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Let's see your baby fish catches! (lots of pics)

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#1 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 13 April 2015 - 09:34 PM

Who else uses their tiny hooks to catch baby fish? There's a spot in my local river about 4' square, tucked right up against a bridge, that houses 20-30 baby sunfish during any given point in spring. I focused on that spot for a while a couple days ago, and I caught some nice little babies. 


2015-04-11 15.24.19.jpg

2015-04-05 16.35.17.jpg

Redbreasts? They don't have the bluegill stripes or the longear gill-squiggles. Top one has very faint stripes, but I'm certain the bottom one is a redbreast. I've only seen a few of these around here for some reason.



2015-04-11 15.10.15.jpg

2015-04-11 15.11.44.jpg

2015-04-11 15.16.08.jpg

2015-04-11 15.24.37.jpg

Bluegills. Very common in the area. I love the colors on the babies!


2015-04-11 15.19.26.jpg

2015-04-11 16.08.47.jpg

Longears, I believe. I see fewer of these because they mostly breed downstream of a small bridge, and everybody fishes downstream of the bridge. Sometimes people catch a couple dozen sunfish for catfish bait, because apparently there's a pond somewhere that has catfish the size of small children. 



2015-04-11 15.24.49.jpg

Very lively. Same pattern as the one below. 

2015-04-11 15.42.33.jpg

Bluegill stripes, but much duller than the other baby 'gills. 

Any idea what these might be?



2015-04-11 15.37.53.jpg

I caught these two in a trap. They weren't interested in the bait, but they'd drift inside to check the trap out. I'm including these because Longear face and ears, but lots of purple near the tail. Unusual longear colors, bluegill with weird face, or what? 



Those are most of my baby fish pics. Now let's see yours! By "baby" I mean ones that are small compared to the adults of that species, though I know that's subjective. If you look at it and say "Oh, look, I caught a baby _____", that's what I'm looking for. 

#2 mattknepley

  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 14 April 2015 - 05:30 AM

Those are some cuties. Be careful throwing down a baby fish challenge here- Ben might get fixin' to school ya! :)
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 14 April 2015 - 05:16 PM

It's not really a challenge, I just want to see what everyone else has caught. I like seeing baby fish because they often look different, and I also like seeing what happens when people go to a game-fishing lake with tiny hooks.

#4 BenCantrell

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  • San Diego, CA

Posted 14 April 2015 - 08:51 PM


#5 Betta132

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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 15 April 2015 - 01:21 AM

Now THAT is impressive. Is that a little bass-baby? How'd you manage to catch something that small? A tiny hook in a patch of reeds?


It's not technically a microfishing catch, there are no hooks in the world small enough, but this is the smallest native fish I've ever seen. Found him when I was checking a bundle of wild-found hairgrass over. This little dude was less than a quarter inch long, though it was hard to get a good measure on him, since everything but his eyeballs and organ section was pretty much invisible. That's a smallish spoon (and a random hair), to give you a sense of scale.

Teeny fishy baby.png

Edited by Betta132, 15 April 2015 - 01:22 AM.

#6 rc6750

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  • Tampa Bay, FL

Posted 15 April 2015 - 09:09 AM








#7 gerald

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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 15 April 2015 - 11:40 AM

Ryan, is that last one a pinfish?  The blunt head looks odd.

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#8 rc6750

  • NANFA Member
  • Tampa Bay, FL

Posted 15 April 2015 - 12:07 PM

Ryan, is that last one a pinfish?  The blunt head looks odd.


 I have always assumed so - I don't really know that much about baby Pinfish even thought I catch adults more than I like. I guess it could have been Archosargus rhomboidalis but I never spent any amount of time researching it.

#9 BenCantrell

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  • San Diego, CA

Posted 15 April 2015 - 01:22 PM

He's blurry because he was vibrating!  :)



#10 rc6750

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  • Tampa Bay, FL

Posted 15 April 2015 - 02:40 PM

here are some more....


baby black grouper



baby Yellowtail Snapper



baby gag




baby red drum



ok im done now  O:)

#11 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 15 April 2015 - 05:01 PM

Neat thread. I like Ben's LMB.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#12 strat guy

strat guy
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  • Orland Park, IL

Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:21 AM

Betta, your sunfish look like maybe they're hybrid bluegills. I've seen these around quite a bit, they seem to be in areas where they're completely isolated and multiple sunfish species exists. They all start interbreeding and you end up with a toss up as to what the heck kind of sunfish are in the pond.

120 low tech native planted - Blackstriped Topminnow, Central Stoneroller, Fathead minnow, Golden Shiner, Black chin shiner, Carmine Shiner, Emerald Shiner, Sand Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, Orangethroat darter, Johnny Darter, and Banded Darter.

#13 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 16 April 2015 - 04:52 AM

Those are some adorable babies! I especially like the grouper and the snapper, they're really pretty.

I have some pictures of baby fish found in sargassum. I'll have to dig them out of hiding, but I should have them in a day or two. 


The hybrid thing would make sense. Those guys live between a two-foot dam and a dam/sidewalk. Downstream of the sidewalk-dam, I mostly catch longears with a few bluegills now and then. Upstream, mostly 'gills with some of the hybrid-looking ones mixed in. Could be interesting to see how the isolated population changes... 

#14 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 19 April 2015 - 05:29 PM

Does "catching them" on camera count?  I might win the "most fish in frame at one time" award, no?

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#15 Cu455

  • NANFA Member

Posted 19 April 2015 - 07:06 PM

attachicon.gifTeeny fishy baby.png

Did you raise him and find out what it is?

#16 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 19 April 2015 - 09:16 PM

Sure, videos work. And if that's an actual award, you probably just won it!

Also, you just helped me ID a swarm of fish babies that I saw a few days ago. I thought they might be bass, since they moved together near the bottom and were near a large bass, but they wouldn't hold still for long enough to be photographed properly.


I tried to raise the tiny fry, as I'd gotten them home before I noticed them, but they didn't survive too long. I suspect the temperature fluctuated too much, or it could have been due to them being brought home in a small bag without much water. I thought I'd rinsed the plants out well enough to remove all the critters, but apparently not. 

They moved like most species of fish fry, just jerking around in midwater, so probably not darters. Other than that, I have no idea what they were. 

#17 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 01 May 2015 - 04:38 PM

Old Settler's Park bass.png

Just caught this guy on my tiniest hook. He's under an inch and a half long. Largemouth bass, I think?

Edited by Betta132, 01 May 2015 - 04:39 PM.

#18 Isaac Szabo

Isaac Szabo
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  • The Ozarks

Posted 01 May 2015 - 05:04 PM

That's an awesome video Michael!


And Betta, yes, it could be a largemouth, but I also couldn't rule out spotted from that photo. Maybe someone else here can.

#19 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
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  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 02 May 2015 - 08:33 PM

Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#20 drich

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 06:24 PM

100_3385.JPG Gaff top cat Cape San Blas

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