Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tyler Keriakos

Cloudy and Cold, Water temperature 50*.
Picked the guys up at 5:30 and caught bait. We set out a spread of 12 boards, a bobber and 2 freelines pulling flats where I have recently caught fish. We took a dozen hits the first hour and a half but never boated a fish. The fish were not wanting to eat, they were simply hitting the backs of the baits, pulling the board back 6 or 8 feet and letting go. Today is Tyler's birthday so Paul his Dad was praying he would hook up with a nice fish. After working the area for 3 hours I made a move and set the spread out again. We fished the area for 2 hours, did not take as many hits but occasionally a Striper would make a mistake and hook up. We made a third move later in the day but experienced similar results everywhere we fished today. Tyler is pictured holding his largest fish he has ever caught.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Cloudy and Cold, Water temperature 54* and Clear.
Brian called yesterday and said he would get rained out of work this morning so he had the morning off. I wanted to get out for a couple hours also to find some fish for tomorrow's clients so Brian met me and we hit the water at 5:30. We caught 100 Herring on the second throw and were done with bait. Since this morning was a practice outing I wanted to fish places that I have not been fishing to locate fish for future clients. On our first stop we set out a large spread and pulled about a mile working the humps, points and flats in the area. The wind was already blowing out of the East so I did not expect to catch a lot of fish but was hoping to tempt some larger fish into hitting. Brian wanted only to get fish for tonights dinner so we were going to release everything we caught anyway. On our first pull we took hits and caught fish over 4 feet out to 25 feet of water, no rhyme or reason or anything resembling a pattern. I decide to make a move and hit an area that was loaded with baitfish. We took a couple hits right away, pulled our baits a couple hundred more yards then everything started going off. All we wanted to do was get out of there without sticking too many fish but I could not move the boat fast enough. Well, it was a fun ending for the morning. We caught about 15 Stripers and a couple of Bass, all but one unlucky Striper were returned to the lake.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thomas and Tommy

Anthony took the Tom's out today to freeze [thats what younger Tom thought] on the lake today. Anthony had got up super early to try to catch bait this morning but bait collection was tough. They pulled planner boards all day catching a dozen fish. Every time Tommy would doze off they would take hits, Anthony ended up encouraging him to nap to get bites. They kept a couple fish for dinner and released the rest including a Catfish over 10 pounds. That was a good catch considering the conditions today.

Dennis Rhodes with the "over the hill gang"

Cloudy and Cold, Water temperature 55*.
I got out early to catch bait, after a few hours of throwing I still did not have what I wanted so I picked the guys up and topped the tank off. I had concerns before leaving the house this morning not only about bait being tough but with the cold front that we are in and even worse weather moving in tonight fishing may be tough. I set a spread out pulling well over 20 baits at a time covering as much water as I could to put the odds in our favor of catching fish. We worked about 3/4 of a mile before we even got our first hit. I was on the phone with Anthony who was fishing today checking to see if he was doing any better, he at least had a fish in the boat and had a couple more hits when we took our first hit. Brian woke up and wrestled the fish in, I think it may have been his largest fish ever. Now the ice was broken I got serious and put out even more baits. I knew the fish could be tempted to strike and we were going to catch them. My crew was patient with me, I kept telling them if the sun would come out from behind the clouds the fish would eat. This morning was solid clouds and cold but as the day progress we had an occasional break in the clouds, and regardless of where we were we would take hits. At one point I had so many lines out the guys couldn't reel in the fish without getting tangled in other lines, but if that was what it took to get bit so be it. We had a good time today, everyone fished with confidence in me and ended up boating 15 Stripers. A long cold day with a good ending. The guys will have something to talk about on their ride back over the mountain.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anthony Hicks and Gene Hord

Cloudy and Warm, Water Temperature mid 50"s.
While I was fishing with my grandson last Friday I saw Gene out fishing and invited him to go out with myself and Anthony for "Old Times Sake". Gene and myself use to fish Bass Tournaments 25 years ago in North and South Carolina and we wanted to catch up telling lies about fishing. Gene was the original Striper guide and Guru on the lake and Anthony was also one of the few people that targeted Stripers 30 years ago. Needless to say there was plenty of testosterone on the boat which made for a great time on the water. We went out early and hung lights, caught bait and had our spread out at daylight. I set up in an area where I knew I could catch some fish and enjoyed watching Gene reel in a bunch of Stripers. He use to pull live bait but not to the extent that we do now so it was fun watching him learn how to steer the Stripers through 5 or 6 planner boards. Naturally I would give him grief when he would foul a couple of lines, but it was all in fun. We had already caught all the fish we wanted to keep and were throwing back fish to be caught another day. I pulled off of the general area we were catching fish to leave some for my clients for another day and Gene could not believe I was leaving fish to find fish. We hit 3 more areas catching and releasing fish at all of them. When I left the landing I overheard Gene telling a friend of his "These guys kept complaining how poor fishing was today but I caught more Stripers today than I have all year!" It was great to get out with old friends, take a day this spring and reunite with someone of your past, one day memories may be all we have left.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A beautiful morning on the lake.

