Saturday, August 30, 2014

Simrad Pics

 This screen shot was taken over a 20' flat. What you are looking at on the sonar screen is a mixture of White Perch and smaller Stripers [less than 20inchs]. We caught nothing but punks here.

This is a screen shot of some nicer Stripers. I was working a 30 foot flat and noticing Stripers in the channel [not catchable] and better Stripers up onto the flat [larger arches on sonar screen about two thirds across the screen near the bottom. Also notice on the side scan page the the larger Stripers [white vertical lines] to the right of the boat about 40 feet out. These Stripers were decent size, notice the shadows out behind the white dashes on side scan.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Whole lot of Testosterone

 Anthony and DP

A nice catch of Gizzards

Sunny and Warm, Water temperature 83* and Clear
DP called me yesterday morning and said he needed more fish for his annual fish fry that he is having this Sunday. He needed 12 more fish to feed his crowd so I agreed to go. He also called Anthony and he met us at the marina at 3pm. Three guides on one boat..... that's a lot of Testosterone, ideas, wishes, wants, arguments, kidding, just to name a few issues created by three "know it all's". Since we were taking one of my boats I decided to listen to what they wanted to do and make decisions according to what we mainly wanted to accomplish, put fish in the livewell for the picnic. DP wanted to catch Herring in order to catch a lot of fish. We hit the first creek we came to and with the aid of my new Structure Scan on my trolling motor we located a school of Herring in about 2 minutes. DP grabbed the net, saw the bait on the front SS, made a toss and put 100 Herring in the boat. Now Anthony does not want to fool around with Herring and prefers using big Gizz to catch quality fish and to avoid the punks. We used my new Lowrance and Structure Scan on the bow to locate and catch some very nice Gizzards and put them in my other bait tank. Now they both were happy, I told them to sit down and shut up and I would find some Stripers using my new Simrad on my console. We located some hugging the bottom in 25 feet of water so we set out a couple of down lines right on the bottom. After catching 5 or 6 real quick and only catching 1 keeper we made a move. As I looked for schools I noticed most fish on ledges in 20 to 25 feet of water. I decided to hit a very small ledge next to a migration route going in the blind, not looking for fish first but simply setting up over the break and pulling it. We set out a few lines then DP asked why I was fishing this particular ledge. Just as he completed his sentence the rod doubled over behind him and I said, "That's Why". We worked the ledge for about an hour catching about 20 fish. We had a successful quick afternoon, DP got his meat for the cookout, Anthony got to run his Gizz and catch some nice fish, and I got to give them both grief for a few hours. Just kidding, we enjoyed being together and getting our "Striper fix" for the week.  Can't wait to do it again.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Simrad Shots

 This is a screen shot of some extremely tight bait that I notices in the right side of my side scan on the upper blue page. Very seldom do I see it so tight and condensed so I put some downlines down, turned the boat and headed in that direction. Usually when bait is this tight there is a good reason for it.
 This shot was taken a couple minutes later and my intuitions were correct, there were Stripers on the other side of the bait ball getting ready to feed on the bait. You can see the bait on the sonar page and the Stripers around it. 
For the next twenty minutes we jammed the Stripers and this is a picture of a few of them off to the left side of the boat which is shown on side scan. We worked them till a pontoon boat trolled about 30 yards from us for the second time which spooked the school again.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Locating Stripers on my Simrad

 In this screen shot I was running about 25mph looking for a school of Stripers this morning. I checked out a 20 foot flat [left third of sonar screen] then dropped into the channel and came up on a 30 foot flat. I saw Stripers [mid screen] then slowed to 15mph and verified what they were [about an inch from the right side of the screen]. As I was slowing down I also saw Stripers on my side scan [vertical white dashes at 35 feet to the right of the boat in the upper blue screen].  The bait [small white dots] they were working was primarily to the left of the boat so when I stopped I turned the boat to the right and put out our baits.

 I popped this pic after working the school for about 20 minutes. We were steadily catching fish and this was my first chance to get a pic. You can see these Stripers were active by their streaking.

