Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone

Christian and Michael

Christmas is the day to remember Christ on his birthday.

May God Bless our Children and all the 

Men and Women in Uniform.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 07, 2014

A Productive Winter Morning

Bill, Judy, Nancy and Richard
Friday, Cold and Rain, Water Temperature 46* and Clear.
DP picked this hardy group up at Tim's Friday morning and took them out for an action packed trip fishing for Stripers. By the looks of the bellies of these fish it looks like the Stripers have been feeding well. We are finally catching fish in their winter patterns now and the fishing should only get better. The recent rains have brought the lake up a little which will make fishing more reliable.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A day on the water with Anthony

 A beautiful tank of Big Gizzards

 Coming into a school of Stripers

 Anthony caught this one out of the school of Stripers pictured above.

Anthony [one of our guides] when not guiding would rather go fishing and catch 3 or 4 big fish than catch 30 or 40 smaller fish. He dreams about using big baits for big fish. He recently went fishing for a couple days in a row with a couple friends and they caught numerous fish up to 20 pounds. He was using some huge baits for this time of year and the bigger the bait the bigger the fish they caught. He is not looking for numerous hookups at once but in the pic below he had 4 teenagers hooked up at once.

Notice the history bar above the sonar. Anthony had been over this school for quite awhile.
If you want to catch big Stripers, use Big baits, find Big fish and have Big success.
This beautiful screen shot was taken on a Lowrance HDS 12.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Formula for Success


Any Questions?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lowrance Picture

This picture was taken by guide Tony Smith yesterday morning. He took clients out and by the looks of the Lowrance he put his clients on the Stripers. Tony is also an avid hunter but he took off the first morning of hunting to take his clients out.
Here is a recent post from one of his clients:

Walker Field has left a new comment on your post "Walker and Mac":

Great day fishing with my teenage son! Many thanks to our guide Tony who did a superb job of keeping us on fish. Tony is a sharp man with ready conversation and an engaging spirit. Lake Anna is always pretty in the morning, but winter sunrise is arguably the most gorgeous morning event throughout the year. The Stripers did their part too; we caught two dozen and boated nearly a limit of quality keepers. Highly recommend an outing with Jim Hemby, and in particular Tony, especially as an opportunity for a dad to spend time with teenage children.

Thanks Tony, we'll be back in the Spring

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Great Day on the Water

 Catching bait in the morning

 Michael wondering if everyone showed up for work today

 David with a catfish
Boating a Striper

Sunny and beautiful, Water Temperatures upper 50's
Took out Jerry Logan, his two sons Michael and Ron and his grandson David for a pretty day on the water. Jerry's father started Logan Electric in Fredricksburg back in the 50's. Jerry ran the business and has relinquished the reins to Michael. Jerry is a good photographer and sent me a few of the photos he took on the trip. David and his dad Paul are here for a visit and returning to Turkey soon. If you click on the first picture and check my Simrad out you can see all the Stripers that kept chasing the bait away as we were trying to catch bait this morning. It was wonderful to spend the day with such a great family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yesterdays Simrad Shots

 In this pic we were pulling down lines at 20 feet deep. You can see the sinker [light fuzzy blue] and the bait [red with yellow outline] being pulled across the screen. The bait was simply being drug through the water column until it saw a fish on the bottom about two thirds of the way across the screen. The fish came up off the bottom to check the bait out so the bait rose up to get out of the way of the fish. This fish never engaged the bait. The bite was slow at this time and the fish were turned off.

 This picture shows bait and fish hugging the bottom. We were pulling baits at 24 feet and as we came out of a bait ball there were some fish which hit our bait and hooked up. [in the middle of the screen]. The vertical mark is us reeling the fish up to the boat.

 This is a shot just after daylight of a school of Gizz that was about 100 yards long.

This is another shot of Gizzards taken mid day.

Walker and Mac

Saturday Tony put his clients on some Stripers in a morning charter.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Simrad Structure Shots

 In this shot I was running about 20 mph as I went over this underground silo. Even at 20mph you can clearly see the depth of the depression [about 5 feet] on the sonar page. I keep my sensitivity up pretty high when I run which increases motor noise [all the vertical dashes] but that enables me to see bait and fish [and of the marks with color] better. In the structure shot on top you can see the silo clearly and with structure scan you can see the reflection of the concrete floor of the silo. The harder the object, the better it reflects the pings. The concrete is seen horizontally in the pic going out about 10 feet either side of the silo. With this color palette the harder the object the whiter the reflection on the structure page. On the sonar or echo screen the harder or denser the object the redder the return. As I run using the sonar page the more color in a school of bait represents more density [baits grouping tighter] and the more color the fish have the denser or larger they are. I don't mind the motor noise, I see right through it.

