Saturday, June 26, 2010

Michael, Alec, Sam and Spencer

Sunny and hot, Water Temperature 89* and clear.
Michael and myself got out early to catch bait then picked the guys up at the marina and went looking for schools of Stripers. It being the weekend we were only going to fish for a couple hours and we came off the water around 8:30. Today's crew consisted of my grandson Michael, friend Tony and his son Alec, 2 of Tony's best friends children [Their dad recently passed away], Pa Pa Bobby and Hunter. I looked for about 5 minutes and found a school, we tried to put out 10 baits but before we knew it every rod was bent over. I was baiting all the lines and net the fish, the kids were reeling in the fish and everyone else tried to get the baits in the water. After about 15 minutes of pure action Bobby tapped out and said this was way too much action for him. The kids were steady reeling in fish and LOVING IT! We worked that school for a half an hour and then took a break. We gave the kids a drink and I went and found another school. We duplicated the first drill time after time until the kids ran out of energy and I ran out of bait. Spencer is holding a Carp he caught on a Herring while Sam and Alec are wishing they had caught that big yellow fish. Everyone had a ball today, the kids did exceptionally well, at times you could have heard them screaming a mile away.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gary Gray Jr. with guests Phil, Chris, Chris, Gary Sr. and Travis

Sunny and HOT, Water Temperature 89* and Clear.
Caught bait early , went back to the dock and got the boat ready for my clients. I knew it was going to be a scorcher today and was hoping to get on the schools early and get off the water before it got too hot. I thought the Stripers would be schooled up well in the early am hour but I also knew they would disperse by 9 or so. I pulled out of the marina to show my crew how to deploy the lines and how to put the baits right in the Stripers faces and took off in search of schools. I looked for about 45 seconds and ran right over a major school. I stopped the boat, told the guys how many pulls to put the baits out, put the trolling motor in and started baiting hooks. Everyone was doing OK but poor Travis was still asleep and had a lot of difficulty getting his two rods out. Being on such a large school for the first set up and everyone's rods bent over with fish did not help him much either. I had told them earlier that our first set up was going to be the worst then after two or 3 times it would go smooth, and it did. When I got everyone baited and they were all reeling in fish I yelled to John in his boat that I was on a school but he walked on me and was yelling the same to me, he had found a school and was working it in a different area. We put 7 or 8 fish in the box on the first set up and for the next couple hours we would find schools, work them for a few minutes, catch fish then loose the school. All the rest of the schools we encountered we worked like a well seasoned team, we could get 10 baits out and into the water in less than a minute. The schools were tight until we would release or loose a fish then they would disperse into pods. I would have to get back on the big motor and find other schools that were larger and tighter in order to catch fish. As it has been for the last month by about 10 all the schools had dispersed, the fish shut down and basically the fishing was over. We stayed out till 1 looking and fishing some areas but with little success. I had told the guys around 10:15 that if we would catch another keeper I would be surprised, we fished for 3 more hours, and caught 1 keeper. It was a good morning, plenty of early action, once Travis got the hang of it he put it on most of the other guys.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jeff, Hamid, Dick and Senior

Sunny and HOT...Water temperature 88* and Clear.
I got out early and caught 200 nice baits, went back to the marina to pick up my clients. We were suppose to depart at 5:30 and after me calling them 3 times I left the marina at 6 with no clients on board. I looked nearby the marina and found 2 schools of Stripers, put out 2 lines on each school and caught fish. I called the marina about 6:20 and half my crew had arrived, the others had got lost and even got a speeding ticket trying to get back to the marina. We were finally on the water by 7 and I headed to a school that I knew of that was holding a lot of Stripers. I went right to them and they were there. I tried to explain how to deploy the lines as the depth finder was lit up with arches, soon as we engaged the reels the rods would bend over. It was quite hectic for a short time while Dick was trying to learn exactly how to work the rods. It didn't take long before we all understood, and then the school was gone. We had been on it for 15 minutes and popped 10 fish out of the school. I got back on the motor but could not locate that school again. I found another school, we set up on it and caught 8, but most were small fish so I moved on. We found a couple more schools in the neighborhood and worked them but did not have as good results. I decided to make a big move and left the area looking for greener pastures. We pulled up on a school uplake and caught 6 out of it but most of them were punks so I looked for another school. By now it was mid morning, the schools had broke up, all we could see were single and small pods of fish. I still had plenty of bait but could not find anything worth setting up on. Senior had asked about trolling on previous trips so I decided to show him how it was done. We ended up trolling the rest of the day, catching another 10 Stripers. Today we caught over 30 Stripers, better than I had thought after such a late start, the guys took home a stringer full to eat. Dick is the guy in the black shirt, he is mad because he has to drive all the way home while Jeff sleeps.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bill Haynes with sons Bill, Scott and daughter Lynne

