Thursday, May 28, 2009

Greg Grehawick with guests Mike, Cathy, John and Bill

May 28th, 2009: Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 77*and Clear.
Picked Greg up at his dock at 4am this morning because he wanted to go help catch bait. We ran uplake , caught 150 baits, went back to the marina and picked up the rest of the crew. I went a short distance , found some fish, stopped, showed and explained the procedure necessary to work downlines correctly. While we were talking Cathy's rod hooked up and she broke the ice with the first Striper of the day. They were ready for some action now so I located a school of fish, we all put the lines down and the madness began. We worked that school for a while then I found another school, and another , and another till we were out of bait, about 8:30. I went and caught more bait, found a couple more schools of fish and proceeded to wear the Stripers out. By 10 o'clock Cathy reeled in our 77th fish of the morning, a good way to end the day. We had a lot of fun this morning, not only catching fish but also joking with each other, and the guys [and Cathy] got to take some delicious fish home to eat.

PS...Greg commented today that he thought I was a grumpy old man, complaining about boaters encroaching on my clients daily in my journal. After setting up for the 4th time, having to move only because inconsiderate so called fisherman would drive right over to us when they saw everyone on my boat reeling in fish and spook the school, Greg realized how rude these people can be. We actually had an idiot driving a Sea Pro who was trolling drive between my boat and another buzzards boat, less than 30 yards apart!
After that episode we moved to an area of the lake where there were no boats, within 5 minutes 5 boats were on us again. There are 9600 acres of water on this lake, probably right now no less than 500 schools of Stripers, why can't people be sportsmanlike enough to simply give me an acre of birth so that my clients can enjoy a peaceful outing on the lake without being harassed?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Phil, Chris, Josh and Uncle Ken

May 27th, 2009: Cloudy and drizzle, Water Temperature 76* and Clear.
Went out and caught bait early and picked the guys up at 5:30. Went and threw for some more Gizzards and then set up on a 22 foot flat. We had 4 or 5 quick hits but the action turned off as quick as it started. Set up on a similar spot and worked it for 10 minutes and decided to move. I wanted to find some action. Went about a 1/2 mile and my depthfinder lit up with fish. The guys jumped up, grabbed a rod, I baited them and before they could get other rods down the first four had hooked up. They were not prepared for this kind of action and stumbled on the first volley. I lost the fish and briefed them on what to do when I got back on them. Got on the big motor again and found the school, turned the big motor off, everyone was standing at the bait tank ready to put the baits out, and for the next hour went through 150 baits. The guys never caught up by having all the lines down in the water. It was so hectic that I lost count of fish at 39 and we moved again and repeated the same scenario. Everyone did good today, especially Phil. He listened and paid attention so well, took charge of the boat and helped the other guys out that were having difficulties. NOT. We all had fun today, spanked the Stripers and were off the water by 11am with 20 keepers.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Elden Wright and Bill

May 22nd, 2009: Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 73* and Clear.
Picked the guys up at High Point Marina at 5am and went uplake to catch bait. After about an hour of throwing we had 50 and went fishing. My hopes were not very high due to it being the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, I had already passed 3 Striper boats before getting bait. A good friend Danny called me on the radio and said to forget where I wanted to go, there were already 3 boats on it and 2 more heading for it. I already figured that and was setting up in a different area without a boat in sight. It was a beautiful morning on the lake and it was nice to put out a spread of baits , catch some fish, relax and not be harassed by other boats. The fish were not aggressive this morning, we were all over them but for some reason they were hesitant to eat. Today we had about a dozen hook-ups and Elden and Bill took home some nice Stripers for their lovely wives to eat. I will stay off the water till the weekend warriors go home than try it again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ken Wilson with guests Jack, Marty and Karen

May 20th, 2009: Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temp 68* and warming.
Got out this morning at 5, picked up my clients, caught bait and snaked my way through the fog to work an area with flats ranging from 8 to 25 feet deep. Before I could get my boards out we started taking hits and within 5 minutes of fishing we put 3 fish in the boat. We worked the flats for awhile and had 10 more fish hook up and I decided to take a brief break to let the crew use the restrooms. Went back out and set up on some deeper flats, saw fish, put downlines in the fish's faces and started hooking up again. We fished that area and hooked up 6 or 8 times boating 3 or 4 fish then I made another move to a similar area. Wasn't there for 5 minutes and we banged them again. Karen caught the biggest fish of the day, an 11 pounder, and everyone went home with a big smile on their faces. The crew took home about 115 pounds of Striper today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Martin, Philip and Barry

