View Full Version : Pikeminnow (squawfish) hit kastmasters!!??

11-16-2005, 12:29 PM
I was fishing at Del Valle this past weekend and started to throw a kastmaster for the trout, but caught two squawfish instead!
Has anybody ever tried kastmasters in the Delta for them?
I'm wondering if this might be a new secret weapon for the Pike minnow derby. :P ;D
What do you think?

11-16-2005, 12:43 PM
I think they'll eat just about anything they can get their mouth over. I've seen them hooked on beads, broken-backs, crankbaits, shad darts lol

11-16-2005, 01:01 PM
I hooked a 4 lber. on a white spinnerbait in the Delta while fishing for Black Bass 2 weeks ago.

11-16-2005, 03:33 PM
Mini crawlers nail em, too.

11-16-2005, 03:40 PM
The biggest one I have caught was on a piece of salami.

11-16-2005, 09:05 PM
I used to catch a bunch of them with salmon eggs in Cache Creek. They would hit just about anything I put on the hook but they really went for the eggs.

11-16-2005, 09:34 PM
I've caught them on a gold Acme Phoebe several times.


11-16-2005, 09:46 PM
They bite everything, I caught a couple on Chicken liver before!

11-17-2005, 03:19 AM
I've caught them on most anything I've caughten black bass on . My biggest two , one about 36" in the Sacto River while trolling for stripers on the largest size rattletrap . The other , a 30" at IVR this fall on a RGT while trolling for kokanee . They are quite the predator and will hit any lure they can get in their mouth .

Tight Lines , Dan

11-17-2005, 06:53 AM
I have caught 3 this year so far while trolling for trout/salmon at Folsom.

Most have hit a lure with white on it. They don't give a shaking wild fight, but they definately use their weight and tail to bend the rod.

11-17-2005, 07:51 AM
Yep, they hit Kastmasters all the time in the Russian River. I have caught carp, stleelhead, and kings also with the same lure. Pulled one in at 16", thought it was a trout at first, they are pigs and will gulp anything. Have caught the same fish twice on wolly buggers and elk hair caddis.

11-17-2005, 08:22 AM
I had a great time a few years back at Del Valle jigging a Swedish pimple over an area that had a bunch of 4-7 pound squawfish in about 25 feet of water. We must have caught at least a dozen BIG squawfish. Lots of fun.

11-17-2005, 08:38 AM
A friend of mine caught a good size one on a spook (topwater bait) while prefishing a tournament at new melones a couple weeks ago.


11-17-2005, 03:42 PM
I've even caught them on a placebo.

11-18-2005, 09:17 AM
they get stacked up spawning at Dry Creek in the holes every Fall and we use whie mini jigs to pick them up....gotta watch out for the Spooodge :o cause they will get it on you,lol...no really they will hit anything..as everyone has said already ;D

11-18-2005, 09:24 AM
They'll eat anything that won't eat them first!!

11-22-2005, 01:34 PM
I've caught those things on just about everything--bait and lures. I caught a 10 lber at Berryessa when I was about 12 and no one knew what the heck it was---they called it a Sacramento Pike (which is quite appropriate). They ruin a lot of coastal rivers in Central CA by eating steelhead eggs and fry. They appear to be quite prolific too, like most carp. If you catch one, you should kill it, or just toss it on the bank so a racoon can have a nice dinner.

11-22-2005, 03:07 PM
Hey Cencoast Iv'e done that also for years. Just don't let the wardens catch you, called waste of fish in the regs. Kill em and throw back in the water and you are fine, or take home and use for fertilizer.

11-22-2005, 04:37 PM
Throw it back on a hook...the old "Change-up", from squawfish to striper! ;D

11-30-2005, 12:48 PM
Any chance of hooking into big squawfish while trolling for trout or kokanee on lakes such as Berryessa or Del Valle? A 10# fish on a ML/Light rod with 6-8# test should prove a great fight. I have not caught a big fish (> 2lbs) in quite some time.

11-30-2005, 01:07 PM
Real good chance of catching a BIG ONE at IVR , this fall I hooked one there while trolling a dodger / RGT off the dam for kokanee . Four kokes on ice and I hook this beast ( dreams of world record kokanee ) on my lite trolling setup such as you mentioned . Ten minutes later up he comes , wrong color , lake trout ? Almost too big for my net! Got him in the boat , just over thirty inches - no guess on the weight . Here comes the fleet , everyone in sight is coming over to see what the heck I caught , HAHAHA ! Never did get my fifth fish . That Sacpike became fish jerky , no not for me .

Tight Lines , Dan

11-30-2005, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the info 3pools! I don't wanna get caught by a DFG warden for doing something "wrong."
I was trying to prove that there ARE still trout in Lake San Antonio last spring when I hooked into a nice-sized, silvery fish-----thought it was a 22 inch native rainbow. I was pretty upset when I realized it was a squawfish.

Here is the picture.
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/8112/squawfish5wa.th.jpg (http://img232.imageshack.us/my.php?image=squawfish5wa.jpg)


I also ran into a school of em on the Arroyo Seco River once and thought I hit the steelhead jackpot. Turned out to be a school of about 20 squawfish to 5lbs. I hate those suckers!


11-30-2005, 08:04 PM
red roster tail get them every time

11-30-2005, 08:21 PM
Ive been catching these things for the past 5 years and found out what they were like 6months ago. I always catch them fishing for catfish in sanborn slough. Duck hearts and livers get the big ones. Ive never caught one in that slough under 4lbs! Ive caught some big ones on the american also using cheese. I like the smaller ones for bait! Ive also had them chase up and bite small panther martins and other spinners.


