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Interview with Bradley RasmussenHow did your hunt for species start?
Ive just always loved collecting things. When I was about 12, I started fishing a lot during the summer because I had not started working yet. It started with trying to catch every fish in my lake, then every fish in the province, and now Ive started looking for targets in other countries :)
What is your coolest species and how dit you catch it?
That is a very difficult question to answer, but one of my favourites is the Quillback (Carpiodes cyprinus). Ive caught them during the annual spring spawning run when they are more easily located in smaller tributaries of the St-Lawrence River. In fact, they can easily be seen because their dorsal fins point out of the shallower water. A simple bottom rig with a worm is all that is needed to catch them.
Do you ever go abroad to catch new species?
Yes, although I havent traveled to any crazy destinations yet. Ive mostly fished all around North America as well as a few Caribbean islands. My favourite type of species hunting is during road trips; Ive driven around the Maritime provinces, across Canada, and all along the east coast of the United States. I hope to eventually visit South America and Europe as well.
Which books or websites do you use to look op your fishspecies.
I do much of my research online but have also used a couple of province/state field guides and own a copy of Petersons Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes. In terms of online resources, I often use Fishbase, iNaturalist, Roughfish, Fishmap, and the NANFA fish checklist. Another great resource if Im really struggling with an ID is to post pictures on various Facebook groups such as NANFA, and the Lifelist Fishing Club.
Do you have a fishing buddy who likes specieshunting?
Yes, Id like to think that many of the lifelisters Ive fished with are my buddies :) Unfortunately, there are not many that live nearby but my friend Alexis lives a couple towns over and another friend, Francois, lives in Quebec City. Im also slowly converting my girlfriend to lifelisting ;)
How often do you visit specieshunters.com?
Occasionally, hopefully more often because more visits = more lifers haha.
What are the most important items that a species hunter needs when fishing.
A fishing rod and the right gear for the targeted species :P Honestly, the answer very much depends on the species. I would say that having a good variety of hook sizes (especially smaller ones), is always handy in case some smaller species show up.
What was your best specieshunting trip/mission?
In terms of numbers, it is definitely a 2018/2019 Florida road trip I went on with a group of other lifelisters. Together we caught over 80 species of fish, and I personally caught just over 50 lifers in 6 days of fishing!
What was your worst trip/mission?
Ive been fortunate to have had great success on most of my trips so far. None of the bigger ones really stand out ad being the worst. That being said, I once tried target some wild landlocked char in southern Quebec and had 0 success. It was still a great adventure, but it took hundreds of hours of research to pin down the correct lake (they are quite rare in the south), and when I finally got to the lake, it was frozen! The worst part was the 5-hour round-trip hike into and out of the lake... pretty much all uphill and I was dragging a kayak behind me with my gear.
Which websites do you visit tot study catch reports?
Mainly Facebook, I am a member/founder of a few fishing groups on the site and always appreciate reading everyones posts :) I also read reports on Roughfish and a number of personal blogs that my friends/acquaintances publish.
What are your planned trips for the future?
Im assuming my answer to this question will change as I travel to more and more places, but right now, one of my top destinations is the Amazon! Id also like to visit Norway, the Amur River basin in Russia, and the American southwest.