May 18th, 2009: Sunny, Cold and Windy, Water Temperature fell to 68*.
After yesterdays cold and rain and last nights cold and wind the water temp fell to 67* this morning .I got out early and caught bait then picked up my clients at 6am. The wind was already howling so I headed for the only place I knew that I could fish to stay out of the wind but when I rounded the turn there were already 2 boats there so I set up in the wind. We started taking hits early and saw plenty of fish but they were very lethargic and had to hit them in the head to eat. We hit a couple other places taking hits and catching a few fish but still the Stripers would not feed well. Today we worked 5 different areas to have 14 hook-ups and boated 8 fish. We saw hundreds of fish on the depth finder and tried our best but the front and the wind had too much affect on us today.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bob Hammond's Family

May 16th, 2009: Partly Sunny and warm, Water Temperature 72*
I knew today was going to be a challenge when I drove over the first bridge and there were 2 boats throwing for bait and when I got to Hunter Landing a little after 4am there were 4 boats already out . I put the boat in and glanced over to Dillard's bridge and there were 3 boats frothing the water with their nets. I went uplake and caught 52 big Gizzards , came back to the ramp and picked my clients up. As I was driving downlake I passed 5 or 6 boats fishing for Stripers and a couple of them followed me to where I was going. I told Bob that I was going to set up on a bogus flat, that in a couple minutes there would be all over us and once they got set up we would go to our fish. By the time I got out 6 boards we were surrounded by 5 boats. We put a couple fish in the boat and looked up and here comes this 24'Red SeaFox, stopped 70 yards in front of us, starts putting out boards, I turned to the left so he would not get tangled in mine, as I did he cut another boat off and that boat had to swerve to avoid tangling with this Idiot. Obviously these people are from the DC area and act like they are driving on the beltway. Anyway, my ploy worked, now there were 7 boats , the buzzards were commited and we picked up our spread and went to some nice fish. We set up on a flat with no other boats in sight and had 25 Stripers hook up and everyone had a great day. We actually had one Striper hook up that one of the boys could not handle so Bob jumped on the rod and fought it. He could never turn the fish and it eventually pull out.
Obviously I do not like fishing on the weekends!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Doug and Jason Mills with Mark and Jim

May 15th, 2009: Partly Cloudy and Pleasant, Water temperature 69*.
Doug and Mark wanted to help with bait this morning so I met them at 5am and we caught bait, then picked up Jim and Jason and went fishing. I set out a spread of only 8 boards a Bobber and only 1 downline expecting to duplicate the action we had yesterday. We hooked up on our first pass with one Striper so I turned right around to make the pass again. When we got close all the baits got nervous then like a light switch the fish turned on. This was the first time this group of guys had fished with me and I believe they were slightly shocked at what happened for the next 3 hours. About 9 o'clock Doug picked up a planner board rod that had just got crushed and proceeded to fight and land this nice 19 1/2 pound male Striper, at least that is what it weighed after pictures were taken. I am sure it weighed more but it was pretty excited when it got in the boat and left quite a puddle of milk on the floor. We popped a couple more Stripers there and made a move to a similar spot, put out 4 downlines this time and all it took was about 2 minutes for everyone to hook up. We finished the day there and went to the marina before 11am to get pictures . Todays stringer was slightly over 150 pounds.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bill Halladay, Tom Flynn, Jose and Chris Gomes, Chris Gilbert

May 14th, 2009: Cloudy and Windy, Water Temperature 68* and Clear.
Got out real early this morning to catch bait because I knew the wind was going to howl and I wanted to give my clients a good chance to catch fish before the front hit. Picked the guys up at 6 at their dock and had baits in the water within 5 minutes. Put out a spread of boards and downlines and it didn't take long before we had fish on. We popped one fish and made a turn and came back over the area and 3 rods went off. I knew where the zone was now, and we proceeded to spank the Stripers. The fish were staged on a ledge between a shallow flat and a deeper flat, the only Stripers that were feeding were right on the ledge although we could see others on either flat. We worked the ledges till the wind blew us off the lake around 11am then we headed for the dock. We all had a lot of fun this morning and when I left the marina it looked like the guys had their hands full cleaning all the Stripers. This morning we had 27 fish on, the guys kept 19 for 150 pounds. [I couldn't have got through the morning without Chris Gilbert's help..........NOT]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

