Monday, May 24, 2010

The JFHQ-NCR Group...Col. John Neumann with guests Tom, Toney, Rob, Steve, Bill, Roger, Joel, Mike, Mike, Angel and Erica

Cloudy, Warm , Rain pre-dawn, Water Temperature 74* and Clear.
Today we had our annual outing with the group commanded by Col. Neumann. He had reserved 3 boats to take his crew out fishing for Stripers on Lake Anna. With bait being extremely difficult to catch John, Anthony and myself got on the water at 2am hoping to have enough bait for everyone. All of us were concerned about the bait, especially after the storms that blew through last night and this morning. John ended up with about 70 baits, Anthony had 150 and I had about 170 to start the morning. John got back to the marina early to deal with his boat while Anthony and I stayed out till after light catching bait. We ended up departing the marina about 6:30. I noticed John was in quite a hurry leaving but I did not think much of it at the time. He went about a mile from the marina and set out some lines while Anthony and I cruised the lake looking for schools. After 45 minutes of looking for the schools both Anthony and I decided to set up on little pods of fish just to break the ice. About 7:30 John called and said he had put 6 fish in the boat and to come over to him so we did. We set up around him and started taking hits, after an hour I had gone through 60 baits, only putting a couple of keepers in the boat. Anthony was doing the same. John by now had used up his baits and had started trolling artificials. I looked for another hour for schools and set up on numerous pods but all the fish wanted to do was hit the baits in the tails and not eat the bait, consequently I went through my baits catching punks, Cats and 8 or 10 keeper fish. John had trolled for a couple hours and only caught 1 Striper and things were looking bleak. Fish were not schooling, they did not want to eat, between the 3 boats we had had over 300 hits , 80% of those resulted in killed baits. John who was still trolling called me on the phone and said to come over by him, he was seeing more fish and it looked like they were trying to school. We went over, saw the school and burnt up the rest of the baits. John had put a couple more in the boat and was seeing more and more fish. I realized since I could not put a stinger on the live bait and that the fish were only hitting the rear of the baits to kill them that I needed to troll some crankbaits with treble hooks on the rear of the baits to catch fish. I rigged up some rods and headed for the school. John started catching more and more fish so I called Anthony and told him to come over to us and use up the remained of his baits on the school. We started catching fish, one after another. Erica hooked up with the first real nice fish and things started looking better. Anthony's crew were putting fish in the boat while John and I continued to catch fish. Angel hooked up to a nice fish, we did not know if he was reeling the fish in or the fish was reeling him in. He finally got it in and I think it was a little bigger than Erica's fish. We continued to hit the schools and catch fish till lunch time then we called it quits for the day, everyone was out of bait, everyone was hungry and there was food waiting back at the marina. I found out while we were eating from John that the group had a bet on who caught the first fish of the day and whoever caught the largest fish of the day. That explains why the Col.'s boat snuck out this morning and started fishing immediately. No one told Anthony or I about the bet. One of the crew out of my boat won the big fish bet, I did not see who it was. After a slow start this morning we ended up with a great days catch, between the 3 boats we all caught over 150 fish , the guys keeping 56 Stripers and a few Kitties to take back home and releasing a bunch of punks. Three Captains left the marina very tired, I am sure John and Anthony went straight home and crashed. The group is probably still cleaning fish back at the marina!

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