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 55* to 58*.
Knowing it was going to be the warmest day of the year so far I picked my grandson up yesterday from school and brought him home so we could go fishing this morning. We got up and out early, hung lights, caught Herring and went fishing. As we were putting our spread out of a dozen planner boards and a couple free lines we noticed Stripers busting behind behind us. I knew fish were in the area prior to setting up but was hoping the fish would be about 200 yards ahead of me. Unfortunately we were heading one direction and the fish the other. That really was not a bad thing, with that large a spread it would have been difficult for Michael to handle any more action than we had. Mike would hook up, get the fish in and another rod would go off. Much better than 4 or 5 going off at once and getting my spread tangled up. The Stripers were on a major feed for about an hour, we kept seeing sprays behind us where the fish were working bait. The second Striper Micheal caught was gagging on bait, in addition to the bait we caught him on he also had a Threadfin, a Herring and a Gizzard in his mouth. With the moon as bright as it was last night every Striper on the lake gorged themselves and I knew the bite this morning would be brief. We steadily caught fish till a couple Bass boats ran nearby us then I told Mike the fish would quit feeding. He wanted to fish the area so we did for another hour without catching another fish there. We made a move and fished another area for awhile but after the 50th boat passed us I told Mike we had to go. We had a great morning while it lasted, Mike caught fish till his arms were burning but he wouldn't give up. We ended up catching over 15 but honestly I lost count, kept a few for a friend and got off the water. It looked like a zoo out there with all the boats buzzing by. I guess if Michael is going to play "Hookie" from school fishing is a great way to do it.

DP and Anthony

DP put his boat in at 5 this afternoon, caught bait and fished till dark with his son Anthony. Here are 2 fish that hooked up at the same time. It's hard to tell who is happier, Anthony for reeling in the fish of DP being proud of his son. They caught a few more before dark, a great way to spend an evening on the lake.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Josh, Jimmy and Jacob

Partly Sunny and Cool, Water Temperature up lake 55* and muddy, mid lake 49* and Stained, down lake 56* and Clear.
I couldn't sleep last night worrying about how the rains of Sunday affected the lake so I got out extremely early and hung lights to catch bait. I was also leery of running at night due to the logs that were floating all over the lake [The lake filled up and is overflowing from Sunday's rain]. My concerns were validated when by daylight I had not caught a piece of bait. I picked my clients up and ran about 8 miles to hopefully catch some bait to fish with. After looking and throwing for about an hour more I ended up with a beautiful tank of bait. Now the challenge was to tempt the Stripers to feed knowing that if the bait had been disrupted the fish would probably be just as confused. I set up a spread of 13 planner boards, a bobber and a free line and pulled some humps and flats about 20' deep hoping to trigger some strikes. I pulled over the flat you see on my Lowrance that was covered with Stripers but could only trigger 4 short strikes. I hit a couple other shallower flats nearby only to catch a Bass. I knew I had to put a pattern together so for the rest of the day I hit area after area trying to figure out the fish. We fished 40 foot flats, mouths and backs of creeks, main lake points and flats, clean water, stained water and muddy water burning $50 of fuel looking for a reliable pattern. By the end of the trip we had caught 19 Stripers, a Bass and a Catfish. We could never catch numerous fish in one area but by continuously trying new areas, fishing huge spreads and keeping fresh baits in the water we ended up doing quite well for the conditions we were confronted with today.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Mark, Troy and Dave

Cloudy and Windy, Water temperature 50 *.
Met the guys early and caught bait by daylight. We went to a spot in a bay where I knew boat traffic would be at minimum and set out our baits. I picked the spot solely to stay away from other fisherman and to see how much boat traffic there would be this morning before I picked an area to work. Within a couple minutes Mark jumped on a rod and started to battle a nice Striper. Before he got his in Troy hooked up as well. Next thing I knew Dave was running to the back of the boat to grab a rod. Not a bad start by 6:30 this morning. We worked the area for 2 hours taking another dozen hits before deciding to make a move. The wind was calm this morning early but by 8 it had starting getting up pretty well. We set up pulling numerous humps with boards but the wind was steadily increasing. We hit one hump and for almost 75 yards we saw nothing but fish on the Lowrance but could only short hits over the area. We turned and hit it again picking up a couple but I knew when we hit it the first time the fish were not in a feeding mood. We worked the area till we got blown off, went and caught some more bait and tried to set up out of the wind, but not with much luck. Today we took about 50 strikes, mostly short hits, boated 12 Stripers, a Bass and a couple of Cats. We fished till we ran out of bait and called it a day. Troy is going back home to take a nap, Dave is babysitting his kids and Mark, he just wants to get into that Brisket that had been smoking all morning.