Monday, May 31, 2010

Tim, Linda, Michael and Kristin

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 80* and clear.
I wanted to take my grandson fishing today so I called a few friends and went out for a couple hours this morning. I looked for a while and could not fined any large schools so I decided to set up on a smaller school and we started catching fish. With the moon so bright last night the fish we obviously not very hungry first thing but as the morning progressed they bit better and better until a dozen boats surrounded us, naturally the fish broke up and turned off. We went and found a couple of more pods of fish and used up 200 baits this morning. By 9:30 we were out of bait and I was out of patience, boat traffic was up so we decided to come on in. We had achieved what we wanted to do, everyone reeled in plenty of fish and we took a few home for the table and released the others to fight again.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Elden and Bill

Partly Cloudy and Pleasant, Water Temperature 79* and Clear.
Went and caught bait early this morning and picked the guys up at 5:45. Looked for a few minutes without seeing any major schools so I moved to another area and located what I wanted to see. We put baits in the Stripers faces and for the next two hours it was constant action, we were either baiting rods or reeling fish in. I never took the guys to a big school because to anglers can not keep up with the action. Today's action was perfect, always a fish hooked up and we could keep a few lines with bait on them in the water. I lost count of how many we caught but we were back in before 9, it was a good thing to because the holiday weekend traffic was picking up and they are calling for some bad storms today. The guys were happy to get in early so they could clean their fish and get back to home before traffic got heavy on the highways. What a great way to start the holidays.
Hopefully everyone will take a moment this weekend to remember all the members of the armed forces who were killed in action.
Semper Fi

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vince LaScala with friend Chuck

Cloudy and Warm, Water temperature 74* and Clear.
I went out and caught bait this morning and picked the guys up at the marina. My hopes were not too high to find large schools till later on in the morning because the weather was similar to yesterday [Fish did not school until mid morning]. I looked on the big motor for about 30 minutes only seeing small pods so I went to where I saw the most fish and trolled a couple of crankbaits hoping to catch a few fish and burn some time until I ran across some downline fish. I hit one area for 6 or 8 minutes and did not see what I wanted to see so we got the lines in and I set up over another area. Within 5 minutes I hit a school that stretched for about 6oo yards. Needless to say both rods hooked up, Chuck caught a double and Vince had a single. We were still over the school so we put baits on downlines and no sooner did we get a couple out they started going off. It took us about 40 minutes before we could ever get all the lines out, way too much action for two clients. We stayed on that one school for a couple hours and used up all of our bait. Vince was interested in trolling on the hot side of the lake so I showed him how it was done, caught some more fish and called it quits just before lunch. The guys took home 12 Stripers for table fare.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The JFHQ-NCR Group...Col. John Neumann with guests Tom, Toney, Rob, Steve, Bill, Roger, Joel, Mike, Mike, Angel and Erica

Cloudy, Warm , Rain pre-dawn, Water Temperature 74* and Clear.
Today we had our annual outing with the group commanded by Col. Neumann. He had reserved 3 boats to take his crew out fishing for Stripers on Lake Anna. With bait being extremely difficult to catch John, Anthony and myself got on the water at 2am hoping to have enough bait for everyone. All of us were concerned about the bait, especially after the storms that blew through last night and this morning. John ended up with about 70 baits, Anthony had 150 and I had about 170 to start the morning. John got back to the marina early to deal with his boat while Anthony and I stayed out till after light catching bait. We ended up departing the marina about 6:30. I noticed John was in quite a hurry leaving but I did not think much of it at the time. He went about a mile from the marina and set out some lines while Anthony and I cruised the lake looking for schools. After 45 minutes of looking for the schools both Anthony and I decided to set up on little pods of fish just to break the ice. About 7:30 John called and said he had put 6 fish in the boat and to come over to him so we did. We set up around him and started taking hits, after an hour I had gone through 60 baits, only putting a couple of keepers in the boat. Anthony was doing the same. John by now had used up his baits and had started trolling artificials. I looked for another hour for schools and set up on numerous pods but all the fish wanted to do was hit the baits in the tails and not eat the bait, consequently I went through my baits catching punks, Cats and 8 or 10 keeper fish. John had trolled for a couple hours and only caught 1 Striper and things were looking bleak. Fish were not schooling, they did not want to eat, between the 3 boats we had had over 300 hits , 80% of those resulted in killed baits. John who was still trolling called me on the phone and said to come over by him, he was seeing more fish and it looked like they were trying to school. We went over, saw the school and burnt up the rest of the baits. John had put a couple more in the boat and was seeing more and more fish. I realized since I could not put a stinger on the live bait and that the fish were only hitting the rear of the baits to kill them that I needed to troll some crankbaits with treble hooks on the rear of the baits to catch fish. I rigged up some rods and headed for the school. John started catching more and more fish so I called Anthony and told him to come over to us and use up the remained of his baits on the school. We started catching fish, one after another. Erica hooked up with the first real nice fish and things started looking better. Anthony's crew were putting fish in the boat while John and I continued to catch fish. Angel hooked up to a nice fish, we did not know if he was reeling the fish in or the fish was reeling him in. He finally got it in and I think it was a little bigger than Erica's fish. We continued to hit the schools and catch fish till lunch time then we called it quits for the day, everyone was out of bait, everyone was hungry and there was food waiting back at the marina. I found out while we were eating from John that the group had a bet on who caught the first fish of the day and whoever caught the largest fish of the day. That explains why the Col.'s boat snuck out this morning and started fishing immediately. No one told Anthony or I about the bet. One of the crew out of my boat won the big fish bet, I did not see who it was. After a slow start this morning we ended up with a great days catch, between the 3 boats we all caught over 150 fish , the guys keeping 56 Stripers and a few Kitties to take back home and releasing a bunch of punks. Three Captains left the marina very tired, I am sure John and Anthony went straight home and crashed. The group is probably still cleaning fish back at the marina!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Live Bait for Lake Anna Big Bass

