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Logan Udelhofen and Tyler Staskal of Fennimore were fishing at the dam in Gays Mills on Friday, April 18, 2014.
Logan Udelhofen and Tyler Staskal of Fennimore were fishing at the dam in Gays Mills on Friday, April 18, 2014. / Len Harris/For
The best way to identify redhorse is through their dorsal fins. The red tail and short head identifies this fish as a shortheaded redhorse. The dorsal fine is concave. / Len Harris/For
This silver redhorse has a convex rounded dorsal fin. / Len Harris/For
Len Harris/For
Len Harris/For
Len Harris/For


GAYS MILLS — Logan Udelhofen and Tyler Staskal of Fennimore were fishing at the dam in Gays Mills over the weekend. I was driving by after a Friday fish fry and saw they had a double hook-up going. I decided to investigate.

Each angler had two poles going. Their poles were ultralight spinning trout rods with six-pound test. They had a pile of silver redhorse and one shorthead redhorse behind them. They were taking the fish to a friend in Fennimore, Denny Fryemiller, who 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 that pickled sucker is excellent. The meat is white and firm and rivals herring for taste. The spring is the only time to catch them 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. The fish bite was non-stop during this time.

They began the evening with three dozen crawlers and these anglers were having a ball. Redhorse are fierce battlers.

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

How to identify a redhorse:

Use this guide to help identify redhorse species.

More on fishing: Fishing news from around the state | Your fishing photos | Build a map | Read fishing reports

Read more from Len Harris.

Len Harris blogs from the "Heart" of Wisconsin's Driftless Area. Len's passion is small stream trout fishing with every legal means possible. When trout season is closed he writes and takes photos. He even dabbles in a little cooking. Read more of Lenís writing on his blog at

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