How to Catch a Sucker Fish? Full Guide

How to Catch a Sucker Fish? Full Guide

Catching a sucker fish is not hard, but still needs some techniques. Here are the tips on catching a sucker fish.

White suckers are game fish that are present in all lakes, rivers, and streams throughout the United States. When there is a current, these fish prefer to stay in shallower areas. So how do you catch a sucker fish? They can be caught using a variety of techniques, including bottom fishing, bait casting, chumming, and fly fishing.

Read on to learn how to catch a sucker fish.

How to Catch a Sucker Fish?

Below are the steps to catch a sucker fish.

Locating Suckers

Although suckers can be caught in many different types of water, including lakes and ponds, they are most frequently found in moving water. Sucker fishing is best in rivers and streams with cool, clear water because these fish frequently live in the same habitat as trout and smallmouth bass.

Deep pools frequently harbor suckers, particularly those in the main river just downstream from a feeder creek. Suckers can also be found in slack water on the downstream side of an eddy, logjam, or rock pile.

An area where water moving quickly and slowly converges is known as a current break and is another river feature to look for. On the slow side of a current break, suckers frequently gather.

How to Catch a Sucker Fish? Full Guide

Picking the Right Time

Sucker fishing is best in the spring. The springtime migration of suckers upstream for spawning typically involves active feeding.

Approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit is the spawning temperature for white suckers, and 54 F is the spawning temperature for redhorse suckers, according to the In-Fisherman magazine.

Suckers congregate in predictable locations due to their seasonal spawning patterns, whereas in the summer and fall, they tend to disperse more widely. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources notes that suckers’ meat is firmer during this season, which is why anglers who catch them for food prefer to fish in the spring.

Gearing Up

Catching suckers doesn’t require fancy equipment; lightweight bass fishing gear works well. Monofilament line with a 6-pound test is typically used with light to medium-light spinning tackle. Attach a bait-holder hook in the No. 6 size to the end of the line, and then add just enough weight to keep the rig on the bottom where suckers feed.

As an alternative, you could substitute a plain hook for a 1/8-ounce jig head and add a bobber or slip-float a few feet above, adjusting the gap between the bait and bobber to ensure that your bait stays near the bottom. This rig maintains motion, which may be preferable when suckers are actively feeding in relatively shallow water.

Selecting Bait

For suckers, nightcrawlers are the most popular and efficient type of bait. To extend the life of your bait, cut your crawlers into halves or even thirds. To make the bait more visible, use two or more whole red worms, which are smaller than night crawlers.

How to Catch a Sucker Fish? Full Guide

In addition to these live baits, suckers will also strike leeches, tiny crayfish, and minnows. Although using live bait is by far the most popular sucker fishing technique, fly fishermen can also have success using wet flies in nymph and scud patterns, as well as flies that mimic worms and fish eggs.

Where to Catch White Sucker?

All over the United States, these fish can be found., including the northeast, south, west, and upper midwest. They thrive in bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and streams and can tolerate dirty water.

The following are habitats where you can catch White Suckers:

  • Cliffs
  • Cliffs and Steep Shore Banks
  • Current Edges
  • Dams and Falls
  • Drop-offs
  • Eddies
  • Freshwater Lakes and Ponds
  • Freshwater Weed Beds
  • Gradual Shores
  • Inlets and Outlets
  • Inside Turns and Coves
  • Islands or Sand Bars
  • Lake and Pond Fishing Holes
  • Open Water
  • Outside of Bends
  • Overhanging Trees and Bushes
  • Piers, Docks, and Pilings
  • Riparian Zones
  • Ripples, Currents, Swirls, and Sprays
  • Rivers and Streams
  • Rock and Boulder Pockets
  • Rocks
  • Small Pointed Waves
  • Springs Holes
  • Sunken Objects
  • Undercut Banks
  • Walkways and Bridges

Conclusion: Catch a Sucker Fish

In order for a fish to spot and consume your bait, you must bounce it along the bottom of the water. Therefore, you should use a rod that is both heavy enough to comfortably cast a weighted offering and sensitive enough to pick up what are frequently light strikes.


Can You Eat Sucker Fish?

Suckers are safe to eat. They rank among the healthiest foods on the market. Suckers eat algae, plants, and small invertebrates, so their advantages over potential contaminants are substantial. Suckers don’t consume other fish.

How Long Does Sucker Fish Live?

In ideal tank and water conditions, suckers can live a very long time. Some related species have been reported to live over a decade, and can sometimes even get close to the 20-year mark.

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