Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Martin Family

Sunny and Pleasant, Water temperature 85* and Clear.
Peter emailed me on Sunday expressing interest in taking his family fishing for a half a day this week while they were at the lake on vacation. He also had some concern as to what fishing would be like after reading my last journal entry. I explained to him that although fishing has slowed down from the 30 to 50 fish a morning that we were catching in June and July I felt we could catch some nice fish but it would be nice if the night before would be cloudy so the fish would not feed all night in the twilight of the bright full moon. Peter wanted to fish so we booked today and I told him I would go out on Monday to locate some fish. I did go out yesterday, Sunday night was cloudy and I hit 5 different areas catching fish in all the places that I checked. Unfortunately I picked his family up this morning and as luck would have it the moon had been bright all night. I had caught bait so we motored a short distance and set out a spread of boards and downlines. We hooked up on a downline immediately and put the first Striper in the boat. We had a couple more solid hits then the fish turned off. The fish started hitting just the back of the baits killing the baits so I decided to make a move. We set up on a small school of Stripers that were suspended off the bottom for about 100 yards but the fish did not want to eat, we continued to keep getting short hits with no hookups. I had spoken to two other friends that were fishing who were experiencing the same thing, seeing fish, putting baits on them and the fish simply killing the bait. By 10 o'clock I was almost out of bait but had a hunch that it had been 4 hours since the fish had feed, the moon was at the horizon which is a minor feed, and more times than not when the moon is bright at night the fish will feed mid day versus feeding early and late in the day. I had a friend out who was finished fishing call me that had 40 baits left so I got them from him and tried one more area that I knew some nice fish were in. We set up on the area and all of a sudden the 2 front downlines hooked up, then a board and another downline went down. We worked the area for about 30 minutes till we went through the 50 remaining baits I had. It was a great ending to a beautiful day on the water. Peter's family is pictured holding some of the fish we caught this morning.
Can't wait to loose this moon faze!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jay, Phil, Chance and Cooper

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 89* and Clear.
I had an opportunity to take 2 great kids fishing today. Phil their Dad had given them the trip as a birthday present. They had also received new rods and reels and brand new Remington 870 youth shotguns yesterday as presents [Lucky Guys]. I had spoke with Phil the day before and had told him fishing had turned sour this week and that we were averaging catching less than 10 keepers a day, would he like to reschedule the trip to a more productive time of the month. He said no way, the kids had been waiting for this trip and they were ready to go. I caught bait and picked the guys up at the marina just before daylight. He was right, they were ready to get on board and excited about catching their first Stripers. We looked for a few minutes for schools and located some fish to set up on. I had briefed Jay and Phil on deploying the baits so we tried to set up on the fish. The first set up is usually awkward for new clients and today was no exception. We had gotten only a couple baits in the water before we started taking hits. Chance grabbed the first fish and did a great job of wrestling the Striper to the boat. By the time we got all of our lines out the school had moved on. We found the school again, put the baits out and Cooper had his chance to reel in a Striper. We lost and relocated the school for about an hour and a half before the school dissipated around 8 o'clock. We looked and looked for fish the rest of the morning but never got back on any other keeper Stripers. For the last 8 or 10 days there has been a good morning bite then the fish completely turn off after a couple hours. The lack of action did not hamper the kids excitement, they enjoyed the day on the water and are looking forward to coming back when the fishing improves.

Monday, August 01, 2011

School of Stripers

I had the day off so I called a couple of friends and went to the lake looking for fish for my clients that I will take out later in the week. I found this school and thought it might be of some interest to some of my journal followers that want to learn how to locate Stripers on their own. The depth finder is a Lowrance HDS-8 with Structure Scan. I am looking at 3 different screens on the unit which I utilize most of the time while I am fishing. The left part of the screen is Bottom Lock, it is showing the bottom 2', 4', 6' etc. up off the bottom. It is always locked on the bottom whatever depth I am in and is set at 3x zoom so that I can see the fish better in the lower water column where most of the Stripers are hanging out now. The numbers on the Screen show the depth at 46', Water Temperature of 90, my speed was 1/2 a mph at 10 o'clock in the morning. The small middle screen is traditional sonar set in a 0 to 45 foot scale, showing Stripers stacked from 19' to 40'. The right half of my screen is Structure Scan which is set on left and right side scan on a 80 foot range. The boat is actually at the top of the screen at 0 and as the boat moves forward the history scrolls downward on the screen. The numbers 20, 40 and 80 are how many feet to the sides of the boat the scan is recording. I took this picture at the end of the school so there are not many fish showing up on the side scan. The fish show up at vertical dashes. Note there were more fish to the right of the boat than to the left of the boat at the moment I snapped the picture. This school of Stripers was not very large, it was only about 100 feet wide by 200 feet long [maybe a third of an acre at the most]. I did not bother to fish the school because the fish on the screen were not active fish. Certainly if you see this on your Lowrance I would suggest you fishing it but in my experience when I see the Stripers not streaking [arches moving quickly up and or down on the screen] I pass them up and continue to look for more aggressive feeding fish. Also I noticed some smaller Stripers in the school mixed in with the larger Stripers which usually means to me the fish are not feeding. When the larger Stripers want to eat normally they will not allow the smaller Stripers to feed along side of them. When they are aggressively feeding the sizes of fish will be more segregated.
You can click on the picture of my Lowrance to enlarge the picture.