Weird squawfish... I think

I was fishing in Idaho in a confluence that runs into the clearwater river and I caught this weird Squawfish (I know its a pikeminnow). I have caught them before, so I'm pretty sure this is a squaw, but the coloring was weird, wondering if anyone had seen anything similar. The picture is bad because I took it with my phone, but basically it had a red ring around it's mouth, and red stripes down each side, which you can kind of see in the picture. Let me know if this is not a squawfish, or if anyone has seen anything like this before. Also, I was wondering how big squawfish get, because there were some HUGE fish jumping where I was fishing, but i suspect they may have been carp.
Huh looks like a squaw to me. maybe spawning colors? Cool looking fish. Did you get a chance to to any salmon/steelhead fishing on the clearwater? i was gonna go visit my dad and fish the dworshak this summer but think its gonna have to wait.
That is kind of strange looking. When you said it had a red ring around it's mouth, it reminded me of a peamouth (chub). They look just like a squaw. Actually the only 2 differences I can tell between a squaw and a chub when I catch them is that red ring around it's mouth, and the chub's mouth is a lot smaller than a squaws (hence the name, peamouth). I got online and looked up peamouths. The 3rd site I looked at had this quote about them

"Dark on back and silvery below; two dusky stripes along side; reddish at corners of mouth. Breeding fish have red midside stripe. Small barbel at each corner of mouth."
Looking at your pic again I'm convinced that it's a peamouth chub. Right away if you look at it's mouth, It's mouth is real small. A squaws mouth extends farther back. For the last part of your question, I'm pretty sure the squaws can get pretty big. I know the squawfish in the colorado river are considered endangered. I just looked up and saw a pic of a colorado squaw that was 38 inches. The biggest one I've ever caught was up on the Elochoman River up in Washington using a rooster tail. I'd say it was 3 or 4 pounds.
Last edited:
Yeah I looked up the peamouth too and I'm pretty sure thats what it was. I had never heard of them before. I didn't get a chance to salmon or steelhead fish just because the out of state tags are so expensive, I have seen some really big ones washed up on shore though this last winter. Thanks for the info!
38 inches seems HUGE for a squaw. Whatever was jumping where I was at was at least 2 feet long though and wouldn't bite on anything I had.
In the Deschutes, their called "Redsides"! LOL

Squawfish and Carp often share the same water. The big ones are likely carp. They like doughballs (rolled up bread); if you want to go after them.
i caught a squaw down at the slaw fork that was pure chrome, thought i had a jack on....nope just a chromed out 3 pound squaw
I was half right with the spawn. Sure is a crazy looking fish.
Squaws don't really get spawning color, maybe some slight orange around the belly.

That is no doubt a Peamouth Chub with spawning color, I can go down to the Willamette anyday and catch those things all day along with Squawfish.

The ones jumping were probably indeed Carp, and like Troutdude said, roll up a breadball and put it on a size 14 treble, in that order so the hook slides out freely, and no weight if possible, or use the smallest slide sinker to hold bottom with about no more than a 6lb leader.

Whats the river like? Is it slow and deep, or mainly whitewater?
Top Bottom