Monday, April 26, 2010

Steve Gross with guests Kevin and John

Cloudy and warm, Water temperature 67* and clear.
Another tough bait morning, spent 3 hours before daylight attempting to catch decent bait with little success. Picked my clients up at 6 and went and caught 30 more nice baits and went fishing. We pulled our regular spread of 10 boards, a bobber , a couple of free lines and a few downlines over 20 foot flats. For some reason the fish were fairly lethargic, we would get lookers early but the fish did not want to fully commit to the baits. After about an hour we started taking better hits and hooking up better. We never got in to any bunches of fish but we had plenty of action to keep the guys interested although Steve was very tired and after catching the first Stripers I caught him dozing a few times. When we got back to the ramp John came up to me and said "This was the best day of fishing that I have had in 20 years". Thanks John, That makes a tough day all worth it to me. We had to come off the water early so John could clean the fish and get back to Maryland before the traffic got bad. We had 23 strikes today and the guys took a few fish home to try out.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Joey Epson with guests Clay, Nick and Jeffrey

Cloudy, rain, wind getting up in the afternoon, Water temperature 66* and Clear.
It being a weekend I got out on the water early and hung four lights. I guess it wasn't early enough, when I came around the corner and looked up at a bridge it looked like a airport runway with so many lights. Anyway bait was tough again this morning but I ended up with a hundred pieces. We set up on a main lake ridge and pulled it all day, dodging Bass boats [obviously there were tournaments today.] Fishing was SLOW to start, we did not get the first fish in for a couple hours, but after that we started taking hits about once every 15 minutes till noon, then the bite simply turned off. We continued to get strikes but the Stripers would not take the baits from the head. We actually reeled in a couple of Stripers and when they got to the boat you could see the fish holding on to the back third of the bait, releasing the bait when it saw the boat. Today was a birthday party for Joey, he turns 14 on Monday and his dad wanted to treat him to the fishing trip. Jeffrey is the person with the tall guy with the black jacket on, he wanted to let everyone know that he reeled in the biggest fish of the day. I told him I would not tell anyone that he had 10 Stripers hooked up today and lost them before we could net them. These were a great bunch of guys, they all had fun, we had 30 hook-ups today and they had some Stripers for Dad to clean this evening. Joey is pictured with a nice Buck that he harvested this year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lee, Darlene, Sahria, Pastor Larry

Partly Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 66* and Clear.
Had another tough morning for bait, threw for 3 hours and picked up my crew at 6am. Set up on a flat pulling boards and downlines . It wasn't long into the pull when the furthest board out hooked up and birthday boy Lee jumped on the rod. A couple minutes later he had landed the first fish of the day, a ten pounder [shown holding fish with red jacket on]. Shortly thereafter Dee hopped on a rod and landed a 31 inch Striper. We continued running a route and had hits about once every 15 minutes or so. A freeline went off with the drag screeming and Lee jumped on it, 5 minutes later he landed his 16 pound Striper. We fished till we ran out of bait and went to get pictures taken around noon. I don't think Lee will forget this birthday for quite a while!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Notice to My Loyal and Regular Clients

May 1, 2009
January 23rd, 2010, My grandsons 18 pounder

This is a notice to my Loyal and Regular Clients:
My bookings have almost doubled this year over previous years and my clients are booking well in advance. For example I am personally booked every Friday through July 2nd, Fridays being a preferred day by many to extend weekends. I am also limiting my weekend bookings to every other weekend [Examples being May 8th and 9th, 22nd and 23rd, June 5th and 6th, 19th and 20th, etc.]. I would like to encourage my regular clients to book early if they know when they would like to go fishing in order for me to accommodate your special dates or events. . Of course I have plenty of openings during the week and I also have other well qualified guides that are ready to fish on short notice. [You can view John's catches on his site and you may see some of Anthony's catches on my journal.] My associate guides are some of the best in the business, as is evident by their constant success of catches.
We look forward to getting out on the water with you this year and as always, we thank you for your patronage. ...This years fishing has been GREAT if not better than any previous years and I expect it to only get better.