Here is where we came into nicer Stripers. These fish were on the leading edge of the school and there were plenty of them. Not only can you see them clearly on the sonar page but you can also see them on my side scan on both sides of the boat. Usually you can see my sinker and bait coming through the school but today I only had three anglers on board and they had no chance of keeping up with the action. We worked the school for a couple of hours and seldom had more than 3 or 4 rods baited. My poor clients ran around the boat like chickens with their heads cut off. Nelson, the gentleman who booked the trip, had been razzing me every time I spoke to him before the trip insisting that I better put him on fish. When he got on the boat I looked at him and told him now it is my time to pay him back and lets see how he can handle the pressure. After a couple hours he had been humbled. Even the Sea Gulls that were sitting on the water were laughing at us. I had told him that he needed at least 4 anglers to handle the action but people backed out at the last minute. When the morning was over we had all worked our buts off and had a lot of fun. Nelson can't wait to come back and get his revenge on those Stripers. I overheard him saying "I just can't believe how many fish are in this lake!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Simrad Screen Shots

 Here are a couple screen shots from my new Simrad. If it keeps finding fish like these it may be a keeper. I am over a Huge school of Stripers. I located them while running 22 mph, slowed the boat down and made a 180. I slipped the trolling motor into the water and there they were. I stayed on the school for about 40 minutes, keeping an eye on my graph. If I saw more fish to the left side of the boat which is shown on the side scan I would turn my boat to the left and try to keep the boat in the middle of the school. If I started to run out of the school I would turn my boat 90* to locate which way they were going. We stayed on them until they moved up onto a 20 foot flat where they started blowing baits out of the water. The Simrad looked actually better than this most of the time but I was too busy baiting rods and netting fish to take any screen shots.

The top screen shot looks great but this is what I like to see. Looking on the side scan you can see fish on both sides of the boat. Look out to the left side of the boat and the fish are 2 to 3 times the size of the ones on the right. On the left side of the sonar page you can we had our baits set at 25 feet. A fish hit the bait but got off before getting to the boat. The thin line moving upward to the dot at 41.1 is the sinker being reeled in with no bait or fish on the hook. The larger Stripers appeared to be on the outsides and leading edges of the school. I can't wait to get out on the water without clients so I can play with my new unit and get it and myself dialed in. These Stripers on Lake Anna may be in trouble.....

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Fun Monday Morning

Joey, Mike, Dane, Joe, Zack and Joe Joe

Cloudy and Warm, Water temperature 82* and Clear
This morning I caught 185 baits then Picked my clients up at High Point and went in search of Stripers. We only had motored a short distance before we noticed a couple fish busting the surface so I maneuvered the boat in that direction. Lately the Stripers have been breaking on the surface which is a recipe for some fun but 90% of the breaking fish are punks. I tossed a bait on a free line toward the bank which lasted about 5 seconds and Joe Joe hooked up with the first fish of the morning. Knowing we would get punked but wanting to teach everyone how to deploy the baits I took this opportunity to let them set up on our first school. It didn't take long to start hooking up and having fun. I only hung in there for a short time because I wanted to find some better fish. Twenty minutes into the morning trip and everyone was already pumped. I set up on the edge of a flat and pulled a spread of boards and down lines and right when the flat dropped off into the channel we hooked up. After working the school for about 10 minutes a Bass Boat Buzzard saw us and motored back and forth about 100 yards for about 10 minutes alerting and turning off the school. Why can't fisherman understand Motors Spook Fish! Anyway instead of my clients continuing to catch fish we were forced to move on. We worked a couple other areas with limited success then I decided to move to another part of the lake. We set out 8 downlines over the edge of another flat and started hooking up immediately. We popped a dozen fish in about 25 minutes and were taking hits every minute or so. We were positioned about 35 yards off the bank having fun then another Bass boat decided to run over us instead of running in the other 500 yards to the outside of us. Yup, we worked the area for 30 more minutes without a fish. My crew would have liked to get their hands on  that jerk. Although we found and worked a couple nice schools of fish this was just a morning trip and had to call it a day. These guys are from New Jersey vacationing on the lake this week and took back plenty of fish to feed the families.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


 This screen shot was from very early this morning. Today is my first day using this new product and this shot was taken prior to me dialing in the unit. The blue side scan screen shows Stripers on both sides of the boat. The sonar screen shows our bait and sinker at 25 feet most of the way across the screen but it disappeared when we got close to the school of Stripers on the right side of the screen.