Cloudy and drizzle, Water temperature 84* and Clear.
Went out early and caught bait, picked my crew up at 5:30 at High Point Marina. I was concerned today with the weather, they were calling for East winds all day and 50% chance of thunderstorms, neither are good for summer fishing. John was out today also and I told him that the clouds would make the fish not school very well early, so he went one direction and I went the other looking for schools. Unfortunately I was correct, after about an hour of looking all we saw were pods of Stripers. Both John and I set up on a pod just to show our clients how to deploy the baits then I went looking for Schools. I found a school over 25 feet of water , set out baits on them, called John, and everyone started hooking up. We were taking hits but in true East wind conditions the punks and Catfish were more interested in eating than the nicer Stripers. We put a few in the box and I move a little and found another school. These Stripers were a little more cooperating but still our bait was getting used up fast. John pulled up and experienced the same thing, our ratio's were about 2 keeper Stripers, 4 punks and a couple Cats for every 25 baits we used. I felt we could do better so I left John with that school and went looking for another. I found a large school, we set up on it and all the rods went off with decent fish. I grabbed the mike and called John, grabbed the net and started throwing fish on the deck and at the same time tried to get more baits out before the school moved on. As luck would have it a few fish swallowed the hooks, a couple lines got tangled and it took a while to get back in business. We worked a couple more schools and ended up having a good day. Bill got to take home 17 fish. Today's trip was a birthday present from Bills children, he is celebrating his 75th.
Happy Birthday Bill!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jim Garner with son Brian and daughter Erica

Sunny and Hot, Water Temperature 85* and Clear.
I caught 200 baits this morning and picked everyone up at 5:30 on their dock. I hit the main lake and ran till I found a school of Stripers which took about 10 minutes and set up on them. For about 30 minutes we had all we could handle, Jim and I were constantly baiting and netting fish. After we lost the school it was kind of a relief to have a break, Jim wanted to have his coffee and I needed to tie a couple hooks on to the lines. We left that school and hit another but after boating 3 Cats I told them to get the baits in and lets find another school of feeding Stripers. We only had to go about 200 yards, obviously I had originally set up on the tail end of the school first and once I found the nucleus of the school we Spanked them. By now we had caught about 25 fish and Brian had a big grin glued to his face. I got back on the big motor and found yet another school, set baits out and did the drill again, every rod bent over, fish all over the deck, Jim and I hopelessly trying to keep up with the action. After a while that school moved on, we reeled the lines in and Brian hit the couch. Jim asked him how he was doing and Brian tapped out, he had all the action he could take and was ready to give up and call it a day. What a morning it was, we lost count of how many fish we threw back but I know we went through the majority of our bait by 8:30. We were able to get off the water before it got too hot, a blessing being that is will be well into the 90's today.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Joe and Brian Mohr, Josh, Steve, and B.J.Thumbs

Sunny and Hot, Water Temperature 83* and clear.
Brian and I got out early and caught 250 baits, picked the guys up about 5:45 and went in search of schools. Within 45 seconds of leaving the marina I found an acre of Stripers. I shut the big motor off and tried to explain to the guys how to put the lines out but by the time everyone understood how to do it [and a backlash later] the school had moved. At least is was practice on how to deploy the baits. I got back on the big motor and found another school, this time we got the baits out quick enough and every rod hooked up, and continued to hook up for the next 30 minutes. Brian and I were baiting at this time and the other guys were reeling in the fish. After about 20 fish I lost that school and located another , we put the baits out and popped a few more. We hit 2 more schools catching fish in all of them then I hit the mother load, after we baited all the lines I looked up and every rod was buried into the water. We worked that school for about 30 minutes then moved on. We hit another school, caught a couple more fish and called it quits for the day. It was 8:45, we had boated over 50 Stripers and a handful of Cats, we kept 24 and released all the others to fight again. All these guys except Brian were and are teachers from West Va. and took a couple days off just after school let out to celebrate Joe's retirement and the end of the school year. Not a bad way to start the summer, catching 50 Stripers in a couple hours. We were off the water before it got too hot, plenty of time to clean the fish and enjoy the lake for the rest of the day. Joe is an avid fisherman and plans to fish as much as his wife Sherry will let him in his retirement. Good Luck and Congratulations on your retirement Joe!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sylvester, Zeb, Todd and Kirby

