Jump to content


Kentucky boy wants some fish!

5 replies to this topic

#1 malecota

  • NANFA Guest
  • WKY

Posted 27 October 2019 - 07:17 PM

Howdy everyone! 

First, I'd like to complement the board, the people that keep it running, and it's patrons for cultivating what appears to be a respectable community of like-minded individuals.  I've learned a lot already from the numerous guides and posts about native fish keeping.  Thank you for being here and open to inquiring minds.  As a terminal hobbyist, I've navigated quite a few toxic, dysfunctional forums over the years.


Growing up in rural Kentucky resulted in a becoming a lifelong fisherman and admirer of the great outdoors.  I've kept various pets from my early teens to now (32) - reptiles, fish, small mammals, dogs, cats.  With the exception of man's best friend, I find myself returning to fish keeping.  I'm currently about 7 months into a successful 75g freshwater community (corydoras, danios, cichlids) and have kept FW invert tanks, brackish, blackwater, planted high tech to fake plants and no tech, from community to aggressive species - just about everything short of straight saltwater or those ridiculous custom tanks seen on tv.




On a fishing trip during the summer, after reeling in a bright orange and neon blue, feisty male longear, something dangerous began occuring...


I started thinking about how cool it would be to keep, observe, and interact with the same longears, redears and pumpkinseeds I've been catching for years!


Now that some time has passed and the idea remains, there's another motivation that has emerged:


My father passed away just over a year ago; fishing was where we bonded and has made it a lot different for me now.  We fished together often, even after I moved away, got married, started a career.  I do still enjoy fishing, I just haven't acclimated to the change fully- the memories are very strong and the silence of nature is somehow even more silent.


When I think about my dad, I think about fishing and vice versa.  Keeping some of those same fish dad and I used to catch when I was a kiddo would be sort of a memorial to him, to the skills and lessons imparted to me and the many happy memories. 


A positive note: I now organize my mother, sister, and I to go on day fishing trips like dad and I used to.  We went to his favorite little lake on the anniversary of his passing this year (and had an awesome day reminiscing and catching more fish than I ever remember coming out of those waters with perfect weather).


I didn't plan on getting soft and emotional - is this what happens as you get older? :biggrin:


Time to digress...


I'm off to the internet to see how unprepared I would be for such a venture; imagine my surprise to discover most of the native fish I'd be interested in keeping are easier to keep than most of the fish I've kept in the past.  Sunfish for sure, madtoms, darters, maybe even a logperch or two.


I've got the equipment and means to keep native fishes, now I need to plan out stocking and setup.  I'm also flirting with the idea of catching/trapping my preferred specimens - still need to research the legality and feasibility of that.


Now that that's out - thank you for having me and a gratuitous thank you to anyone that actually read my short story.  I look forward to picking some brains and filling my own!


- Jacob

#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 27 October 2019 - 07:43 PM

welcome Jacob, I'm sure you can find lots of information here to help you.  Feel free to search and ask.

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

#3 midwest

  • NANFA Guest
  • Indiana

Posted 28 October 2019 - 05:45 AM

I just recently set up an native 125 gallon tank in Indiana.  I had caught some pumpkinseed sunfish in the past but was not familiar with the long ear sunfish.  I to really liked the looks of them.  So far I my tank stocked with 2 hybrid bluegill, 5 long ear sunfish, and 2 yellow perch.  I am also getting a small yellow bull head catfish this week from a member here to finish my stocking.  I got all of my fish from breeders/fish farms, at a young age as I figured it would be less stress on the fish and I knew I wanted all of them to be on pellet food. I knew that getting fish already raised on artificial food would also be less stress on me.  I understand the lure of catching/trapping your own fish, it just wanted in the schedule for me.  I'm sure you have seen, but if not there are several nice videos on youtube with some long ear tanks.  They are great looking fish.  Mine are only about 2 inches long right now and don't have much color yet. I too have years of experience with tanks, but this is my first native.


The one thing I am liking so far is that the native fish I keep are doing perfectly fine in the water straight from my well, which I am assuming has parameters close to what natives live in anyways.  It sure beats lifting jugs of RO/DI water which I have dealt with in the past.

Edited by midwest, 28 October 2019 - 05:47 AM.

#4 malecota

  • NANFA Guest
  • WKY

Posted 28 October 2019 - 02:16 PM

midwest, I like the appeal of obtaining live fish but it sounds like we're in a similar boat - I don't have a lot of time to find a site (or 3) and give the dip net a try.

Captive bred does make sense from that perspective.
Where did you order your fish from?

#5 midwest

  • NANFA Guest
  • Indiana

Posted 28 October 2019 - 04:20 PM

The bluegill and perch I got locally here in Indiana. If you do a search for Zimmerman and Jonahs aquarium hey are both reputable native fish folks. I ended up getting my longear from Jonahs. It was only because of a timing issue. They both come highly recommended.

#6 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 31 October 2019 - 06:37 PM

What part of Kentucky are you from Jacob? I am curious. I am a bit surprised that Josh Blaylock hasn't shown up and welcomed you. He is the Kentucky NANFA rep, and is very active. Anyway, get to know him.


 Welcome to the forum and the community. The diversity of fish species in Kentucky is pretty awesome, with a sizeable list of endemics. Heck, the Green river alone has 8 endemic fish species!

The member formerly known as Skipjack

Reply to this topic


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users