Friday, July 31, 2015

Electronics 101

These are a few screen shots I took from my Simrad recently.
You can click on the pic to enlarge it.
Have Fun!

In this screen shot I had been running about 25mph searching for Stripers to set up on with my clients. I noticed some fish near the bottom on the left side of the screen so I slowed down to about 15mph to check it out [about a fifth of the way across the screen]. Seeing more I slowed even more and noticed a stack of White Perch [vertical stack] then in the center of the page saw some bait getting attacked by some smaller fish. I then slowed down to 2mph and saw Stripers suspended just off of the bottom. After searching this area for a couple minutes I decided to move on because the Stripers I saw were not in a feeding mode. They were hugging the bottom and not streaking.

 We may need a Bigger Boat!

 In this pic I had located some better Stripers so we set up on them. The 2 diagonal lines are us counting the bait and sinker down to the depth the fish are in then engaging the reel to keep the bait right in the fishes eyes. You can see each time we pulled line from the reel counting the pulls then once we got to the right depth the angler raised his rod up to put it into the rod holder then once he sat it back into the holder the sinker stays level as the bait swims below it.

 Here I was looking for schools running about 25mph on the left of the screen and as I came up on this 32 foot flat I saw Stripers so I cut my throttle to set up on them. The disturbance in the upper middle of the screen is the boat coming off plane. Notice how once I stopped there were not many fish under the boat. The boat motor spooks the Stripers and they had swum out away from the boat. I saw them on my side scan on my other unit on the dash then deployed my trolling motor, turned the boat in the direction of the fish, set our baits out to 25 feet and watched the rods bend over. When I look for Stripers it is ALWAYS on plane. Boats and motors spook fish! If I were to idle looking for fish most of them get out from under the boat and I would never know how many were there. Think of it this way....If thousand people [fish] were gathered in a field [flat] eating lunch and a helicopter came hovering over them they would disperse into all directions to get away from the copter. So do the fish. Also when I have located fish and are working the schools when a inconsiderate angler sees us reeling in fish and they motor nearby us it spooks the fish and turns them off. 

In this screen shot again I had been running about 25mph seeing a few fish suspended around 25 feet deep. I went across a hump [center of the screen] and saw Largemouth with their noses hugging the drop so I steered to the nearby flat where Stripers were gathered near the bottom. I touched my screen on the crest of the hump where the Bass were and created a waypoint [not shown] then maneuvered the boat to it, set our baits out at 25 feet and had some fun. Notice that when I was running fish were suspended around 25 to 30 feet deep. When I see this I look for flats, humps or points at that depth range for fish. That is where I locate and catch Stripers. No need to look at 20 foot or 45 foot structures, I am just wasting my clients time.
Navico [Simrad and Lowrance] is The Leader in marine electronics. I trust what I see on them and make my living off of them. I take my time to post screen shots like this to help the every day fisherman learn to use their electronics to locate and catch the fish they are targeting. I primarily target Stripers but can easily locate Bass and other species at any speed. You can too! All it takes is a good Depth Finder set up properly with the transducer installed properly and a little time and confidence. For example, If you are a Striper fisherman who wants to learn how to locate and catch bait, spend a day practicing finding, catching and refining your methods of doing so. If you are a Bass fisherman, instead of spending all day going out and fishing a couple dozen structures try for a few hours locating structures at speed, establishing waypoints, reviewing what you see then later come back to the structures and Catching Bass, not just fishing for them. Take screen shots of the structures, download them and put the card in your computer or pad. Inspect them at your leisure. If you see something you like, you already have a waypoint, go back and fish it, anytime you wish. Create a name for the waypoint and use your Navionics chart to put you right back on the juice! You can create a file on your computer or pad or right on your Lowrance or Simrad to save your pics and refer back to at any time......Think about it?????? Want to be a better fisherman, it is sitting right there on your console.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Good Day On The Water

 Mark, Alex, Nick, Leo, Andrew and Marshall

 Leo holding one of many that he caught this morning.

