Summer Fishing Report and Advice Thread

I had made plans to go cobia fishing on opening day with IAmVTFish and those plans got screwed up because of some things back home. Things calmed down a bit this week, and I got a call from Captain Zack Hoffman (www.SaltTreatedFishing.Com) about joining him for a day on the water. Despite a ton of reasons not to go, the chance to put my stepson on his first trophy fish with a top notch guide like Captain Hoffman was too much to resist. Into the car we went for the long trip to Seaford, VA.

We sight-casted live eels, sluggos in eel color, and Bowed Up Lures bucktails as we cruised around the mouth of the York River. After the kiddo released a short cobia, he got hooked up to the fish of a lifetime. After a long fight on relatively light spinning tackle, the kiddo had a 59 inch (28 1/2 inch girth) trophy cobia. She was kept for the dinner table. Shortly afterward, I hooked into a similar sized fish and was fortunate enough to hold the fish up with the kiddo's and then release it. The entire fight on my fish was captured via drone video. I also caught a short.

If you are looking to try cobia fishing and want a great chance to catch a fish of a lifetime while still being able to see the shoreline, give Captain Zack a call. He has my highest recommendation.

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Well done, Mr. French. I'm glad you got to go with the pro, my struggles have been chronicled already in the other thread. A big boat, captain well seasoned, getting to sight fish instead of chumming, and having the mobility of not being anchored...priceless. Really glad Andy got his thrill, and I know it thrilled you as well. Hopefully, we'll be able to get together later this month.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Working on dates now. I am going to give you a call shortly to touch base. I have some more intel for you.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

That's one of the coolest shots I've ever seen in these threads French. Grats on killing it on the water!

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Thanks! The mate used a drone and filmed me fighting my fish on Facebook Live. I am working on how to transfer the file over to Youtube.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Jesus, didn't even post the money shot.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

little stiff in the hips and a little too much bend in your torso french. haha

slabs. absolute slabs.

Dayum.
Congrats!

Toads

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Whoever changed that picture, thank you! I don't know why I can't get the images from Imgur to work!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

You're welcome. Imgur is providing BBcode markup, which doesn't work here. You need actual HTML (click on "Edit" on the post to see how I did it).

Thank You!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Those are beautiful fish, glad you had fun. Hope the step son did as well. That kind of fish can get you hooked on fishing...

That kind of fish will send you to the chiropractor!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My right arm is seized up!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Sweet job French! Nice fish. Like the drone idea!

Where is Lawson?!

The facebook live version of the drone video has audio, but jumps and skips around a bit. Here is the raw footage (doesn't have audio) from the drone. You can see the fish tear through the next and take off, so I had to start from scratch and bring it back a second time.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

If you need help up in NOVA frying up that cobia you lemme know

Keep calm, Gobble on

Here is the audio with the Kiddo working on his trophy.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Come on folks- who is catching? Don't be stingy! :)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Killed the smallies on the upper James above Lynchburg this weekend even caught a few large largemouths to surprise us top water all the way to tubes worked well but in the end the yum dinger 4 inch worm kicked ass as it usually does no matter how you hook it. Ended up at 74 bass on the day

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Looks like a blast. As someone who hasn't bass fished with spin/bait cast gear in years (fly fishing only these days for me), can you offer any general advice on how you rig and fish that worm? I have some friends looking to catch some bass on traditional tackle and I'd like to show them this technique.

Thanks for sharing this post. Nice fish.

I'll post a picture tomorrow when I get off work to explain but simply put everyone has their own method to rigging a worm some use the Texas rig, some like it wacky rigged and I personally use 1/8-3/16 swim bait usually 5/0 or 4/0 depending on worm length. It all depends purely on water conditions with a worm for example on Sunday we caught most of our fish just dead sticking the worms and my friend who goes with us was Texas rigging his worms and they bit his just as often as mine with a swim bait I've personally never tried wacky rigging but I know people who swear by it. Dead sticking you can use and setup but if the waters stained or a tad muddy and you need to keep it moving I prefer the swimbait hook to give it a nice wiggle while you retrieve it and if he's there he'll bite it. Also I've stopped using yamamoto senkos they're 7$ a bag here so I switched to yum dingers which is the same thing different brand but only 3$ a bag and they last just as long if not longer with the same results. Best color I've found is watermelon with red and black flakes sometimes purple flakes does the trick but I usually go with red dunno why but I know it works. One last thing if you find dead sticking worms is working best bait then is a big tube instead of a worm just throw it at em and let it just sink and watch him suck it right up they can't resist a well placed slow tube.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Excellent! Thanks for the information.

No problem Im happy to help best I can! Once the water gets hot like from now until late september a tubes become deadly in the afternoons when the waters the warmest if youre throwing a buzz bait or even a popper(even a fly popper) its a smart thing to have a worm or tube hooked up so if they chase or look at your popper but dont hit just throw the tube in front of them and dont do anything just let it sink and most likely theyll hit it.
Heres a link to the company I buy my tubes from they do bulk which is nice being im smallmouth fishing atleast once a week all summer spring and fall.
http://www.cabincreekbaits.com/hand-dipped-4-tube-original-salty-critter...

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

pretty work!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Thanks French congrats on the cobia I'm envious of that stuff one day I'll have to put my canoe aside to get back on the bay and give cobia a go!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

French, looking more seriously at getting a setup for surf fishing during the drum run in the fall. I've heard you talk about the Penn Squall 15 a lot. Is the one you use with the star drag?

yes, spooled with 17lb suffix tritanium high vis green line and about 30 feet of 40lb clear mono shock leader. buy lots of extra line. As you learn to cast a conventional reel, you will blow it up a bunch. Also, thumb on the plastic of the spool, not on the line when you throw.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Do I need to buy extra of both the main line and the shock leader?

YES. Buy 1000 yard spools of your main line and keep it with you. As you learn, you will blow it up (and if it knots up, you will have to cut it out and re-spool.) Two spools of shock leader should be fine. I use 40lb Ande for the shock, and 65lb Ande for the bite leader. If you are going to fish off the pier, make sure your main line is high vis green. Your shock line and bite leader should be clear. Most of the guys use 100lb bite leader, but I want sharks to bite off away from my barrel swivel to save my lead. It is also a huge pain to tie a uni knot with 100lb mono.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Going out charter fishing with some guys from my company later this month in Tampa. What is the best way to catch bigger fish? Hook, bait, line, location etc. I suppose all plays a role but I've also been before where all you catch is 6-12 in snapper and mango. You can catch them all day but would like to hook something bigger. Any advice? TIA

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Well it depends on what y'all chartered for whether its inshore or offshore. General thing to catching bigger fish bigger bait, heavier line, bigger hook. Again all depends on what you are targeting and the captain should set you up with the right equipment.

Pass crabs for tarpon. The charter should have everything you need, provided you've told them what you want to catch.

If you're offshore, like someone said below, bigger bait...bigger fish (usually). I've done offshore for snapper, grouper and kings at the mouth of tampa bay (off anna maria) and we caught 20-30 snapper (in less than 2 hours) of various types, most greater than 20". large greenbacks (4 inch or larger) cut in half and free lined over deep structure. let it drop uninhibited. once you get below the small snippy fish at 15 ft, it's all nice snapper and grouper. finger the line to feel sensitive bites. whole greenbacks free lined for kings.

if for tarpon, crabs like someone else said. tarpon are running their ass off right now.

guide should have it all. if you're going inshore for snapper, then the smaller crap is about all you'll get. unless you get into something unusual around a bridge pile (gandy). fishing isn't as good up in the bay though. O2 levels are lower during warmer months.

this guy is one of the best guides in the area. i've been out with him 3 times and i've had to take breaks b/c we were catching so many fish. https://twitter.com/CaptMattErcoli?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eser...

Heading out this morning for second cobia trip of the week. It is TKP week here for me, and hope it brings better luck. Went out this past Tuesday with 3rdGenVTEngr to the York Spit to give them a try. Bait came easily, maybe too easily, and out to the battleground we went. And then we sat, and we sat, and we sat. We saw a couple of the few boats there with us get out the net, but it didn't look like any trophies were coming up and we weren't getting any action at all. We decided to sit through the next tide change and use the last stinking teaspoon of the chum, and it sorta paid off. The other boats gave up and we were the last hangers on, but finally had some activity. 3rd Gen caught a bluefish in the slick and we hooked it up, and a while later, had a fish take it and run a ways, but it got the blue and sent a bare hook back to him. Little bit later, I had a fish take my croaker and run about 50 yards. When I locked down, it came to the surface thrashing. Got a "sorta" look at it, big cobia, but after a really short tussle, it came off the hook, sending it back empty, the story of my short cobia fishing life. I've caught a lot of fish in my life, but those big cobia seem to have my number. 3rdGen had another bluefish on and got it all chewed up, likely a big cow nose ray, but except for the two bluefish, the Spit spit us out.
3rdGen is a good fisherman and I enjoyed the day, and his company. Hopefully, my jinx didn't rub off on him. While the cobia obviously weren't as active for us that day as they have been, we were in a good place, with good bait and chum, and we did have one, and possibly two cobia bites despite our empty fish box. This morning, French is driving down from NOVA to show me how it's done, Hopefully, next post will include a hero shot, and hopefully, 3rdGen will come back later in the summer and help me figure them out.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for the kind words. Not many people can keep it entertaining when sitting anchored in the bay for 6+ hours. I was watching a show on cobia in North Carolina where the host talked about doing a technique for setting the hook similar to what we were doing except he had circle hooks and he recommended a 10 second pause before engaging the drag. Unless the fish is running with it real fast and then he said to engage the drag immediately. Can't wait to get down later in the summer. Best of luck today to you and french

All this Cobia talk makes me wish I wasn't working/living in the Burg still. Bit far away for a weekend of fishing.