11-30-2005, 10:56 PM
Was fishing Big lake for trout with spinners, saw some boils and casted at them. We caught over sixty pounds of pike in about a hour. Biggest was over 36 inches. Lots of fun on ultra lite gear. Found the trout the next day on the Pit and the next day on the Fall river. Love that part of the state.

11-30-2005, 11:02 PM
They are mean I cought one a salmon sized flatfish the biggest one I ever cought 10+bs

12-02-2005, 04:20 PM
A squawfish will pretty much eat anything that imitates a minnow and a kastmaster flashes just like one. I was topwater fishing for Smallmouth at Almanor this summer using a Chug-bug and got slammed by a 6lb Squawfish, lots of fun..

12-05-2005, 12:28 PM
Squawfish are typically predators of young salmonids. Where they are native (i.e. sacramento river watershed) they have co-existed with salmonids quite well. It is where squawfish have been introduced that they cause problems with resident trout/salmon/steelhead populations. They do provide excellent forage for bass and stripers also. I never understood why you would kill a fish just because it wasn't what you were fishing for, but to each his own.... and to say that it's because they eat trout etc... bfd, mankind has killed off more entire populations of trout/salmon then squawfish ever will...

12-06-2005, 12:22 AM
If any of you guys ever fish Lake Britton and catch squawfish, help you God if you kill it.....Park Ranger told me it's against the law to kill squawfish, because bald eagles feed on them( I kinda laughed at him, it sounded rather moronic, i dont think that bald eagle eats JUST squawfish).......But anyways, be careful :)

12-10-2005, 12:03 AM
Why do so many people think they need to kill them? It is fine to kill them on rivers where they were introduced, but to kill them on the Sac river system is totally unreasonable. They are a NATIVE fish, they have been swimming with salmon on the Sac river drainage for years. Sure they eat some salmon, but to through them on the bank, like they are hurting the salmon population is disgusting. There are much more serious problems Salmon are facing now, than a native fish that eats them.


12-10-2005, 09:02 AM
Squawfish and other predators are part of what makes wild salmon wild. Selection by predation over time keeps the genetics of the survivors evolving toward greater fitness. Predators pick out weak, sick, or injured fish. Even when we set up artificial feeding stations for predators like dams and pumping stations and mitigate by stocking millions of hatchery fish, the predators have a role in shaping the population structure of the salmon that survive.

It only makes sense to kill squawfish where they have been introduced and are interfering with wild salmon and steelhead populations that have not evolved with them as predators.

As I've posted before, killing the ones you catch will not have any significant effect on their population. They are highly prolific and they have survived the introduction of competitors (bass and stripers)and thrived in the heavily modified Sac system we have today.

So it comes down to a moral/ethical issue. Should you kill something you catch because it isn't a desirable species?

12-12-2005, 11:34 AM
Don't you get a dollar bounty for every squawfish you kill in some Oregon rivers? Because they were introduced into a river system that cannot support them. They want to get rid of them because they are hurting the survival rate of salmonid species.
I am not saying to kill every squawfish you catch. Apparently, they are native to the Sac River watershed and they will always find a way to survuve there. Thats fine.

BUT...they have become an extremely invasive species in some other watersheds. The Arroyo Seco River is home to the federally protected Central Coast Steelhead Trout. Every time I visit this wonderful stream, I find hundreds (if not thousands) of these persistent little suckers. Whereas I might see 1 or 2 trout. And I'm not just looking from the surface---I snorkel the deep holes to take pictures of the trout (and sometimes squawfish--they're everywhere).

The squawfish have an advantage over the trout---they can survive much warmer water. Granted, it isn't the squawfishes' fault that the water temp increases to intolerable levels----that is due to insufficient summer flows, gravel quaries, and over-pumping for residential use and commercial grape growing. However, just because they can survive...doesn't constitute a right to be there, preying on federally protected, endangered steelhead rainbow trout.

So, to conclude, I wouldn't ever go out with the intent to slaughter a bunch of squawfish. But I will do whatever I can to protect these wonderful, beautiful, wild fish that obviously need our help.



12-12-2005, 11:47 AM
They need to be controlled wherever they don't belong. My only point was that you can't do it by angling. I have not seen any evidence that the bounty systems in WA and OR have had any significant effect on their numbers. On smaller creeks, multi-pass electro shocking can reduce their numbers for a while. But it's expensive. Shocking gets after the early year classes that are not effected by angling. They are the ones that make up the bulk of the population. *Unless the little ones are controlled, they just grow up and replace the ones that anglers might kill.

Fisheries ethics are situational. There is no right answer that applies everywhere all of the time.

12-13-2005, 07:42 PM
When i lived in Ukiah, local store ( Diamond's Jim ) used to pay you money if you bring in squawfish

12-19-2005, 08:03 AM
:) I have caught Pikeminnows on Rapala minnow crankbaits,hair raisers, even a small white banjo minnow. The biggest I ever caught was a 30" Pikeminnow that hit a topwater popper at Sailor Bar on the American River.
My wife actually likes them. She is Filipino and is used to eating bony fish, like Milkfish. I tried some and it was actually good tasting. So I always bring home the Pikeminnows when I happen to catch them for her and her friends.

Tight Lines, Dave

12-21-2005, 10:16 PM
I've caught the biggest one on a crawdad crank bait it was about 5lbs in a irragation ditch ! ???

12-23-2005, 04:21 PM
Yeah squawfish well eat about anything. I caught one that was 5.5 pounds on a purple grub while bass fishing ???

But most of my catches for squawfish are all by mistake becuase im mostly bass fishing. And they just love worms. But i never ever catch a fish on kastmasters but i heard just nothing about good news for the delta for stripers for kastmasters. So yeah Good luck