The abundance of Micros in Indiana

Seeing as though I am a broke college student, I tend to stay close to home for my fishing expeditions. While this could be bad for some, I see it as an opportunity to fully survey the waters around me. While not as impressive as the Appalachians, or Florida, Indiana is a great place for lifelisting. The diversity of habitat, ranging from clear rocky streams to very large rivers gives it its species diversity. In this report, I want to outline all the state of Indiana has to offer for microfishing by focusing on the various habitats I have seen from southeastern to west/central Indiana. 

One of my favorite microfishing habitats in Indiana are the small rocky and sandy streams typical of the state. Below are the species typical of these small streams. 

The good ole Creek Chub can be found in every small to medium sized stream in the state. Also common species in these small streams include, but are not limited to Western Blacknose Dace, Orangethroat Darter, Johnny Darter, Fantail Darter, Sand Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, Central Stoneroller, and Striped Shiner. 

Bluntnose Minnow 

Sand Shiner 

Central Stoneroller

Spotfin Shiner

Western Blacknose Dace

Orangethroat Darter

Fantail Darter

Johnny Darter

Striped Shiner

The high quality headwater streams that are usually spring-fed are also home to Mottled Sculpin, Southern Redbelly Dace, and even Redside Dace that are state endangered and restricted to southeast Indiana. 

Mottled Sculpin

Southern Redbelly Dace

As the streams get somewhat larger, the Sand Shiners, Spotfin shiners, and Bluntnose Minnows remain common. In the medium rocky streams Rainbow Darters, Greenside Darters, Logperch, and Banded Darters dominate while the Fantail and Johnny Darters can still be found but are not as common. Steelcolor Shiner, Silver Shiner, Carmine Shiner, and River Chub also love the fast, clean rocky habitat of medium sized river systems. The Silverjaw Minnow and Bigeye Chub are also caught in extremely clear/clean streams in Indiana. Both of my lifers for those species have come from Big Walnut Creek In Greencastle, Indiana. 

Rainbow Darter

River Chub

Steelcolor Shiner


Silver Shiner

Silverjaw Minnow

Banded Darter


Greendside Darter

Carmine Shiner

Bigeye Chub

The East Fork White River has an addition of Northern Studfish and Streamline Chub that are both uncommon throughout the state. 

Streamline Chub

Northern Studfish

Finally, the big rivers and/or slower moving streams in Indiana offer Blackstripe Topminnow, the ever-annoying Western Mosquitofish, Silver Chub, Bullhead Minnow, and Brook Silverside. 

Blackstripe Topminnow

Brook Silverside

Western Mosquitofish

Silver Chub

Bullhead Minnow

In addition to the micro species pictured, I have also caught Emerald Shiner, Scarlet Shiner, Fathead Minnow, and Orangespotted Sunfish in the State of Indiana. There are tons of species that I have yet to catch uncluding more than 25 minnow species and around 20 darter species. If you are not able to travel, it shouldn't keep you from fishing, as there are likely many species you have never seen living right in your home state. 

Species List:


BradleyR's picture

Great report, thanks for sharing! I'll have to visit Indiana at some point to look for some of these micros, can't catch most of them in this part of Canada.