Monday, February 27, 2012

Steve, Al and John

Sunny, Windy, Cool, Water temperature 48* and clear.
Today I was concerned about how the cold front that blew through here on Saturday would effect fishing. I put my boat in the water at 5:30 this morning anxious to catch bait but John walked over and gave me some bad news, one of the other guys had misread the email about what time to meet this morning and was going to be about 45 minutes late. We didn't hit the water till 6:30 and I threw for bait till after 8. I set up a set of a dozen planner boards and a bobber pulling a flat this morning. We took 6 hits before we boated the first fish, the fish were simply hitting the baits in the tail not intending to eat the bait. By now the wind was getting up and I knew today would be a challenge fishing post frontal conditions in the wind. We hunkered down and just fished hard all day taking strikes here and there, there was no pattern to where the fish would be or where they would bite. I made a move toward the end of the trip that paid off, I went downlake and hit an area that every time I would get a phone call we would hook up. If the bite slowed I would call somebody and immediately hook up again. I guess the phone calls saved us today, the guys kept a dozen Stripers to take home.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Vince, Walt and Brian

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 49* and Clear.
Brian and I got out early and caught bait then picked up the other 2 guys at daylight and went fishing. We set out our spread without taking a hit. We hit a point and took a couple hits then the boats started coming. Although the boats did not run nearby us 5 or 6 boat motors running around was all it took to spook the Stripers. We were taking hits and catching fish but it certainly was not like the last two charters that I took out where we were catching 8 to 15 fish an hour. I would try to avoid boats this morning but we could not get away from them. I decided to go catch some more bait and set up in an area where there were no other boats. We started taking hits immediately and boating fish. When a boat would go by we would have a lull in the action but after about 30 minutes our rods would double over again. Definitely the action today was influenced by the sound of boat motors. We stuck it out and ended up catching 22 keepers today, keeping 16 and releasing the others unharmed. Today's fish were very healthy, this stringer of Stripers weighed in excess of 120 pounds, that's why the guys are trying to hurry me up to take the picture.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kat, Erica and Jim

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 46* and clear.
We had 5 inches of snow yesterday and last night so I could not get out till noon today because of the roads. I caught bait, picked up my crew and looked for some warm water temperatures. I found what I wanted and tried to put out my spread of boards and free lines but the fish would not cooperate, I had only set out one side of boards when we started taking hits. Jim boated the first fish, one of the largest of the trip. I hit a point and 4 or 5 hoked up. We wrestled a couple of them in and lost a few more. I knew what pattern to work so I pulled out and finished putting all my baits out then started hitting points. Every time we got near a point we would hook up. Although it was bluebird skies and post frontal conditions we managed to catch a limit in a few hours of wonderful fishing. All we needed was one more fish for a limit of fish today when I put 6 baits up on a primary point and four of the six baits hooked up all at once. We got our 16th fish in the boat and released the others unharmed.
Fishing is incredible now, thanks to the mild winter our catches are as good as I have ever seen them for this time of year. Now is a great time to catch Stripers.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Josh, Mark, Justin and Jesse

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 46* and Clear.

I met the guys this morning at 6, caught bait and went fishing. I set up about 300 yards before where I thought we could catch some nice fish so that I could have all my baits in the water ready for the bite. I am glad I did because that was the only time for the next 2 1/2 hours that I had all the rods baited. Once I hit my area we had two Stripers hook up, thankfully one on either side of the boat. From then on out I could not keep up with baits in the water. The fish were scattered about, everywhere we fished we would catch fish on both sides of the boat. Obviously the fish were feeding up prior to the major cold front that is blowing through this afternoon and tomorrow. We were swamped with action and by 9:45 we had about 40 hits and were out of bait. It was a good thing, I was expecting the wind to blow and a few minutes before we pulled the rest of our baits in the wind got up and it appeared the fish had turned off. We kept 20 Stripers this morning and released a few more to fight again. As you can see by the picture all the fish were very nice fat fish. It took 4 guys to hold that stringer up, there is between 120 and 140 pounds of Striper on that wooded rod.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

