Sunday, February 28, 2010

Robert Bruce with Todd and Bob

Cloudy, Cold and Windy, Water Temperature 44* and Clear.
Since I had trouble catching bait yesterday I was out even earlier today to ensure that we had plenty to fish with. Picked the guys up at 6:15 and went fishing. I warned them before we left the dock that because of the full moon last night and the forecast of wind today the bite would be a decent early bite and last for only a couple hours at most, and that we needed to catch them while we could this morning. I went right to the "juice", explained to them what to expect and how to handle the fish once they hit, and we put the baits out. We actually got all the baits out before we got bit and the morning started out without everything going off at once like it has been recently. The fish gradually started biting better and better until all the guys had fish on at once. By now we were taking a hit about once every 5 minutes, sometimes numerous hits at once. We were having some difficulty getting fish in the boat, our hookup to landing ratio was about 3 to 1, some days it just happens. By about 8:15 the guys were ecstatic with the action but we all had our eyes on a front that was blowing through. The wind kept getting worse, it was becoming more difficult to hold the boat in the wind, and then Rob got punked. We tossed the fish back and I reminded them of what I had said earlier to them, when you release fish back into the school more often than not it will turn the school off, and for the next hour and a half we caught nothing. We took numerous short hit to the tails of the baits but it was over , we all knew it but didn't mind, we had had a great morning. We came off the water around noon, hadn't boated a fish in 3 hours, the wind was howling and I think the guys were low on Beer. Todd is pictured holding the big fish of the morning. As we were getting our pictures back at the marina I heard Rob saying " Today, gas to get back and forth to the lake $15, Chicken $10, Beer $20, Cigarettes $7, Striper Fishing...PRICELESS"
We all agreed, but I still charged them for the trip.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

John and Sean Neumann with Jay and Don Goode

After a couple days of wind we were finally able to hit the water again. I picked the guys up at 6:15 and looked for bait. I had been out for 3 hours and had only caught a few, we looked and I threw for another hour and a half and only had a couple dozen baits. I decided to make a quick pull with boards and after 3 fish [2 non keepers] I decided to make a major move. The wind was howling and it was cold but I thought if I could hold the boat in an area I knew had fish we could probably do well. All I could get out was 7 lines but on our first pass everything hooked up. I believe we put 4 out of 7 inn the boat on that pass so I baited up and hit it again and again catching fish steadily until we ran out of bait. We had got on some nice fish, Don actually had a hog on but after a while it simply pulled out of the fishes mouth. Shawn and Don are pictured holding a couple of the fish they caught this morning. We caught over 20 fish and they kept 14 for the table.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Keith and Stephanie Berry 2

Cloudy and Breezy, Water Temperature 44* and Stained.
Picked the guys up again at 6:15 and since we had fished yesterday and caught 30 Stripers I asked them if they wanted to go after the numbers or big fish, Keith was greedy and said he wanted both so I made the decision to go after big fish first then if things got bad I would look for numbers of fish. The wind was blowing, fog was on the water and it was cold but I set up where I knew some nice fish were occasionally using right out in the wind. I knew if the fish did not bite my clients would get cold so I broke out my heater just in case. We popped a nice fish right off the bat then another every 5 to 10 minutes for about an hour. About 15 minutes had passed without a fish and I was concerned that these fish may have turned off and I started to plot my next move. I told Keith that if we did not get a couple nice fish real soon I was going to make a major move. Well my angels must have heard me say that because next thing we knew Steph hooked up , 5 seconds later Keith hooked up, while Steph was reeling hers in another rod went down right next to her, I netted her fish, netted Keith's and looked behind him and a rod was buried, he jumped on that and 3 more hooked up just as he grabbed the rod. Rods were bent over all around the boat, fish were on the deck, loose lines were dangling , and these guys were screaming! I don't know how we did it but we worked together and boated 8 out of nine Very nice Stripers that hooked up within 3 minutes of each other, before 8 o'clock! We released a couple of fish there and just like yesterday when we released fish, the freed fish alerted the rest of the school and it was over as quick as it started. We made a move and put out a spread of 11 planner boards, a bobber and 3 downlines and pulled a mile stretch catching 4 more Stripers and 4 nice Largemouth Bass. We ended up keeping 12 Stripers today, releasing 8 others and the Bass to fight again another day. Keith and Stephanie had quite the smile on their faces when we departed, I don't think they quite expected to catch 50 Stripers in the 2 days they were out with me.
PS...Stephanie redeemed herself today after loosing a hog yesterday, she caught the largest Striper of the trip which she is proudly holding in the picture. The last 2 days were a warm up for where they are fishing tomorrow, they are going out with Chris Eberwine on the James looking for some 50 pound Catfish.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Keith and Stephanie Berry

