Friday, January 29, 2010

Nathan, again

Friday, January 29th, 2010: Cloudy and COLD, Water Temperature 48* and Clear.
Got a call from Nate today at 11am, he had been out with me on Wednesday and was dying to get out this afternoon before the snow storm hit and so was I so I went to the lake to catch bait and he met me at the dock about 2. After throwing for bait for two hours I was frozen so I sat in his warm car for a half an hour to warm up then we hit the water. Bait had been tough so we looked some more and threw some more with no success. About 3:30 I had enough and set out some boards and did a power pull over a few flats. On our first pull we had 3 hook ups and we constantly kept busy either fighting fish, putting lines out or taking fish off the hooks. By 5 we the action slow a little and we called it quits, got our lines in and headed back to the warmth of our vehicles. The gull are diving on a school of bait that is being driven to the surface by a school of Stripers. When we pulled our spread through this area all our baits got hammered. Nate is holding a few of the fish we caught, it was too late to take the time to string up all the fish.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bill Hamilton with guests Roy, Dave and Ski

Thursday, January 28th, 2010: Sunny, cloudy, Sunny and WINDY, Water Temperature 46* and Clear.
Caught bait early this morning and met the guys at the dock at 6:30, put the boat in the water and went fishing. I set up downlake trying to keep my boat over 2o feet of water with planner boards. I was hoping to get my whole spread out but we started taking hits after I got the 5th line in. I played catch up for the next 30 minutes, the action was steady but the wind was getting up quick. By 7:20 I could not keep the baits in the water so we reeled them in and made a move. My intentions now were to work an area where I knew fish were but also try to stay out of the ever increasing wind as much as I could. I only got 3 lines in the water this time and we hooked up, over 45 feet of water! We got the fish in the boat and I put a dozen boards and a bobber out and continued to work an area of 20 foot flats dropping off to 45 foot flats. I also put out a downline, but it never took a hit today. About 8:15 clouds rolled in and and the sky's darkened, and so did the fishing. The whole time the sun was under the clouds we never got hit. About 10 the clouds began to break up and we started putting fish in the boat again. All our fish today came on boards over very deep water. By noon my batteries were struggling and by 1 we had to come off the water, the wind gusts were out of control. Although it was very windy and a little cool this morning we all had a good day, everyone caught fish and we kept some for dinners. Bill has some connection with a Lake Anna publication, it is a great bi-yearly book advertising local businesses with some informative articles regarding the lake and local attractions. He can be reached at .

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nathan "The Birthday Boy"

January 27th, 2010: Partly Sunny and Cold, Water Temperature 46* and Clear.
I got out early and caught bait, met Nathan and was on the water at 6:30. Last year Nathan went out with me on a windy day on his 28th birthday and by 9am the wind was getting pretty bad, I suggested lets try to catch 28 Stripers and get off the water. Well the wind got too bad for us and we only ended up with 26 last year so he wanted to redeem himself this year. We were scheduled for Friday but some weather is suppose to blow in so we changed the trip to today. Again his friends backed out on him going on the trip so he came by himself. Yesterday I told him the action would probably too much for him to handle by himself and I suggested I
invite a friend of mine who enjoys videoing trips and Nate agreed to have him come along. We got out our spread and started taking hits immediately. I attempted to keep baits in the water and Brian filmed the action while Nathan handled the poles. For a while it worked out pretty well but there were times when numerous rods would go off that it got pretty harry. We enjoyed the first 3 hours of the morning then decided to make a move. By now the wind was getting up so we pulled a few flats where the wind was blocked by the bank somewhat and got right back into the action. We worked the area for about an hour and a half and Nathan said he had had enough so we called it a day. By now the wind was up pretty good, everyone was tired and it was a good time to call it a day. We all lost count of how many Stripers we caught and released today, I had left Nate in charge of counting but he messed that up in the first 30 minutes of the morning. We agreed when we came off the water around noon that we had to have had at least 30 hook-ups this morning. The main thing was that Nathan had a great time, he hand picked the fish he wanted to take home and cook [rumor has it that he is a great cook], he has some wonderful footage of his battles today and that his check clears. [Just kidding, he paid cash]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Anthony, Stephanie and DP