 In this shot we had come out of the Stripers but still was around plenty of bait. Note in the side scan screen bait [small verticle dashes] to the left side of the boat and Stripers [larger dashes] on the right side of the boat. The school of bait about a third of the way across the screen is a school of Herring with a nice Striper below it and just past midway of the screen is a school of Gizzard Shad. This pic and the one above this one was taken with not enough gain [Sensitivity], but I adjusted it for the next two pics.

 This is a shot of some random Stripers around a tight school of bait on the left and below a broken up school of bait towards the right side of the sonar screen. For those of you who want to know where I am fishing I have my coordinates up on my information bar.

In this shot we were throwing for bait. The Gizz were on the left side of the screen with a cloud of Threadfin above them and look what was right beside the bait....

Since the company was started for more than 60 years ago, Simrad has grown to be the world's most recognized brand in professional fish finding equipment.
Based in Norway and a part of Kongsberg Maritime AS, Simrad manufactures advanced sonars, echo sounders and catch monitor instrumentation for the world's fishing fleet.
Simrad is also a world leader in equipment for fishery research equipment. Single and multibeam echo sounders and sonars are used on research vessels all around the world. Scientists rely on Simrad's technology and accurate readings. Simrad is a sister company to Lowrance owned by Navico. Simrad is introducing its line into the fresh water market and Anthony and myself have been chosen to field test the units being Pro Staff for Navico. We will continue to use Lowrance products and post screen shots of both brands. As I become more familiar with the new products I will review them on this site. The unit that I am using is a NSS12 EVO 2 Touchscreen. In the future I will explain some of the features that I may or may not like. My heart lies with Lowrance which I have used exclusively since 1986 and will continue to. After all it has put me on a couple fish over my career. We are excited to test Simrad and to work with Navico and also Greentop Sporting Goods who sells Navico products.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lowrance Shots

 These are a couple of screen shots of a school of Stripers we worked earlier this week.
The smaller Stripers are on the left side of the sonar page but when I took the shot we were coming into 
some very nice fish. The bottom shot is also showing decent fish.

Don't forget to come down to Greentop this Saturday for Customer Appreciation Day.
There are great sales going on in all departments and I will be there to help with your electronic needs of questions. Come down and enjoy the fun!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tony's Challenge

Roli, , Yannick, Thierry, Pascal and Earl

Cloudy and Rain, Water Temperature 80* and Clear.
Tony picked Earl and his friends up at Earls dock and set out a spread of boards and down lines. They pulled a couple miles with limited success but Tony eventually dialed in on a pattern and went through a couple tanks full of bait working on the Stripers. The fish must have really been biting because I have fished with Earl at least 75 times and he knows how to screw up a good bite. Tony must have had his hands full fishing with Earl today. Got you back Earl!!!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Lowrance HDS Screen Shots

 Clients often ask what Stripers look like on the screen when I am running at speeds. In this pic we were catching Stripers on the bottom in 25 feet of water. I decided to move so in the middle of the screen is the disturbance of my motor when I got up on plane. The right side of the pic near the bottom shows what the Stripers look like at 15 mph.

 This is a shot of a school of Stripers where all of our rods hooked up once we got over the flat. On the left side of the screen the boat was over the channel where we did not take any hits. As I came up onto the feeding flat we started taking hits then all of our rods hooked up on the right side of the screen. I popped this pic as I was netting fish. You can also see on the side scan many more fish to the right side of the boat. Yea, I maneuvered the boat to the right and continued to hook up.

