Sunday, August 30, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Simrad Screen Shots

 In this screen shot I had caught bait and was running back to the marina to pick up my clients. I noticed a bunch of fish stacked up on a contact point adjacent to a feeding flat. This is a classic example of how Largemouth Bass and Stripers work in the summer months. They both use contact points [areas of a large flat that have a lot of definition nearby a channel] to congregate prior to moving up onto the flat where they spread out and feed then they use the same contact point to get back together after feeding to group back up and move off the flat to suspend till another feeding session. I did not have to pick my clients up till 6am so I waypointed the spot and went back to it. I dropped two herring down to 18 feet and hooked up with two 3 to 4 pound Largemouth. When I was a Basshole I would check 20 to 30 contact points a day trying to catch the bass congregating and when I did 5 casts later I would have a limit. I would use a weighted DB3 that I drilled under the bill and filled with lead to get the bait to run deeper. When the Bass would pull off the point to deeper water they would suspend in the same depth. Sometimes I could pull off the point as well and catch the suspending bass once I relocated them. Anyway I was hoping these fish might have been Stripers to put my clients on first thing that morning but that wasn't the case.

 This was the first school of Stripers I located in the morning. This was the tail end of the school where most of the punks were. There were hundreds if not thousands of fish in the school but I could not find the front of the school where the more aggressive Stripers would have been.

 This is just another shot of the school while I was looking for larger fish.

 Here I had located another school of Stripers and was using my side scan to look for the larger fish. We were catching fish here but mostly punks. The fish were not active at this point. I continued to look for more aggressive and larger Stripers until I found what you see in the pic below.

I found the lead pack of the school which were noticeably larger fish. If you look to the left of the side scan screen you can see the larger vertical dashes compared to the smaller ones on the right of the screen. It doesn't take a genius to steer the boat to the left to get on the nicer fish. We caught  four or five nicer Stripers there but the fish were still not active [no streaking and very compressed in the sonar page] and by then 5 or 6 boats had seen us catching fish and has moved in on us with their big motors spooking the school even more. I left these fish to find other schools with no boat traffic in hopes of catching non pressured schools. Stripers do not like fishing pressure and especially do not like Barometric Pressure changes. A cold front had moved in lowering the water temp a degree or two but the Barometric Pressure climbed significantly enough to shut them down. When you see so many fish like there are in these screen shots and you put your baits in their faces only to catch punks and Catfish it is time to move on.  When nicer Stripers are feeding they will not allow a punk or Kitty to eat. The move paid off for us and we caught a 10 pound Striper and numerous other keepers.

Good Electronics are the key to success on lakes in the summer months. Understanding how to set them up and how to interpret what you are seeing are the keys to utilizing their potential to the fullest. Simrad and Lowrance are the best money can buy. They make the difference in fishing or catching!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Thousands of Stripers not wanting to eat.

 Mark, Carmine and Reed

Carmine with a nice Striper

Sunny and warm, Water Temperature 85* and clear
I filled the tanks up with 230 baits this morning, picked my clients up at 6 at High Point and took off in search of Stripers. I checked a couple of areas but boat traffic kept running through where I wanted to fish so I made a move back downlake. I found a school off of a mainlake point so I stopped and we set up on them. Just after stopping fish started breaking nearby us and we started hooking up. I saw hundreds of fish but the bite was not in line with the amount of fish I was seeing. It was quite cool this morning and I believe the front had contributed to the lack of hook ups. After loosing this school I looked around and found remnants of them and worked them for a few minutes. Fish were everywhere but pretty well scattered, not schooled tightly. A friend Dale was trolling across the lake from me where I had found thousands of Stripers two days ago and I noticed he turned around in that area so I called him on the radio and asked if he saw any fish over there. He had run over them and had turned around to hit them again. He had 3 hook ups and hung the other rig up. He called Tony and myself over to fish it with bait because there was too much irregular structure for him to work. We went over and the mother-load of Stripers were there. We set up on them but again for seeing thousands of fish on the depth finder we were only catching a few here and there, and mostly punks. After 45 minutes of working them and catching maybe 20 fish it got way too crowded with boats so I moved on. We hit a couple of other areas catching fish everywhere we went. Reed was hot this morning catching well over half of the fish while Carmine sat patiently up front. He got the last laugh by catching the biggest Striper of the day.  Although we found thousands of fish today the Stripers really did not cooperate and we only caught about 35. The guys had a great time with that but I know what it could have been if the fish wanted to eat this morning.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