Sunday, January 24th, 2010: Cloudy, Cold. Rain and Drizzle, Water Temperature 45* and Clear.
Anthony and his daughter got out very early this morning, caught bait and picked DP up at High Point before daylight. He headed to an area where he located and caught some nice fish
yesterday morning and set out a spread of Planner boards. He had set the boards up prior to hitting the "Juice" and when he pulled up on it all nine rods hooked up. Naturally you could see them scrambling around the boat a mile away fighting the Stripers, and by the time they got all the fish in the boat there were 7 boats on the flat. With that kind of pressure Anthony pulled off the area and relocated where there were less boats hoping to be able to fish without boat traffic. The move payed off and although they did not hook up all rods at once they had constant action and before noon came off the water with some fish for the table. I had called Anthony on his phone this morning and was talking with him for about 10 minutes. During that conversation Stephanie screamed at least 6 times with excitement of fish hooking up and enjoying the battle the Stripers were giving her. Eventually Anthony had to hang up when they hooked up 4 fish at a time, DP and Stephanie needed help with the madness. DP talked Anthony in getting a father-daughter picture today, and a sweet one it is. Stephanie has been fishing with her Dad all here life and it is good to see her back out again. She is not only a great angler but also knows how to hit a golf ball also. Today they released about two thirds of the fish they caught unharmed to
fight again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Travis, Michael and Tommy

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010: Sunny, Water Temperature 44* and Clear.
Got out on the water just before daylight and set out a spread of a dozen boards, a bobber and a downline. We attempted to work a shallow flat first and gradually work deeper as the fish pulled off the bank but as it sometimes happens, there were no fish shallow. We worked the area for an hour or so and decided to move on. We went across the lake and pulled some 15 foot humps next to 45 foot flats. We worked that area for 20 minutes and got punked so we got the baits in and took off for another area. We worked downlines for 45 minutes over fish but they did not want our offerings so we moved again with intentions of pulling boards over 10 to 3o foot flats and humps. As we pulled up on the first 15 foot flat 4 out of 6 boards on the shallow side got busted. We landed the fish and wanted to turn around and hit it again but another boat saw what we did and beat us to it so we continued our pull. We made our way up to a point and saw fish on the Lowrance and started taking hits over 24 foot of water , wanted to turn on them but we were busted by a fisherman nearby , he pulled right over to where he saw us catch the fish and proceeded to hook up. I had one more flat to hit so we worked over to it, 2 boards on the inside went off. Travis and Tommy reeled these fish in and we looked up and a troller in a bass boat was headed right for us. I told the guys to watch this, he is so stupid he is trolling umbrella rigs right up on a 6 foot flat. Before they got to us less than 40 yards away all there lines hung up, ruining that flat for our fishing so we moved on. [Hate the weekend traffic] We went and hit an area nearby and popped a couple of fish but it was now 12:10 and Brian had to get off the water by 12:30. He said lets go hit an area that looked good earlier in the day for 10 minutes so we got the lines in and took off. We pulled up to the spot , puts some lines out and within 5 minutes Travis took a hit but it got off. Five seconds later my grandson Michael hooked up and we knew this is what we came for. The hog took him to the back of the boat, got tied into 2 other rods, I cut them off and the fish took him right back to the front of the boat. Michael fought the fish like a champ and gave it everything he had. About 8 to 10 minutes had elapsed by the time we could see the fish and Mikes arms were on fire! He had wanted to pass the fish off to me but my deal with him has always been if he gets a fish on he has to fight it to the end. He continued to battle the Striper, he hurt so bad tears started dripping down his face. Brian was videoing the whole fight and got some great footage. I finally got the fish in the net and Michael had boated a 34 1/2 inch 18 pound Striper, his largest to date. We popped a couple of pictures and released the fish but it was wore out from the long battle with Michael. We put it in my bait tank and Tommy worked on reviving it for about 5 minutes on the way back to the ramp and when we got to the ramp Brian got in the water and gave it 10 more minutes of resuscitation but after all of our efforts the fish would not stay upright so we ended up keeping the fish. Brian is holding Michael's fish for him, Mike had no strength left to do it himself. Needless to say Brian was a little late getting back home to his wife Melissa, but he had a good excuse. Today we caught 20 fish and released 8 to fight again...... Anthony was out today and caught a nice stringer of fish with a friend of his but after seeing Mike's fish he wasn't too excited about getting a picture for the journal, he elected to pass on the picture but is going out tomorrow to try and show Mike up.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lee, Joe, Thomas and Wil

