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One man's rough fish is another's pickled delight
Tyler Staskal, left, and Logan Udelhofen at the Gays Mills dam

Logan Udelhofen and Tyler Staskal of Fennimore were fishing at the dam in Gays Mills last Friday. I was driving by after a Friday fish fry and saw they had a double hook up going. So, I went over to investigate.

They both had two poles going. Their poles were ultra-light spinning trout rods with six-pound test line. They had a pile of silver red horse and one shorthead redhorse behind them. They explained that they were taking the fish to a friend in Fennimore, Denny Fryeymiller, that pickles them. The redhorse were spawning or preparing to spawn.

There is no recognized Wisconsin state record for shorthead redhorse. The silver redhorse Wisconsin state record is 29.25 inches

The two anglers told me pickled sucker is excellent. The meat is white and firm and rivals herring for taste. The spring is the only time to catch suckers because the meat is not so clean and firm in summer or fall.

The water they were fishing in was actually boiling with suckers. They arrived at 4 p.m. and I started watching them around 6 p.m. and watched until 7:30 p.m. and the fish bit non-stop. They began the evening with three-dozen crawlers. These anglers were having a ball. These fish are fierce battlers.

They split the crawlers in half and fished them with an egg-shaped sinker and a Size 6 hook. The suckers were preparing spawning beds just 20 yards off shore on a sandy and gravel flat. Logan and Tyler stopped fishing at 7:30 p.m. because they were out of night crawlers.