SIMRAD Screen Shots

 This is a shot I popped yesterday morning while in a school of Stripers. We had been banging them for 45 minutes and this was the first chance to take a pic of what we were working. Lately I have been using my Navionics map to keep me on contours that the Stripers are holding on. I have shaded the map with blue being 0 to 20 feet and also 40 feet and above. This allows me to keep in the 21 to 40 foot range where we have been catching the fish lately. In the mornings the fish have been very close to the transition from around 20 feet then as it gets brighter they have tended to move deeper.

I took this shot looking for Stripers. I had been cruising about 20 mph on the left side of my echo screen and saw a bunch of Stripers then slowed down to investigate. The Striprs at speed show up as dark colored "blobs" but as I slow down they turn into arches with color in the middle. I keep my colorline where all the keeper fish show some dark redish brown in them and the punks simply show yellow. This allows me to keep my sensitivity up while running but enables me to distinguish keeper fish. Also in this screen shot while chirping you can clearly see a Striper right in the middle of a school of herring. When I noticed that I immediately cut the big motor off, touched the screen over the school of bait, deployed the trolling motor, went directly to the waypoint and spanked the Stripers. Notice how clear the screenshot is on this Simrad. How sweet it is to have technology like this and know how to take advantage of it.

This is the time of year Anthony and myself [Navico Pro Staff] sell our units to make room for our new ones. We have sold two of our Lowrance's and have a month to sell one more Lowrance and two NSS EVO 2 12 inch touch units. These are units I take my pics on and use daily. They are under warranty and guaranteed to put you on fish. They also come with a introductory demo to educate you on how to use them. They are so user friendly it doesn't take but a few minutes to feel comfortable with them. I can be reached at . Check out all the Simrad products at Greentop Sporting Goods.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Boys Day Out

Benjamin, Ralph and Alec

Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 85* and Clear.
This is my kind of charter, two boys eager to catch fish and their Dad eager to see them catch fish. Right at first light I set them up on a school of Stripers. We no sooner put the baits in the water before the rods started bending over. An hour later we had boated 20 fish a were ready for a break. We hit a couple more ares with limited success then I set up over a 18 foot structure and hooked into a couple of big uns. Benny caught the first big fish and thought he was the cats meow until Alec hooked up and when his fish rolled about 30 yards from the boat everyone gasped. The boys did great today catching about 40 to 50 fish. Not a bad way to spend the morning on the water watching boys catching fish.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Yes Roy CAN Catch fish

Margus, Irina, Ann and Roy

Sunny and Pleasant, water temperature 83* and Clear
A couple of weeks ago I took out a group of guys and Tony took out the rest. As we were departing from the dock the guys on my boat pitied the other boat because Roy was on it and he had a reputation of not being able to catch fish. Well we fished all morning and came back t the dock that day and we had a nice stringer of fish but Tony's boat had 0. After taking pictures that day Roy said his father in law was coming from overseas and loves to fish, would I take them out , even with the monkey on Roy's back. I said Bulls__t, lets go and we will catch plenty of fish. Well if anyone sees a monkey swimming around the lake, it is finally off of Roy's back. We had a lot of fun this morning catching Stripers and Margus will have good memories of fishing in America. Here is a picture of some happy Fishermen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Navico Screen Shots

 This is a screen shot that I popped yesterday morning when we were all over our first school of Stripers. As you can see we had Stripers from 15 to 28 feet deep here. Whenever you see this you should have all your rods hooked up.

 I took this shot a little later in the morning. I lost the deeper schools of earlier on in the day so I decided to look shallower and look what we found....Stripers.

