Snorkel Fishing for Greater Jumprocks

Monday, July 6, 2020

Recently I’ve been snorkel fishing for micros around the upper Chattahoochee River in Helen, Georgia and stumbled across some large suckers. To my surprise these large suckers let me get very close to them before they would eventually run away like a rational sucker. My theory for this brave behavior starts with the fact that Helen, GA has a VERY popular tubing company that sends hundreds of people down the river multiple times each day. This large volume of people traffic in the river seems to have made these suckers super approachable. Being a lifelist angler, I knew exactly what had to happen.

The next week I came back with trout gear instead of the micro fishing gear, traded a local trout fishermen 2 spinnerbaits for 3 red wigglers (I find more snagged spinnerbaits than I know what to do with while snorkeling), and proceeded to weave my way though the tubers to where the suckers were hanging out. Fortunately, I found 3 of them huddling up against a piece bedrock where I could swim over to them, slowly peak my head over the bedrock ledge, and drop the baits down on their mouths.

After only 2 minutes of tempting them, one of the jumprocks swam up to the worm and sucked it up. I then set the hook and lunged myself out of the water. The sucker then followed suit with its own 2 impressive jumps.

After a brief fight I landed and identified the sucker as a Greater Jumprock. Lifelist species #235! This is also my 8th species of Catostomid without ever catching a redhorse. All hook and line sucker species: Greater Jumprock, Blacktip Jumprock, White Sucker, Torrent Sucker, Rustyside Sucker, Northern Hoogsucker, Roanoke Hogsucker, and Alabama Hogsucker. Looking back, this 8th species of sucker was my redhorse breaking point, and my goal now is to catch 12 species of sucker without a single one of them being "redhorse". Anyways, this species definitly earned its name in my regard with it's fighting style and by being my largest fish caught with snorkel gear.

The link below is a video of both Greater Jumprock catches and some Chattahoochee Bass catches from this day of snorkel fishing:


andy's picture

Really interesting way to catch a sucker, and congratulations on achieving another lifelist addition.  That photo of the leaping Jumprock is fantastic!

Graceclaw's picture

That jumping Jumprock picture is the stuff of legends. Well done, man! 

SDfisher's picture

Awesome story and fish!

Marc Ohms