P5203755

Dabbling in the Ozarks

May 24, 2016

On the road the next morning, we drove past what seemed to be either a graveyard or breeding ground of vending machines.  Hard to tell with these ones.

P5203553 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

After the heavy rain last night, we weren’t sure what to expect as we pulled up to our next fishing spot.  We were amazed when we saw the water was still quite clear and very fishable.

P5203554 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

As I fished the faster pools for cardinal shiners, Ken searched for plateau darters.  Once again, Ken found the darters and guided me to one of my own.  Thanks Ken!

Plateau darterP5203589 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

We fished the deeper pools for shiners and found our target.

Cardinal shinerP5203556 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

Some of the cardinal shiners were displaying their striking spawning colours.

P5203594 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

In addition to a rock bass and hornyhead chub, I also came across two more new species at this spot.

Southern redbelly daceP5203604 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

Ozark minnowP5203634 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

Our next spot was a culvert area in another small Ozarkian town.

P5203638 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

While Ken once again searched for our target darter species, I caught a few minnows.  Aside from more southern redbelly dace, I caught a shiner that ended up being different when I checked range maps.

Duskystripe shinerP5203648 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

As I tried to catch my lifer Ozark darter, my bait was continuously assaulted by Ozark sculpins.  After trying and trying to catch even one sculpin back home in Ontario, it sure was strange to catch so many here!

Ozark sculpinP5203663 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

Eventually the sculpin left me alone.

Ozark darterP5203701 1024x767 Dabbling in the Ozarks

On-route to our next spot for elusive fish, I was graced with an elusive orange-flavoured milkshake from McDonalds.  Why is this not always an option?!

P5203714 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

After driving past over 20-something hours of farmland over the past day or so, I was also fairly glad not to see any more farms.  Our drive took us past a few quaint woodland views.

P5203716 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

Our next fishing spot was a treat to behold.

P5203720 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

First on the line was a new species of sunfish, and a fairly bullish male one to boot!

Longear sunfishP5203730 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

That blue!P5203736 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

It was great to see most of our catches lit up in spawning colours.  According to Ben, this hornyhead chub may eventually be split into a new species.

Hornyhead chubP5203744 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

But for now, it’s just a sweet-looking specimen.

P5203748 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

Ken was going to town on our chief target of the spot: Ozark bass.  It took me a lot longer just to find a single one.

Ozark bassP5203762 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

As night fell we fished intently for new species of madtoms.  We found one of our targets.

Checkered madtomP5203838 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

With tidy black stripes, this little guy was much better dressed than myself.

P5203839 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

Ken caught a monstrous yellow bullhead and I got a smaller one of my own to update my life list photo.

Yellow bullheadP5203875 1024x768 Dabbling in the Ozarks

We fished long into the night in search of slender madtom, but only caught more banded sculpins and checkered madtoms.  Exhausted and semi-defeated, we crashed in the car that night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>