John, Carl and Bill

May 12th, 2009: Sunny and Cool, Water temp 68* and Clear.
Got out early again this morning and caught bait so I could pick the guys up and be fishing at daylight. Carl said he was a little late because "the girls" had to stop and get a cup of coffee. We had a cold front blow through yesterday afternoon and it was only 42* this morning and I knew it would be bluebird skis today after the fog burned off so I was anxious to get my spread of planner boards out and catch some fish before it got so bright. I went right to a long ledge and put some boards up on a 5' flat and the outer boards were out over 25 feet of water. Within 5 minutes John hooked up and started the day off. We worked the ledge and a couple points nearby again with our baits getting nervous but only one Striper committed to hitting and Bill boated it. I realized the fish were not up shallow and that the front had made them pull off the flat so I pulled out deeper, kept the boat in about 20 feet running boards over water ranging from 15 to 30 feet deep and the fun began. Next thing Carl knew it was around 8 o'clock and we had a cooler of fish, 13 of our 16 fish limit. He commented that he will be up a the bar at Hunters Landing sipping on a cold Beer by 10 while John cleans the fish. As things sometimes go, the next 7 fish we had hook up did not get in the boat, for whatever reason. I had to go catch more bait which I did and relocated on another similar structure and Carl popped 2 quick Stripers and Bill finished the day for us. Another 100+ pound stringer of Stripers. John enjoyed a nice outing before heading off to Officers Training the summer. SEMPER FIDELIS

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tom, Bobby and JT

May 11th, 2009: Cloudy and rain, Water Temperature 68* and clear.
Got out real early this morning, caught bait and picked the guys up about 5:45 am. Set up over some main lake flats and humps pulling 10 Planner boards, a bobber and 4 downlines. We worked about a half a mile before we got our first strike, it came on a board over 20 feet of water. We worked the area for a while longer then move to another area working points, flats and humps. First thing this morning I told the guys we will have 30 Stripers hook up today and pull drag, that if they did what I told them to do they would catch 30 Stripers. There are 3 easy rules that work when fishing with circle hooks and on my boat. 1...Do not set the hook, 2...Do not touch the line and 3...Follow the fish. When fishing 15 rods with live bait at a time if a fish wants to eat he is going to hit our baits, and when he does if you abide by these 3 simple rules we will be able to boat the fish. The reason I am telling this is that by the end of the day we did have thirty fish on and pulling drag, and after making a couple mistakes of setting the hook they caught on and had a great day. Back to the day, around 8am we hit the edge of a flat next to a drop off and the 4 downlines went off and 3 boards hooked up, all at once. Naturally there was some confusion, not many people are quite prepared for such an event. Needless to say they managed very well and boated 5 of the 7 Stripers, all very nice size. After untangling a couple lines I put out another spread and hit the area again, popping a couple more. We then pulled off that area and went and worked some downline fish, ending the day with Bobby fighting the 30th fish we had hooked up today. The guys kept some nice Stripers, we took a picture and weighed the fish, largest over 13 pounds and total stringer weight of 112 pounds. [See JD, I told you I would not rag on you very much]

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Derek, Rick and Dean

May 9th, 2009: Partly Sunny and Windy, Water Temp 68* and slightly stained.
The weather was suppose to be bad today so I got out early and caught bait, picked the guys up before 6 and was fishing at daylight. We knew it was going to get windy so we wanted to pack a day into 5 or 6 good hours of fishing while it was fairly calm. I set up on the tip of a flat where it dropped off from 20 to 28 feet and immediately started taking hits. We made 4 or 5 circles on it before the fish quit biting then worked our way over to a 20' ridge without getting a strike. The wind was up by 9 and I had a place that was just right to fish and not get completely blown off the lake. We worked it for a couple hours getting strikes about every 15 minutes, then went and caught more bait. Came back and set up on a 25 foot flat, got hit within 5 minutes but it was just too windy to fish it so we went back to where we could get out of the wind. Today we had 20 hook-ups and the guys took home a few fish for the table.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


May 7th, 2009: Cloudy, Rain, Sun, Rain...., Water Temp 67* and clear.
Caught bait early and set up a spread of 10 Planner boards, a bobber and 4 downlines on a main lake flat. Saw plenty of fish but it took 45 minutes till we started getting hits. The weather today was everywhere, it just could not make up its mind and nor could the fish. The lake had come up 6 inches over night, that coupled with today's weather made fishing conditions tough. We did end up catching 8 fish, but we worked hard for them.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ben, Juan, Rudy and Allen