Cloudy, Showers and no wind, Water Temperature 74* and Stained.
It has been tough getting on the water before 2am to catch bait for my clients so this morning I picked my client up at 5:30 at High Point and went uplake to catch Gizzard Shad. I only had to throw for about 30 minutes and caught 30 10 to 15 inch Gizz so I decided while I was up there I would pull Water Bugz planner boards around the banks up around Gold Mine Creek. It being overcast I thought we could catch some nice fish feeding shallow. I had just got all my boards out when the 15" shad on my furthest board out closest to the grass line got nervous. Next thing we knew there was a huge swirl and we were hooked up. The fish pulled drag for about 50 yards before I could turn the boat and attempt to catch up to the fish. After about a 10 minute battle we finally got close enough to the fish to see that it was a nice Bass. I noticed the Bass had wrapped itself around a dock piling and was worried it would break off so I took all my clothes off and jumped into the water, swam up under the dock, grabbed the fish and tried to pass it to my client but the line was wrapped too tight around the piling. I bit the line in half and threw the Bass up onto my boat, it hit my trolling motor controller and turned the motor on high bypass, the boat took off and my client had no clue how to control the boat. I climbed up onto the dock butt naked to yell to my client how to cut the motor off then all of a sudden I woke up with my wife Jeanne shaking me in bed telling me that I was dreaming!
Well, it was exciting while it lasted....Actually this fish was caught on July 2nd, 2009 on Lake Biwa , Japan by Manabu Kurita. The fish weighed in at 22-pound, 4-ounces. The bait he used was a live Bluegill.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Michael Bailey with guests Bruce Jr., Bruce III, John, Rus and Jeff

Cloudy and Pleasant, Water Temperature 72* and Clear.
Threw for bait for 3 hours this morning then picked up the guys at High Point at 5:45am. Went looking for schools of Stripers but was concerned about the weather change and weekend traffic. I instructed the guys on how to deploy the lines and set up on a couple fish but did not get bit. After 10 minutes we got the baits in and looked some more. I could not find what I wanted so I set up on a few fish just so the guys could catch a few fish. After 30 minutes I could not stand it any more and went looking for schools. I looked for an hour without seeing what I wanted so again I set up on pods of Stripers, a few fish spread out over a couple hundred yards. We would catch 6 or 8 here and there, no rhyme or reason why they were there or why I could not find larger schools. I attribute the lack of schooling to mainly the weather, the barometer dropping and the cloudy day. The east wind did not help much either. I kept trying to find fish for my clients and burnt up 20 gallons of fuel doing so. A couple times today we would get 5 or 6 fish hooked up at once but the small schools seemed to evaporate quickly. Around 1 o'clock we finally ran out of bait, great timing, we had just reached their limit of fish. Today we caught 40 Stripers and a few Catfish, 24 of the Stripers were keepers, the others were punks that we released. It ended up being quite a good day in fact after I learned what other anglers had caught today. Today was Michael's birthday, the trip a present from his loving wife Penny.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Doug Mills with guests Dorothy, Mike and Zeppy