Bit far away for a weekend of fishing.

That can't be true. The Burg has that #beachflow. Maybe you just haven't found it yet.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

I just didn't get it done today. IFishVTIAm caught a mess of croaker, perch, and sea mullet/roundheads/whiting while I drove down from NOVA. He had us on the chumming grounds and we had a great slick by 11:30. Two fish almost immediately showed up on the surface of the slick, but went down before I could throw a bucktail. Shortly afterwards a small keeper sized fish popped up and he chased my bucktail to the boat but wouldn't eat it. Then a bigger fish (guessing around 45 pounds) came up the chum slick on top and he chased the bucktail but would not eat.)

We didn't want to fool with eels on a small boats (just two live bait rods) so we ran croakers on the bottom. We had around 10 runs, with about half being sharks and the other half being mysterious fish that crushed the croakers or pulled them off the hook. Only one hookset stuck- oddly enough on a skate. I assume that a bluefish ate most of a croaker and left chunk that the skate swallowed. It wasn't even small cownose sized yet swallowed my 10/0 octopus j hook. I got most of the runs (lucky corner) but just didn't cross the eyes at the right time. IFish had a hard run and he was more patient than me, but it dropped the croaker. I am not sure if they were small fish (our bait came back crushed and whole, so they weren't sharks or blues) or if my technique is just crap, but I didn't deliver the goods today.

Bait was ok. IFish caught a bluefish and hooked a houndfish in the slick on cut bait, and I got a nice mess of threadfin shads that we really didn't need to use as bait. It was a very enjoyable day and great chatting while steadily having things happen to keep from getting bored. I have had the bucktail in hand on the pier and sight fishing for cobia. That was the first that I have seen them on the surface and active while anchored to the chum pot. We talked a bunch of VT football, fishing, and other topics. It was a really good day. I just didn't put the cherry on top.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Couldn't have said it better myself, except for the fact that you forgot to mention the main problem...I'M SNAKEBIT ON COBIA!!!!!
Glad you made it home safely and thanks to you, and 3rdGenVTEngr for your most excellent company and able assistance this week in what is proving to be a tough endeavor. I plan to rest up and try again. Now, to get Hokieflyguy down here to experience the jinx that is me. He'll probably catch a monster on the fly just to show me up. At least I hope so!

Edit: To correct you, French, I saw the back fins and tail of that croaker in the skate's mouth as I cut the line above the hook for you, so that little skate ate the whole magilla.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Wow... didn't think he could fit it down there.

Also, after seeing those cobia up on top in the slick, FlyGuy may have a shot at one. If he joins you, he will need to be VERY diligent looking for fish popping up. I got really lucky spotting those two coming up the slick yesterday.

I am getting some intel from other guys. The guy in the Dark Blue hull boat that circled us a few times- I do actually know that guy. He ended up doing well yesterday (2 keepers.)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Say when.....

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I'll be in touch. Have company this week and half of the next. I should be recovered by then.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

He isn't kidding. He put in work. I was princess fishing and I am sore today.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Okay so I'm looking for advice here my significant other wants to take me to Canada or wherever there is remote high high class smallie fishing next year for our vacation, money is being saved up I may have access to a bass boat to bring with me but I'd be curious if anyone has any suggestions or reccomendstions preferably looking for a lakeside cabin any help is greatly appreciated!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I changed up things today. I met up with two friends from Montgomery County, MD and headed to Bill Burton State Park on the Choptank River. Virginia anglers with a Virginia Saltwater license can fish for free on the Maryland side of the Chesapeake Bay, provided they have proof that they have signed up for Maryland's free fishing registry.

Our target was to fill the cooler with large white perch for a future fish fry. Using a sibiki and bottom rigs tipped with fresh grass shrimp, we caught well over 150 white perch. We threw back anything under 7 inches long and kept the rest of the tasty panfish. The heat was a bit much on the concrete pier, so I called it a day around 5:30PM. The drive back was an abomination thanks to the folks trying to cross the Bay Bridge on their way home from the Delaware and Ocean City beaches.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Just a note to report that my friend and New River fishing guide Jim Richmond said that there has been an unusually early popping bug bite on the New River this June. They killed 'em last week on poppers, and the "specially" rigged sinking worm rig I have mentioned before. Stupifying heat down this way this week, but I'm going to look for some flounder tomorrow morning before it gets too hot to exist outdoors.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for this info. I may make an overnight camping trip to the New here soon

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

They did really well on Sneaky Pete's and small pencil poppers. Lot of sunfish and rockies in the mix. Several smallmouth in the 15-16" range, one 18, and one Jim called a "monster" that broke off.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Gurglers, my favorite fly, should work well then.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Was just getting on here to post the same about the topwater bite - although I have been using skitter props. Throwing them close to structure isn't that important, but big long pauses are crucial. Once the lure hits the water, make sure to let the rings dissipate. I'm always eager to see if the topwater bite is working, and it has been this past few days.

Numbers are picking up for us, and I think we have caught a 16" or better on 4 of our previous 5 trips. Going to try that special rig on our next float, IfishVTIam.

Throw it with confidence and give it a chance. It isn't as fun as topwater bites, but its productivity, when properly rigged and presented, will impress you. Keep it up even when the smaller fish are worrying you to death. Just fish it where you know a big fish will be. You'll see!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So I go fishing up in Michigan for Largemouth and Walleye and every year. When we are cleaning the largies they are stuffed with crawfish. I tried some crawfish jigs this year but barely had a bite. Any tips on how to fish a crawfish lure so I can slay them next year?

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Can't speak for northern climes, but when I was fishing jigs, we used fairly sparsely tied jigs with Zoom plastic trailers, fished dead on the bottom, with short hops back on the retrieve. We later caught the same fish on tubes, fished the same way. This was on moving water, primarily, and fishing for smallmouth, but can't see why they wouldn't work for largemouth. We steered clear of the over sized jigs, and opted for neutral colors in clear water, like green pumpkin and brown. Jig and pig, and apparently tubes, seem to be evocative of crawfish. Jigs that look just like crawfish look really good, but have never worked for me. Check the color of the crawfish where you're fishing and match the color combination as best you can. If your jigs are too bulky, get out the scissors and trim them down to more look like the profile you're trying to evoke. Sometimes, they like the jig to swim a little, but you need a lot of bottom contact to get the best chance, in my experience. Good luck.

Edit: Just to add, don't be afraid to trim the Zoom tail, either. We'd split between the two tails up to the pad, then we'd trim the pad from the back to front, to slim the width profile. Made it wigglier, if you will. I know...TMI.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We were doing pretty well with the largemouth on the tube jigs. There was just some debate about how to fish the crawfish clones. I had it as a wacky rig and tried to bounce it across the bottom, but wasn't having much luck, only had a few nibbles with one claw taken off the jig. Also consensus was drag it "backwards" with the claws away from the line and hooked through the tail/body. I think I will look into some weedless hooks and some tube jigs about the same color as the crawfish for next year.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Google up a crawfish trying to escape a bass and what you will see is that a crawfish swims backward, with its claws tight in together and its tail providing the locomotion. It can crawl forward well enough, but to swim and escape, it is always backwards, hence the rigging of a jig and pig. Twin tails always pointing away from the line.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I only get out fishing a few times a year and had to look up the jig and pig, but it looks really effective especially where we fish in Michigan each year. Should have been on this thread two weeks ago...

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

If you have a hard bottom try a football head jig with a craw trailer. The way the jig is made the hook tends to stay up and the trailer presents itself like a crawfish pretty well. I like to just drag them along the bottom with a slow sweep of the rod then reel in your slack on the pause. Let the fish tell you what they want. If the bottom is clear, lose the weed guard to make hookups easier.

Messing around the Gwynn Island bridge this morning trying in vain to get a keeper flounder. Saw one of the cooler boats I've seen in a while. A wooden boat in the low, open workboat style, beautifully kept and painted. Name of the boat in large maroon letters was "HOKIE HAVEN'', with a VT decal near the stern. I hollered at 'em "Go Hokies" and they smiled and waved, but didn't offer me a ride or a closer look, but it was a truly cool boat. Saw the boat in Milford Haven, perhaps part of the reason for the moniker.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I've seen that boat before.

Did you catch anything?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Undersized flounder, croaker and a blowfish. Not the best day. Hot as Hades, no drift. Fishing with an old client, so we had fun just catching up, then went to Merrior for Rappahannock oysters and Pinot Noir to finish the day. No complaints from either of us, though.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

glad you finished strong!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Took the kids out to Bokicket/Wadmalaw Creek area with a local guide. Caught at least 3 Whiting, 2 lady fish, 3 rays and a flounder. Had a bunch of big bites but we lost them, one shoved bait fish all the way up to the lead! Unfortunately none keepers but this was more about getting buy-in on fishing for the future.... here is the flounder my youngest caught. All had a great time and I can recommend Captain Harry, especially with kids.

Taking your kids fishing when they are young enough to want help casting is one one of the most under-appreciated things in life. I gave you a leg, but your and his memories are worth infinitely more. Hope I'm able to go over-board with grand-kids someday. Well done!!

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Thanks! All 3 kids cast by themselves, but I gotta say the little guy in the pic above is by far the best caster, he is a natural. Even our guide was impressed, they could cast about the same distance, but the guide was more accurate! It was a fun time by all, even Grandma came along, she caught a whiting and a ladyfish and a big smile...

I haven't posted in a few weeks so here goes. Been slammed with trips for everything. Snakeheads, smallmouth, stripers on the Bay, casting lessons for newbies and of course time spent on the "real job." Also finishing up some legit housework installing a bar.

