While many anglers frown at the mention of “Suckers”, others eagerly await the annual spring run to take place up many of the creeks, rivers and tributaries that flow into the Great Lakes and also in inland lakes where Suckers are native. Personally I enjoy Sucker fishing and even shot a TV show on an Lake Erie, ON tributary not only catching them on steelhead gear but also frying them up fresh-caught on shore for a fresh shore-lunch.
Suckers run right at the end of the Steelhead run in southern Ontario which occurs right about now as water temps start to rise. Caution in picking the right stretch of tributary to fish and ensure it’s not a fish sanctuary or closed to fishing until the regular trout season opens.
To locate spring Suckers look for deeper slow-moving pools where they congregate in higher numbers. The “tail-out” of pools is one of my favorite areas to catch them. All you need is a #6 baitholder hook, 10 lb. test main line and a sliding sinker rig or just a few split-shot sinkers fished on the bottom. The best bait is either a whole or half of a nightcrawler. Most anglers cast out, let their bait sit on the bottom for the suckers to find. This is where a “Y” shaped stick or rod holder works great. Some anglers even use a small “bell” attached by a clip at the end of them rod to signal when they have a bite. Suckers are the perfect fish to introduce kids to fishing!