Mike Flynn with guests Bryan, Greg and Doug

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 65* and Clear.
I got out very early to catch bait this morning and it was Tough...I even threw a little after picking up the guys at 6am. I went to where I didn't see any boats and put out my spread of 10 planner boards, a Bobber, 2 free lines and 4 downlines. We did not take a hit the whole time I was deploying the baits and that made me worry if the fishing was going to be as poor today as bait collection was. We had worked about 5oo yards before we got bit, and I believe we had 2 hook up at a time. Once I got hits I tried to keep the boat in the same depth hoping that depth may be the key today for success. We took numerous hits but some of the guys had a little difficulty getting some of the fish in the boat. I continued to work similar depths in different areas taking hits about once every 20 minutes or so until around 10 when the fishing slowed even more. These guys are old friends so the slow action did not dampen their spirits, we all hung in there and had a lot of fun and ended up catching 20 Stripers. We ran out of bait around 1 and called it a day, the guys had some nice fish to take home.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Doug, Tom, Bernie, Jack and Ed

Sunny and cool,Water Temperature 65* and Clear.
Caught bait and picked the guys up at 6 and hit the water. There was a good fog out this morning so I was a little concerned about boats running over my spread but thankfully that was not a problem. I set out a spread of 10 boards, a bobber and 5 downlines and pulled different depths to find out where the fish wanted to feed. Once I located the zone I honed in on it and the guys worked on the Stripers. The fish fed well for a couple hours but the fishing slowed as the day progressed. The nicer Stripers hit boards in the earlier hours then the downlines got busy later on in the morning. By noon we were done, we had gone through 100 baits and had caught 24 Stripers for a total weight well over 125 pounds. It sure was nice not having to fight for bait this morning and not having to avoid other fisherman too much. The weekdays are great!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nathan Heat

Here are a few pictures from a client turned friend Nathan. He knows the upper Potomac like I know Anna, and like myself he likes to use live bait. He has numerous postings on youtube, his name is DCfishingfool. Here are a couple links if you are interested in viewing any. - Snakehead Story - A must see! - Fletchers Boathouse Official Website, read this report!
You can go to his DCfishingfool library on youtube to witness some good footage of fighting fish. Some of his video's may need to be muted.
Like myself, he lives to fish and it shows in his video's.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rob. Lou, Mario and Rob

Cold, Water Temperature dropped to 64*and Clear.
Another cold front passed through and it was quite chilly this morning. We fished till 10 :30 and caught some nice fish although the bite was definitely slower today than days past. The guys took home a few fish for the diner.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Anthony with DP and Paul

The guys went out for the morning to fish for a couple hours before the wind got up and caught these nice fish.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Paul, Dave and George

Today was a day that I would like to forget. I have been on some big fish so we went after them today but our luck forgot to come with us. We actually had 24 fish hooked up with bent rods but could only land 10 Stripers! George had two Stripers hooked up for good periods of time pulling drag and never stopping the fish but they simply got off, no broken line or anything like that, they just got off. We fished hard till the wind and boats ran us off the lake. I will go after them again tomorrow.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vince Putman and kids

Anthony took Vince and his children out one day last week and Vince sent me these pics of the day. Vince and the kids had fun and it looks like Anthony was working hard for them.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

