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It's a Rainbow Smelt. Despite the rumors there are still a few smelt in Keuka Take a look at this if you are still confused on the ID

http://www.bing.com/search?q=Cisco+the+fish&form=QBLH&sp=-1&pq=cisco+the+fish&sc=2-14&qs=n&sk=&cvid=816EF2AEAFE94FB29B424BECD334ACE5

 

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I would have to agree that the top fish is not a smelt. Wrong profile, here in NH we use small smelt for bait in the spring. Not a smelt, kinda looks like a emerald. Though emeralds have a green sheen to them. Good luck!    Matt

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I give up....you guys might want to take a look at pics of rainbow Smelt bring it up on Google or Bing or something. This is one I caught a couple years ago through the ice.

 

 

 

smelt1.jpg

smelt1.jpg

Edited by Sk8man
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Serves me right on the bottom ones all I saw was the silver bodies as the top parts blended in to the background so the profile looked different:smile: I also didn't catch what looks like it may be part of a spot at the center base of the tail of the first fish....guess I stand corrected.

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I believe it was mid February and yes it seemed fat with eggs but none came out anything and it put it back in and it swam off:smile:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't see an adipose fin on the top fish, so I'm going with emerald shiner.  I used to get lots of these in with the smelt when we dipped at Russell Station, and a lot of guys couldn't tell the difference (at least until they came out of the fryer.)   The bottom look like small sunfish, we used to catch lots of these in early August in minnow traps in a shallow area of Fourth Lake where the pumpkinseeds spawned, and when we get landlocks in August, they are generally full of these even when there are good year classes of smelt in the Lake.  They do not work as bait, however as they don't keep well in a minnow bucket, and they don't stay alive on the hook.

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Fairly confident the one it is a Spottail Shiner, definitely not a Cisco. The mouth (subterminal) isn’t right for an Emerald’s mouth (superior).

 

Spottails are cool little preyfish I’ve always wanted to know more about them. I know they are more benthic than some other shiners. Likely not a coincidence their relative abundance in Lake Ontario declined quickly as Round Goby increased. 

 

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The guys fishing on the bottom along the sidewalls of olcott piers with worms targeting perch in the spring used to catch them. I stopped seeing them in the mid-90’s when zebra mussels started dominating. I think the Oak fishing fleet learned to mimic the spot tail shiner when targeting browns by putting the eye sticker on the rear of the spoon. 

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After looking closely at that first example I am struck by the arrowhead shaped scales down the center line and the very elliptical shape of the eye which looks as though t is tilted in an upward position.....none of the examples of baitfish I have looked at seem to have those features.

Edited by Sk8man
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21 hours ago, schreckstoff said:

Fairly confident the one it is a Spottail Shiner, definitely not a Cisco. The mouth (subterminal) isn’t right for an Emerald’s mouth (superior).

 

Spottails are cool little preyfish I’ve always wanted to know more about them. I know they are more benthic than some other shiners. Likely not a coincidence their relative abundance in Lake Ontario declined quickly as Round Goby increased. 

 

I will agree with you Brian.  You have way more expertise than all of us combined on this subject.  

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