 This shot came from a Lowrance HDS12. It was taken at the same time as the top Simrad screen shot was. In both shots you can clearly see how many Stripers are congregated below the boat. Notice the smaller fish hugging the bottom under the Stripers on the left half of the sonar screen. These are Catfish gobbling up the scraps the Stripers create when they attack a school of bait. Catfish hang below and behind schools of Stripers. Once you start catching Cats, either raise your baits up or get back into the nucleus of the Striper school. The top part of this screen shows side scan doing its job. Each vertical dash is a Striper. I kept the boat positioned right in the middle of the school. Notice I have hundreds of Stripers on both sides of the boat. Without Side scan I could have lost the school within minutes. Are you fishing without this technology? If you are you probably are simply fishing, not catching. Want to get hooked up with a Simrad or a Lowrance at a good price? It's the time of year for Anthony and myself to replace our Pro Staff units. Email me at if you are interested. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

VDGIF Biologists

Hunter, Jarrett, John, Dominic, and Mike

Cloudy and Warm, Water Temperature 85* and Clear
Today was a fun day for me, every year I take out the Va. Game and Inland Fisheries biologists for a morning of fishing. They get to reap some of the rewards of their labor by catching the fish that they manage and stock. I enjoy getting into their heads about the overall condition of the lake but more importantly the Striper population and their plans for stocking Stripers in the future at Lake Anna. Recently they have stocked Hybrid Stripers which have grown to 12 to 15 inches already and also introduced Saugeye [a cross between Saugers and Walleye] which has grown over 20 inches to date. This morning we started off well by boating about a dozen Stripers in the first 30 minutes of fishing. Wish the rest of the morning could have went as well but the schools dissipated fairly rapidly and we had to work for every fish thereafter. The water temperature has gone up a few degrees in the last week which has schooled the Stripers up much better than in the previous weeks. This morning we caught about 30 Stripers and a dozen Catfish. Someone at the marina told me I probably should have taken them to a barren area so they would want to stock more Stripers next year but these guys do a great job of keeping a great Striper fishery in a lake that is difficult to manage due to some unfavorable conditions the lake has. Last year I took them out and had our best day ever on the lake for catching Stripers. We boated 270 Stripers by 1 o'clock that day. We kept our limits and released all the rest of the fish to fight again another day. Now there is a testament to a job well done.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Classic Furniture of Charlottesville

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

Abby with a nice Bass

Sunny and Hot, Water temperature 86* and clear
This morning I got out early and caught bait then picked my clients up at 6am at High Point Marina. I was looking forward to today's trip because I was taking out a client [Robert] who I have been trying to help crack this code for Striper fishing on the lake. He went out with me last year and has bought all the gear to catch Stripers and still needs some "fine tuning". It was also fun to get back out with his son's family again. We started by reviewing what I was seeing on my Simrad then we set up where I saw a couple fish and showed them how to deploy the baits and how to reel in the fish. We were all good so we went looking for Stripers. I found the remnants of a school so we set up on them and popped a few Stripers then caught about 6 or 8 Catfish. After hooking up with the catfish I knew the Stripers had moved on and so did we. As I was taking off Abby saw some Stripers spraying on the other side of the flat I was working so we headed that direction. I stopped about 150 yards before the school so I would not spook them. We put the baits out as I was closing the gap towards the school. Next thing I knew all of our rods starting bending over and the game was on. Abby was hooked up in the rear of the boat with her drag screaming so I netted 3 or 4 other Stripers while she battled her fish. Once I netted her fish we had to scramble to get the fish off of the hooks and rebait our rods. As we put them down they would hook up and the kids would reel them in. Couldn't get any better than this, kids on board and rods buried in the water. Zeek and Robert were trying to keep up with taking the fish off of the hooks while I baited hooks and netted fish. The two screenshots below I popped in the middle of all of the action. Notice how many fish were on my side scan page. Also notice how I was using my Navionics card with highlighted depth ranges. I was staying right on the break where the blue and white shades meet. The waypoints are where we were intersecting the school. Is that cool or what? Back to fishing. We lost the school temporarily but I located it two more times and we spanked the Stripers. Sweet thing was the kids were doing great and Loving it! As all good things go it finally petered out and we had to go catch bait. We caught about 125 more and set up in a couple different areas. The last area we hit we had some hogs hooked up but could not get them in. Depressing but overshadowed by all the fun we had this morning. Ended up being a great day that we all will remember for a long time. Hope Robert can remember some of the tricks I showed him today so he can take his wife back out and put her on some nice Stripers.
And Yes, there are still Stripers in Lake Anna!