Snakeheads: They are EVERYWHERE on Potomac from Fort Belvoir south. They are very picky, much more so than previous years, and clients have not landed one, however, I have not cast to them. My clients have missed at least a few. Not to come across cocky, but none of them can cast as accurately as I can or fly fish exactly how I instruct when needed for the money shot. Frustrating as a guide but that's how it works. If I took the time to go to my spots, I'm sure I could stick a few despite their reluctance to eat. It may be time to buy a little cross bow and just start sniping them out of my kayak for dinner. They are easy pickings sleeping in the lilly pads.

Smallmouth: The James in RVA is finally down to normal levels. I've been out a few times for short one hour sessions. Not a single smallmouth, seeing lots of bait and gar. This river seems like it is cursed in town. I blame Dominion, but that gets into the politics realm. I hope the fish are there and for some reason not hitting my top fly that works 93% of the time, but I'm concerned for my guiding season. Upstream of RVA above Bremo Bluff (see Dominion reference) I'm getting solid reports. Perhaps some others can chime in.

The Bay: It's just about to be full on summer fishing with schoolie stripers, croaker, some nice trout here and there and the occasional redfish. The reds will get better and better as the summer goes on. This is going to be a great season on the Bay for a variety of fish and size, I can just tell, but its a few weeks delayed in getting here. Lots of fun fishing for clients on my 6 weight tossing a 250 grain sinking line and Chicken on a Chain Clouser. They love it!

A repeat client of mine from the Northern Neck has caught the fly fishing bug from a friend of hers who runs tournaments down in the Keys and is very involved in the fly fishing world. I've taught this client to cast this spring for an upcoming tournament in Louisiana. She commissioned me to tie flies for her and her friends for the trip. As a guide I've learned the joy of catching fish through clients near and far, and nothing better than seeing your flies stuck in the mouth of a big ass redfish. The book on Louisiana is you fish it in the winter for the best fishing, but it is amazing year round as the photos prove. Redfish are my favorite, and I'll admit I've got a strong hankering to leave RVA for a few years and reside in NOLA to totally ruin myself on the best redfish fishery in the world. I've visited some amazing fishing spots around the US and the Louisiana coast is truly epic. Go if you have never been. I was totally stoked she sent me all of these photos this evening of her trip and using my flies.

Tomorrow I am guiding a well known individual on this board. Hopefully I'll have some good fish porn to share and see if anyone knows who it is.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Those are big dang fish to catch with a fly rod.

Make sure you have a big couch or an extra room if you go to NOLA to ruin yourself. Those are some mighty fine reds!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Damn, another N'necker using a fly pole. Don't see much of that. Although I never could get into fishing the salt while I lived there, always went to the mountains for trout.

My place is also on the NN, on beach creek.. been moving over to fly more and more.

.
"Step on a crack, break Miami's bak"

- ThatOneGuy

Beach Creek, that's getting out in the middle of no where Lancaster County.

exactly. people still wave to you when you pass them on the road.

.
"Step on a crack, break Miami's bak"

- ThatOneGuy

Mother Nature must hate us who like to smallie fish the James I can't catch a nice trip the last few weeks water levels are all messed up regardless I'm going on a stretch above scottsville which stretch I dunno will see in the morning hoping they'll still chase crankbaits and spinners in the muddy water if not I'll catch a buzz

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

That's my fishing motto, catch a fish or catch a buzz, either way it's a good day.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

And one is guaranteed.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Spent the week down in Beaufort, NC. Went out to Cape Lookout twice to troll for bluefish, my grandad's favorite thing to do. Caught four nice 2 pound blues the first time. Usually, we get around 10 a trip. Smaller 13-14" bluefish were blitzing the surface and of course didn't bring a spinning reel to throw a jig at them. We trolled over them and didn't catch anything. Even slower the second time out only catching two. My girlfriend was down for those couple trips at the beginning of the week but wanted to go out Tuesday morning before she left. I got to take out the boat (17' skiff) for the first time without my dad or grandad which was pretty cool. Hit a spot on the marsh and I was able to catch a keeper speckled trout on 3" gulp pogy in the 30 minutes we were fishing.

My dad and I went out Thursday with a local guide, Chris Kimrey (Mount Maker Charters), super nice guy, can do any kind of fishing you want to from Red drum/speckled trout in the marsh to mahi/tuna on the ocean. We fished popping corks with 3" gulp shrimp on a couple marsh points. I was able to catch a 20" red drum on the popping cork. Caught another one on cut mullet that the guide threw out to the side. We ended by jigging around docks and the port wall with a 4" gulp shrimp where I managed to catch a 15" flounder. More importantly, I learned how to fish the tides and some spots to go that I hadn't before. Also, got some info for IFishVTIam on the cobia hooking issue from the guide.

My dad and I went out on Saturday with 18 mph winds to try out our new knowledge. I managed to catch a 20.5" red drum on popping cork right about at high tide. We kept grinding and managed to catch a 17" drum on cut mullet later. Also, a couple of pinfish managed to get hooked on a 2/0 circle hook that were trying to eat the cut mullet which was humorous. It felt good to be able to replicate the success in tougher conditions. Will try and post some pictures in a bit.

Cape Lookout is a special place. Glad you had success

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

That's for sure. Fish are around it during every season. If I put more effort into fly fishing, I will be sure to contact you about getting on the False Albacore run.

hook the pinfish on another rig and chunk it out there...probably the best big trout bait there is

I tried that the second time I caught one. It was near the end of the trip and the rods I had on the boat weren't too friendly to the idea of throwing a pinfish more than 20 feet. Another case of needing my medium heavy rod on the boat.

Nice pictures, and thanks for the cobia info. Hopefully, the wind and waves will calm down soon so I can try out the various (sometimes conflicting) techniques you and French have gleaned from the pros.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Friday I fished with VT's very own Augie Conte. Augie's father Tony is a repeat client of mine and Augie joined us on a kayaking float trip on the South Fork of the Shenandoah, which has been on fire. It was hot out and the morning report said 25% chance of T-storms. The first three miles of the float were nice and sunny and we got several fish on streamers and poppers. A huge storm rolled in right around the mid point of the float and we ate lunch in the rain under some trees. It didn't stop for a solid 45 minutes. We ended up just sitting in the river in the rain, the water was warmer than the air at that point. As soon as it stopped I was able to put Augie on one of my favorite holes and he immediately pulled five or six smallmouth out of it. Then suddenly the water started turning brown. All of the water from the storm was emptying into the river above us. It was literally a wall of brown water flowing down the river. I have never seen anything like it in 20 years of fishing. We hopped back in the yaks and floated the rest of the trip staying in front of the "mud flood" until we hit another huge creek pouring mud into the river. The fishing slowly got worse and worse as the water rose and discolored. Sucks that the weather didn't fully cooperate, but we had a good trip none the less. Had the weather held out, they would have caught ALOT of fish. Augie is a great kid and had a lot of fun getting to know him and of course talking Hokie football. Hope he gets a shot at the NFL.

I've got a video of the mud flowing into the river on my instagram account, @knotthereelworld, if you want to check it out.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

My first attempt at using IMGUR, and importing an image. I think it worked! I started taking my 4 oldest kids, ranging in ages from 18 months-7 years old fishing early this season. We have accumulated 4 rod/reel combo sets, a few tackle boxes, a mechanical scale and many replacement lures. We cast out in local freshwater ponds (East Texas), using bloodworms, night crawlers, chicken liver and gulf bait shrimp. This is a photo of me with one of my daughters, her largest small-mouth to date, a 2-1/2 lb (17") beauty. Cheers!

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

Good for her and you for taking the kids, but that is a large mouth bass.

Wow...I believe you're right, good friend. This entire time I had the fish pegged all wrong. Comparing this image with others online, it does appear to be a largemouth. Thanks for the education!

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

Congrats for getting your daughter out and enjoying fishing. As for the fish, well, you are in Texas, and as any Texan will tell you, everything is bigger in Texas, especially the mouths.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

VTIamFish and I gave cobia a try again yesterday . I didn't have high expectations because the Cobia Bowl tournament was this weekend and 175 boats only weighed 38 fish. Between the pressure, and stained water (the wind was bad on Friday and Saturday) didn't make me feel good about our chances.

Still, I enjoy fishing with Fish, and Susie let me make the trip. I got to Mathews at 10:00AM and met Fish at Town Point Landing. He had a half dozen eels, 4 bags of chum, and about 15 croakers in the live well ready to go. We picked a spot and made our way to set up the chum slick.

On incoming tide, everything looked perfect. We had calm seas, a nice chum slick, and tons of life. First, three large houndfish started eating our chum and stayed around all day. Before long, threadfin herring stacked up underneath the boat by the hundreds. Every drop of the sibiki rig brought up three greenbacks or more. Once the chum was going, we drifted small pieces of cut herring into the slick and picked up small bluefish. However, the cobia were MIA.

When the tide started going out, we thought we were set up even better, with the chum heading off the structure into the channel. Unfortunately, despite beautiful skies, the wind kicked up to about 15-20 out of the north east. Essentially, our boat was being pointed opposite of our slick. We re-positioned our gear in the boat, but without the benefit of rod holders, we had to cut back on the rods in the spread to fish in the slick.

I kept dropping down my sibiki and caught two sea mullet on a naked sibiki rig. On a whim, I started tipping it with fishbites and suddenly the action was hot and heavy. I released a half dozen with two fish in the 12-13 inch range and decided to call a friend to see if he wanted me to keep some for him. He said he had to think about it, and then called back and said enthusiastically yes!