 This is a picture of an old road bed. In the top Structure Scan screen most of the structure shows up pretty light. The hard road and rip rap stone reflect pings very well. Check out the detail of the guard rails on the sides of the road. Structure Scan leaves little to the imagination, it is crystal clear.

This is a pic of the same roadbed at a slightly different angle. There is a lot of activity going on around the structure. In the sonar view as I approach the road on the left of the screen you can see a school of 4 to 6 inch Gizzards. About midway through the screen there are a couple stacks of Crappie then right at the edge of the road there are a couple Bass noised right against the road and railing.
In the side scan shot notice how the the small schools of bait are relating to the edges of the structure just above the railings. Setting your side scan page up utilizing the entire width of the screen like I have it here lets you get the full benefit of Structure Scan technology. I have adjusted the splits in the  screen so I can get the most out of both echo and structure. Fishing for Stripers I am more focused on the echo than the structure and having more sonar page showing allows me to see bait and fish better. Both Simrad and Lowrance have similar features letting you customize the appearance of your screen to meet your specific needs. I have shown these structures in earlier posts using my Lowrance  and since I get so many inquiries as to the difference of the two units I thought I would post these pics using my Simrad.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Front moving through [Pre-Frontal]

 Jeff and Lisa

 David and Jeff

 This was taken as the front moved through around noon today. The air temps were falling, barometer was dropping and the bait was schooling into tight balls.

 After seeing that large school of bait in the pic above I set out some downlines about 20 feet deep and hooked up a couple rods. After boating the fish I lost the small school so I scrolled back in history, touched my screen where I saw the fish, hit Waypoint on my Simrad and went right back to where they were. You can see the fish best on the side scan right where the cursor is.

Here is the shot once I got back on my waypoint. You can see some Stripers on the side scan 30 to 40 feet to the left of the boat. You can also see fish on the echo screen on the bottom. We actually fought 2 Stripers on this screen. One is at the left of the screen at 20 feet. You can barely see the bait [white broke up line] then the fish hits [red zig zag line]. That fish swam directly away from the boat and out from under the transducer. Then in the middle of the echo screen you can see me lowering a bait then locking in the reel at 20 feet. The boat moves about 15 feet then that bait hooked up with a Striper. This rod was in the middle of the boat and in the extreme edge of the cone so the signal of the fish was week. The fish came up out of the school of Stripers, hit the bait and swam out from the boat.

Cloudy and 61* in the morning with falling temps midday, Water temperature 65* and Clear.
Today my clients wanted to experience the whole deal so they met me at the ramp at 4:30 then went with me to catch bait. It was so warm this morning I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Later in the day I would regret that move. I looked for Stripers this morning but all the bait was less than 15 feet deep and I saw no fish that we could put downlines on so I decided to pull a flat ranging from 3 to 16 feet deep with boards. I had 6 baits that were 7 to 10 inches long out and the rest were rigged with Herring. After 10 minutes all of the big baits were clobbered along with some of the Herring. Lisa had boated the largest Striper of her life and David had caught a nice one as well. I only made one pull on it then the fish moved out to deeper water as the sun was trying to break through the clouds. For the rest of the day we banged them on downlines. Today we caught about 25 fish and everyone had plenty of Striper to take home for the freezer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Slow day on Lake Anna for Stripers

 7.2 pounds
5.10 pounds

Today fishing was slow this morning for Stripers so my clients said they wanted to at least catch a "Lake Anna Hat Trick". I agreed and took them to a brush pile where I thought some nice pan fish were holding. I marked some nice fish on my Simrad so we decide to put some baits down and give it a try. All I had were 12 inch Gizz in my bait tank so I rigged a couple downlines and lowered the baits to the brush pile. In less than 10 minutes we caught these two nice fish, completed the hat trick and went back to the marina for pictures. We caught them right outside the power plant.  All kidding aside, I saw these pics on facebook and thought if they are in fact real everyone would enjoy seeing them. Supposedly the Crappie was caught in Mississippi and the Blue Gill was caught in Arizona. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mike and Louis