John, Mike and Steve

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 45* and Clear.
Anthony and I got out before daylight, caught bait and picked the guys up at 7 on the dock. I had mixed emotions about the day this morning, I have been on fish in numerous areas of the lake and was concerned about the extremely cold weather we had a few days ago lowering the water temperature and turning off the fish. I knew today was going to be nice and the water would warm hopefully turning the fish on. We made a short run to an area where I knew no boats would be and set out our spread of baits. Where we were fishing the water temp had dropped 8 degrees since the last time I was out. Our first fish came from out nearby the channel which confirmed my fears that the fish were indeed hurt by the cold water temps. After working the area for a couple hours only to boat 3 Stripers I knew we had to make a move. We relocated to a different area and worked about a mile stretch of water only to boat 2 Stripers and take a couple short hits. By now the air temperature had warmed up about 20 degrees and so I told the guys the banks had to be warming up so we topped off the tank with bait and put out a spread of a dozen boards covering from the bank out about a hundred yards. We had gotten only 3 boards out on the bank side when the action started. For the next 300 yards it was all Anthony and myself could do to keep baits in the water. The water had warmed up 2 degrees near the bank and that's where the Stripers were. We proceeded to work on the fish and soon we limited out. Today was a special day for Anthony and myself, we took out 3 biologists from a local agency eager to learn more about this fishery from them. At the end of the trip they were thanking us for taking them fishing but it was Anthony and myself who benefited most learning from them about what makes this lake work. We kept 12 Stripers to take home and released the other Stripers unharmed to fight again.

Friday, February 10, 2012

John and Ben

Sunny in the morning turning cloudy, Water Temperature 48* and Clear.
John and I got out early to catch bait but my frozen deck made bait catching difficult. We picked Ben up, topped off the tank and went fishing. I had gotten only 3 lines out when we took our first hit, a good start for the morning. I put out about a dozen baits then hit a point that produced 2 strikes. We kept working different types of areas till I got dialed in on the fish then we proceeded to put some fish in the boat. For the next 3 hours I could not catch up with the action. We had well in excess of 25 hits and limited out around 11 this morning. John stayed up front in the boat most of the morning trying to catch a fish on an artificial bait letting Ben reel in most of the fish but he never caught a fish on a lure. John caught his share of fish on bait and we all had a great time. The guys kept 12 Stripers this morning and we released all the other fish to fight again. All the fish we caught today were nice keeper fish. John had called me a couple days ago to go fishing. He is working an outage at the power plant and he had asked numerous co-workers to go out today but they all said you can't catch Stripers out there this time of year. Once John started texting pics of the fish they were catching his phone started to ring off the hook. I don't think he will have any problem getting people to go next time.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Tony and Sam

Sunny and Beautiful, Water Temperature 48* and Clear.
I got out early and hung lights for Herring, caught bait and started fishing shortly after daylight. I set out a spread of a dozen boards, a bobber , a free line and filled the rest of my rod holders up with downlines. It didn't take long for the action to start and we kept busy for about an hour and a half before I decided to make a move. We relocated and put out a similar spread of fresh baits. Before we knew it rods were bent over and the guys had there hands full trying to keep up with the action. I didn't know if Sam was laughing because he was catching so many fish or a Tony for loosing so many. After going through a tank of bait we called it a day and went home early. We kept 12 Stripers and released the rest unharmed. Sam is the guy on the right with the funky pants, I think he sprained his neck laughing at Tony.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Tony and David

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 47* and Clear.
We caught bait this morning and put out a big spread pulling planner boards over flats. Fish were scattered but we had plenty of action today, we took about 25 strikes this morning. David kept a dozen fish to take home.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Greg Whitlock

Cloudy and Breezy, Water Temperature 45* and Clear.
I wanted to check out some different patterns on the lake so I called Greg up and he took off this afternoon to fish for a couple hours. We put the boat in the water, caught bait and the wind started to howl. We found a place where we could control the boat and pulled boards for about 500 yards only to catch 1 Striper. We had one hour left before dark so I decided to make a move so we got all the lines in and made a quick move. Although the wind was just as bad we pulled an area into the wind only to catch 1 Striper. We were about to get our baits in when I decided to turn the boat around with the wind at our backs and hit a point that we just worked. That was what the fish wanted, we hooked up with 4 Stripers on at once. Guess we should have been fishing with the wind, presentation put the fish in the boat.