Despite the rough conditions (my head is spinning today) we decided to keep two live baits in the slick and target sea mullet. The average size fish seemed to get smaller as the day went on, but we managed to fill a 20lb ice bag and a quarter of a second bag with nice healthy sea mullets. Fish also caught a couple of sharks, which allowed me to show off all the good and not so good shark-handling habits I have acquired over my years of drum fishing on the OBX piers.

View post on imgur.com

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Glad it was a productive day fishing even if it wasn't the targeted fish. Nothing is worse than getting skunked.

This time of year in the Bay, getting skunked is hard to do, but when it comes to cobia...well, I'm just snakebit. Luckily, I got to spend the day with a great companion, good fisherman, and a virtual font of football knowledge, so the day was going to be a good one regardless. The number of whiting we caught was ridiculous, and made for a fun distraction as the critters gnawed our live baits to the head and the hound fish, while gluttonous freeloaders, were entertaining and acrobatic. I even had an osprey sneak attack a threadfin on a float rig, but luckily got it away from him before he, or I, had to deal with a hooked raptor. Even a tough day on the water is worth the effort, though, and I look forward to the next one.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Having caught a cormorant once with a broken back rebel lure, I still have nightmares about birds and fishing.

Yeah, never hooked a cormorant, but I have had to retrieve and release two seagulls while pier fishing. They just don't understand that you want to help them. Nasty dispositions and a beak to avoid. Also screwed up in a juvenile moment while walleye fishing as a relative youth, and play cast at a snow goose as it flew by...huge mistake and stooooopid to the nth degree. I led it just right, though and it flew through my line and took it with him. All of it. I was mortified, to say the least, but even more so when I heard a voice behind me asking if I felt like a dumb ass. Didn't know anyone was around and that made it even more embarrassing, not to mention the needless harm to one of God's creatures and all that. I admitted readily to my asshattery and expressed extreme remorse. The fellow then said that my genuine remorse was good enough for him to give me a lecture and a pass on the numerous wildlife violations I had committed, at least one of which was a federal crime. He then said he was glad I wasn't flippant or dismissive of the serious nature of my idiocy, since he was an off duty game warden and he wanted to get on with his fishing instead of writing me up, or even arresting me, which was an option in the situation. I didn't get a bite that day at Alvarado, but learned a life lesson I wish I'd been mature enough not to have to learn. As for the goose, I don't know. He had a smallish hook in his wing and a couple of hundred yards of 8lb test trailing behind as he headed down stream, but even in the best case scenario, I was a fool and he paid for it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

True story...when I lived in rural Louisiana (circa 1980) there was a state warden who lived in a nearby small development (maybe a dozen houses) that backed up to a soybean field. Some neighborhood kids had been out shooting robins in the bean field during the winter migration. They saw the warden and asked, "what is the limit on robins?"

His response, "twelve".

Follow up. The state finally fired him for never having written a ticket in the many years he was a warden. Just used the state truck to drive back and forth to his pepper/hot sauce operation.

I went to Cherry Grove beach and got skunked. I tried Sabiki rigs tipped with bloodworms on the pier and a fish finder rig with cut bait in the surf. Nada. The water was rough and really brown, and no one around me was catching anything. Oh well.

Between coming back from the beach and tagging along to my wife's conference in WV, I floated the New last Friday and had good luck with squarebill cranks, Flukes, and the new Whopper Plopper 110. None over 16, but good numbers. I think I lost a really nice one on the WP 110, but it was getting dark and I only got a short glimpse.

Up in Martinsburg, WV I have been going to a state park that has a small 10 acre pond. I brought only a handful of lures, but none that can handle the intense amount of grass in the pond. So I whipped out my 5 wt and caught some decent bass on a popper, throwing it in the pockets of water surrounded by grass.

That's a hoss of a bass for a 5 weight. Bet that was fun.

In case anyone hasn't realized yet, the New River is on fire right now when water is in between 2.7-3.1.

"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." -Ron Swanson

I went to my first Virginia Tech bowl game while I was in the womb.

James river was awful last weekend was disappointing I'll be going out into the mobjack this weekend then will try another smallie trip this weekend hoping for better conditions and fishing

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

hokienator, I have been hearing of some nice drum caught in the Mobjack, some good sized croaker in the York, and a bunch of spot over in the "Mudhole" at the mouth of the Piankatank. Wish I could tell you exactly where that Mudhole is, but so far even the few locals I've asked don't know. Still no first hand reports of decent flounder or redfish, but plenty of bluefish around and some spanish mackerel are showing up out there past the York Spit.
Oh, and everybody, even up the East River, is talking about the sharks. Lotsa sharks. Some of them are dogfish, others are the no can keep kind, but one of my neighbors grilled a sand shark last weekend and is fired up about more. I have continued to load up on croaker in the East, just upstream from where Put In Creek enters, and also just off of Williams wharf, but size is not great.
Let us know how it goes for you. Take plenty of fluids and watch for da man, it'll be hot and busy on the water this weekend.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yup got my license and my throw ring and a bunch new life jackets ready gonna go for some croaker or spot doubt they're hear yet so mostly croaker to have a fish fry but I may try a shark rig if I get a nice bait sized croaker I've never had luck on cut bait for the sharks, all I've got is a 16 foot alumacraft John boat with a shade tarp so I can't get out too far without getting beaten up by thecsea but I may try a stealthy run up out the east then around to the mouth of the north for some casting in the grass flats with jigs just to see I'd be interested in some bluefish but I presume they're further out than I can safely run, it's been atleast 6-7 years since I last saw a bluefish caught in the mobjack
Edit: I've been once with a captain out of the piankatank and he put us in the "mud hole" , never caught so many big spot but that was years ago I wouldn't know how to find it anymore

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yer good to go, then. Plenty of croaker in the East, with some roundheaded kingfish whiting sea mullet thrown in here and there. Been doing really well on bloodworm fishbites for all of the bottom stuff, with regular light two hook bottom rigs. The blues I've caught have been from Williams Wharf out, but I have caught them in the grass there at the mouth of the North when using live peanut bunkers under popping corks trying in vain to catch trout. I feel ya on the boat size, too. My Scout is 18-1/2 ft, the biggest boat I've ever owned. Around here, it qualifies as a dinghy. I don't venture over to the E Shore, but I can do stuff out a few miles on a good day. Wind and water changes in a skinny New York minnit around here, so it's seldom worth going farther than you want to get beat up coming back if it gets up. Good luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Dont sell the old Scout short! It handled that rough stuff well.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

So you're saying I can fish for blues just like I do for stripers with a tiny hook in the back of a nice sized menhaden? I usually live line them with small hooks on light rod and let em swim freely no cork then watch em go running then set the hook and boom striper I've caught quite a few doing that in the summer afternoons plus cast netting a bunch of bait is easy peasy

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yeah, if they're around, they'll hit them. You don't need a cork, but it keeps the bait out of the grass. As for cast netting a bunch of bait being easy peasy, not when you're a lima bean thrower like me. The bait schools are getting more wary every day from being cast on, and having to avoid diving birds and marauding schools of small blues and baby trout.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If you're having issues getting bait sized menhaden I've always found stalking creeks up river to be productive as they're up in shallower water and usually a few schools in every creek, been doing a cast net for bait since I was wee little so it's etched in me we have a nice pier at our place so I tend to stalk the pier on moving tides and wait for them to swim by then sneakily get enough for bait then put the rest back I'm excited to try and go for the blues and sharks tomorrow thankyou for the info, will try live lining minnows in the grass flats if I can get bait

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

No, I was being hyperbolic there. When I put my mind to it and am willing to spend the time chasing and throwing, I do come up with them. You are right, they're easy to find up the creeks and in the shallows, especially before the wind gets up. Still and all, my net casting skills haven't improved much since I first learned, in '88. Not enough practice is one thing. A couple of iffy shoulders is another. Eventually even my lima bean will land on a couple hundred of 'em and that's that. Then, getting them out of the net and into the livewell before they die...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Every fishing excursion of mine has sucked this year!

Not me:

But I'm headed there next month! BTW this musky is 48 1/2" and the guy was fishing for smallies with 10# test and medium bass rod.

Where is Lawson?!

Headed to Claytor with the family for the next three days. Hopefully I will catch something fishy.

Tough time of year to hit Claytor, with the heat and increased boating traffic from the weekend. My "go to" spots are usually productive in the late fall to late spring. One thing you might try is trolling crankbaits above and below the RR trestle in the upper part of the lake below Allisonia. If you have a depth finder, stay in the deeper water and just troll up and down at slow speed. This time of year, you could hook just about anything doing that, but walleye would be the targeted species, with channel cats also being in play. I like walleye lures, but any small crankbait would do. You could also try vertically jigging the deep water upstream and around the cave that is just upstream from Doc Brown's house in the S curve. I would use a quarter oz jig tipped with minnows. While better in the cooler months, walleye, big catfish (both channel and flathead), muskies and sometimes yellow perch are in there. Blade baits like Silver Buddies will also work, but you have to get to the bottom and avoid the couple of deep water log jams that are usually in the hole. Also watch out for "lay lines", the local parlayance for trot lines, which are seldom marked and usually not legal. I would definitely spend some time trolling the trestle area, though. For some reason, big walleye hang out there in the summer and trolling will catch 'em. Good luck, watch out for jet ski idiots, and say a big Hokie Hi to Bud if you see him.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Well no fishing trip due to boat mechanical issues looks like the carborator this time oh well so just spent the day crabbing from shore with chicken wings and watching other people fish but actually caught a baby flounder in one of our pots so I atleast "caught" something

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Hope the crabs treat you better than the boat did. As for the flounder, I've actually caught smaller on Gulp. Just a couple more inches and you could be claiming the local claim for keeping littluns. "There's legal, then there's DOCK legal". Too bad the Southwind isn't open, I'd be glad to buy you a pint to celebrate the 4th.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Was at the southwind Saturday night never been there before but man what an awesome spot they had a killer blues band in there too been in Mathews for decades never known that place was there! The crabs were good hoping to have the boat fixed for another trip this summer if I can find the time ran old gas with water in if yearssssscago without knowing and since then I've had countless issues with this Honda outboard

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

The Southwind has been there almost 15 years now. They have recently expanded their beer tap offerings and you can even get a growler there now. They have music every other Sat. night, and a Thursday night jam every week. I used to play most Thursdays when I first moved here, have fallen off the last couple of years. Nice folks, good food.
Too bad about the Honda. I know a local guy who can fix about any engine if you need a local reference. Kenney is extremely reasonable, price-wise, and so far has been able to deal with anything I've thrown at him.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

what do you play?

