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Sucker rigs

  • Justin Karriker
    Participant
    Posts: 118
    #1611276

    New to sucker fishing. Any tips on the best way to rig?

    Got rods covered from UL to heavy freshwater.

    Tried today in a few spots and didn’t get so much as a sniff. Still trying to narrow down where they’re at. I know I know, shouldn’t be that hard.

    Depending on which rod I used, I was using 5.5′ ST croix triumph with UL reel and lb line and a couple split shot to hold bottom, and a #4 Gami Octo circle and half a crawler.

    Used a little heavier rod, 6’6″ ML with 4lb braid and mono leader with 1/2oz egg sinker above a barrel swivel with about 10″ leader above the same aforementioned hook.

    mplspug
    Participant
    Palmetto, Florida
    Posts: 25025
    #1611281

    I used to fish Creeks where they dump into the Mississippi with an ultra light. Used lightest weight possible and a small circle hook tipped with a crawler. I’d cast down stream from above the mouth, secure the rod and let them Peck, Peck, Peck until it was obvious one was hooked.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11297
    #1611383

    You’re on the right track; don’t overthink it. I tend to favor a 7′ ML spinning rod. I like braid in the 10-12 lb range and don’t mess with a mono leader. Weight will depend a lot on current. I use walking, bell, or pyramid sinkers the most, but sometimes I just use a few split shot. A tiny barrel swivel and a foot or so of leader works just fine.

    A lot of guys use chunks of crawlers. I actually prefer smaller earthworms.

    Just don’t put too much thought into it. Finding fishy areas is about 95% of the battle. Once the fish are present, they’re easy to catch, and I don’t think techniques matter much.

    Mike W
    Participant
    MN/Anoka/Ham lake
    Posts: 12481
    #1611392

    Slip rigs work well for me to. Adding a small bead can help at times. No egg sinkers. They roll to much in the current. I never got into circle hooks for suckers either. Regular hooks, 1 to 2″ piece of crawler threaded on the hook. To long of crawler they just seem to peck off anyways. Set the hook fast. I think many times the pecking you see on the line is the fish sucking in the bait and spitting it right back out again.

    Jayden caught his first sucker yesterday. He was thrilled.

    Attachments:
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    Justin Karriker
    Participant
    Posts: 118
    #1611399

    Thanks gentlemen. I’ll give it another shot this afternoon!

    mplspug
    Participant
    Palmetto, Florida
    Posts: 25025
    #1611410

    Whereabouts do you live? I have a place I used to fish during the weeks around tax day. You go on the right day you’ll get a bunch. You go on the wrong day, you’ll still catch smallmouth, catfish, etc.

    mplspug
    Participant
    Palmetto, Florida
    Posts: 25025
    #1611598

    Il send you a PM later with a Google map link. The best part about this spot is I only have seen one other person fish there.

    Mike W
    Participant
    MN/Anoka/Ham lake
    Posts: 12481
    #1611604

    The mouth of rice creek was one of my favorite spots to fish back when I lived in N MPLS. Nice place to sit after work. The sun kept it warm beating down on the shoreline in the evenings. Not to bad for throwing out some cut sucker for cats either after dark. Walleyes in the summer to.

    mplspug
    Participant
    Palmetto, Florida
    Posts: 25025
    #1611670

    Rice Creek was fun as a kid and the creek has changed a lot since they redid the Creek from Locke Lake.

    belletaine
    Participant
    Nevis, MN
    Posts: 5116
    #1611671

    I saw the title and thought this was another thread about 100k boats!

    Allan Davis
    Participant
    Carlton, MN
    Posts: 415
    #1611727

    just got to get a plain hook and sinker with a short snell and crawlers. I have also got suckers on a lindy little guy and twistertails.

    Justin Karriker
    Participant
    Posts: 118
    #1611792

    Thanks for the info guys!

    I tried rice creek yesterday for a short while, no luck.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11297
    #1611800

    I tried rice creek yesterday for a short while, no luck.

    It’s still early. The action will heat up with the water temps.

    nhamm
    Inactive
    Robbinsdale
    Posts: 7348
    #1611809

    @justin85

    Was going to PM ya but figured throw it on here since its that time of year, and in my own head I’m damned good at sucker fishing devil

    Can anyone bring any setup to a river with a can of worms and hooks and catch suckers, absolutely. On cold days like this, or under not so desirable conditions you really got to fine tune to be successful, and IMO that’s what angling is about. Outsmarting the fish when they really don’t want to be.