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 72* and Clear.
I got out super early this morning and caught bait and met my crew at High Point around daylight. I knew when I met the 3 new clients Doug brought along today that we were going to have fun, they had brought a 120 quart cooler full of Beer and Ice and were ready to enjoy the day regardless if we caught fish or not. Mike mentioned he had " fished everywhere and not caught fish everywhere", I assured him that today catching fish was not going to be an issue. I had planned to start fishing where I left off yesterday on that huge school of Stripers and had been concerned last night after being busted there yesterday while all my clients were reeling in fish that maybe there would be other boats on it so when I came around the corner and saw the "Buzzards" circling in the area I simply headed the other direction. I looked for about 10 minutes and John called and said he was catching a few fish so I went up by him to break my crew in and showed them how to deploy the baits. We worked the area for about 45 minutes catching about 15 Stripers but half of them were punks so I decided to get the lines in and go find a mega school. I looked for about 15 minutes till I ran over about 3oo yards of solid Stripers, I shut the big motor down and told everyone this is what they came for and they were certainly ready. By now they knew exactly how to put the baits out and the rods started bending before we could get half of them out. For about 30 minutes there was constantly rods bent over, one time we had 5 hooked up at once, the rest of the time only a couple fish were being fought at a time. I pulled off of the fish for a moment to re-group, we got 8 lines back in the water and did it all over again. At one time I turned around and Zeppy had rods in both hands bend in half begging Doug to help him out. Once Doug grabbed a rod Zeppy took a slug of Beer and continued to fight and land the fish. We probably caught 25 fish out of this school in less than a hour, we had our limits and had thrown plenty back to fight again. I usually keep count of how many fish we catch but it was impossible this morning to keep up with how many fish came in the boat in just a few hours of fishing. This is the start of the "summer season" of Striper fishing, year after year it has not been uncommon to catch 20 to 40 fish per hour if we have the right live bait and weather conditions stay stable. Based on the size of the schools of Stripers I have seen in the last 2 days this year should be as good or better than previous years. If you go fishing with me or one of my guides remember to bring plenty of people to handle all the action!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Steve Mudre with guests Denny and Teresa Smith

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 70* and Clear.
Got on the water before 2am this morning to catch bait, picked the guys up at 5:30 and headed uplake. I set out a spread of planner boards and pulled a 5 to 15 foot flat nearby the mouth of a creek. After working it for 45 minutes and only getting punked we got our lines in and set up over an area where I could put out my whole spread, 10 boards, a bobber, 2 free lines and 5 downlines. We hit various structures and depths but again the nicer fish were not aggressive, we would just catch punks. I finally hit an area where a hump dropped off into the channel and hooked up with 4 or 5 fish but by the time I turned back they were gone. We worked the area looking for the fish but never found them again. I had a friend out fishing also and he was experiencing the same thing as I was so I decided to move to a completely different part of the lake hoping the fish there had different attitudes toward eating. I had no sooner told Steve what I was doing when I saw what I wanted to see so we put out out lines and started taking hits. We got into so much action that more times than not we had numerous fish on. Steve was enjoying this action, he had been out with me in the past and was hoping we could turn his friends on to some of the madness. Today we had well over 100 hits, I lost count of how many Stripers we caught but it was many more than 30. We came off the water before noon after running out of baits and before it got too hot.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mitch and Jamie Webb

Cloudy and Cool, Water temperature 68* and Clear.
I got out very early as usual to catch bait and picked my clients up at 5:30 at High Point Marina. I looked around for a short time and decided to set up over about 20' of water and I put my spread out of boards, free lines and down lines. With the front blowing through yesterday and it only going to be 60* today I thought I would present the Stripers all different techniques and let them tell us what they wanted. I knew the bite today would be difficult and it was certainly a slow start. We started taking hits on boards but with no regularity. I hit different areas the first few hours of the morning but by 9:30 only had 5 fish in the box. I decided to make a radical move so we got all the lines in and went downlake hoping the fish would have different attitudes over clearer water. We set out some downlines and immediately started getting bit. We worked the area for about an hour catching 8 to 10 fish then I decided to move again to a completely different location. I put out downlines there after seeing fish deep but after working the fish for about 20 minutes I decided to put out a spread of boards to see if they would attack them, and they did. We went through a spell where there was too much action, the guys were caught up in the moment and forgot about the process we had been going through all day but they got it back in control and ended up catching 24 Stripers, 6 Catfish and a couple Bass for the day. Hopefully this weather will straighten up soon, we are having way too many fronts and temperature changes for the Stripers to be stable and predictable.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Massive school of Stripers

After running over about 100 yards of this this morning I decided to take a picture, although it is hard to see through all the pollen on the screen I believe there were a few fish in the area. The fish were from 22 feet deep up to 10 feet deep before I quit seeing them on the screen like this.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Earl Custer with friends Ken, Glen, Paul, Tony and Jim

Sunny and Hot, Water temperature 75* and Clear.
Both John and I had trips this morning so we double teamed the bait, I went for Gizz and he went for Herring, we met back at the dock at 5:30 and went fishing. We both set up in the same general vicinity, John pulling similar spreads as mine. The early am bite was slow, we would get punked and caught a few Bass but the Stripers were not ready to eat early. As the morning progressed the bite did get better although the fish really never did turn on , we would simply catch a fish here and there. A similar bite was going on with John, although he was catching most of his fish shallow and we were catching ours over 22 foot flats. About 9:30 Johns client hooked up next to us and we enjoyed watching his lady client fight a very nice fish for about 8 minutes and a couple hundred yards. By the time she landed the fish they were too far away to see actually how large the fish was. With the water temperature climbing the Stripers seemed a little confused, patterns may change over the next week or so. Today my crew had 30 hook-ups and took a few nice fish home back to Pennsylvania.
PS...Special thanks go out to Timmy.

Monday, May 03, 2010