Sunny and Beautiful, Water temperature 65* and Clear
Louis met me early this morning so we went out and caught bait then picked up Mike at the ramp around daybreak. I looked for fish for about 10 minutes then set up over a 20 foot flat. We started hooking up immediately and had fun for quite awhile working depths from 20 to 30 feet deep. After a couple hours we got tired of that spot and went to look for some other fish. I found an active school over 35 feet of water, set up on them and started the ritual over again. We had a hard time keeping baits in the water because we were taking so many hits. After loosing that school we looked for others with little success. We ended up putting out 8 down lines, six boards and a bobber and pulled shallow and deep flats with the remaining baits we had. The guys were wondering what they were going to do if all those lines went off like they did this morning but I knew the bite was over and we just took single hits the rest of the day. We had a great day on the water, beautiful scenery and good people. Come to find out we had a lot in common and talked all day. Every time Mike would tell a story he would hook up so we did not have many dull moments today.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Beautiful Fall Morning

Scott, John, Brian and Thumbs 

Sunny and Bluebird Skies, Water temperature 58* up and 63* mid lake.
 Today the guys wanted to fish a half day charter and take back enough fish for a dinner. They had rented a house on the lake and had their family's here on this pretty weekend. I got out early and caught bait then picked them up at their dock around 7. I say around 7 because the fog was SO thick I bounced from bank to bank trying to get to their house this morning. We went about a mile from their place and I saw a lot of action on my Simrad. I stopped and wanted to throw for some nice Gizzards but every time I would see the bait the Stripers were laced through out the bait. I put out a couple of downlines and looked on my trolling motor. I wanted to pull a shallow flat with boards so I put out a spread on the left side and started to set up the right side of the boat when rods started bowing over. After hooking up with 8 or 10 fish in about 10 minutes we took a quick break and situated some rods in the boat then went back after them. We popped about 15 more before the action petered out. I got back up on the big motor and located some pods of Stripers with the help from Anthony so I set up on them. We picked up where we left off earlier catching fish after fish. The only lull we had is when 8 or 10 boats ran over us and a bunch of fisherman moved in on us but we hung in there and banged the fish. We saw one other guy catch only 1 fish then Tony came over and started hooking up with his clients. We had steady action this morning, probably catching close to 40 Stripers and 3 or 4 Catfish. The guys threw a lot of fish back today and ended up keeping more than they could eat this weekend.The fish will start to feed up now that the water is cooling off nicely and the action should pick up.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Roger, Bob and Andy

Oct. 9th, Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 69* and Clear
After a rain last night then clearing around 2am on a very bright full moon I wasn't too excited about going to the lake. As I expected when I hung my lanterns there was not much difference in the lantern lights and the moonlight. I threw for about an hour before picking my crew up at 5:30 then threw for another hour and a half. My clients wanted to go out to watch the bait collection process and saw first hand how difficult it can be, even for a guide throwing a 10 foot net on 4 different lights. We ended up with about 75 baits which was plenty to start with. I told the guys with that bright moon we would be lucky to catch fish in the morning because every fish already ate on that full moon and especially since the major feed was at 5am. I set out a spread of 6 boards, a bobber and 8 downlines and started pulling shallow flats and points where I knew fish were holding. We took a couple of short hits which confirmed my thoughts on the non feeding mood of the Stripers. After leaving the shallows I started to move out to deeper flats when a few gulls started circling over the flat I just pulled. I saw a couple swirls under them so I turned back and pulled the flat again. That was a mistake, I went back to 8 inch punks chasing 2 inch Threadfin to the surface. I moved to a ledge and we ended up catching 3 or 4 Stripers but took a dozen hits to boat them. The guys did not want to keep any fish but I kept a few for some people who had been asking me to save some fish for them. I worked a similar ledge and popped a few more then decided to go catch some larger Gizzards and try them. After catching them I set out my spread of 15 more lines and pulled about a two mile stretch of water only to catch a couple more fish. It was getting late and I told the guys I wanted to check out one more place. I went to an area where I catch fish in the middle of the day on a 30 yard section of a ledge. I set out downlines and before I could get 5 out 3 of them hooked up with nice Stripers. We boated them and many others till the bite simply quit. We had released fish in the area and I believe they warned the rest of the fish about our presence. My clients ended up being very happy with the trip and and want to come back and do it again, hopefully not on a full moon. They are holding a couple of the fish they caught today.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Progression of working a school of Stripers with my Simrad

