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NFC: Three Days collecting

Well, here's a little collecting story for you.

I had the opportunity now that school is out for a couple of weeks to do a
little collecting locally this past Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.  The
location  was on  Mill Creek in Wabaunse county, Kansas.  A wonderful
little body of water that flows to the Kansas River.  The water was high
and muddy due to the large amount of rain we continue to receive and this
made dipnetting, for me anyway, an impossibility.  So, it was trap and
hook time.

I baited ans set 4 traps using dogffod and doughballs as bait along the
edge f the back which is nearly vertical and 10 feet high.  I tried to
place them around logs or under cut-banks to trap more fish.  Once they
were set I broke out the rod and reel and nightcrawlers and did a little
"old fashioned" fishing.  I used a No. 10 hook with a piece of 'crawler'
about the size of a pea.  I was quickly rewarded with numerous strikes and
even a couple of Longears and Orangespotted sunfish.  However, I was
missing too many hits, so I changed over to a 14' cane-pole and began
having much better success.  By the end of the afternnon I had well over a
dozen sunnies, and even one Red Shiner to brag about.  Time to check the

The traps were filled with a few fish each...but I believe the muddy water
hampered the trapping somewhat.  The first 3 traps yielded a few Red
Shiners, Green sunfish and Bluegill but the fourth trap had a real jewel.
A Topeka Shiner!  I admired the fish for a moment and then returned it to
the stream wishing it luck and a good reproductive season.  This was the
first time I had caught one of these little beauties even though I knoew
they were in this stream.  I am happy they still are.

Well, that ended thursday.  On Friday I decided to return again.  But
first a trip to my favorite Longear catching point in a local lake.  Big
dissapointment.  After an hour of effort, all I had to show for it was on
lousy Green sunfish.  It was getting late, so I headed back to Mission
creek and fished for an hour or so.  Catching some more Longears and
O-spot sunnies to add to my totals from yesterday.  (good I thought, now I
can fill the orders for the guys who have been waiting on me and start
collecting for myself again!))  :-)  I caught a few more fishes and headed

Sunday, was frustrating.  I was agin at my favorite hole on Mission creek
with my new found friend the cane-pole.  I caught a few more sunnies, but
with the high winds, I was catching the tree limbs more.  Lost four small
floats in the trees and had to re-rig my 'pole' about 6 times once due to
a large 4 pound plus sized carp that too a liking to my little piece of
bait and gave me a nasty fight until he broke my line off.  Well, the rain
finally chased me off and although the day was frustrating, I learned a
lot and hope to repeat my success in a few days.  

Friday and Sunday were pole only days with not traps set.  On all three
days interested passersby would inquire as to my catch.  One guy evening
telling me aboutthe beautiful "pumkinseeds" (a.k.a. Longears) that are in
here.  I was able to gently educate him on the sunfish species found in
Kansas and we had a nice little chat for about 5 minutes on fishing in
Mission creek.

It seems the fish populations have changed over the past few years.  Lots
fewer Bass and bluegill.  Lots more other stuff.  This stream has a lot of
diversity and I assume it is rebounding after the Bass populations were
fished out.  It would be interesting to study anyway.

Well, that's the record of my latest collecting adventure.  Next week and
I'll be in Missouri several days and hope to be able to give you a good
report from there. (it's not too late to come along folks!)