Friday, August 14, 2015

A few nice Stripers

 Scott, Chris and AJ


Jason, Bryan, Mike and Justin
Si, Lauren, Andy and Chris

These are a few nice fish Tony's clients caught this week.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

A fun morning with the kids

Michael and Anthony
Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 83* and Clear
Today the boys wanted to go tubing so DP and I took the boys out for a couple hours this morning.
We got on the water about 6, drove around for about 20 minutes looking for bait, saw a school, threw the net and caught 200 in one cast. We looked for about 15 minutes for Stripers but everywhere I went there were boats so I decided to go somewhere where it was peaceful. We caught fish for two two hours straight then took the boys tubing for an hour before getting off the water around 10. The boys are holding up a couple they caught together.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

A fun Saturday morning on the lake

John, Ally, John and Jeff
Sunny and Pleasant, Water Temperature 85* and Clear
Tony and I caught bait early and picked our clients up at 6 at High Point. I set up over 35 foot flats early and we started catching fish within the first 5 minutes of the morning. We were not on schools but were targeting small pods of Stripers. We caught fish at a rate of about 1 every 5 minutes or so. Before we knew it we were getting low on bait so we went and caught 150 more and headed down lake away from the boat traffic. We looked for quite awhile until I decided to set up in an area that was opposite of what we had been doing. We had looked for fish and not seen large schools so I told the guys lets do something Bass Ackwards. We set our baits out and immediately John hooked up with a hog. The rod was doubled over and everyone was yelling at him to get it out of the holder. after 8 to 10 seconds he still did not have the rod out and the fish was pulling drag and had gone under the boat and was heading uplake. As things happened, John never got the rod out and the fish broke the line off on the bottom of the boat. We continued to work the area and popped a few nice fish there. Fishing was not great today but we all had a lot of fun together. I lost count of how many fish we caught but I think it was around 30. If only John could have got that rod out of the holder!!!!!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Rhett Wade and Sons

Cloudy and rainy, Water Temperature 85* and clear
I have been on vacation for a few days so today was my first day back in a while. Woke up to rain but had to go out and catch bait. Picked the guys up at 6 and headed out. Saw some nice schools of bait so I threw and topped my tanks off so I would not have to later. Today I never saw any decent schools, just fish scattered everywhere. We sat up in a few areas where the fish were the densest and caught about 25 Stripers this morning, only eight being keepers. I guess that was not bad for a rainy, cold front kind of day. When I got back home around noon it was only 66* and still raining. Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Some of Tony's recents clients catches

 Eric and Cody

 Ashley and Lucus

 Mike and Carrol


Sunday, August 02, 2015

Greentop Sporting Goods Sale August 6th thru 16th

Greentop is having a great sale coming up soon that you should not miss. In addition to great pricing on many items on Saturday, August 15th Mark Sullivan from Navico will be at Greentop giving seminars about Lowrance and Simrad products. In addition to Mark Pro Staffers Anthony Hicks and myself Jim Hemby will be there to assist you in getting the most out of your Depth Finders. We can help you fine tune you Lowrance or Simrad to the body of water you fish and answer any "How do I" questions you may have. I will also have my screenshots that you see on my journal and facebook pages there. We will be able to help you with setting up your pages to look like mine and discuss in detail what you are looking at on the screen shots. Take advantage of this special Greentop event to learn about the Best Depth Finders on the market. For more information about the event go to or call 804 550 2188 and press options 5 then 2 for the electronics department.