Microfishing Is Texas’s Tiny New Angling Trend

Microfishing Is Texas’s Tiny New Angling Trend

Author: Texas Monthly
Published: October 5, 2022

Have you ever heard of microfishing? It’s popular in Texas! This article shares all the details.

“Inspired by an ancient Japanese tradition, it’s all about catching as many minuscule species as possible.

The creek behind Alex Arcia’s house in Plantersville, about an hour northwest of Houston, is no more than two feet wide. But when Arcia, now fifteen, was in elementary school, the cool current running past holly and pine trees felt like an expansive and magical world. When he was four or five years old, he learned to hold a fishing rod; by seven, he was heading to the water by himself to hook bluegill. For a while Arcia kept a walkie-talkie on hand so his parents could check in on him. “I spent so much time down there, years down there, just fishing my heart out,” he says.

As the years went by, however, Arcia felt the creek’s childhood magic starting to fade. His interest turned to larger lakes where he could catch big trophy fish like bass and catfish. The creek still ran not far from Alex’s bedroom at his dad’s house, but it didn’t feel the same.

Then, while in a late-night rabbit hole in angler YouTube about three years ago, Arcia stumbled across a video that asked a simple question: what if fishermen stopped looking for the biggest fish? What if variety were more significant than size? Soon after, Arcia walked through the pasture behind his house and went fishing in the creek with a new perspective. “​​It just fascinated me, all the species—not new species, but new to me,” he says.

The creek was filled with amazing, colorful species of fish: blackstripe topminnow, freckled madtom, blacktail shiner. They were tiny, sure, but astoundingly beautiful. Looking closely, Arcia noticed the minute dots playing across a freckled madtom and the geometric patterns hidden within the dark stripe of the topminnow. It was a revelation to discover all this life hidden in his backyard. Arcia wondered what other overlooked but fascinating fish he might find if he roamed a little farther. Before long, he went to find out, traveling with his family across Texas with a tiny fishing rod and size-30 Gamakatsu midge hooks jammed into his backpack. Though Arcia didn’t quite realize it at the time, he was the newest member of a small group of anglers flipping the script on the traditional bigger-is-better approach to sportfishing—and potentially reimagining our relationship with fish.”

To read the full article from Texas Monthly, click here. 

Photo credit: Original Author

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