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.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Some more Simrad Shots

Guess what this is? I see a whole lot of disappointed anglers jigging spoons with their eyes fixated on their depth finders wondering why they are not catching any Stripers in the fall. Guess what? You have to be near Stripers to catch them. This pic and the one below are schools of Gizzard Shad. Notice my speed, almost still. My motor is running and I am spooking some of the Gizz directly under the boat which appear to be fish but are in fact Gizz. The small vertical lines on my side scan in the darker blue [water] are Gizz swimming getting out of Dodge. Look over to the balance of the school  to the right on SS and you can clearly see that they are Gizzards.

Again, another school of Gizzards. Jig a toothache spoon on these all day but you will be eating Chicken for dinner. These pics are typical for fall fishing, there could be Stripers nearby but we did not see any yesterday when working these Gizards. Now, come back through this scenario later and see the bait all broke up and chances are the Stripers broke the school up and are aggressively feeding.

This is a screen shot I took going into the back of Contrary creek. I actually was just going into the left arm and in the mouth of Freshwater. The structure you see on the right side of my sonar screen is Hydrilla. You can also see it on the blue side scan screen. The grass is prolific all the way to the back of the creek.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Screen shots working the same school for 3 hours on my Simrad

 These are screenshots I took yesterday when I had a chance while working the same school of fish. I located the Stripers at 6:35 and we started hooking up. When things slowed a bit I took this shot. This school was huge and occasionally busted on the surface. I chased it from the marina all the way to Rose Valley using my Simrad.

 You can see clearly all the fish under the boat on the sonar and fish out to either side of the boat on the side scan.

 I am still on the school but as you can see in the side scan pic I am beginning to loose them. I turned the boat 90* and located them ahead of us, sped up and got right back in them. We worked them till we used up the 200 baits that I had caught this morning.

 I left the school and went to catch bait. I located a school on my Simrad then stopped the boat, put the trolling motor down and turned on my front Lowrance [Which I have rigged a SS ttransducer on].
I got the net ready, started the big motor up and headed toward where I had seen the school. I am now shooting side scan off to the right and left of my boat using my Simrad on the console and looking forward with side scan using my Lowrance on the bow. I found the school again with the Lowrance and threw on it catching about 250 Herring in one cast. The pic above is where I relocated the school. Notice on the left side of the sonar screen I had been running about 20mph to located the fish. Once I found them and slowed down the arches got larger confirming it was the school. We set out baits down to 20 feet and went through another hundred baits in thirty minutes.

We are still catching the fish here thanks to my Simrad sonar [echo] page and primarily my side scan that allowed me to keep the boat over the middle of the school. I would simply look at SS and see which side of the boat had the most fish [in this case the right] then steer the boat that direction till all our rods would hook up. If you are ready to get in on some of this action contact me and set up a trip.

Better yet if you want to own this type of technology contact Steve Lane at Greentop Sporting goods. Not only do they sell the units but they know more about Navico than anyone I have ever dealt with. Not only will they help you with your purchase, they will show you how to navigate through the different pages and menus, take your unit out of the box when you purchase it, install any software if needed, mate the unit to the transducer you have and set the unit up for the conditions where you fish. If you have issues once it is installed their support is awesome. Don't expect that kind of service buying a unit over the internet or through a big box store. These guys know their electronics. Thomas Harris is a rep for Navionics and will show you what a card for your unit can do for you in the waters you fish. He will actually insert a card into the unit of your choice and show you what you have been missing. Check 'um out, you will be glad you did!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Hilltop Consultants

 Jim Turner and Crew

Sunny and Pleasant, Water temperature 84* and Clear
Today was our annual outing with Jim Turner's Hilltop Consultants. I took Jim and 5 of his employees out on my boat and Tony wanted all the lovers and drinkers on his boat. It took us a while to get out of the marina but I found fish immediately and set up on them. I knew what was about to happen before I stopped but all I could do was hope to get some baits in the water before we started taking hits. I hadn't even got a chance to educate everyone on how to deploy the lines and how to reel in the Stripers but we gave it our best try. Before they knew it we started hooking up and for the next 3 hours there was nothing but chaos on our boat. I found the school at 6:35 and followed it for 3 solid hours till we ran out of baits. I went and made one cast on some Herring, caught 250 and went right back out and relocated the same school. We worked it again for another solid hour before it began to peter out. My crew thought they were going fishing this morning but they were not prepared for hysteria of constant hook up and screw ups. I lost count of exactly how many fish we caught this morning but I know we could have easily tripled our catch if they would have listened better. It didn't really matter though, we all had a great time. 
As for Tony's  Booze and Cruz boat, they caught one keeper Striper and a hell of a buzz. We heard them 500 yards across the lake yelling and screaming having fun this morning. You can see by the stringer they are holding what they caught this morning. This was just the beginning of their day, Jim was having them over to his house to cook out and party the rest of the day. They are going to have a wonderful weekend at Jim's.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

A busy day on the lake

 I picked my clients up at 6:15 and went looking for fish. Ten minutes later we hit our first school and had only gotten 4 lines out and they all hooked up. By the time we landed the fish and regrouped the school had moved on. After 15 minutes I got on the big motor and located this school. Yup, we had our hands full again. Nice fish in this school and quite a bit of them also. I could tell by the side scan picture that the school was moving to my right so I headed the boat that direction.

 The school migrated up onto a flat where they started busting on the surface. We are catching fish on downlines and free lines here. The vertical lines on the sonar page is interference with Lowrance on the bow. I was using the side scan that I have mounted on my trolling motor to follow the school ahead of the boat and using my dash mounted Simrad to scan left and right. With both structure scans the school did not stand a chance, we went through over 100 baits in less than an hour.

 The smaller fish went shallower so I moved deeper where I saw the larger fish and worked them till we got tired and almost ran out of baits. I took the ladies back to the marina for a well deserved break.

Here is a pic I took after emptying out my bait tanks this afternoon. I told my clients before I started to that more than not when I empty the tank I will see other fish and it happened, we went over this and all the lines took hits. No more bait!!!