January 18th, 2010: Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 48* and Clear.
Caught bait early this morning , met my crew and was on the water 15 minutes before daylight anticipating a great day. Once it was light enough to see to put bait on the hooks I started a spread of 12 planner boards and a bobber. We pulled a shallow flat first expecting the fish to be up on it feeding with the warmer weather but the cold rain yesterday coupled with the barometer spike must have influenced the Stripers because instead of the fish being shallow and feeding it was hard to locate Stripers in any part of the water coulmn. We fished shallow and gradually worked to deeper flats and humps with limited success. After hitting numerous areas I made a major move and converted to working downlines hoping the deeper fish had not been affected as much as the shallow Stripers . With little success deep we continued to work other areas picking up a couple fish here and there. We took a lot of hits today but the fish were simply hitting the back of the bait, not wanting to eat it but just to kill it. We stuck with it fishing simular patterns where we would take strikes and by the end of the day we had caught 17 Stripers, mostly smaller fish and also a few punks. As luck would have it I emptied my bait tank and proceeded to pull one last ridge when Lee reached into his cooler and pulled out a banana to eat. All his friends exploded on him chastising him for bringing them on a boat, all of them knowing that especially in blue water the captains forbid bananas on board. Lee immediately tried to justify his actions and said that we had a good day and opened the livewell showing the guys how many we had caught with the bananas on board. Joe reached in the cooler , picked up the remaining banana and threw it as far as he could into the lake. We pulled up on the ridge with 13 baits in the water, no bait in the tank, and everything we had got hit. We boated a few and lost a few, even tried throwing artificial baits but the fish would not hit them. I do not believe in superstition but this is the second time on my boat we were having only fair success but after realizing and eliminating bananas on board the fishing changed drastically. Needless to say Lee won't be taking bananas fishing any more.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Steve, Adam, Troy and Chris

January 16th, 2010: Partly cloudy and Pleasant, Water Temperature 46* and Clear.
Anthony and I got out extremely early to catch bait this morning knowing the lake was going to be a zoo. We at least wanted to be sure that we had plenty of bait in case we needed to make numerous moves due to all the boat traffic. I picked my crew up at their dock at 6 and we were setting out baits in the dark preparing to take advantage of the early morning bite and tranquil waters while it lasted. At the crack of dawn we had our first hit and for the next hour it never slowed. Again I wanted to have my full spread out before the action started but the fish would not let me catch up. Many times I only had 4 baits in the water due to all the action. After about 40 minutes Anthony called on the radio and said " Looks like we have been busted, look over there", I did and 8 boats were closing in on us putting up a blockade a battle ship could not go through. I told my guys watch this, I will pull over to the other bank where no other boats were and those boats will follow me leaving the original area we were working available for Anthony to work. I no sooner changed my direction and and the other boats followed suit. Didn't matter much though, they had already done their damage by spooking the school and Anthony could only muster a couple more fish from the area so he picked up and moved and I continued to go around the corner where we would be out of site of other fisherman. We banged some more fish till we got busted again so we decided to get our baits in and move to a part of the lake where we would have it to ourselves. The move paid off, we caught larger fish there and enjoyed the serenity of the beautiful calm morning. By then we were only taking about 6 or 7 hits an hour but catching quality fish. Around noon I called Anthony on the radio and he said his action had died and was thinking about going in for a few hours and then come back out for the evening feed. Our hits were down also and Chris was getting antsy. He kept looking at his watch and wondering when we were going to go in. By now we had caught 27 Stripers and fishing had slowed down. Chris also was going through a slight dilemma, he is recently engaged, he gave his wife a ring for her finger and she gave him one for his nose, and she was tugging on it pretty hard to get back home to be with some guests that were coming to his house this evening. After some regrets they all decided to pack it in and call it a day. I dropped them off at their dock, Troy and Chris took off to the party leaving Adam to clean all the fish. We all had a lot of fun today even though the boat traffic was heavy, and I believe Chris will make in home in time to save his marriage.

Gary, Pat and Doug

January 16th, 2010: Anthony took out Gary, Doug and Pat this morning and obviously had a great time. See above entry for details.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Greg and Ed Whitlock