Tony's Clients Austin, Kevin, Sandy, Brian, Chris, Michelle 

Sunny and Hot, Water Temperature 88* and clear.
Today Tony and myself both had trips so we got out early this morning to catch bait. Well the moon was full and bright which made bait collection extremely difficult. We picked our clients up then went and topped off out bait tanks then went searching for Stripers. We both hit numerous areas till not seeing a whole lot then Tony called and said they had caught about 6 keepers just in an area with no particular pattern. I went to him and set out our baits but only caught a couple fish. I decided to make a move so I looked a little more then decided to do something different. Before we could get all of our baits in we started hooking up. Tony came over and we all had a great time catching Stripers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lowrance Screen Shots

 I am showing these two screen shots to help show what schools to fish and what not to fish. In the shot above the fish are not active. Notice how they are staging near the bottom and tightly together. Side scan is not showing much activity either. A boring screen is not a productive screen.

Now this shot is a happy screen. On the sonar part of the screen you see fish "streaking" throughout the screen. I also have my screen on zoon and am looking in the light blue area of the water column as you can see on the right of the screen. I do this because that is where the fish are, why look in the upper water column where there are no fish?  This also shows the fish with much more detail. This being a touch screen all you do to adjust the zoom area is touch the blue and slide it up or down, pretty simple. The side scan screen is just as active as the sonar screen. Notice all the Stripers [ light vertical dashes] that are on both sides of the boat. When you see this and you have baits in the fishes face you should be hooked up.

These screenshots were taken off of a HDS12 Gen 2 that one of our guides Anthony is going to sell. If anyone is interested in purchasing the unit contact me at and I can show you the unit, even on the water at my convenience. We are Navico Pro Staff and are ready to upgrade to the Gen 3 products.

Birthday Boy

Karl, Allison, and Tom

Cloudy and warm, Water Temperature 87* and Clear
Today was a special day for Tom, it was his birthday and his loving wife graciously gave him a charter for his Birthday. Fishing was a little slow for awhile but we did get into a couple of nice schools of Stripers and we went through 250 baits this morning. Now if he can just get Allison to clean the fish......
Happy Birthday Tom

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A good July morning Catch

 Matt, Bill, Scott and Todd

Todd holding a nice Striper that he caught.

Cloudy, Hot and Muggy, Water Temperature 88* and clear
Today was my first day on the water with my new Minn Kota Ulterra so I got out around 3am to catch bait and play with the motor. After putting 225 baits in the bait tanks I went back to the marina and picked my clients up. We set up on a couple schools but by the time we got our baits in the water the fish had left and only the kitties were biting. I went to a point where I had seen fish before daylight and set up on it and we started putting Stripers in the boat. Four hours later we had used up all of our baits and had caught over 50 fish. There was plenty of action for everyone and too much for some [I won't mention your name Scott]. Anyway we ended up with 15 keeper Stripers for the guys to take home. Always fun fishing with these guys. After today we all know why Bill's brother left the state. 
PS...I love the new TM, only problem was I could only deploy and stow it about 8 times this morning due to fishing being so good. We will try it again in the morning.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Reel Deal!

My life just got better. I finally got my new Minn Kota Ulterra with stow and deploy with universal sonar. I also added a LSS2 transducer to it so I can use side scan on my trolling motor coupled with my Lowrance. I use sonar and side scan when catching bait off of the front of the boat. I can see schools of bait out over 100 feet from the boat and go directly to them. I also connect my front Lowrance to my Simrad on my dash when I am on large schools of Stripers and when I start to loose the school all I have to do is turn the trolling motor 90 degrees and relocate the school. No longer do I have to go up to the front of the boat and put the trolling motor in the water and pull it out 20 to 30 times a day, all I have to do is push a button! Going to try it out in the morning. Can't wait!

Friday, July 24, 2015

White Wave Foods

Rick, Steve, Dan, Jon, Kevin, Chris, Randy and John

Sunny and Warm, Water Temperature 88* and Clear
Today DP and myself took White Wave Foods employes out this morning for a team building outing. This morning the fish were quite active early but as the morning progressed the fishing slowed down. We ended up catching a couple nice stringers of Stripers and the guys enjoyed a morning on Lake Anna.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Molon Lave Vineyards

Louizos, Connie and Sergio

Cloudy and Warm, Water Temperature 88* and Clear
This morning I got on the water real early, caught bait then picked my crew up at 5:30 at High Point Marina. Tony was also out and as I was leaving the marina he called on the radio and said he had found a school so I raced to him but by the time I got there the school had evaporated. We looked around for a few minutes then I decided to set up on a point and show them how to set the lines out. We popped a couple there then Tony called again saying he was on a school. Well this time it was the real deal and we worked the school for about an hour or so. Afterwards we hit a couple spots catching some nice Stripers. We ended up with a stringer full of fish and some good memories.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Hot Day on the Water

