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Old 09-12-2021, 03:46 PM   #1
PaulK
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 185
Shocked by Mergansers

Have you ever seen a Merganser eat an 8" trout?

I'll tell the story. I hit a local river today that's not well known for trout, but is stocked in the spring. I expected to drum up a few smallmouth bass. I walked the rocky riverbank downstream of the town bridge and fished a little woolybugger variation. I caught a 10" bass, then 4 mergansers showed up, swam around briefly and swam downstream.

I fished my way upstream to the town bridge where I saw a rise. I put on a Griffin's Gnat and had one hell of an hour. I hooked, played and lost an 18" brown, then netted 2 sixteen inch browns and finally a 12" brown. My head was spinning. I can only assume the river recieved a fall stocking.

The mergansers showed up at the bridge. They started fishing. They would lurch forward in the river and beat their wings, lurching forward again. Other times, they completely went under., swimming fast forward. All four did this in close quarters,--so were they hunting as a team? One merganser came from the river with an 8" trout in its mouth, like a giant mustache! The others ran to it, but the merganser flipped the trout in a split second down its throat whole. It was gone. That was my fish!!

Now unscientificlly I understand where the stocked trout go after spring stocking. I always assumed mergansers had their minnow diet and that's all. I've personally stocked remote creeks and returned to find no trout. And one creek in particular always has mergansers in a big family. It looks to me now that we're just supporting Mergansers Unlimited. I learned alot today!!
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