Harp and a little (very) fiddle.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

cool!

I was down in Deltaville this weekend at my buddy's place. They have gotten a dock light this year and fished at that for both nights for an hour or so. I caught a 12" striper on my first cast on a a gulp swimming mullet which was pretty cool. Also was my first striper I've ever caught. Managed to catch a 13.5" flounder and a 14.5" striper the first night. The second night I fished and saw more stripers feeding at the light but didn't get anything.

Glad you got down and got to fish the lights. The best lights are the ones left on night after night. Apparently, the baitfish get accustomed to lights and the predators follow. Stripers and trout are apparently the ones who show the most, and not all of them will be small if there's enough water at the dock. One of my buddies up the Piankatank does well with his fly rod at night on his light. He got a bunch of big white perch earlier this year doing that, and routinely gets keeper stripers doing that.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm pretty sure the light is left on most every night. I might get a few topwaters and try those next time since there was more activity feeding on top the second night when I didn't get a bite. I've been looking at the charts to see where some good flats fishing spots were on the Piankatank for when I get my 14' jon boat in mid-July.

have thought about getting dock lights. Any recommendations on where to get them?

.
"Step on a crack, break Miami's bak"

- ThatOneGuy

Google it up, mon. Seriously, I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish and whether or not you have enough water to make an investment advisable. "Green lights" are a little pricey, and my local friends say that this is the way to go, but I have also caught fish under a sodium light left on every night. Since you'd rather be at the "Rivah", can I assume you're in the Deltaville area and on the Rapp or the 'tank with so many of my Charlottesville friends? A couple of them have dock lights, but none have green lights. Amazon has a variety, but there are likely better deals out there with some research. I'm pretty sure that you could get them from West Marine, but like most things there, they'll be more expensive. One of my fishing friends lives on Gwynn's, and he said some guys last week caught a 36" cobia under a dock light, but he also recommended the green light thing. Good luck and let us know what you end up with.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have researched it in the past, and came to the conclusion that you can DIY green lights... However if they really need to be left on permanently then I would lean toward a commercial product.

I guess the question should have been "any recommendations on underwater dock lights that can be left on indefinitely?"

.
"Step on a crack, break Miami's bak"

- ThatOneGuy

some lights may work better than others but any bright lights work. not sure why they need to be on all the time in a coastal area when fish are moving with the tides. friend of mine had a short pier on galveston island. we used to take a couple of portable spot lights and aim them at the water. took no more than 30 minutes to start attracting trout.

Your point is well taken about tides and all, but the consensus of dock lighters I've run into say they do better around those lights that are usually on. While the predators may come and go with the tide, a lot of baitfish don't wander too far, and supposedly get accustomed to the lights. And I do keep hearing that the green lights are the better of the two, but I'll have to defer to those who have docks and lights and such.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

In about a week I'm headed 26 miles off of Ocean Ilse chasing King and Spanish, hopefully won't catch just heartache this year

Keep calm, Gobble on

How did you fare?

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Going to be up in the Bethany/Fenwick Island area next week. Fishing any good up there? Recommendations?

.
"Step on a crack, break Miami's bak"

- ThatOneGuy

I have heard about triggerfish up at Cape Henlopen Pier. Surf reports have been quiet. You can't go wrong with throwing a speck rig at Indian River Inlet for snapper bluefish and hickory Shad.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I am in Costa Rica vacationing, on Sunday, a friend and I chartered a boat for the day. It was a captain/crew that we have fished with in the past and I think they are the best in the area. When we met them at the boat, you could tell the crew was in good spirits, the skipper said the conditions were just about perfect for how he likes it (sunny with almost no wind, 2-4 MPH). We steamed out to the spot he likes which took about 45 minutes. At the 1.5 hour mark, they executed the bait and switch to perfection. We raised a large blue marlin and they pitched a bonita back to it, the marlin INHALED the bonita about 20' behind the boat (I lost my shi*t watching this).

The boat did not have a fighting chair, so I spent the next 45 minutes standing up with a belt rod holder and a not very useful harness fighting this fish. The drag was set to 50 pounds. That marlin about killed me but we were able to get a clean release at the leader. They estimated the fish to be 8.5-9' long and 300-350 pounds. It was a stud. I am still sore today. The fish jumped out of the water a few times early on but spent the majority of the time trying to go deep (which was brutal on my back and shoulders!)

They re-rigged and put the lines back out, no joke, 30 minutes later they raised another blue marlin. My buddy took his turn and fought the fish for 30-35 minutes. This fish was smaller but it did everything a marlin is supposed to do. On top of the water, it charged the boat, ran from the boat, screamed to the right, then back to the left. The whole time the captain was having to hammer the throttle to try and keep up. The marlin was also released at the leader and was a 200-250 blue.

A little bit later, the captain spotted a huge pod of spinner dolphins and we were on the yellowfin tuna soon after that. We caught 9 yellow fin tuna in no time at all. The tuna were small (15 lb) but there is nothing better than fresh sashimi. Most of the tuna were caught trolling with spinning rods (while popping the rod as your trolled) but we did get to make some casts with top water plugs when we could see the tuna breaking water, 1 tuna was caught on a top water plug which I thought was pretty cool.

All of this action happened before lunch! We broke for lunch and then fished till about 3pm. We raised 1 more sail in the afternoon but no hook ups. Honestly, we were fine with that as we were both exhausted. I took a short nap. I didn't even have time to get drunk on the boat....that is probably a first.

The internet speed is terrible where we are, when I get back to good internet, I'll upload a video if anyone is interested. Hopefully I did it correctly, but I attached an image link (from a crappy screenshot) of my marlin jumping.

Tight lines.

I don't know how to imbed it but the link above is a good GIF of the marlin jumping

Nice!!

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

On the road, but I am watching this as soon as I get settled. I have only seen one blue marlin in my life. He was cruising and we ran the spread back and forth in front of him but he never lit up. I still want to get one billfish.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I have a video with sound that I can email you if you want to see it

Tons of smallies biting on the New River right now. I caught over 40 smaller fish and then this nice 21 and a half inch fish last weekend.

Nice fish! Especially nice fish for July. Well done.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks ya'll. Sorry for the delayed response but I've been busy. I've mixed a few new baits and have been experimenting. I've had some luck with the TRD on a shroomhead. I think I'm going to try to throw some top water baits but I'm not sure which one. Either the popper or whopper plopper. Any suggestions on which is better?

I love the Whopper Plopper. I think the 110 model is the best by far for smallies - so if you haven't gotten one yet, try to find that one in Loon or Bone. They can be a pain to find though. I really like it because I can cover a lot of water, but also rip it and pause it close to cover.

That being said, a popper is a great tool too. Sometimes the smallies just can't resist a super long pause. The downside is boat control is required to work it slowly along the bank. If I am rowing in my raft, it makes it hard to work it and make multiple casts.

If I wanted to try out some new topwater baits - I would buy a Heddon Torpedo (clear), a jitterbug (black), and a Rebel Pop-R (silver). Those are the three topwaters you really only need on the New.

Oh and BTW - congrats on that monster hog above.

^ this is the best topwater advice for the New. I would add a black aborgast buzzplug to that list I used that exclusively my Senior year at tech and it caught a ton of fish, it has advantages over a standard buzzbait since it floats the blade starts instantly so you can pound the banks without that foot or so of start up time. If you do pick one up modifying the hook is a good idea...throw a split ring around the dual shank so it can't fall off. The first time I took it out night fishing I hooked into a hog and it got off, without thinking I kept throwing it only to realize after dozens of "missed" hook sets that it didn't have a hook anymore...

Whopper ploppers are great, hard to find in stock anywhere but they work well, pick up a 90 or 110 if you can find them.

Damn. Great fish! I am jealous

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Love smallies - fabulous fish!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I am in the midst of a hardcore post vacation depression right now... trying to right the ship after some great fishing in one of my favorite spots in the world. I won't disclose my location online because if I do its going to get swamped, but let's just say its in the Outer Banks/Pamlico Sound. Several light wind days allowed me to get out on my favorite flats in my kayaks solo and with friends over the past week. Overall I landed 20 puppy drum on fly, 19"-22". Seven more landed by friends and we also got some flounder on fly. Dupre spoon fly was the ticket for the reds, but they would take small shrimpy looking patterns. My typical larger patterns spooked them. The icing on the cake was a MONSTER sheepshead on fly. I estimate it at 15 pounds and I don't bullshit fish sizes. A local commercial fishermen verified with me and said it looks to be at least 14 pounds. I cannot find the IGFA fly caught sheepshead record anywhere, but the NC state all tackle is 19 and world record is 21 out of Louisiana. This fish very well could have been a world record. I'll keep searching and hope to find out some day. I gave him a kiss on the head and let him go his merry way so I wouldn't be able to officially claim the record anyhow. I'm sure I could get a citation, which is 8 pounds, but whatever. Needless to say my friends were pissed I let him go and wanted to eat him!