Robert, Danielle, Jennifer and Cliff

Sunny and Hot, Water temperature 88* and Clear
Today I was glad it wasn't the weekend with so many boats on the water. Although it was very hot the lake was calm and quiet. We set up in 4 or 5 different areas today and caught fish in each one. I realized a pattern and dialed in on it to put some nice fish in the boat this morning. By about 11 it was just too hot to be out so we called it a day. Robert hasn't been out with me in awhile and today I could tell how long it had been since he had been fishing. Both of his thumbs were raw from taking fish off the hooks. He is enjoying his granddaughter for a couple of weeks and this was a great way to start the vacation off. Danielle reeled in most of the bigger fish today.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Hiltop Consultants

Jim Turner with a nice Bass

Today Jim turned his employes on to a morning of fishing for
Stripers on Lake Anna. He is also holding a nice Largemouth.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Recent catches


Jeff, Blake and Paul

Here are a few of Tony's clients recent catches

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wow, did I deserve these guys?

Paul, Dave, Ron, Bob and Errol
Cloudy and warm, water temperature 86* and clear
Today I caught 225 baits then picked the guys up at the marina. We had a little difficulty getting started today, a couple of the guys wanted to do things there way and things did not go so well. After making a couple of moves most of them caught on and we continued to catch fish. This crew has been going out with me for at least 6 to 8 years now but usually in the cooler months. I wanted them to go when we took hits and today we did. We went through 200 by 9 so I went and caught 200 more and went back out and burnt about half of them up. It was getting late in the morning when I decided to make one final move. We set the baits out and I hit a "spot" that sometimes holds nice fish. When the boat got directly over it every rod bent over and drags were screaming. Everyone grabbed a rod and the game was on! After boating 5 or 6 of the best fish of the day Ron was still reeling one in on the bow of the boat. I jumped over two of the guys and went to him with the net. His rod was doubled over and going to the back of the boat. Well I had my trolling motor still on and come to find out he was hung up all the time in a brush pile. What a bummer. We all had fun with  him for a while but we had fun with everyone today. Today was a calamity of errors. From getting lines wrapped up in the trolling motor to have half the rods out of commission due to screw ups. This group of guys always has fun together and by the end of the morning we had a nice stringer of fish. They may even come back out again for the down line bite. Next time they go out I may have to take some Valium!

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Great Morning of Catching Stripers

 Greg, Sam, Sam, Barnett, Tyler and Maggie

This happens when you stay busy all morning taking Stripers off the hook!

Cloudy and Rain, water temperature 84* and clear
I pick my crew up this morning at High Point at 5:30 after catching over 200 baits. After showing them how to deploy the baits we went looking for some fish. We set up on some but after a dozen strikes with no hook ups I decided to move on. In our second set we started boating fish and boated 4 keepers before it fizzled out. We move again and hit the jackpot. We boated Striper after Striper and went through all but about 50 baits till the lake A-Hole in a Bass Boat started circling us and spooked the fish. This particular guy does this every day to not only me but every other Striper fisherman on the lake. We worked the area for 10 more minutes without catching a fish. We went to top our tanks off with Herring and passed a friend who was fishing and this jerk in the bass boat was circling him spooking his fish!!! Anyway I caught 150 more baits and went looking for more Stripers. I found the mother load and we set up on them as quick as we could. Next thing we knew every rod was hooked up and for the next 30 minutes. Greg and Barnett were running around the boat taking fish off for the kids while I was baiting hooks and netting fish. It was 9:45 and we had 26 keepers in the box! We took a break and I retied the lines then found some more fish and limited out fairly quickly. We caught Stripers today because my crew listened well when I explained to them not only how to deploy the baits but also how to reel the fish in. We were a well oiled machine and even the rain did not put a damper on anything. Click on the guys picture and check their poor thumbs out. Gregory will be hurting tonight!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Navico Screen Shots

 Today we fished in a mini cold front and the Stripers were balled up very tight. I would have thought this was a school of bait but we were fishing and had down lines out when 4 or 5 of them buried into the water. It wasn't till I looked at my side scan that I realized that they were Stripers and as I told the guys to get ready the rods bent over. Notice I was using 200 khz on the sonar screen. This was a Lowrance HDS 12 screen shot.

