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(NFR) Spearing Suckers

2085 Views 13 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Freestone
Back in my younger years in Michigan, I used to go sucker spearing in the spring creeks around May. We used to go at night with flashlights and spears and wade up and down the creeks until we had our fill of beer. I then would have a guy smoke up all the suckers for half of them. These were some of the best times 'fishing' that fit perfectly between ice fishing and steelhead running.

Anyone go out sucker spearing here? Anyone care to share info on where I could find some good runs?
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'check your regs not sure it's legal here.
If you like spearing suckers you might also like bow hunting carp.

You might like,,,,

:rofl: At the risk of losing what little credibility I may have, Carp on a fly rod are a blast. Sight fishing for "Golden Bones" is about as close as you can get without dropping big bucks to do the real thing.
Big E, your post brought back a lot of memories. We used to look forward to spring runoff in SW Michigan as it always meant that it was sucker spearing time. I still have my old (very old) Coleman lantern that was modified to only shine forward. We used a harness that kept the lantern in place in front of our chests. The heat from the lantern also felt good on those cold spring nights. I think that our 12'-15' 4 tined spears are steal in my mothers garage. Next time I go back to visit her I'll have to look for them. A burlap bag to store the victims in, some appropriate clothes for the season, and some hip boots completed the ensemble.
The river suckers would come into the creeks from the larger rivers to spawn and the lake suckers and carp would also head for either an inlet or outlet creek to do their business. Trying to keep a pissed off 25 lb carp pinned to the bottom until you could get it under control was definitely a challenge. My grandfather would smoke all the red horse suckers that we would bring home and the other suckers and the carp would usually get chopped into chunks and put into the gardens for fertilizer. Smoked sucker was always part of lunch on our spring steelheading trips (fishing not spearing the steelhead). Not saying that steelhead or pike never got speared. Sometimes the water was a bit murky or the "fish" was just a bit far from the lanterns glow to ID positively. Good times....
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Suckers are classified as gamefish in Washington and may not spearfish for them.
"Suckers are classified as gamefish"

That's interesting, what is the criteria that qualifies suckers as gamefish? Are carp gamefish?
I've done quite a bit of sucker stickin' on the lower St. Joe. We snorkle it in August with Hawi'ian slings. Talk about a fun way to spend the day.
"Suckers are classified as gamefish"

That's interesting, what is the criteria that qualifies suckers as gamefish? Are carp gamefish?
in regulations book, suckers are claissified under gamefish, while common carp is under food fish. grass carp is also under gamefish.
Big_E -
Yes suckers here are considered a game fish and no spearing. Further it has been my experience that our local suckers (for example largescale) are not nearly as good eating as the white sucker (or even redhorses) from the mid-west. Found the white to have a much "sweeter" flesh.

Tight lines
i'm not going to go in to details... but until reading a bit of the thread, i had misread the title as something very not PC.... oh i love how the brain works sometimes
maybe suckers are gamefish cause they are native whereas carp aren't
There are a number of non-native fish in Washington that are classified as game fish (largemouth bass, smallmouth, yellow perch, etc). Carp were classified as a food fish as they were commonly commercially fish here in Washington. Suckers were classified as game fish a few years ago to close a legal loop hole. Folks without licenses were claiming they were fishing for suckers are other unclassified fish avoid the need for a gamefish license. The state classified suckers and others as game fish so that a lic. would be required to fish for them.

Tight lines
When I was in New Zealand, I was invited to go 'floundering' one night. They wouldn't tell me anything about it except that I 'd only need to bring waders but not my rod. The sly winks told me something was up but I wasn't sure what. Turns out floundering Kiwi-style meant wading in shallow water with a long-handled underwater light in one hand and a barbed spear in the other. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be (they're pretty quick when spooked) but it was kind of fun and we got a mess of flounder pretty quickly. However, I kept thinking how illegal this would be at home.
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