If you head to the OBX this summer, there are a TON of redfish around. It's going to be an epic fall for them.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Nice drum and flounder, but that sheepshead is magnificent! World record or not, though, good call on the release. Trophy fish shouldn't be killed, in my opinion, but I also realize that I am not the arbiter of such things. While it may be the fish of a lifetime for the angler, to make it the end of a lifetime for an outstanding fish for bragging rights, show and tell, or fish tacos just disrespects the fish. Again I say, just my opinion.

This month's edition of Va. Wildlife had a great quote from Thoreau I'd read before, but I was again struck by it. "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."

Hope we get a chance next week to get you over those post vacation blues. What's the record for a fly caught cobia?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks! Pretty sure it is in the 60s... If I hook up one of those we will need to chase!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

And chase we will. That's a problem I hope we have.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Wow - beautiful fish + what looks like an amazing trip, thanks for sharing!! FishVT - wish I could give you a 2nd leg for the Thoreau quote (you both get legs from me for catch and release).

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Hog of a sheepshead I had no idea they got that big good luck looking up the record!

Gotta leg you all on the catch and release I love fresh fried fish but that's for croaker and spot and such I've never understood people keeping trophy sized bass or fish that are so old and mealy they aren't worth it like a 50 pound drum or rockfish etc. I could never be a game warden for that personal reason I was always taught as a kid to A. Respect the idea of life which segwayed into if you're not gonna eat it don't keep it.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

For the record, I like to eat fish. We eat croaker and flounder when I can get them, and a small keeper cobia is in trouble in my boat. Small redfish are delicious as well. I used to go after walleye with dinner in mind. I don't freeze fish much, and like going out looking for a few filets. It's those big trophies, those breeders that have proven to be superior specimens, the ones that make great hero shots...I'm all for letting those fish keep on keepin' on. Again, not to argue with folks who are legally taking fish that I'd love to see released, this is my opinion only.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I enjoy eating fish too but rarely keep them. We kept two of the drum I caught. That sheeper was way too big to keep.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I am glad that HokieFlyGuy had a good visit to the OBX. Mine was a bust. The light winds formed a pattern- water temperatures on the beach would drop with the light southwest wind overnight, and then the wind would switch to very light NE during the day and warm back up. The effect produced "anti-freeze" green water that, in my experience, holds very few fish, especially when the water temperature was rising and falling 10 degrees in 24 hours daily.

For three days, I used my sibiki and managed a rogue sea mullet as bait each morning (big sea mullet in small numbers along with a puppy drum were available on the beach if you had fresh sand fleas.) I also used some fleas to target triggerfish and sheepshead that were visible around the pilings, but small spadefish kept stealing my bait. I didn't see a cobia in three days, and didn't manage any bluefish or spanish mackerel the first two days. On Wednesday afternoon, large schools of menhaden started steaming by the pier so thick that I was able to snag a couple with a sibiki rig to fill out my live bait needs (one for my rig, one for the live bait bucket.) I also snagged a couple for others in need.

On Thursday morning, I packed light. No live bait gear. I took just my bucktail set up because I needed to leave and have some family time at 10AM. Of course, it was cloudy overhead so seeing a cobia would have been tough. Some hooligans stole a friend's bait out of his bucket overnight, so while he and his father were setting up their live bait rig I used their snag rig to again try and snag a fresh menhaden for them. The schools of menhaden were enormous, yet no predators except for pelicans were working them. It was stunning, especially given the large numbers of king mackerel that were being reported by the inshore fleet at Oregon Inlet.

Once I got a couple of baits for my friend and his dad, I walked back to the T. I saw some little glass minnows breaking the surface like they were being chased by a blue runner. I asked my friend if I could use his rod that had a Bowed Up Lures pink and white flash skirt Zig Jig on it. He said sure, and I threw at the little pod. On the second jerk, I got pulvarized, and the drag started screaming. Once I got some heat on the fish, he turned to the pier and wrapped me in the piling. Fortunately, the line didn't break. I adjusted hoping the fish would unwrap himself. Instead, after about 5 anxious minutes, he floated belly up to the surface and we gaffed her.

It was a personal best spanish mackerel, 3.7 pounds.

That was it. It was one of only two spanish that I saw in 3 days of fishing. I didn't see a single bluefish caught. My mom and dad fished some and caught some small spadefish, croaker, and perhaps 3 spot.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Nice Spaniard! Interesting that the green water doesn't hold fish, it sure is pretty to look at

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

French, do you ever go play on the sound side? Feel like early morning topwater with a plug would be right up your alley for reds and big trout.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I never have. Heard there are a ton of small rockfish in the sound. The charter boat guys catch them off the dock after they take families out.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Let me know next time you are in OBX or in VA on the middle peninsula (VTFishIam's neighborhood). There is some excellent kayak/wadeable water in both areas that is a blast with light spin rods and topwater. I can probably put you on some fish. I, of course, will throw a fly, unless it is blowing hurricane force winds.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

What topwater lure do you prefer for reds and trout?

Red and white Zara Spook

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

bone colored rebel jumpin minnow is at the top of my list. it will cast a mile, which is important if you are wading, and walking the dog with it (ma-ry-had-a-lit-tle-lamb) is idiot proof

pro-tip: DO NOT set the hook until you feel the fish. a good % of blow ups are short strikes. keep working the lure.

invariably, i react too quick on the first strike of the day.

edit: note that i target reds. can't really speak for trout

Thanks for the responses. I've been getting more comfortable with gulp artificial. Figured it would be a good idea to get some topwaters since I would be able to get out early in the morning.

my experience is that time of day is a regional thing. in coastal Texas, i'd fish topwaters all day long. in NE Florida, if the sun is above the tree line, forget it (though I know a tournament fisherman that will fish them all day as well)

good friend of mine would use topwaters as a fish finder for trout. if he was getting short strikes, he throw right back in the same place with imitation shrimp or minnows.

Interesting, thanks for the different perspective. Good idea on using it as a fish finder, I can use it when I go to the beach in September and fish a completely new area.

dave's advice on hookset with topwater bait is solid to the nth degree. I used to drum it into my clients for any topwater fishing, buzzbaits, plugs, flukes, etc. You just keep working the bait until you're hooked up. As for topwater and Gulp, I hate to be predictable, but Gulp products are incredibly effective, and I have found that the Gulp Jerk Shad, in 5-6" size and whatever your favorite colors are, Texas rigged on a quality offset worm hook, Owner or Gamakatsu is what I use, and fished weightless tight to the shore or over the weeds is a great topwater bait. You can keep 'em up, you can let then sink some, you can sorta walk the dog with them, and they are heavy enough to cast a long way on light line, even without weight. Also, you can make them weedless by skin hooking the point back slightly into the bait without screwing up the hook set. One big plus, the fish seem a bit more likely to inhale the scented Gulp, and when you do hook up, man, you ain't got no treble (trouble) hook or two to deal with. While I haven't been around enough trout to score much this way, it has proven deadly on reds here locally, when they're here in reasonably shallow water, and I know enough trout guys who fish flukes to know big trout'll eat them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i've pledged to try your gulp setup this fall (i've done it before and just have zero confidence in the rig...so i give up quick). if i could remember/figure out how to post a pic, i'd take a shot from the front of my house at low tide and you'd see why.

I concur with the confidence thing. If you don't have it, it won't work, an accepted truism in serious fishing. Thing is, what worked for me might not be the best for your situation, but I'd bet dollars to week old doughnuts that if you have feeding reds in shallow water, it will work like a charm. If the water will float a fish worth catching, you can use the jerk shad, you just have to control it immediately and keep it working. It naturally wants to come up to the surface on the retrieve anyway, even though it will definitely sink like a rock if allowed. If the fish aren't inclined to chase, I could see a different bait as being better, but it was too effective here not to be there.

Edit: I'd add that it wouldn't take me more than a time or two of casting that gulp in an area with obvious fish in it without a hit to go to whatever else is in the box. And as expensive as Gulp can be, if something else works just as well, well.....

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

in theory it should be perfect. networks of cuts, mudflats, and oyster bars through the s. alterniflora marsh...1-3' of depth at high tide

edit: I should be able to rig it to be almost weedless and throw it into the sparse spartina and over/around the bars

what size hook would you recommend?

Yup, sounds perfect. I recommend a 4/0 offset worm hook. I used either Owner, a heavier hook, or the Gamakatsu, which seemed a little longer and had a thinner metal, but either one provided a good fit and hook placement for the 5-6" bait. The hook should come out the back (or top, if you will) of the bait and lie fairly tight to the plastic, making it easily skin hooked to make it nearly weedless. When properly rigged, the bait lies perfectly straight with the line, and even when not skin hooked, the point lies pretty tight to the bait, making a hydrodynamic retrieve that lends itself to your rod induced nuances. We did best with chartreuse and white, but even nuclear chicken did the trick. If the fish are there and feeding, I don't know how much it mattered. Of course, with the single hook and the Texas type rig, after the fish has eaten, you do need to set the hook well, but as I said, no trebles is a bonus once the fish is on.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

bury the eye/knot in the bait?