 This is the same school taken on my Simrad about 30 seconds later than the Lowrance shot. This is a good example of what Chirp can do for you. Again using traditional 200 khz in the Lowrance shot above the fish were stacked so tight I would have thought it was baitfish. But with Chirp it's target separation has much more detail and picks up individual fish much better. You can clearly see each Striper on the left side of the screen. Both Lowrance and Simrad can run on different sonar frequencies, I just happened to have Chirp on my Simrad today.

 This is a shot where I was working a contour using my Navionics map. It is so much easier to keep on a contour when it is highlighted.

In this screen shot 10 inch Stripers were occasionally breaking  around the boat but larger Stripers were near the bottom. The cloud on the right side of the sonar screen is the school of punks and the arches near the bottom are keeper Stripers.  Side scan also verifies the size of the punks [small vertical dashes clumped tightly together] with an occasional larger Striper below them. The boat is located on the top of the side scan page at 0 and the darker blue is the water column. The white vertical line at 32 feet out to both sides is the bottom and the light blue from 32 to 100 feet out both sides is side scan looking out away from the boat up to 100 feet which is the distance I had my scan set at. The closer to the 0 line is higher in the water column and right where the two colors converge is just off the bottom. Looking at both the sonar and the structure pages you can clearly see what I am trying to explain.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Simrad Screen Shots

 This is a screen shot I took this morning over one of the many schools we found. You can see the squiggly 2 lines coming down from near the surface. That is our sinker and bait. When I find large schools the aggressive fish are the ones at the top of the school so I put our baits it their faces.

 Here we are coming into the school better and you can see another lined being deployed and also see another bait being pulled at 25 feet. These fish are in trouble now.

 This is the same school as above and we are still jamming the Stripers. Someone got excited and put a bait down too deep [35 feet] and you can see the bait never got hit. The bait is the horizontal red line. I engaged a depth cursor [Gray horizontal line] at the depth baits should be set to catch the best fish. I am also showing my coordinates exactly where this picture was taken so you guys who dog me can go out and find schools on your own. You would be wasting your time though, Stripers are always moving and probably don't frequent the same spot more than once a day.

Here is a screen shot with a Navionics map to show what a contact point looks like on a map. I have my depths shaded to help me stay in the zone. There are thousands of under water points on the lake that no one fishes because it is not obvious to the eye. When you shade the depth you are seeing fish in it make it perfectly clear the structures in your depth contour to work. You can shade your map in less than a minute which makes it simple to see points, humps, flats or anything you think will hold fish. Try it a home before you go to the water and check them out once you get there, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Lowrance Screen Shots

 This is a picture of a channel running through a flat. The channel is out to the left of the boat and drops off pretty sharply. You can notice rocks along the edges of the channel and tell how tall they are by the size of the shaddow behind them.

 In this shot we just started to run up on a school of Stripers.

 Here I was trying to locate a school going over different depths. I noticed a school as I approached a hump on the drop off. I had been running about 25mph then steadily slowed to check the school out. Notice there were fish on both sides of the structure. That particular piece of structure is a contact point where schools congregate before moving up shallow and feeding and once the feed they meet back at the contact point then move off to deeper water as a school. The Stripers pull off the flat into deep water stratified no higher than the flat itself. Notice the Stripers also on the left of the side scan. They go out to the left past 100 feet. They are showing up as vertical green dashes. Plenty of motor noise when I was running fast on the left side of the sonar page then mid way I sat the boat down and you can see the disturbance it made near the surface.

 Moments later we are hooked up battling Stripers. Plenty of Nice ones here.
This shot was taken while I was looking for fish. I was working more edges looking for contact areas. I was running pretty fast and all the clouds near the bottom are schools of Herring with small fish mixed in with  them.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

A Fun Morning on Lake Anna

 Cathy, Bob, Tyler, Paul, Cory and Dillon

 Cathy with a nice Bass

Cory with a Toad!