James Rux #2

Cloudy and Cold, East wind, Water Temperature fell to 65* .
We got on the water early this morning to catch bait so we could be fishing at daylight. I ran downlake and set up before a main lake point at the mouth of a creek and worked into the creek about half way. Our baits were getting harassed before I even got half our baits out, fish were running the baits to the surface but not committing to taking the bait. On the main point we hooked up to one and boated it but continues to get messed with. I pulled half the creek and boated only 4 fish, we had to go. Since I had Jim out yesterday and he had caught so many fish today I was looking for a big fish. I was concerned that the fish were not feeding due to the way they were messing with the bait along with the east wind. I knew this creek had some gorillas in it but they would not feed. I relocated to another area and put out my spread again, but the fish were still lethargic and we were not taking many hits. There was no rhyme or reason where the fish would bite therefore I could not establish a definite pattern today. I kept seeing nice fish on my Lowrance and knew I was on decent fish but for an hour we went fishless. I noticed a bait getting real nervous and knew a Striper was simply messing with the bait, it worked the bait for 75 yards before it finally hooked up. Jim grabbed the rod and the next thing I knew both the drag and Jim were screaming. While he was wrestling the big fish in a board went off with another fish. We boated the big fish and Jim reeled the other fish in also. I took a picture of him holding his fish and released it back into the lake. We had accomplished what we had set out to do this morning, to catch a nice Striper. Although the conditions were tough today with the cold front passing and the east winds we ended up catching 13 very nice Stripers and releasing them back to the lake to fight again. Our day ended when some fool in a gray Bass boat with a walk-through windshield ran over our lines. He had 3/4 of a mile to go around us but insisted in running through my spread. Go Figure!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

James Rux

Cloudy, Cool, Water Temperature 66* and Clear.
Got up this morning and got the boat ready, pulled out of my driveway at 3:30 and there is a abandoned truck blocking my driveway! I have my wife call the police and I try to find the keys but with no luck. I told the cop that I may be able to back up my driveway and go out over my field and come down a hill to get out, Wrong! I got stuck and had to get my tractor to pull everything out. We went ahead and called a tow truck and had the truck towed away. I got to the lake at 5:15, hung a light and caught bait. I just had 1 person today so I was not pressured in any way, I knew I could get bait sometime and I knew we would catch fish. I set out my usual spread and simply pulled a 2 mile route, caught fish till we ran out of bait. We went and caught more bait, did another pull in a completely different area and caught fish until we ran out of bait so we called it a day. It had turned windy and cold, the temperature had dropped most of the day. We caught 20 nice Stripers today, we kept the smaller better eating fish and released the big ones to fight again another day. I have the same client tomorrow, I probably will go hog hunting.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Steve Gross with guests Bob and Wayne

Sunny, Cold then turning nice, Water Temperature 67*
I hit the water early this morning for a couple reasons. First, I knew a cold front had blown through and that the bait would be tough and second it being a weekend I wanted to give myself time to catch bait, usually there are dozens of fisherman competing for bait. I hung lights on two bridges and eventually caught bait. As I was waiting for the guys I wiped frost of my boat, a little different than a couple days ago when it was 70* at 5am. We loaded up and took off to the fishing grounds. This morning you could only see about 3 planner boards away, so as it was quite the challenge to get 6 boards out on a side along with the bobber and 3 downlines. I had concerns about boat traffic also, I knew there were a couple Bass tournaments and that we would probably get run over in the fog. Fishing was slow for awhile but picked up at a controllable pace. A couple times the fog almost cleared enough to see the bobber but we would loose site of it often. As the sun peeked through the fishing got better and at one time everyone had a fish on. After about 3 hours the fish turned off so I hit another area with no success. The guys were thinking of going in but I changed their minds and told them I had one more trick up my sleeve. We got all the baits in and I relocated to another place, put some fresh baits out and proceeded to hook up with big fish. We quite when I ran out of bait, they were ready anyway to call it quits. We took some pictures and called it a day, and a great day it was. We had figured out a pattern to catch Stripers even after a major cold front on a blue bird day! We caught 20 Stripers today and released the largest to fight again. The guys kept 16 to take home.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Jeff, Goose, "The Angry Coach" and Senior

