. Mine is just made out of OSB wood. It measures 2ft.X 2ft. X 4ft. tall. It is fired by an old cast iron gas burner out of stove. I have a steel box, about 2 1/2 in. high by 12 in. long by 6 in. wide, that I put my wood chips in.

    I start out by fileting my fish, leaving the skin on. ( I cut the bellies off and freeze them for catfish bait). I do not brine my fish so to speak, but I lay the filets in a cooler skin down, then sprinkle some Kosher salt on the flesh, putting the next layer flesh to flesh, then skin to skin and so on. Normally the time of year I smoke, the temp. at night gets down to 40 degrees so I just leave the cooler outside. If it is warmer, I put a couple of layers of wax paper on the fish, and put some ice on it.
    In the morning, Rinse all the filets off in fresh water, cause they get a little slimy. I spray my racks with pan, so the skin doesn't stick to them, and put the fish on skin down.
    Everyone has there own recipes for smoking (some call them secrets), however mine isn't. I sprinkle my fish with Greek Seasoning and Brown sugar and put them into an already heated and smoking smoke house. To say how long I smoke them, depends on the weather. When the fish starts to seperate from the skin and bones, they are ready to eat. There is nothing better than warm smoked fish and cold bottle of beer. As a rule, if I start smoking at 7:00am, I'll be eating fish by 1:00pm. When the fish cools, I put them in paper sacks and put them in the frig. They will last for a couple of weeks. (Normally they don't last that long at my house).
    Here is an eating tip. Suckers are a very boney fish, son we just eat the from have of the fish, that doesn't have many bones. We save the tail have to can. I can my fish in 1/2pt and pt. jars. I put a Table spoon of EVOO in a couple of garlic cloves, put the lids on and put them in a pressurer cooker for 105 min. They will last for years this way. When you eat them, there will be no bones to bother with, cause the soften up. You can eat the fish right out of the jar, or warm them up a little, or try my favorite. Drain the oil off and mix with some cream cheese and put on a cracker, sit with your buddies over a cold beer and talk catfishing. It just doesn't get any better than that!
    The guy who owns the Riverfront property at Omer, where I fish, Smoked 3500 suckers last year and canned cases of them (12pt. to a case) He sells his for $100 a case. I must be doing something wrong, cause I've been giving mine away. (Dah!)
    Anyway, if you have any questions, just send me a PM.
    If you have read this post without getting bored, you have just completed Fish Smoking 101 from Sparky's Culinary Kitchen.LOL
    Sparky
     
  16. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I didn't get bored at all Sparky, just hungry! lol Thanks for that great response. My Uncle has always smoked Salmon out on the Klamath River in Californis. He lives here now and misses it. I can surprise him with a little treat I'll call them (Ohio Salmon) You have made it sound easy enough to do. I'll try a few on my Brinkman. Some of my family in years past would gig for suckers then grind them up for patties. Smoking sounds a whole lot better. :big_smile:
     
  17. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Well guys, the Spring Sucker run is on at Omer. This morning Joey and I met Steve, (Whiskerwhaker) and a couple of his buddy's at the North Forest Cafe for Breakfast Promply at 7:00am. After a short interduction and some great chow, we headed to the Rifle River to try our luck.
    I didn't take much training these three, as a matter of fact, I think on Chad's second cast he reeled in a fish. So these guys we're on their way to filling up their coolers with fresh Spring run Suckers.
    By 11:45am Joey and I had all the Suckers we needed to fill our smokers, so we bid our new fishing trio fair well and headed down the road toward Marlette. We had fish to clean.
    It was a beautiful day. The sun was shinning, the birds were singing and we caught alot of fish.
    So, if any of you Michiganders want to have some Spring fun catching fish, head up to Michigan's smallest city Omer. The suckers will be coming up and then back down the river for the next couple of weeks or so.
    Hopefully Steve will make a post when he is done cleaning coolers full of fish and you can get his spin on the trip.
    Sparky
     
  18. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Sounds great, Sparky, thanks for the story.
    If either of you guys get tired of cleaning those fish, just take a few and slice them top to bottom about 3/4" thick, (scales, guts, & all) and freeze 'em up for future bait. They'll save a trip sometime later in the year when live bait is hard to find.
     
  19. Whiskerwhacker

    Whiskerwhacker New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Michigan
    Indeed what a hoot! We ended up quitting at 1pm. We had a total of 70 suckers. I am sure we lost more than we caught. Seemed there was a magic line about 3 feet from shore where they would spit my rig right back in my face. Anyway, a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. We got home about 3:30 and had them all "processed" by 6:30. We now have 36 quarts of fresh cut sucker fillets soaking in a gut-bag smoothie (per the member library recipe) My share is double bagged and in my wife's brand new freezer. I think that will go a long way toward lowering all of our shrimp bills for the summer. Can't wait to see how it works. A word to the wise, don't fill the blender over half full when liquifying the guts. I now owe my dear wife a new blender as her's no longer spins and has that funny "electrical fire" smell.:roll_eyes: Thanks for showing us the ropes Sparky. I may make another trip next week with Angler Management, it seems bait is always in short supply and I never lock my garage where the bait fridge is....If anybody else is in the mood maybe we can hatch a plan.
     
  20. hear_kitty

    hear_kitty New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Vassar Mi
    Sparky would have loved to have to have went but some low life thief stole my wallet and i haven't recovered yet!!