Cloudy and Warm, Water Temperature 84* and Clear.
Today was a great day of family fun and fellowship. We had a morning trip today so I got out early enough to put 225 baits in my tanks and picked my crew up at their dock at 5:30. After hitting 6 or 8 different places catching Stripers everywhere we went I looked in my tanks and had only about 30 baits left. It was only 9 o'clock so I located some bait, made one toss and put 150 beautiful more baits in the tanks. Although we had been having a great morning catching fish once I caught these nice baits I knew we were destined for success. We pulled up on the next spot and started banging the Stripers. The fresh baits were working out well then Cory hooked up with his nice Largemouth. We popped a couple quick pics and returned the bass back where we caught it. The Bass came out of 30 foot of water. We looked for awhile hitting a few spots catching fish almost on every stop. It was getting late so I told them we would try one more spot. We hit a shallow flat and that is where Cathy caught her nice Bass. The day started off with a catfish and I told one of the boys that if whoever catches the first catfish kisses it it would bring good luck to the boat. He did and it did. We tore the Stripers up this morning and everyone had a ball. Cory ended up catching the largest Largemouth and Striper as well.            The Stripers are Rocking, get out and get you some!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A whole lot of fish

 Michael, Grace, Meghan, Alex, Vanessa and Master David

 Alex, Taylor, Crystal and David Fields

Chris, Terry, Jason, Jacob, Harold and Mike

Sunny and Warm, Water temperature 85* and Clear
Today Tony and I both had half day charters and we spanked the Stripers early. Between both boats we caught well over a hundred Stripers by 9:30 this morning. The bottom picture is Tony's crew that he took out yesterday morning. The fish are biting, contact us and book a charter and let us put you in one of these pictures.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Lowrance Screen Shots

 This is a screen shot I took while looking for schools of Stripers. It was taken off of a HDS12. In the top sonar screen on the left I was running about 22 mph and noticed some Stripers  [red inverted v's] 30 to 40 feet deep. The black vertical dashes are motor noise [I keep my sensitivity high when running]. About a quarter way through the screen I slow down to check it out and you can see the disturbance of the boat stopping near the surface. At the same time the arches near the bottom get larger and larger due to boat speed slowing which helps identify the Stripers. Also as I slowed down you can see much less motor noise on the screen. On the bottom side scan screen all of the vertical white dashed are Stripers with more fish 50 to 85 feet out to the left side of the boat. I turned the boat to the direction of the school, deployed downlines at 32 feet deep and every rod hooked up.

 This is a screen shot from DP's HDS 8. The left side of the shot is side scan showing Stripers as the vertical dashes and the right side of the screen is down scan showing Stripers as well.

 This again is a HDS 8 pic of a major school of Stripers on side and down scan. Each individual mark is a Striper. Yea, they limited out pretty quick here.

 This pic was taken a few minutes later as they were loosing the school. DP turned the boat back around and took this shot below on a straight sonar screen.

They are hooked up here fighting 3 fish to the surface. 

I post these screen shots to help anglers who have Navico products learn to interpret what they are seeing on their units and how to use their units to find fish. If you are not seeing on your units what I show in these shots you can email me and I can help dial you in. If you don't have a Lowrance or a Simrad, better get down to Greentop Sporting Goods and get you some, you are spending more time fishing than catching. 

The most common cause if anglers aren't seeing pics on their units like I post is transducer installation. If you can't see the bottom and distinguish objects at full throttle on your boat, most likely the transducer is mounted incorrectly. It may be too high, behind a chine, wrong angle to the water, etc. If you can read clearly at high speeds then your settings may be off or maybe you did not mate your unit to your transducer which should have been done in your initial set up. Your unit needs to know what it is looking through so it can interpret  it correctly on the screen. 

If you need help using a depth finder and locating and catching Stripers you may want to book a charter to get some on the water experience. My email address is .

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Happy fishermen

 Here are a couple Lake Anna Striper Pro's
Shane and Jacob with a great morning catch.

Aaron, Grandpa, Pete and Paul

Cloudy and pleasant, Water Temperature 86* and Clear
Today was a little different than yesterday. Instead of Sun and schools like yesterday we had clouds and scattered fish. Didn't matter much, everyone caught plenty of Stripers. Paul's group wanted enough for a meal while they are staying here at the lake but I thing they kept more than they bargained for. We only fished a 4 hour charter this morning but probably caught 35 to 40 fish.