Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Eyes

What if we lived in a world that was consistently murky and cloudy? Would we evolve so that our eyes were larger to let in more light? Well, if you are a fish that depends its eyesight...and you make your home in the Missouri River, the answer would seem to be yes.

The fish I am referring to is the Goldeye. Although it is also known by a variety of other names such as Yellow Herring, Toothed Herring, Shad Mooneye, and my favorite Weepickeesis. This is a native fish in Montana that is really quite common, especially in rivers like the Missouri and the Yellowstone. Lewis and Clark even commented on it around the mouth of the Marias River. It is a unique fish in a family with only one other species, the Mooneye. When you look inside the mouth of this fish, you will see teeth all over...even on the tongue. Goldeye don't get exceptionally large, a 20" fish would be a real trophy.

I recently spent some time on the Missouri River fishing for Goldeye, and I can honestly say that they are ridiculously easy to catch. They will hit just about anything anywhere in the water. You can catch them with a fly rod on top, or with a nightcrawler on the bottom. For their size, however, I was impressed with their fighting ability. A while they begin to seem like a nuisance when targeting other species, remember that Goldeye cutbait is the hot ticket for big channel cats.

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