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature dropped to 80* and Clear.
Caught 250 pieces of bait, picked the guys up at the marina and headed out looking for schools. It was quite windy this morning and every time I would locate a school we would have a short window to get the baits out before we would get blown off the school. I located 8 nice schools this morning before 10:30 and we caught fish out of every one of them. Today we had over 200 hits and had plenty of action although I was on my big motor the better part of the morning looking for schools. The guys took home a couple of fish and released the others to fight again.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Joel Billingsley and friends

Sunny and Hot, Water Temperature 85* and Clear.
Caught 225 baits before daylight then went and picked up my clients at their dock. Knowing it was the weekend I was concerned about all the other fisherman being out early and the pleasure boaters later spooking the fish so I was anxious to get away from other boaters and locate fish early. I simply went to where I could not see another boat for about a mile in either direction, located a school of fish, showed the guys how to deploy the baits and started fishing. No sooner did we get the baits out on the first school we got a few hits then the school moved. We got the baits in and I relocated them, set up on them, caught a couple and within 5 minutes they had moved again. I called a friend Greg who was out and told him to come over to me and we would work the school together. I knew the school was really moving fast and 2 boats working the school were better than one. He was trolling and as soon as he set up he hooked up. The school was moving about 2 miles an hour but we had the direction they were going and we would set up, catch a couple fish, get the baits back in and move again and again. We were doing great till we got busted by a Carolina skiff, once he found up it only took 6 to 8 minutes before a dozen boats were on top of us, naturally spooking the school. The Stripers will not tolerate that type of pressure, motors running over them, anglers gut hooking fish and killing them, consequently the school split up and the fish got into smaller pods of 10 to 15 fish verses hundreds of fish. Within a half hour we had almost every Striper fisherman on top of us so I decided to move again and get away from all the pressure. We again moved to where we could not see another boat, found a school and had our way with them. Soon we ran out of bait and had to convert to using artificial. I located a school, stopped and showed the guys how to work the baits and while I was showing them we had 3 hookups at once. By now it was about 10am , the boat traffic was getting bad, the sun was up high and the fish turned off. We looked for a couple more hours but could not locate a fish so we called it quits for the day around 12:30. Today we caught about 35 Stripers and a few Catfish, not too bad for a weekend. I am looking forward to fishing again during the week in peace.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Jason with guests Daniel, Clint and Ken

Sunny and Hot, Water Temperature 85* and Clear.
Some horrible storms blew threw last night which worried me about fishing today. The guys came out with me to catch bait and dodged a storm on the water. We went in search of Stripers at 5:30 and looked for an hour not finding any schools. After storms like we had sometime fishing is slow to start on the following mornings as was the case today. I set up on a couple of pods of fish with little success. I finally found what I wanted as the schools were forming about 7:45 and we put the baits out. We had a double hookup and Jason landed the big fish of the day. We chased that school around for the rest of the day, sometimes the Stripers would feed briefly then other time the Cats would eat. Sometimes we were right in them without getting bit at all. Our baits were running out early and ended up having a long day. We ended up catching 27 Stripers [only 13 kept] and a bunch of Catfish. We went through more than 200 baits today. We had plenty of action for just a fair day of fishing.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Jim, Bob, Rachid, Amir and Jalil

Sunny, Hot, Water temperature 86*and Clear.
Caught 220 baits this morning and picked the guys up about 5:30. Didn't go far before I found a school so I instructed the guys on how to deploy the baits and we set up on them. It was still before 6 and we took about 20 hits before the school dissipated. I got back on the big motor and started looking and found a school up in a creek and we put out on them. By now the guys were a little better in getting the baits out and we started putting fish in the boat. It wasn't long before I heard someone yell "This is just like it says on the journal!" We worked that school for about 40 minutes before we lost it. I got back on the motor again and looked this time for about 20 minutes then found acres of Stripers. I told the guys this is what they came for and we needed to get her done right this time and before we could get all the lines set everything hooked up. We burnt up the rest of our baits on this school and only had a few weak baits left after the action subsided. It was just 8:30 and we had gone through 2oo baits. All I could do is troll for the rest of the time, by 8:30 we had 20 keepers on bait, we fished for 5 more hours for 1 more keeper on artificial.
The 2nd picture is a ball of bait I attracted with a new light that I am trying out, the bait ball was about 40 feet wide by 20 feet deep.