Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Quick Catch

Brian and Walt

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 86* and Clear
Check out this catch...All caught within 20 minutes and right in the middle of the day. Guide DP left my house while I was eating lunch and 3 hours later he sent me this picture of a nice stringer of Stripers. Quite an accomplishment. It takes him 30 minutes to get to the lake and get the boat in the water. Then he had to locate bait and catch it. Then he had to locate Stripers and hope they would bite in the middle of the day. Looks like the Stripers wanted to eat and the guys did a great job catching the fish in such a short time. Sometimes a plan just comes together!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Nice Largemouth

 Calvin Smith and daughter with her 23 1/2 inch Citation Largemouth.

One of our boats in action

Thursday, June 25, 2015

United Servo and Hydraulics

Brian Meeks and fellow workers

 This is a nice school of Stripers I found this morning. Naturally every rod hooked up at once.

 This is a shot of a pod of Stripers on the bottom that I found while running about 20 mph

This is another small pod of Stripers hugging the bottom while running about 20mph.

Sunny and Warm, Water temperature 87* and Clear
Today Tony and I had crews from United Servo and Hydraulics in Waynesboro. We fished till 11:30 and burnt up 450 baits doing so. Quite a lot of action today! I found large schools early in the day but after 9am all I could find were small pods of Stripers but when I put the guys on the fish they ate well. Looks like some weather is moving in for the weekend, we will see how it affects the fishing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Bassy Day

 Bryan with a real nice Largemouth

 John, Sarah, Gary, Bryan and Richard

Steven and Berkley

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 87* and Clear
Today Tony took two sets of clients out fishing half day charters and the Bass were biting. Early this morning Bryan caught a nice Largemouth along with a whole lot of Stripers. Later in the morning Steven and Berkley hooked up with a couple more very nice Bass. Tony found a school of Bass and could have caught more. When these two happy anglers reeled theirs in Bass were following the others up to the boat. Lately we have been banging the nice Bass, they have been about 25 feet deep and schooling. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hit and Run

 Jim, John, Donna, Abe, Vickie, Jill, Robyn and John

One of the many schools we worked this morning.

Sunny and Hot, Water temperature 87* and Clear
Today Tony and I took out some folks that are down at the lake for a family reunion. We knew it was going to get hot today so we planned to fish just for a few hours this morning so we could get off the water before we cooked. Things worked out pretty well, we hit a school right off the bat and caught 20 fish before my clients woke up good. We hit 2 or 3 schools of Stripers and Tony and his crew were fortunate as well. Our clients wanted enough fish for dinner, I think they got more than they bargained for. Today we caught over 100 fish between the two boats and everyone had a great time.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fathers Day

 AJ with the "Big Striper" of the day

 Alec with 2 nice Bass

 Taylor with her first Bass ever

 Lexie, Brant and AJ

Alec, Alex, Cody and Taylor

Sunny and Warm, Water temperature 87* and clear
Today being Fathers day was a very appropriate theme for the day. Brant has wanted to take his children Lexie and AJ fishing because they had never caught a fish before. David Fields wanted to spend his fathers day with his children so he booked a trip as well. Come to find out today was also Taylor's first day of ever catching fish and she not only caught that nice Bass but some nice Stripers as well. There are no more deserving fathers to enjoy a morning on the water with their children that Brant and David. Memories of today will be etched in the kids minds forever. After fishing for a couple hours this morning I took the kids tubing and wore them out. I had my grandson Michael on the boat as a first mate so my day was complete and Tony had his son Alec on his boat as well. We were fortunate to be able to spend time with our children, many fathers couldn't who are protecting our country and our prayers go out to them and their families.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A bunch of Stripers

Curtis, Karen, Dick, Austin and Jeff

Tony put his crew on a whole bunch of Stripers this morning. They banged them early and got off the water before lunch and before it got too hot. This time of year it is best to get out early and catch your fish before the sun and boat traffic get up. The fishing is getting better daily and if you want to get into some of this action you better reserve a trip before we get totally booked up.

Simrad and Lowrance....Clearly Incredible!

 This is a screen shot that I took while running in Contrary early in the morning to pick up my clients. I am running 18 mph and going over different types of contours. I always am trying to develop a pattern and constantly monitor my depth finder. I did not see any activity over shallow flats and noticed some fish on ledges nearby channels, even at the hour of the morning. I noticed this even after picking my client up so I concentrated looking at deeper ledges that morning which proved to be very productive. The structure on the right side of the screen is a old railroad trestle that is holding a couple of bass 15 to 20 feet deep.