Cloudy then Blue bird skis, Cool, Water Temperature dropped to 67*.
Hit the water early to catch bait this morning and picked the guys up at 6. Set out my spread of 15 lines and pulled deeper water this morning than I had been working due to the cold front that blew through last night. I expected fishing to be slow today but hoped I could put the guys on some decent fish. The first couple hours of the day we only got hits about once every 20 minutes or so but the fish were very nice Stripers. We worked a large area and caught fish on downlines and boards. The action slowed so I tried to go catch some fresh bait but did not have much success. By now the wind was howling and I set up in the mouth of a creek but after pulling a mile I got the baits in and tried another pattern. I think we could have done well there but by now we were getting at least 20 mph gusts which made it hard to keep the baits at the right depths. I knew the front had taken its toll when we caught a half a dozen Catfish in a row, the Stripers had shut down and the Kitty's were eating. [Stripers won't let the Cats eat when they are feeding this time of year] If the Cats and wind wasn't enough when we were reeling our baits in at the end of the day 2 "Special Police" pulled beside to check out our boat and our catch. They were very nice and polite, we showed them all my safety gear and they asked us to take the fish out of the cooler, lay them on the deck so they check them. We obliged them and put the fish back in the cooler. We got a little rush though, before they left one of the police turned his back, looked in his booklet, then turned to me and said " I just checked the rules and you are not allowed to have but 4 fish in aggregate"! He must have been new to the force but he said he had been with them for 4 years. Needless to say I set him straight, he now knows that an angler can keep 4 per person per day, and that we were well under our limit. The officers were simply doing their job, and they moved on and continued checking other fisherman. Over all today was a good day, we had about 25 hook-ups, caught a bunch of Kitties, kept 12 Stripers and returned the rest to fight again.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Dean, Brian, Bongo [Blaine] and Rick

Sunny, Warm, WINDY, turning cloudy in the afternoon, Water Temperature 70*.
Got to the lake early and was concerned when I went over the first bridge and saw a couple boats throwing for bait. Put the boat in and went to hang a light on a bridge, there were 4 lights on one bridge and 3 on another. Guess I will need to start getting out on the water 4 hours before daylight to insure I have bait for my clients. Picked the guys up at 6:30 and looked for a quite place out of the wind where there were no other boats. I set out a spread of 15 lines baited with some beautiful baits and worked the area for a couple hours. I was hoping the fish would go on a hard feed this morning with the storm approaching but my wishes were not answered. We had action but controlled action. I like it when 3 or 4 rods go off at once but we would only take single hits in the morning. I hit different areas as long as the wind would allow but it was difficult to hold in the gusts. One thing that did make my job easier was the new Minn Kota Terrova IPILOT that I just installed on my boat. Advanced auto pilot and cruise control are sweet. This afternoon we relocated to another flat and worked it for a couple hours. We probably took close to 20 hits on this flat, but some fish were punks. By the end of the trip we had a great day, we took about 35 hits, boated over 20 Stripers and kept 15 for the guys to take home. A major front is approaching, winds today were 20 mph sustained with bad gusts, it is suppose to rain tonight and air temps are to plummet tomorrow. I believe I will have a challenge tomorrow with post frontal conditions, could be interesting.
PS...Don, we missed you today, our prayers are with your Mom.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Al, Rick, Dwayne, Steve and Rick

Sunny, Warm and Breezy, Water Temperature 70*.
I got out on the water early to catch bait and picked the guys up at 6:30. There were quite a few striper fisherman out this morning so I simply found a bay where no one was and set out my spread. We pulled over some shallow humps and deeper flats with little success. I hit some other areas still having difficulty getting Stripers to commit to a solid bite, the fish would swirl the baits but would not strike at them. A few times today the fish would briefly turn on but more often than not we had trouble putting the fish in the boat. Numerous times someone would take out a whole side of boards to get 1 fish in the boat [I won't mention your name Al]. These guys are all racing buddies and got along well together on the boat, they had plenty of hook-ups [about 30], plenty of fun and plenty of beer. They kept these fish for dinner and released a bunch more to fight again another day.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Jason, Doug, Jessica, Bill and Will