January 14th, 2010: Sunny and the warmest day of the year so far, Water Temperature 43* and Clear.
Anthony got out early this morning and hung lights for bait, caught his bait and when I pulled up in the boat he threw a few times and I was on my way with a tank of bait. He and I had crews loaded on our boats before daylight and were setting planner boards out at the crack of Dawn. I wanted to get out a dozen boards and a bobber before the action started but got interrupted by a couple Stripers. We were fortunate enough to have everything ready by the time I hit the area where I thought the Stripers would be feeding. Anthony was rushing to do the same thing and he followed me in about 500 yards behind me. Next thing we knew planner boards were getting smashed, people were skating around the boat [the deck had some ice on it], I was netting fish and trying to keep up baiting hooks while Ed and Greg reeled the fish in and took the fish off the lines. For the first hour of the morning poor Greg did nothing but reel fish after fish in, his dad having to take occasional breaks. We looked up at Anthonys boat a few times, it looked like a bunch of worker bees working a hive, they were scurrying around the boat like us not having a moment to catch up with getting lines out. We both made 2 passes over the area and then as quickly as it started the action slowed. Right when the Stripers quit biting we noticed a acre of bait rise to the surface and start pipping, both Anthony and I knew it was over for a while, and it was. We went from 25 hits an hour down to 5 or 6. Didn't matter much, we had already kept the fish we wanted to take home and had been releasing Stripers for over an hour. Anthony and I checked out a few other areas , caught and released some more Stripers and got off the water early before too many jump fisherman got out. I had already been harassed by a guy in a pontoon boat, he had a half a mile to go around me and trolled right up on me while we were fighting a fish with his big motor. I had to yell at him to avoid my planner boards, and he knew my boat, how I fished, the amount of lines that I run and deliberately wanted to either cut me off or spook the fish I was on. I had been working the area for an hour with no other boats nearby. This is not the first time he has done this, but hopefully the last. A little courteously goes a long way, but people like him go through life never "getting it"!......I lost count how many Stripers we caught this morning but we know we released the four largest ones and about a dozen other Stripers to fight again. Still can't get over how pretty it was on the water today.

Warren Montague and Chris Hicks

January 14th, 2010: Here are 10 of the 14 Stripers caught this morning with guide Striperholic [Anthony]. See above entry for details.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Anthony, Brian, Walt and Vince

January 7th, 2010: Sunny and Pleasant, Air temp 36*, Water Temp 41* and Clear.
We hit the water at 7 this morning, air temp was a brisk 18*. Our intentions were to pull shallow flats early with planner boards and as the day progressed pull back to 25 to 30 foot flats and run downlines rigged with Herring. I had also rigged some rods with artificial baits so we could cast to keep warm and so maybe have some fun seeing Stripers explode on the surface but after the first 15 minutes after we got our boards wet we forgot about lures for awhile. We had the lake to ourselves for 2 hours and in that amount of time we never quit baiting and reeling in fish. By 10 o'clock we had limited out and started playing with lures. We worked swim baits, top water, jerk baits and spoons for an hour. After catching only punks on lures we decided to call it a day, and what a morning it was. Vince is pictured with one of the 2 Bass he caught today and also with a nice Striper. The Striper laying on the deck is a 17 pound fish caught and released by Anthony. Each square in the mat is 12 inches.We took pictures of plenty of fish but only had room for a few on my journal. Thanks to Brian and Anthony for throwing for bait this morning, my morning was "Sweet", all I had to do was control the boat, bait the lines and net the fish. I lost count of how many fish we caught this morning, but we probably released as many as we kept to fight again. It doesn't get much better that a January or February day with little wind, no boat traffic, good friends and a tank full of Herring.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Doug Harpster and Steve Hicks

Here a couple of pictures Anthony took of 2 trips last week . Looks like the nicer fish are beginning to bite and I will be back out on the water this week. It has been nice to take some time off from the fishing but I am anxious to get back out. The extremely cold weather will be good for fishing this year, it will kill off a lot of the bait giving anglers a better chance to catch Stripers. The bait kill coupled with the large Striper stockings of a few years ago will certainly prove to make Striper Fishing on Lake Anna better than ever.

A few nice Deer

Cold December rains, muddy water and jump fisherman kept me off the water most of the month so I concentrated most of my time in the woods. Here are a few nice deer that were taken within a few miles of my house.
My 4 year old grandson and I with one of the bucks we took this year, 21 1/2 inch inside spread, hopefully next year he will be squeezing the trigger.
Eighteen point Buck harvested by Jason Life after jumping the deer out of its bed.
B+R Buck...This monster had been seen by dozens of hunters for months in the vicinity of B+R market and thousands of hours had been put in by hunters trying to take this wonderful trophy. Chip Fletcher grunted this trophy to his stand.
The next two pictures are of Wendell Seay, he harvested these two beautiful deer in the same piece of woods.
Greg Whitlock called me one morning panting "I just shot the big one!" He had seen this deer two days in a row, had an opportunity to take it the day before but did not take the shot. His persistence payed off the next morning harvesting this Buck. This deer was huge, the heaviest deer that I saw this season!
Finally Tim Clarks Buck. I had seen this deer along with another very nice Buck 2 days prior to Tim taking this big Buck. He shot the deer across a large creek with slim hopes of finding the deer but a good friends tracking ability payed off with this beautiful trophy. Could not have happened to a nicer guy.
Congratulations to everyone this hunting season, here is a little proof that if you let the small ones Go, they will Grow.
These pictures are zoomable.