    Any rod under M will do, preferably something with a softer tip for bite indicator such as a ML-L is perfect. UL can be fun, but its the river and I just don’t enjoy battling a 7# carp for 10 minutes which will happen, so something to handle bigger fish if, and when they bite is important. But having a nice flexible tip for bite indication is important. I run bells on mine when looking over the river, pondering life, otherwise an acute eye can be needed.

    Line is mono for me, just like rigging for walleyes where I feel the sensitivity can actually be hurtful, as in the fish feel you as you feel them. Braid works, just make sure to run at most a 6# leader, 4# if you can get away with it. Leader length depends on clarity. This is underlooked a lot IMO. Can you see at least 18″, leader should be at least 8-10″ long. Shorter leads for dirtier water, have done leads up to 18″ long in super clear water with success but feel 10-12″ usually covers it. If you have line with a titch of green to it seems to help. Stren magnathin is good lead material bc of the color, but this is where maybe I’m overthinking it.

    Suckers suck in blow out(obviously), so I went to a hair rig. Kind of a PIA to pretie and keep the worm from squirming up the line but it works well. Resorted to my lazy man hair rig, bc sucker fishing should be as easy and lazy as possible. Tie a #6 Owner mosquito hook(available at Fleet farm for sure, might try a #4 this year) best hook for suckers bar none, and leave a bit of tag end on. Take crawler and hook it in middle and thread it on hook as far as you can go, then push all the way up so worm is on the line, leaving the hook completely exposed. Got so sick and tired of the different style hooks, the constant ticks and light bites with no hookups I kept experimenting until I found what worked.

    Some days they prefer the head portion of the crawler, others the tail. The head usually wins out most days, and make sure to keep those crawlers plump and juicy!

    Waters are pretty darned cold yet for any good sucker action. All the creeks and waters coming in have different characteristics. Know what kind of watershed they are coming from, what kind of nutrients may be getting dumped in, and more importantly the temps of the water. Small creeks going through mud bottoms that are exposed to sunlight will warm up the fastest on chilly but sunny days. Where the larger creeks may take some time to warm up. Don’t forget those drainage ditches and tubes after a nice warm spring rain, especially if that sun pops out, warming up all that runoff from the blacktop and concrete can be a short-lived sucker(and other fish) magnet.

    When they are picky and weary this early in the season I swear they will sit on the baits. They suck it in, see one lil tap on the rod, then nothing. It can sit for 10min plus and nothing, then you reel it in and fish on. That is why its important to be vigilant this time of year, they never swallow it to a point of endangering the fish, just is lost time trying to catch another! Also this is why its really important for that hair rig, it hooks itself blowing it out so no hookset is really needed.

    Any inlet up from St.Anthony falls has its hot times. Shingle creek stands out to me, but gets crowded in a hurry. Drainpipe on the east side just north of 694 can be stuffed with carp come spring, as well as the lil inlet across the river by the fishing pier. The inlet across from boom island can be good to. Haven’t tried Rice Creek but the lil creek Coon? has its times. Further north the creek that come out the mill pond in champlin can produce, Elm Creek?, and of course the Rum. Although most spots on Rum that put out are in a boat for me, the mouth has never really done much. Walk the shoreline up from the mouth and really cast the bait as far as you can, the deeper channel that the fish follow up and down is on that side.

    Key, as been said is finding the holes, heck not even holes just depressions in the waters. If everything is 3-4′, look for 5-6′, makes a huge difference. This is where polarized glasses come in handy, look for the darker spots. If you can, elevation can be helpful, climbing a tree works really well. grin

    Think ive burned enough of your time, any other ?’s shoot me a PM.

    PS, if you catch any bullheads later in the evening in these creeks, show up later with some cutbait and bigger hooks, you will be surprised what can come out of water 10′ wide toast

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6255
    #1611817

    Great info.
    I love it when someone spills their guts.. So to speak!

    When they are picky and weary this early in the season I swear they will sit on the baits. They suck it in, see one lil tap on the rod, then nothing. It can sit for 10min plus and nothing, then you reel it in and fish on.

    I got a 4# Wednesday, white sucker I believe, this exact same way. 8/0 and 8 crawlers on 9′ XXH. Thought I had a nice twig on ;)

    All happened as you described.
    Good news though, that cut sucker turned into a mid 30# sturgy a few minutes later.

    I’m taking notes so I can be a better flathead fisherman this year.
    Anymore to share I’ll listen

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11297
    #1611824

    Nhamm, you’ve mentioned your rig before. Could you please post a pic???