 As I was taking my client back to his dock after limiting out I ran over this nice brush pile. The top half of the screen you can see a bunch of something on the right side of the screen. Side scan reveals that is in fact a tree that was sunk by an angler.A couple of fish [red arches] are buried in the tree.

 After dropping my clients off I turned on downscan overlay which lays downscan [455khz] over my sonar page [200 khz]. I am actually recording from two different transducer onto the same page which give me twice the information. My transducers are mounted side by side to look at the exact same location under the boat. In the echo page on the upper half of the screen you can see bait hugging the bottom and then I run over a tree with Crappie stacked in it. The Crappie usually stack vertically and are the small red arches. You can also see the tree on side scan and a few fish nearby.

 This pic was taken just a few seconds later which reveals even more brush scattered in the area.

I turned the boat and ran over a different tree which shows a couple fish in it as well. Side scan is showing boat pilings on the right side of the screen. The vertical stack of fish on the left are crappie which I probably spooked out of the previous tree with my motor.

I am showing these screen shots not only demonstrate how Simrad and Lowrance leave nothing for the imagination but how an angler can look into structure to see fish and make an educated decision whether to spend time to fish it or move on till they see fish. As a Striper guide I never fish where there are no fish. I want to be as productive as I can be and it sure puts the odds in my favor to be around fish versus where I hope fish will be. How much money do you have tied up in your boat and how much time do you spend fishing countless hours hoping to catch a fish? Put the odds in your favor. Navico is clearly the best choice in electronics. To see all of Navico's products visit Greentop Sporting goods. Their staff are the most knowledgeable in the business and they are there for you not only in coshing a unit but with excellent support after the sale. Anthony [one of our guides] and myself are Pro Staff for Navico and also can assist you with questions you may have once you have your unit installed.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Great Morning Catch

Jim and Brian Garner

Cloudy and Warm, Water temperature 87* and Clear
This morning my first mate [Michael, my grandson] and I got out early and caught 215 baits for the morning charter. We picked the Garners up at their dock at 5:30 then went looking for Stripers. I cruised for about an hour without seeing a fish so I turned the boat around and went the other direction. The move paid off when I tripped over a small school of Stripers. We put 9 baits out real quick and just as the last bait was deployed Brian hooked up. This fish pulled drag for 10 to 15 seconds and after 45 seconds we boated the first and big fish of the morning. We had other fish hooked up as well and Jim was running from rod to rod trying to keep up. We worked the area for about 45 minutes but after 5 minutes of battling Stripers the buzzards had found us and were closing in fast. I don't like to fish around other boats so we got our baits in and went and found more fish. Again I headed to an area where there were no boats within sight of us. I found some fish and we set up on them. We popped 4 or 5 catfish in a couple minutes then I hit numerous pods of Stripers. We worked the area for an hour or so till we limited out at 9:40. It was way too hectic to count how many fish we caught this morning but we only had to throw away 15 baits. Jim and Brian had been out with me many times before so they knew what to do when a fish hit and also knew how to deploy the baits correctly. Often with new clients they will not listen and continue to do things their way vrs my way and have the same opportunities of catching fish but fail to simply because they don't listen to the proven techniques I use. Usually the difference in big stringers and small stringers is the ones who listen always catch the fish. If you ever go on a charter anywhere to fish it would be to your advantage to listen to how that Captain wants you to fish, after all it is his reputation that encouraged you to book the trip with him in the first place. The Garners book trips every year in June and you can archive back in my journal as far back as it goes and see their nice stringers, all caught in just a few hours of fishing each trip.

 Here is a very small school of fish we saw after dropping off our clients this morning. I was running 18 mph with down scan overlay engaged. With your transducer mounted correctly fish can be located at any speeds.

This is another pic I took this morning before loading the boat back on the trailer. I am using overlay here as well to distinguish 2 Largemouth positioned on top of the 208 roadbed. The Bass with his nose against the break is catchable and probably a nice one. It is probably one of the fish released from a tournament held at one of the  nearby marinas.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Friends of Garrett Park Guitars

Sunny and Hot, Water temperature 87* and Clear
Rick invited his friends out today for a morning of fishing for Stripers on Lake Anna. We started the morning off with 225 baits and used all but 5 of them this morning. Plenty of action this morning but a lot of "missing" as well. I think the funky weather we had last night may have confused the fish a little today. Maybe the fish will bite better tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Whole lot of Stripers