 I located this school up on a 30 foot flat first thing in the morning. After setting out down lines we started catching fish. This pic was taken 30 minutes after I found the school. I had dropped a bait to the bottom [straight line on bottom left of screen] which hooked up immediately when it hit the edge of the school. You can barely see the fighting fish in the middle of the screen as it is being reeled in [Between 25 to 15 feet]. The fish was on the edge of the cone angle of the transducer therefor it was not very clear. These fish were on the trailing edge of the school and were all punks. They were not keepers but were fun catch.

 Using my side scan I determined the school was moving deeper on the flat so I steered the boat in the direction the school was moving. We were steadily catching Stripers but the larger fish were at the top of the school. We raised the lines up to 23 feet as you can barely see [very light horizontal line at left of school] then two thirds of the way across it hooked up rising up to 15 feet then the fish dove back down into the school.  We had numerous fish on at this time and fish in the boat that we were taking off the hooks therefor we could not reel this fish in for a couple minutes.

 I had temporarily lost the school in this pic and was over a small pod of punks. I saw some larger fish off to the right of the boat so I steered the trolling motor that direction. You can clearly see our bait about 10 feet deep [horizontal line at 10 feet]. We had raised our baits up this high because the nicer fish were feeding in the upper water column.

My move paid off in this shot. Just a minute after I turned the boat and got away from the punks we hooked up with nicer fish. We continued to catch nicer fish for quite awhile but I was too busy to pop more pics. I could have never stayed on this school without the aid of my Side Scan. Simrad and Lowrance have made my job SO much easier and productive. Technology has come so far in the last few years it is a shame for anglers who have major investments in fishing [boats, tackle, vehicles, etc.] to continue to use outdated depth finders. In addition to Structure Scan, today's electronics have features like touch screens that allow you to quickly navigate through menus and are simple to use. If you purchase a unit from Greentop they will even program the unit before you leave the store to set the unit up for the waters you are using. I have been primarily focusing on Structure and Echo uses of my units but but when you incorporate the technology of Navionics Charts the fish almost don't stand a chance. I will try to take time to post some cool uses of charts in the future. For more information on Navionics, contact Thomas at Greentop. He is extremely knowledgeable about Navionics and also is a regional rep for Navionics.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Classic Furniture of Charlottesville

 Carson, Gwyneth, Brooks, Rob, Robert, Abby and Leyton

 Feeding Stripers

Cloudy and Rain, Water Temperature 75* and Clear
I had met Robert at the dock a couple times when I was bringing my clients in at the end of my charters. He seemed interested in Stripers and one time I gave him some left over bait to try to catch some on his own. He wanted to learn what this Striper fishing was all about and booked a trip with me and brought along his son and his family. When I saw the four kids coming down to the boat I knew this would be a fun trip. Robert had gone out with me to catch bait earlier in the morning and we had put 194 baits in my tanks. When we took off all I could think about was putting these kids on some active fish. I looked for about 15 minutes then found what I wanted. After instructing everyone on how to deploy the downlines and how to reel the fish in on circle hooks I motored about 100 yards and we tried to set up on the fish. I could not have planned this any better in my dreams. Every rod hooked up and the kids started reeling in Stripers. Robert and Rob were helping me take the fish off while I baited the rods for Abby and the kids. As soon as they would get the new baits down they would hook up again. You would think with constant hook ups for an hour straight it would be chaos but we all worked together as a team and it worked out great. This crew did better than most of my seasoned clients! All the children reeled fish in without assistance and the adults reeled in fish when there were too many rods hooked up for the kids to handle. Needless to say when we finally lost the school everyone had forgotten the cold ride to the fish and were ready for a break.  We then went back to the marina for a break then went in search of more action. I looked for some more schools but everyone was uncomfortable with the cold temps and drizzling rain. I simply set up and put baits out hoping to create some action. We never went more than 100 yards total for the next 4 hours. We would hook up about once every 15 minutes or so with a few doubles and triples in between. We used up all of our baits and had to call it a day. This family did great today. Everyone had smiles on their faces even when it was pouring down rain. Come to find out after talking to them throughout the day we had done business with them purchasing Mattresses and furniture from their  stores in Charlottesville over the years. They were as easy to work with then as they were to fish with today. 
Good People

