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!

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