Marty Lockard and Crew

Sunny and HOT, Water temperature 87* and Clear
Today Tony and I took Marty and his friends out to catch a few Stripers. We got up very early and caught 425 baits between us. We picked our crews up at 5:30 and went searching for Stripers. We both hit different areas but today we NEVER found a school of fish. Didn't matter much, after we realized schools were not going to develop we just worked pods of fish throughout the morning. By 10 we had used up all of our baits so we went and caught 150 more and ended up burning all of them up as well. We caught well over 100 Stripers this morning and kept the guys on fish. Although it was hot today fun was had by all. Everyone got to take home plenty of fillets.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fishing on a Hot Sunday Morning

Bernie and his Crew
DP took Bernie out for a half day of fishing this morning on the lake and caught a few Stripers.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Navico and Navionics

 This is a screen shot that I took while looking for schools of Stripers Thursday morning. On the right half of the split screen is my echo [sonar] page. I am in a 45 foot scale and was running about 20 mph before I saw fish and slowed down to fish them. I actually popped the picture at 3.6 mph as I was coming to a stop. On the left half of the echo screen while I am running the yellowish vertical dots is motor noise. I keep my sensitivity up while running and since I have been doing this for so long I don't even notice the noise. I am concentrating on the yellowish marks below 30 feet where the Stripers were schooling. As I am running at higher speeds the fish appear as a glob on the screen. As I slow down the marks start to form shape and eventually turn into arches. As I run I am looking for color in the marks. The more color, the larger and denser the fish is. I took this pic just to show the difference in the two. These fish were mostly punks with a few nicer fish mixed in. The right side of the echo page looses the motor noise as I slow down and the Stripers start to form arches. The nicer Stripers were relating to the channel when I took this picture.
 The left half of the screen is my Navionic map. When I search for Stripers sometimes I may have to look for a long time to locate what I want to fish, cris-crossing areas numerous times. I am using overlay on my map while I am running to help me know which water I have covered and where to continue to look. The overlayed area is the water shaded in Blue. By doing this I do not waist time searching in water that I have recently covered. I was also using the map to keep near the channels because the fish were relating to the edges at this particular time. When I locate a nice school I hit my waypoint key on my unit so I can go back to the exact area the fish were in. This really helps when it is windy out. By the time I turn around and set out 8 to 10 lines it is easy to get blown off the spot.

This is a screen shot that I took a few minutes before taking the previous shot above this one. The fish were not feeding and were hanging very deep and relating to the bottom of the lake. Here I am in 46 feet of water and all of the fish are hugging the bottom. You can see on the echo page us dropping a bait down [diagonal whitish mark going from upper left to lower right]. On side scan you can see the fish as white dashes hugging the bottom as well. I also took this shot as an example of what not to do. Notice that the upper 40 feet of the water column is completely void of bait and or fish. The Better way to look and search for fish in conditions like this would either be go to view on the echo window and hit bottom lock or zoom and only view the lower third of the water column. The fish would have shown up 3 times the size and you could have distinguished the size of the fish better. These were all non feeding fish though. If the fish were streaking and bait was present I would have put out more than one bait and considered working it more. We dropped the bait to the bottom to see if it would get hit. It got extremely nervous but nothing would touch it. Didn't take me long to get it in and search elsewhere.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Boys day out

 The Mohr Boys...Emery, Granddad Joe, Dillon and Brian

 Boys are content in PaPa's arms

 Michael and Anthony

Anthony with nice Bass early in the morning

Sunny and Hot, Water Temperature 82* and Clear
Today we took the boys out for a couple of hours this morning. We knew it was going to get hot so we hit the water early so we could get off before the sun cooked us. What a great way to spend time with family, go out and catch 50 Stripers before 10 o'clock. After the boys were tired of reeling in fish they took a quick swim before returning to the dock. Just because it is summer the fish do not quit feeding, they gorge themselves the first 3 or 4 hours of the morning and again the last couple hours of the day. Mid day sucks, better to be in air conditioning. Call and book a half day or 3/4 day charter with us while we still have some openings. Go out in the morning before it gets hot and be back home for lunch, with a cooler of Stripers.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Simrad Screen Shots

 This is an interesting shot of a couple of Stripers. This was taken early in the morning before the schools developed. The 2 fish in the middle of the sonar screen were nice Stripers. Notice the white  vertical dashes on the side scan. They are not only long but are showing some nice shadows behind them.

 This is a Striper who did not like being caught. After taking him off the hook he swam as fast as he could right to the bottom of the lake then cruised off happy to be back in his element.