Yep. With the eye and knot buried and bend of the hook enclosed in the pouch at the belly of the bait, you just see the point and a little of the hook coming out the back. It hangs straight and you can make it flip and flop about, even get it to jump a little. Try it with confidence and get back to me. Definitely works best on lighter lines, you get more distance and the bait "works" better. If I'm not around docks, I like six or eight lb test, but it'll still work on 10, you just start losing distance and nuance as you go up. Obviously, if you're in the presence of big fish, you need the line strength, but in the absence of hang up type cover, you can get some nice fish on light line without worry.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

braid/flouro : )

I'm still living in the past when it comes to light tackle spin fishing. If money were no object, I'd run straight flourocarbon, but fortunately Bass Pro Excel exists, and I've used it for years. I use the green the most, but have had great luck with the clear as well. Inexpensive, but not cheap. Braid and I are uneasy partners for big rod/big fish stuff, but for anything approaching light tackle, I'm a mono man. Now, I change it out fairly often depending on use, but the Excel is so inexpensive that it doesn't hurt the wallet to do so. Used it exclusively when I ran my guide biz, worked great then, works great now. Others will argue for braid and a flourocarbon leader, and that's fine, but I don't get outfished or outcast by a partner fishing braid when I'm on mono, so until I have a good reason to switch, I'm good. Now, I understand that oyster shells, barnacles on pilings and coral might change my mind for abrasion resistance, but flouro cuts just like mono when it's under strain and hits a sharp, and if the leader's gone, what's the benefit?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I know. That's why I put the smiley.

I'm a walking wind knot with mono and with the braid I'm (k)not. : )

Sorry, I know I've stated my case before, just don't recall the participants. As for wind knots, I don't understand that. Tangles on a spinning reel generally aren't caused by wind, but by loose line on the spool. The most important thing you can do is closing the bail manually after the cast, which makes sure you don't loosely spool line on that ends up in tangles when you make the next cast. Seems simplistic, but it really is that simple. That doesn't make it easy, though. Most of us who grew up spin fishing relied on our bails closing quickly and tightly due to the spring system used to do that automatically, and it is difficult to change the habits thousands of casts have ingrained. While at first, it may seem clumsy, even distracting, to worry about that, as the habit changes, it also affords one a check on the loops that cause the problem, and in the long run, it is a good thing. I have virtually eliminated those "wind knots" from my spin fishing, but when I get tired, I'll still forget or neglect to close by hand, but when I realize it, I generally glance at the spool to see if there are loops to deal with. Of course, if you have loose line, you should tighten it up before reeling in, but that also becomes automatic. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a problem with it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

the discussion was with me, and my description of a "wind knot" may not be accurate.

frankly, i think my issue is my casting technique. my backcast comes in from the side and the release is over the top, somehow twisting the line.

on the plus side, I bought some gulp 5" jerk shad (charteuse/white and camo) and 4/0's this a.m.!

Sorry for not remembering, dave. My mind is like a steel sieve. Please let me know how those jerks treat you. I envy you your fishing opportunities where you live. If I could do it all over again...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i just need to make it a priority and go more often. you fish way more than i do. you also know where you can go and reliably catch fish and i'm in the process of learning that again.

And to your point, line twist will definitely cause what I erroneously call a backlash and you call a wind knot. We're both probably wrong, but line twist is a big problem with spin fishing. Line twist is pretty much caused by three things. First, spooling the line up wrong, secondly, reeling against a loose drag, and thirdly, twist caused by a bait that is spinning on the retrieve. Some baits need a swivel between the bait and the reel. As for the spooling thing, I'll assume you've been fishing enough to know how to put line on without twisting. As for the loose drag, it's preventable, but insidious because you don't always know you're doing it when it's happening. Soooo many little variables and annoying details. If braid mitigates these things for you, though, mo power atcha. Anyway, thanks for the engagement. Always great to get to discuss this stuff with knowledgeable fishermen.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'll assume you've been fishing enough to know

oh yeah...over 5 decades and stopped using swivels when the current (non in-line) style of spinner baits came out.

I'm about 99% sure I flip my lure over one turn on most every cast

I don't use swivels when casting lures or jigs, but I do use them for a couple of baits that work by spinning, necessitating the relief, and then I use quality ball bearing swivels above a 12-14" leader. I never use snap swivels for lures or jigs, either.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i've spent the last 20 minutes practicing rigging the gulp jerk bait...i had some older 6" new penny (that i just felt obligated to own) to practice on. Seems like it might be easiest to thread the whole hook through with the line coming through the "head" in order to center the hook just right; then use the line to feed/force the eye back through the original hole and leave it buried in the head.

i like the camo color...kind of mudminnow-ish with an orange belly. it caught me anyway, which is what they are designed to do!

You got it. You go in the head and pop out the bottom just enough to cover the offset, then turn the hook up, measure where the bend will be, then go through the pouch and pop the point out and then pull it back up on the eye. You'll know when it's right, it's perfectly straight from line to tail. Let me know how the camo color works. Now, I'm goin' fishin'.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Mirrolure 27MR-49, Color 808 (Suspending Twitchbait) works incredibly well (deadly) in Central FL inter-coastal fishing.
With them I've caught many Reds, Snook, Trout, large Jacks (Crevalle), Blues, Spanish Makeral (a 6 pounder once) even an occasional Pompano in the winter.
Question for those that fish inter-coastal waters in NC and SC, do Suspending Twitchbaits work there?

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

I haven't personally used them but according to some of the fishing reports I read regularly, they get used a lot especially for trout it seems like.

Went out on a Saturday in July on a bad tide cycle, something I would never normally do but there is a guy I know who is trying to learn how to fish artificials and he just got a new boat...so we went...inshore in the St Augustine area.

It was unbearably hot and a zoo on the water, but we managed to scratch out a couple of slot reds and a (barely legal) flounder. Of course since we were focused on artificials, the best fish of the day was on an unattended mud minnow/flounder rig we had out behind the boat. Released some undersized reds (really, really small), mangrove snappers, and were entertained by a couple of lady fish doing their acrobatics.

I went out on the third of July on Claytor lake. I caught bark, a nice snag, and the anchor got away. I need to practice more.

my kind of trip!

i measure success by the number of injuries and near death experiences...the fewer the better

on the trip i described above, my fishing partner (front of the 16' boat) was getting unsnagged from an oyster bar. as a novice, he wasn't pulling back straight with his hand on the spool but instead had the rod bent double. when the oyster let go the lure rocketed back and hit me (back deck of the boat) in the eye/cheek. my glasses saved me

I have had the fishing trip where my mom accidentally cast the lure and it hit me in the back of the head. So I know what you mean.

Damn dude.... not the dome.

Mid 1990s, when I was a teenager, I was casting on the beach and caught a 130lb dumbass. A trip to the ER and about 10 stitches later, I was freed from the hook. My calf now has a 5 inch scar to remind me how terrible of a fisherman I am.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

My friends did the same thing but in the side of the head with a tiger patterned Rapala and he thought he was snagged in a tree branch behind him so he gave it a good tug without realising it was actually in my hair, lodged it into my skull had to go to the ER and get my whole head numbed but got laughed at like crazy cause of the rapala dangling from my head
Lesson of the day, three people all standing up fishing in a short canoe is a bad idea

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

If you all haven't seen or tried this method, it works. I've done it.

FYI, this video may make you queasy...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgfpsupmu98

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

That's pretty much the claytor lake special for july. :)

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Really? Damn. I have hopes of summertime trips in my jon boat with my kids. Not a great idea?

Where would be a good place to take them in the summer just to catch a few bluegill, catfish, etc...

never been to Claytor but typically in SEUS lakes you'd look for shallow coves and fish either really early (kids hate that) or approaching dusk. full moons late spring and early summer are fun for bedding bream...catfish at night is a good way to avoid the heat. if trotlines are legal, running them with the kids is kind of like an easter egg hunt

and you can't go wrong in the evening finding a sandy point near deep water, throwing out half a can of corn, and fishing on the bottom with small long shank hooks and corn for carp. Those buglemouth bass saved many a slow night of trout and catfishing on South Holston Lake as a kid.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

French, you've come up with a great plan for fishing Claytor. There are carp galore, and very large ones to boot. Your method for attracting and catching them is sound. Just don't set your rod down too far from you to reach quickly. Those suckers can flat out pull. I have also seen guided carp fishing set ups on Claytor, and when the 17 year cicadas came out last, people came from England to catch them on topwater flies.
I will reiterate, as well, the advice I gave about walleye fishing this time of year in the upper end of the lake. That advice is gold, and there are at least a couple of locals up there that would kneecap me if they knew I'd let it out.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

In college, we would fish in the Wolf Creek Cove of South Holston off a dock. We would use 4 pound test and ultralight trout rods and bail 2-6 pound carp all day. It was a hoot once we found the right structure to lay out the chum.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Ah, you'll be fine for bluegill and cats. Bass fishing can be tough at Claytor.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Anyone keeping up with the ICast conference in Orlando. Ton of new product, a 5 gallon bucket one from yeti best in show. A lot of over priced stuff. Yakattack came out with a new sit on top kayak and peddle drive systems were everywhere

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

My buddies from Cape Henry Custom Rods were supposed to be down there, but not all of them made it. Basically, I wait until the Youtube videos get posted from ICast and then watch them in the winter.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I follow like 15 different kayak instagram groups and they are all posting photos and stories About everything. The running joke seems to be about a 5 gallon bucket winning a best in show category. My buddies from One Objective are down there and they are doing a lot of interviews

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

I follow like 15 different kayak instagram groups and they are all posting photos and stories About everything. The running joke seems to be about a 5 gallon bucket winning a best in show category. My buddies from One Objective are down there and they are doing a lot of interviews

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

I saw the new lews stuff in a video yesterday looks nice but I'll never be able to afford nor will I need the new stuf, my speed spool LFS on cabelas MH rods will be just fine considering that combo is only 140 after taxes whereas new stuff is 260 just the reel

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yes, but I only pay attention to IFTDA, which is the fly fishing side. 1/10 of the size of the entire event. I hope to attend next year

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I went offshore fishing with my pops in the gulf today. Caught our limit on red grouper and a few lane snappers. How do I post the pictures stored on my iPad here? I can't get a URL for the pictures and I can't copy and paste...