Cloudy and Cold, Water Temperature 43* and slightly stained.
I caught bait early this morning and picked up my clients at 6:15 at High Point Marina. They had spent the night at the motel and were well rested and raring to go. We made a short run and set out 12 planner boards and a bobber over deep water so I could get everything set without being hit then I pulled up over a 15 foot flat and right when I hit the edge of the flat the rods started bending. Keith hopped on the first rod and before he got to it Stephanie hooked up on another. We landed both of those fish and in the next 200 yards and 15 minutes we landed 8 keeper fish. I pulled out, made a turn and hit again and before I could get all the rods set the rods bowed over again. It was now 7:15, we had caught and released another half dozen fish only keeping the ones that may not survive the fight. I made one more pass a little deeper and repeated the previous pulls. By 8 o'clock we had a livewelll full of fish so I decided to leave that area and go find some fish elsewhere. I told them that if we fought the fish and got them off the hook quickly we could continue to fish for a little while longer, but not to expect the same action as before because when we release Stripers they will alert the rest of the school and the fish will turn off. We pulled over the area that is displayed on the Lowrance picture and 4 or 5 rods hooked up. We caught and released those fish, turned around and hit it again only to get a couple of short hits. It was useless to fish that area anymore so we went elsewhere knowing that we would catch fish, release them to spook the rest of the school and have to move again. I set up over a deep flat where I had seen some fish nearby the bottom and instructed my crew how to put downlines on them, also letting them know what to expect when the first rod would get hit. We put out 8 downlines then all of a sudden Keith hooked up, then another then all of them got whacked. We boated what we could and released them back into the water, these were much better fish than what we had been catching on boards. We hung out for another 20 minutes over the fish without a hit except for a fish Stephanie hooked into. I heard her screaming "Help, I can't get the rod out of the holder". I had been watching her for it seemed like eternity trying to get the rod out of the holder, all the while the rod kept bending more and more going under the boat. I don't have much to say about what happened next.
We went back to the marina for a short break, went back out and pulled boards for awhile longer catching a half dozen more fish. Today we caught 30 Stripers, kept 12 and released the rest to fight again another day. There was no wind or other boats out today, what a blessing fishing during the week and not having to put up with weekend boat traffic!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rob And Eric Ciccone with Larry Dickey

February 19th, 2010: Sunny and Breezy, Water Temp 38* midlake and 48* at the dam.
Caught bait early and was ready to go before daylight when I got a call from Rob, seems Eric may have given him wrong directions this morning [yea right] and they ended up in Ladysmith , needless to say we were a little late getting started this morning. We set up pulling a dozen planner boards, a bobber and a couple downlines over flats. I had no sooner put the first bait out on a bobber before it got hit, I looked at the depth finder and it was full of arches. I got the spread out and we popped 3 fish real quick then the fish shut down, we worked the area for a half hour with only a couple short hit so I moved on to a ledge I knew held fish. We hit it twice and caught 4 punks so I decided to do something different. I had been noticing fish hugging the bottom over deeper flats, that plus the board bite diminishing encouraged me to put some baits right in the Stripers face to see if they would eat. We started to convert to downlines, I wanted to put 8 down but by the time we got three down they started going off. For about an hour we tried to get all the lines wet but it was a struggle. I finally figured out that once a fish hit the deck Larry and Rob should take the fish off the hook, Eric was good with putting the bait out and soon we were operating like a well oiled machine, the fish didn't stand a chance now. We spanked the school, kept 16 fish to take home, released some to fight again and were back at the marina before lunch time, a great day out on the lake and a lot of fun for everyone.
PS...Eric was too sick today to go to school today so his father brought him along, a couple of times I looked at Eric and he had the shivers. He hated to miss school but he got quite an education today, I think he may have learned a few new words from his daddy this morning when they realized they were lost.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Heck of a Day

February 3rd, 2010: Cloudy and Cold, Water Temp 39* mid, 45*downlake.
Yesterday I had a trip canceled and I was bummed out because I thought fishing would be so good so I picked up my grandson[ out of school], called a few friends and set up the trip for today. Got up before 3 knowing this morning may be interesting, and it certainly was. Got stuck in my driveway for 25 minutes, we had about a inch of snow last night, that over top of some ice from earlier last week made it slick. I had to keep the truck in 4 wheel drive all the way to the marina, and by the time I got the boat in the water it was already 6. I hung a couple of lights, headed toward a dock light and ran right up on a sheet of Ice. Backed out of it, went and hit my lights, picked them up and headed for some deep bait. Caught a few and went fishing. All our issues behind us, from here on out it was nothing but bliss. Fishing with Brian, Michael and Walt is so great, we all know our jobs on the boat and we work well together. Brian and I simply enjoy being out and figuring the fish out. Michael is on a mission to catch fish, and Walt dreams fishing so those two do all the reeling while Brian and myself keep the show floating. We kept over a dozen baits in the water this morning, catching fish almost constantly, leaving fish to find fish, and it worked to perfection. We had well over 20 keepers, a dozen punks, caught and released 6 very nice fish [had to keep a 30 incher that would not make it], and kept some to take home for the freezer. Mike is pictured with a few of the nicer ones he caught and Walt is pictured with his largest. It was a wonderful, carefree day, after the mess of getting to the lake we only saw 1 other boat, could fish where we wanted and enjoyed leaving fish to locate others, and it payed off. Brian and I even reeled in a few when the action was rocking.