 In this pic I am using Chirp to watch my baits coming through some Stripers near the bottom. The long horizontal lines near the bottom are 4 of our baits. The squiggly two lines are our sinker and bait being set out. When fish are hugging the bottom Chirp works great. It shows much more detail and has more target separation especially at deeper depths. Depending on where I locate my rods in the boat I can monitor 6 to 8 baits at a time simply from watching my Simrad. Incredible technology!

In this pic I have adjusted my upper limits to 15 feet. I do this when working fish that are deep. No need to look at unproductive sections of the water column. By making my range 15 to 40 feet I can see the fish so much clearer. In the near future I will show how by adjusting some of the features of your unit you can customize your screen to your specific fishing conditions. 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Ben Strickland and Guests

Art, Dan, Neal, Randy and Ben
Today Tony took Ben and his friends out for some catchin
on Lake Anna.

Comedy of Errors

 Jim, Tony, Zeke, Kat and Bob

 A couple of nice Stripers. Signals are long on the echo page but I focus on Side scan mostly when sizing fish. You can see a couple long vertical white dashes about 40 feet from the boat but I also see two nice shadows behind the fish tell me they are decent fish.

 This is a school of punks. Again check out the small white dashes on the side scan.

Here I slow down from plane to 1.8 mph when I saw these Stripers. As I was moving fast they appeared as a yellow-reddish glob but as I slow they developed into arches. Again check out the side scan. To the right at the bottom of the side scan window the dots are small when I was going fast but as I slowed down you can see that they were nice fish with large white dashes with shadows.

Cloudy, rain and cool, Water temperature 77* and clear.
Today I had regular clients Jim and Kat. They invited a few of their friends that go out with him every year with me. It rains every time they book a trip. They usually drink a couple of cases of good beer [with a designated driver] and have a ball all day. Today was no exception. Before Jim even got on the boat this morning he apologized in advance for Zekes and Bobs "to be" behavior. When this crew gets together Jim usually catches half the fish that are caught on the boat that day. I don't believe he is that better of a fisherman, he just listens when I explain in the morning how to deploy the baits and how to reel them in. I use circle hooks and the Stripers want the bait in their faces so it is very important to do 4 things the way I explain them. Jim listens and catches fish [while drinking his share of beer]. Now Bob and Zeke are a little different. Last year it was Bob who never got it all day until the last 30 minutes of the trip but today it was all Zeke. If it could go wrong, it happened up in the front of the boat with these two friends. They laughed, told jokes and ragged on each other all day long and had the rest of us in tears. At one point we had all the rods hooked up. One man was throwing up over the boat, I was netting two Stripers in the back of the boat, Zeke was wrestling his fish that got to the other side of the boat while Bob was trying to dig a hook out of my throw net that Zeke hooked into. We banged this school for about 45 minutes before the catfish moved in. It is always a great time fishing with this crew and we always catch fish. Today we caught about 40 to 50 Stripers and 20 Catfish. Way too much fun to pack into just a day of fishing. Good fun with good people.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

A Major Cold Front

 Bill Siewert and crew
Blurry picture due to wet camera.
 Here is a school of Stripers we found at noon today.

 I popped this pic after catching 6 or 8 fish this morning.

Chirp Definition picking out each individual fish

Rain and Cold, Water Temperature dropped to 78* and Clear.
I was worried about what this front would do to the fish and bait and I found out early. I hung 4 lights for 45 minutes and after no bait gathered I picked them up and hung in a different area. Struggled for bait but by daylight I had 165 in my tanks. Went and picked the guys up and on the way to them saw some fish so I went right back to them. We hit 4 or 5 schools this morning and one around noon. Everything else was just scattered about. It was a very nasty day on the water but by the end of the trip we were happy we did as well as we did. One out of every 4 fish was a keeper but not bad for such a nasty day. Looks like the same weather for tomorrow!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Too Much Action

Joe and Jeff
Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 82* and Clear
Today I caught bait early , met my clients at 5:30 and went searching for schools. I told them as we departed the marina that they were in trouble today because the bite is on and two people have no chance of handling it. I set them up on some small pods of fish first so they could get use to handling the rods and fish. After two sets I took them to a real school. We got our lines out and 6 poles bent over at once. They grabbed the poles with the littlest fish and got them to the boat and reeled in one other but the other three got off, one fish wrapped around another line and broke off. I spent the rest of the morning looking for small pods of fish that they might handle, the big schools are way too much for two anglers. Caught about 60 by 10:30 this morning. If you come fishing on our boats in the next two months I advise you to have at least 4 anglers and bring your A game, you will need it.