May 6th, 2009: Cloudy and Cool, Water Temperature 65* and Clear.
Got out on the water early and caught bait. Went to set up on an area where I caught some nice fish yesterday but a good friend was already there so I set out a spread of 10 planner boards, a bobber and 4 downlines nearby and pulled similar flats. Juan started off the day by landing a fish off a planner board that hit closest to the shore. After our first pass all the guys had caught fish but Rudy. Once his turn came up the wind got calm and for an hour and a half we watched our baits get chased to the surface by Stripers. Time and time again the fish would chase the baits up, swirl the baits, follow the baits for up to 100 yards and never strike at them. Rudy got tired of going from one side of the boat to the other getting prepared to catch a Striper just to watch them boil the baits. After this happening about 25 times he finally hooked up and caught a Striper. It was after 10 and I decided to give up this madness and try different areas with hopes of finding fish with different attitudes. We set out the same spread and pulled the rest of the day, at least a couple miles, only to catch a few more fish. What a frustrating day knowing that there are nice fish under our baits and not be able to get them to hook up for my clients.
I may try some secrete techniques tomorrow if the fish act the same way.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ralph and Bob

May 5th, 2009: Cloudy and Cool, Water Temperature 65* and Clear.
Picked the guys up at 5:30 , caught bait and went fishing. Set up over a 34 foot channel bend with the screen full of Stripers. Put out 4 downlines, 10 boards and a bobber and did not get a hit. Decided to pull up on the adjacent flats and try them but still did not get hit, only nervous baits. Relocated to another area pulling the same spread and started getting hits, but the fish were very lethargic. They would not touch downlines and would chase the baits on the planner boards up and swirl them for 50 yards or so, then sometimes hook up. After catching a few Bob hooked into a cow on a board, the boat was going in direction and the fish went the other. After a while I asked him if he was hung kiddingly and he said heck no, this fish has got Me. Well as sometimes things go, Bob could not turn the fish and it simply pulled off, didn't break anything, just pulled off. We hit another flat nearby and all the baits on the bank side started getting swirled and backing the boards up, but only hooked up on one nice one. Turned back around and hit it again and only got swirled, moved to another flat and started popping a few. This kind of action happened all day, the fish never feeding well but constant action. Our nicest fish Ralph caught and the fish followed and worked the bait for 60 to 80 yards before eating it. The guys had a great day, catching the best fish of the spring, a stringer well over 100 pounds.
These stripers have not spawned yet, the next month is going to be incredable.

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Bliss

May 1st, 2009: Cloudy and Windy, Water Temp 67* and Clear.
I had taken off most of the week to catch up on chores around the farm, putting in food plots, getting the garden in, mulching all the flower beds, and a few Honey Do's. I was on the water Monday and noticed a change in the lake and just had to get back on the water before the weekend warriors hit the lake. The wind was blowing a steady 15 to 20 mph with some higher gusts and I thought I might be able to sneak out on the water undetected and hit a couple areas to maybe pop a couple nice fish. Went to the lake in the late morning, caught about 20 nice baits and hit my first area. The wind was blowing way to too hard to pull my spread of planner boards so I simply put out 6 baits to check things out. I no sooner got the 6th line out when one of my rods bowed over, then another and another. Got those fish in the boat, snapped a quick picture of 2 of them and released them. I had seen what I wanted to find so I pulled the rest of my lines in and made a move. I set up right in the wind, put the trolling motor down , rigged the first bait and put it out. It started getting nervous right away, I looked at my depth finder and saw a couple very nice fish on it. I hurried to get my second bait out while controlling the boat. Just as I got it out the 1st bait started fleeing from a fish then WHAM, the second pole hooked up, drag screaming, rod tip in the water. The timing could not have been worse, there was a Bass Boat and a Wake board boat passing less than 30 yards away from me. I hid the bent rod from the Basser but the guys in the other boat saw what what happening and pulled over to watch. This fish hit from the rear of the boat, screamed drag straight out, then decided to go to the front of the boat, around the trolling motor, back around to the other side of the boat, then straight back under the boat to the side it started out on. I had to lean way over the boat with the rod tip way in the water so the fish would not break off on the boat. I finally wrestled the fish back on my side, got the net and netted him. After some applause from the other boat I removed the hook and snapped a quick picture and released the fish. The fish seemed happy to see me, he squirted all over the boat, indicating the Stripers are ready to start spawning. After releasing the Striper I had found out what I wanted to know so I emptied the bait tank and went back to the dock. I only fished less than an hour today.
It appears that the lake is about 2 to 3 weeks behind the last couple of years, probably due to the inconsistent weather [cold and numerous fronts] in April. The fish I caught today were pre-spawn and I normally would have caught them in early April. This was a great way to bring in the month of May, and an enjoyable short break from farm chores.
May will certainly be a great month to fish, I look forward to my clients catching some Huge Stripers. This year has already been incredible, the first 3 months of the year we doubled our catches of Stripers. The bait kills of this last winter have really helped the lake and this summer promises to be one of the best seasons that I have ever experienced on the lake.