    Mike W
    Participant
    MN/Anoka/Ham lake
    Posts: 12481
    #1611837

    Wow. Thats some info.

    nhamm
    Inactive
    Robbinsdale
    Posts: 7348
    #1611852

    Start, middle , end result. Wouldn’t hook a Leech 5x rigging, why crawlers get gunked on hooks idk. This leaves two lengthy ends flipping and flopping around quite naturally.

    FBRM your flathead mention is another reason why I wanted to really figure it out. When I go catfishing typically its last minute and can’t have an abundance of suckers at the house. When I get to the river, I want to soak a worm, and that first bite I’m good to go.

    Is it perfect no. But overall it’s better than anything I’ve tried. And when the kids come with I want every bite to be a fish for them.

    Another note, with this rig let them Peck, no hooksetting. Theoretically every time they blow in/out its a potential hookset. If it’s pecking pick out a spot in the background with your rodtip and you’ll see it stop but if it’s just a notch tilted towards the bait, it’s hooked and sitting on it, quick lift to see if it’s there and fish on.

    I put alot on those hooks, thin wire and extremely sticky. Doesn’t take anything for them to penetrate the flesh of their mouths.

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    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11297
    #1611860

    How do you keep it from sliding up the line?

    Mike W
    Participant
    MN/Anoka/Ham lake
    Posts: 12481
    #1611866

    I like to thread about a 1 to 2 inch piece of crawler on the hook. Push the head up over the eyelet of the hook so it is buried in the crawler. This also helped hold the crawler from slipping down to the bend of the hook. Liked this as it left pretty much just the hook exposed. To much crawler on the hook and the point got lost or gave the fish plenty of crawler to peck without finding the hook.

    This last summer Ive started using hooks with the barb or two on the shank. This helps hold the crawlers up on the shank. Working good so far.

    Anyone try wax worms for suckers? Have had some good success burning up the winters supply of wax worms this way.

    Mike W
    Participant
    MN/Anoka/Ham lake
    Posts: 12481
    #1611868

    Any of you guys smoking the suckers you catch? Are they all good or do you prefer one over the other?

    Thanks.

    nhamm
    Inactive
    Robbinsdale
    Posts: 7348
    #1611871

    How do you keep it from sliding up the line?

    Current I’d imagine. Every once in a while with real good worms they will foul it up, but not often enough to urine ya off. If a guy wants to hair rig go for it, should foul less, and that worm would only have one little point allowing it to really wiggle wobble freely.

    Anyone try wax worms for suckers? Have had some good success burning up the winters supply of wax worms this way.

    I’ve tried them and had success.

    Isaac Rhode
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    #1611925

    Does anybody know any spots in the branerd lakes area they are willing to share with me, I have been trying my normal streams and have been seeing no fish.

    Mike W
    Participant
    MN/Anoka/Ham lake
    Posts: 12481
    #1612017

    This isnt brainard but where the willow river meets the mississippi near palisade can be very good. You can put in at 169 and small boat up there or hike in from the river road. Would think just about any feed river or creek into the mississippi would be a good bet right not.

    Get the map out and start circling roads that cross creeks, landings on the rivers, Ect. Before I had a boat I would spend an entire day jumping spots and checking new ones road tripping. Never know what you will find. Dead end roads that head towards the river are good to check to.

    outdoors4life
    Participant
    Stillwater, MN
    Posts: 1496
    #1612069

    Mike W
    The shortheads and goldens (redhorse) have the best flavor. Silvers are still good just not as good.

    Greater, River, and Black Redhorse should all be returned to the water.

    Justin Karriker
    Participant
    Posts: 118
    #1612600

    Thanks for all the input guys! It’s been a busy week and I haven’t had a chance to say thank you, let alone put any of it to use. Looks like next week could start to kick things off a bit!

    Justin Karriker
    Participant
    Posts: 118
    #1612601

    Thanks for all the input guys! It’s been a busy week and I haven’t had a chance to say thank you, let alone put any of it to use. Looks like next week could start to kick things off a bit!

    mplspug
    Participant
    Palmetto, Florida
    Posts: 25025
    #1612686

    waytogo hope you get on them soon. As you can tell by the responses, once you get on a run, you are hooked for life. You’ll look forward to it every spring.

    Justin Karriker
    Participant
    Posts: 118
    #1613866

    Heading out tomorrow. Location yet to be determined. I’ll report back with my findings.

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