The White Sucker
The white sucker is found all over the eastern and central parts of the United States and Canada. It reaches a length of twenty inches in the Great Lakes and somewhat less when found in streams, growing larger in some streams than in others. It is a smooth, cylindrical fish with large fins and the characteristic sucker mouth. It is gray on the back, light ashy on the sides and white beneath. The sucker spawns in spring, about May, and ascends the streams for this purpose. About the Great Lakes there is a heavy run of these fish in the streams, at that time of year At such times they are taken in gill nets stretched across the streams, also by slipping a brass wire snare over the fish when they lie in shallow water, and by spearing. They do not take a bait at such times, nor during the summer when the water is clear, except on rare occasions.
They are caught mostly in early spring when the rains raise the water and discolor it. At such times they feed in the eddies of the streams, or muddy bottom, and may be caught by still fishing with a number of rods, which are set, in the same way as for carp. The rod should be a long native cane, or a wood rod. Sometimes a slender, dead, white pine is trimmed of branches and knots and the bark, also some of the wood shaved off, making a fairly good rod, though cane is better. The smallest cuttyhunk linen line, or an oiled silk line, or a light cotton line is all right. Two or three No. 10 or 12 snelled hooks are fastened to the line near the end, being placed about ten inches apart, and a sinker weighing from a half ounce to an ounce is tied to the end of the line. It is a common practice to attach the sinker by means of a weaker line, so in case it gets caught between stones the weak string instead of the line will be broken. A cork is also used. The hooks should be baited with angleworms, well bunched, with an end hanging loose to wriggle.
Instead of using rods, some fishermen use hand lines, and by means of the sinker throw the bait out into deep water then fasten the other end of the line somewhere on shore Before using such rigs it is best to look up the fishing laws and see whether these lines may be used lawfully, also how many may be used by one person, and how many hooks may be used on a line.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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