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NFC: nets came in... first catch today [longwinded]
Well it was a steamy 97 degrees in Hillsborough, NC but I only let that
slow me down a little bit. The bait shop got my nets in that I ordered
earlier in the week. I got a dipnet and an umbrella net.
Considering the creek I had in mind was pretty small, I left the
umbrella behind and took the dipnet with me.
The creek is very small, shallow babbling brook with lots of riffles and
it feeds into the Eno River right around where I was catching fish. The
creek runs behind a number of county government buildings.
Unfortunately they had just cut the grass before I got there, and all
but the most turbulent parts of the creek were covered with grass on the
surface. The fish were pretty well spooked.
But I tried my hand at it anyway and brought home enough fish to fill my
20 gallon quarantine tank.
My Peterson's Field Guide has NOT arrived yet (UPS still has it) so
"dakota" and I did our best between ICQ, my written descriptions, and
photos on the web to figure out what I had.
The first one we nailed down pretty quick. I'm pretty sure it is a
creek chub. I got a bunch of those, ranging from about a half inch in
size to three or four inches for the bigger ones. They are already
eating pellets! (tetra bits) Charles tells me they get like a foot
long so I'll ask Robert to please put my name on the FWL as "having"
creek chub (but not until my field guide gets here and I can verify
Up closer to the buildings there were some pools that were less
turbulent, and a little deeper. Lots of weeds, and of course
(temporarily) floating grass. I took a quick swipe of the net and
brought up the most beautiful sunfish! There was some other stuff in
the net so I had to be quick but this sunfish was a real thrill. Lots
of red in the fins, and blue spots on the sides, some red in the belly.
I caught two more like it only less brightly colored (females?). ID'ing
them was more of a struggle but we think we got it nailed down to dollar
The sunfishes are quite pugnacious for their small size. I had some
baby bluegills in the quarantine tank too and the new sunfishes are
really giving them a hard time already. But they seem to be ignoring
the chubs and swordtails (I keep a few swords in the quarantine tank to
help show the newcomers that flakes and pellets are good eatin). I read
an article by RR on dollar sunfishes... do you really think they would
be safe in a community with madtoms and darters? If so, I think I just
found the crowned jewel for the tank.
I've decided to go back to the area where I caught the sunnies and try
to get some more. I'm going to get my wife to walk downstream towards
me, where I'll be waiting with a net. With just one person they spook
in different directions and it's hard to bear down on them with the
net. This way I hope my chances will be improved by having them spooked
TOWARDS me rather than away.
I'll be on ICQ later if anyone wants to chat about this.
"I would remind you that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice; and
I would remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no
virtue." - Barry Goldwater