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Matt and John

Partly Sunny and Pleasant, Water temperature 78* and Clear
I caught bait early this morning then picked my clients up at 6:30 at High Point. We rode for over an hour looking for schools but I never saw what I wanted to fish so I decided to go shallow and put out a whole lot of baits. We started taking hits on ledges but the first 5 or 6 fish were punks. Once we found the part of the ledge the fish were holding on we proceeded to catch keeper after keeper. We would only see a fish or two here and there on the ledge but that was what it took to consistently catch fish. We had to get off the water early because Matt had to go back to Winchester but they had more fish than they could handle. When John booked the trip he said all he wanted was for his son to catch fish, and that is exactly what he did this morning.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Simrad makes my job easier

 Here is a school of Herring I was throwing on in the morning. I was also catching some 3/4 pound Crappie on the outer edges of the school of bait.

 As I was running back to the marina to pick my clients up I took this shot. These were a whole lot of small Stripers suspended off of a 15 to 20 foot flat. I was running about 25 mph and saw the fish on my sonar in the middle of the screen. As I slowed down I realized what they were hurried back to the marina. By the time I picked my clients up and got back to the spot they were nowhere to be found [Over deep water]. I eventually located them up on the shallow flat feeding in water less than 20 feet deep.

 This is another pic of a school of small Stripers that were feeding. We had downlines down at 24 feet catching punk after punk but caught keepers on free lines thrown out the back of the boat with one split shot on the line.

This pic was popped a couple minutes after the picture above this one. I was just in front of the school of Stripers and was going over the bait that the fish were feeding on. Notice all the small dots on the side scan screen. The Stripers herded the bait to the surface and fish were blowing up all around the boat. Again the free lines paid off in the blitz. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Louisa Thunder Fast Pitch

Here is a great idea for my clients, journal followers and friends.  DP Seay, one of my guides, is giving away a full day charter for up to 6 anglers (a $650 value) to be used anytime in 2014 or 2015 to raise money for his daughter's travel softball team. The 12U Thunder Softball Team needs to raise money for the upcoming season and are raffling off a trip with DP to help generate some funds. The price for a raffle ticket is $20 each or 3 tickets for $50 and goes to a good cause.  This is an opportunity to take or give a trip to someone who already plans to go out with us in 2015 or to someone who always wanted to for 1/32 of the cost of the trip.  Ticket sales end on October 9th, drawing will be held October 12, 2014.
If you would like to get a chance to win please copy the ticket, fill out the required information and mail the ticket and check (payable to Mike Sampson) to: 
DP Seay
235 Sam Boyd Rd
Louisa, VA 23093
Please include your email address on the ticket and DP will notify you once your ticket has been received.  Thank you in advance for your support and GOOD LUCK!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Loving my Simrad

This is a shot I took this morning where I found fish hugging the bottom over 20 feet of water. It was cloudy and rainy and the fish were fairly shallow. We had down lines out at 18 feet and were constantly banging the fish. We had a couple of guys see us catching the fish and come right over thinking they were on them but we never saw them catch anything. Every time we would move they would move right beside us and watch the action. They finally threw their hands up in disgust as we continued to catch Stripers.

By the time I popped this picture we had four boats around us trying to keep up with the school. We were still steadily catching Stripers and had been working the same school for over an hour. Fish were also breaking on the surface nearby us. My clients were having a ball catching Stripers.

In this picture we had just released a nice Striper. You can see the splash as it hit the water in the center of my sonar screen and you can also see its swimming back down to join the school on the bottom right side of the screen. By the time I popped this picture we had been working the this same school for about an hour and a half. We were getting hungry so I pulled off the school so Kim from Honey Bake Hams in Fredricksburg could make sandwiches and we could take a short break. Well the Stripers were not going to let us have any peace, they still hammered us. The rain eventually got uncomfortable later and they decided to call it a day. We had not caught a fish by 9:30 when we went back to the marina to pick up James, a wounded warrior who missed out on the Bass tournament this morning, but once he got in the boat we had almost constant action for 3 hours. James commented "I have Striper thumb, I have to quit handling these fish".......That's a good problem to have.