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Discussion Starter #1
I have been out on a local central OH stream the past few nights and have noticed what I believe to be SMB or maybe Wipers hanging in the water column feeding like I would associate with trout. What I have seen are fish and large ones (probably ~12-20+ inches) holding in the water column and slashing/rolling at food floating down stream. It seems the bigger ones stay very close to the bottom but some of the smaller ones will sometimes come closer the surface. I'm pretty certain they're not carp as they move I can see their sides seem to be more silver/green like a SMB of Wiper.

Most of the ones I see are all with 10 feet of where I'm wading but I can't seem to catch any of them. I have tried various subsurface nymphs/wet flies and have even used the spinning rod with various lures/plastics. What can these fish be feeding on and why are they so picky? Last night I did stay close to dark and there were some tiny bugs that began hatching that got a lot of surface action from the smaller fish but the bigger ones still stayed towards the bottom feeding.

Has any one seen this before or can confirm if SMB or wipers feed like this? Will they take the time/effort to feed on small nymphs (probably size 16-20)?
 

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What you are seeing could be smallmouth buffalo. I see similar stream behavior from them. They can be very tricky to catch, tougher than carp, IMHO. I have caught them on dead drifted small nymphs and sucker spawn, but have literally hooked maybe 5-6 in my lifetime.
 

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That's how the sheephead behave in the river I fish. I usually see a flash of their side just before they go after something. Last week I threw several streamers and grubs at a group of them with no luck. I finally tied on a rubber legged carp teaser and they went for it.
 

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El Fly Guy
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I wonder if they are like the redhorse suckers I see at Clear Creek. Ive literally waded into a school of them before.
 

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I suspect you're right, Cream, and they are extremely tricky fish to target, particularly when they are in areas where you can see them. The interesting thing is that I've caught them in fast water, on crankbaits. Typically I'd assume they'd been snagged, but one night I caught two on the same rapala xrap, both cleanly hooked in the mouth. I've also caught a couple on live shad. There are some flats down here that they frequent, and I've tried repeatedly to catch them on the fly with just about every kind of presentation, and never caught one. This is one fish that I just don't understand.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input guys! I suppose they could be Smallmouth Buffalo. However, looking at pictures of them I would think they would stand out more in the water due to their light color. The ones I see feeding are in 2-4 of water and I'm only able to see their sides flash when they slash/roll to grab something. I guess I'll have to catch one to confirm :).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sbreech- yes could be redhorse suckers after viewing the pictures and reading more about them. The long slender profile and color looks about right. From what I've read people say they target them with night crawlers so I may drift some SJ worms by them and see what happens next time I'm out.
 
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