Partly Cloudy and Warm, Water Temperature warmed to 67* and Clear, No Boat Traffic.
I got out on the water about 3 this morning and caught bait for the day. I picked the crew up at 6:30 and set up over some deep flats. After not doing well we made a move to some shallower flats and all Hell broke loose. Doug hopped on the first fish and before he got it in Bill hooked up. We boated those 2 fish, Will lost 2 or 3 in a row, Jessie boated a fish, Will caught one, and Jason caught one. That kind of action deserved another pass so I turned around and hit it again. Doug and Bill each boated a fish then Jessica hooked into what was to be quite the battle. I noticed the bobber was missing so I told Jessica to reel real fast and once she felt the fish pick up the rod, she did exactly what I said and the fight began. The fish had run halfway to the boat and was nearby my row of boards so I had her try to horse the fish away from the other boards which she was able to do. Then for the next 6 minutes she reeled and reeled and reeled till she could not hardly gain on the fish. I finally suggested to her to hold her rod up, walk toward the front of the boat then come to the back while gaining line on the fish. Her arms were burning and her belly was bruised from the rod butt. When the fish got close to the boat we noticed that in the fight the fish had rolled and had also become foul hooked which made the fight much harder. We snapped some pictures, turned again and hit the flat one more time boating a few more, then I decided to leave the area before we did any more damage to that school. Jessica's jacket looked like she had been slimmed by ghosts out of the Ghost Busters Movie. We hit a couple more areas, had some action but we really did not care much by now, everyone had already had plenty of fish to reel in today. We had a lot of fun today, Doug and Jason are regular clients and knew what to do when a fish got on, Will was a rookie on my boat and we had fun ragging on him loosing so many fish today. He finally caught on and made up for his losses. Jason had about 140 pounds of Striper to work on this afternoon, good thing he bought a new electric fillet knife. It was very nice to fish and not be harassed by boat traffic today, this last weekend was very busy and made weekend fishing tough, as is evident by our pictures.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bill, Larry, Earl, Russell, Scott and Chris

Sunny, Warm, Water Temperature 58* mid lake and 65* up.
Picked the guys up at 6:30 and went fishing. I went around to where I caught fish yesterday but one of the local yocals busted me there yesterday and was there working the same bay. I set up there anyway pulling boards and started taking hits immediately. Within a few minutes there were a couple more boats in the same area all competing for the same fish. For the first few hours we took a hit about every 10 minutes but the pressure got too much for the fish and they eventually turned off. We worked another area without any luck also. We never boated a fish after 10 am today. We had bout 25 hits and boated only 10 Stripers today. I guess we had a chance to better the stringer but it just was not in the cards today. I told Earl last night how busy the lake had been on Friday and that the fishing would not be good, I said to him if we caught 10 fish I would be surprised, and that's what we caught.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Jackie, Bob and Ron

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature climbing to 58* and Clear.
As usual I got out way before daylight and caught bait, picked the guys up at the marina and went fishing. Since there was so much boat traffic yesterday I decided to find an area with no boats and out of the main thoroughfare so I set up in a bay pulling boards. The morning started out pretty good, larger fish were crushing our better baits but once a few boats passed us the bite subsided. Instead of getting hookups we started getting short strikes. I knew the fish were in the area because every time I would make a pass on certain contact zones our baits would get extremely nervous and we would usually get a strike or two. The traffic kept getting worse, it actually was the busiest day on the water this year so far. We hung in there and about 11 o'clock the fish turned on a little and we started getting solid hook ups. Today we had well over 30 bites and the guys kept a few fish for the grill at the hotel tonight and a few to take home. We all wished we had booked the date on not such a busy time but the action kept us all alert and by the end of the trip it turned out to be a good day. I am not looking forward to tomorrow's boat traffic, hopefully we can load up before the weekend warriors hit the water.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Jeff and Tyler Lawson

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 56* and Clear.
After catching bait I picked the guys up at the dock at 6:30 and headed for the fishing grounds. I set out 15 rods rigged with the prettiest baits of the season and pulled them for over 8 hours today. Fishing was slow, I knew 4 other fisherman on the water who did not fair very well today. We had 14 hookups and the guys boated 13 0f the 14 , a great percentage considering some previous trips that I have had recently. The boat traffic was bad today, this being the first 80* weekend every nut that owns a boat will be out from today through Monday. The Stripers will definitely get shook up the next few days. I will be out the next couple of days trying to dodge boats, hopefully a few fish will want to eat.