 In this shot I had already looked for schools but none were developed yet. Stripers were scattered all over a 33 foot flat suspending a couple of feet off the bottom. You may notice in my history bar that I had been working the flat for quite some time. The fish were not feeding aggressively but we hooked up about every 5 minutes or so.

This is a picture of the old railroad trestle at the splits. On the blue side scan screen up top you can clearly see the old slabs of concrete off to the sides of the boat. This is an instance where you can see something hard on the bottom on the sonar screen but the structure screen clearly defines what is 40 feet under the boat. These pics are click-able which may help you see more clearly.   

Greentop is having a big sale next week and Saturday, August 16th is Customer Appreciation Day. I will be there in the electronics department helping anglers choose the right unit for their needs and also helping owners of Lowrance with questions they may have. There will be good deals going on in all departments. If you want a new Lowrance but can't afford one now consider knocking the dust off of a couple of your old firearms and trading them in to the gun dept. Now is the time to put a new depthfinder on your boat to be ready for the fall season.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Dog Days of August are "ROCKIN"!

Matt, Brian, Eric, Jason, Mike and Mike

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 84* and Clear
Today I caught bait before dawn then picked my clients up at their dock at 5:45. I set out a spread of 7 boards, a bobber and 8 downlines and simply started pulling points, humps and flats. Sure was nice to be back on the water during the week and not getting run over. We pulled about 1000 yards with little action. We caught a few but it was not what I was looking for. I changed patterns and got dialed in on one that put 14 keepers in the boat in addition to a dozen punks. Look out now. I went made two casts and caught about 300 baits. I then duplicated the pattern and we continued to catch fish after fish. By 11:30 my clients tapped out and couldn't take any more. Before they could get the baits in we hooked on to yet another nice fish. As I pulled away the Lowrance was lit up with schools of Stripers. I dropped my clients off and popped a picture then went to the marina, picked my grandson Michael up and his dog. We went back out, duplicated the same pattern and caught two more limits. After wearing Michael out reeling in fish I took them to a beach and they swam for about 15 minutes while I emptied the bait tank. Thanks to my Lowrance and the Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries for letting me enjoy this great Striper fishery. We had over 200 Strikes today!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Still Catching 'um

Barry, Neal, Matt, Robbie, Derrick and Brody

Cloudy and Warm, Water Temperature 82* and Clear.
Today my crew wanted to catch morning bait so we left the marina before 4 and caught 180 baits. I was very cloudy and dark this morning so I decided not to look for schooling fish but to simply set up over areas where I thought we could pop a few fish. We started taking hits before I got all the lines out then we got bit every 10 to 15 minutes. I tried different patterns till we dialed in on a good one then we concentrated on it for the rest of the day. Although boat traffic was bad today [Saturday] we managed to have a good day and caught some nice Stripers. In a few weeks weekend boat traffic should subside making it more enjoyable to be on the lake on the weekends. Today was a fun day of catching Stripers, Matt and Derrick caught the largest fish and Barry caught the most. They took home 18 Stripers today.

Friday, August 01, 2014

A Rainy Day

 Poppy, Dan, Joe, Jessica and Jason

Jessie's Big Striper of the morning

Cloudy and Rain, Water temperature 82* and Clear
I caught 200 baits early this morning then picked my clients up at High Point. I looked for a short time for a school but with the rain and clouds I did not expect to see much. Instead I simply set up in an area where I thought we would be able to catch fish. Before I could get many lines out Dan hooked up with our first and largest fish of the morning. Hopes were high but I was still concerned about the weather and how it would affect fishing today. We worked a little further and got punked then starting catching Cats, not good. I moved around taking hits everywhere but it did not seem the decent fish wanted to feed. We used up our baits then went and caught 75 more and hit different areas. I was hoping for a great stringer today but we had to settle for a dozen keepers, some of them nice fish. I was talking on the phone to one of my other guides on the way home being pretty bummed out about our catch and he cheered me up by saying "Your bad days are better than 99% of everyone else s good days". Still wish today was better.