"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."

I use Imgur then use the direct link
Sounds like a good day on the water to me!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I took the day off Friday and went fly fishing on the Pecos River in the mountains east of Santa Fe. I didn't catch a whole lot, but spending a summer day on the river while it was overcast and 65 degrees, and sipping a few Happy Camper IPAs was a treat. This was actually my first fish on a fly rod (y'all can go ahead and start calling me Flyrod Taylor).

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

More information coming. Short report:

Got a text at 10:30pm as I left Spiderman
Left at 4AM and drove to Lynnhaven Inlet.
Rode over 20 miles from Lynnhaven to several miles north of Plantation Lighthouse.
Got my first keeper bucktail cobia of the year (41 inches.)

With business travel and football coming up, I am hoping I can get one more run down. But, as happy as I was with getting a bucktail fish, no sleep and serious heat meant motion sickness And chumming.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Well, I envy you, but I don't. I maybe spent fifteen minutes out of the AC yesterday and that was about fourteen minutes too much.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Dodging storms wasn't fun either. The guys from Cape Henry Custom Rods asked me to join them. I made it to about 2PM, but I was holding it down from noon on. We saw a lot of shorts, but by all accounts on the radio and social media are that the big fish are at Windmill Point. 12-15 feet of water and chum where the chum line goes into deep water and it is just about a lock right now.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

That's definitely in the wheel house, going out of Gwynn's Island.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So, Travis from Cape Henry Custom Rods had asked me to join him and a friend on a sight casting trip out of Lynnhaven Inlet. Initially we were going to fish Sunday (today) but as I left Spiderman Homecoming on Friday night, Travis called me and said that the weather had changed and Saturday would be better for sightcasting. I got what sleep I could and headed south.

While I have a nice bucktail rod, Travis wanted me to try Vega Rod's new 20-40 pound class Sniper blank rods. We headed out of Lynnhaven and made the long (and bumpy) ride north across the mouth of the Bay. We didn't slow down until we passed Plantation Lighthouse, certainly the longest ride I can remember in a smaller boat. That, coupled with the lack of sleep and washing machine churned up waves at the north side of the mouth of the Bay, didn't fare well.

Fortunately, we started to see fish almost immediately. Most were small and moving very quickly. We ended up getting casts at about 15 fish. I had several chasers without a hook up before I finally pulled tight on one. The trick was to add a thin strip of squid paired with a yellow puffer pattern. My fish ended up being 41 inches, barely big enough to keep under the new 2017 Virginia cobia regulations.

I managed one more short fish, and Travis got a 44 incher. It was a frustrating day with so many fish spotted yet so few large aggressive fish. Around 2:00PM, my stomach started to turn over. I had not been able to force myself to eat, and drank a ton of water that felt like it wasn't getting digested. Finally, I added some chum to the ocean. Shortly afterwards, thurnderstorms popped up across the Bay at Hampton/Mobjack area, and we skedaddled to beat it home.

I was really impressed with the Vega Sniper rod. It was lighter and had a faster tip than my Gator Glass rod. In a situation like a sight casting trip where reaction time and rod weight (holding at the ready) wears on you, it was welcome. If you are familiar with a Shimano Teramar rod, the Vega had similar strength and a lighter feel.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Looks like Hokieflyguy and I will be trying those brown bombers tomorrow out at Windmill. Hope we have a positive report, and at least with him along, you can be sure of getting a decent picture posted if the fish cooperate. I am really interested in seeing if he can get a take on his fly rod. We'll see.... Either way, if the houndfish show up, there should be some great fly action available for him that I will look forward to. Wish us luck!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Get em! I will be envious while sitting on the plan to San Fran.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Best of luck breaking the curse we're all pulling for you guys!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Headed to Florida for a few days here in a week or so. I'd like to catch some pompano and whiting to cook while we are there. Planning on tossing a Pompano rig with peeled shrimp on one hook and a sand flea on the other with 2-4 oz pyramid sinkers depending on the surf conditions. I have read that you don't always have to cast far, so I plan on trying the first trough between shore and the first sandbar with one rod, and if possible fishing the trough between the first and second sandbars with my other one. I am using a 9'-0" medium action spinning rod, so hopefully I can get it out there far enough with that.

I'd also like to try some lures for more active fishing if the sit and wait with bait tactic doesn't work. Any recommendations for lures for the Atlantic side and the Gulf side? We might take a trip down to the Ft. Myers area as well. I am not targeting anything specific, I just want to catch my first saltwater fish on this trip.

I will wait for the classic IfishVTIam response to this question.

Was his response a classic response to this question, as in its been asked a lot? Or classic in that all his responses are classics?

Decent amount of asking from different people but for most any inshore saltwater application IfishVTIam will vouch for the 4" Gulp swimming mullet. Which for good reason is that it works very well. He also gives a classic well thought out advice for anyone seeking it.

I'll give my classic fly fishing response to this... Chartreuse over White Clouser Minnow.

Works everywhere, for everything.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I have only caught pompano by accident. When I have seen people target them, they are fishing close to the breakers with live sand fleas and small hooks. I wish I knew more. I have caught a handful, but almost everyone one was a big one on a gotcha lure on the pier, and I could count them on one hand and still have room for a ring.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Thanks everyone. I'll give it a go. Wasn't going to take the fly rod but I think I'll give it a shot.

Sell your rods and take up a more rewarding hobby. Steeeeeerike five on me and the cobia. Hokieflyguy and I had a good time meeting and yakking, but the heat and the lack of big predators made for a tough day.
I've caught pompano in several places, but not Florida, so no info on them other than at the OBX when we used to get them, they would come up in the wave wash, turn sideways, and ride the water up the sand before turning back and feeding sideways on the way out. Sometimes, we would cast like ten feet and let our bait fish the wash.
My classic response to lures, is to start with something that will catch everything. I like Gulp 4" swimming mullet in chartreuse on a quarter to 5/8 oz painted jig head depending on your line size and rod/reel size. Hop it along the bottom with short hops and pauses. If you're after bluefish, swim them back, for trout, either drag them slowly back along the bottom or do the hops. This works so well for me that I don't use much else anymore, but I am certain that dave or some of the other more regular salt water fishermen have a wealth of suggestions. Flounder love Gulp, but anything that can fit it into their mouths will likely eat it. Good luck.

Edit: Whiting love bloodworms and bloodworm fishbites. I go for the fishbites, myself, cheaper and not perishable.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Awesome. Thanks! Hope to have pictures to post in early August.

Dang- did you guys do the Spit or Windmill Point? JW Seafood posted a picture of a 67 pounder caught chumming there today.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Out on the spit past Windmill Light. Tom, thanks for having me out, was a great time finally meeting you and talking all things VT, fishing and war stories. We will go again soon.

French, I don't know why you can't catch bluefish in a chum slick... was pretty easy for me!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I figured it out last trip. Numbers wise, the threadfins, sea mullet, and houndfish wouldn't leave me alone long enough to find the blues.

I have seen some reports of folks trolling for spanish just east of those humps. I wish I knew where the big cobia are. Outside of reports of big ones at Windmill Point Bar, all the reports I am getting are lots of small fish that are very finicky, and very few big fish up top.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

French, we were there, and I'm not convinced that fish came from Windmill unless it was early this morning. Ballyhoo and bluefish were all over the chum, but nothing else. No sharks, nada. As for Hokieflyguy's fly thing, the man talks the talk, but he also walks the walk. He had a bluefish within seconds of his first cast into the slick, and caught them at will. At will, I tell you. We did see birds working east of the humps and there were a couple of boats trolling for spanish out there. There were almost no boats there and while I didn't keep my eyes on them every moment, we saw nobody catch a fish. Not saying it didn't happen, but fishermen don't always tell the whole and absolute truth about where they got fish, as well you know.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have a friend who has caught a couple off of the Windmill Bar but they were on the small size. I think we might get out there in the next couple weeks. Maybe it will add another piece to the puzzle of the Cobia mystery.

I have a friend out there as we speak and they've already caught a short. I think the best way to get a cobia is to make sure I'm not on the boat.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Well I hope that's not the case when we go out. A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile :)

As for Hokieflyguy's fly thing, the man talks the talk, but he also walks the walk.

Stop, you're making me blush...

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

It was my pleasure. Also a true treat to see you spank those blues. Too bad you didn't get to cast the 11 wt and that cool eel thingy you had on it. I was hoping you'd get a shot.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Fish the calm water immediately adjacent to the runouts...last half of outgoing. First trough is fine. Trout like 75 degree water. Use fresh dead shrimp on a circle hook if you want to be sure to catch dinner. It is about the time of year when the reds come in close...real, real close. Don't be afraid to move until you find fish. There is a nice pair of sunglasses somewhere on the Texas coast that blew off my head when I ventured out too deep. IfishVTIam is THE MAN. If he says fish a 4" curly tail gulp, do it. White works good in Florida. That is the sum total of my surf fishing knowledge.

Welp it's that time of year again only need 3 things in your box for smallies, tubes, senkos, and poppers or buzzbait depending on clarity

Went on the James yesterday no trophies lost one smallie that would've been close to 3.5 pounds he shook off at the boat, cried all night long still seeing flashbacks in everything I do, but they were hot and hungry all day dead sticking all the baits brought fish in. This was the first time this year tubes caught fish so that mean its almost buzz bait time but end of the day caught 45 bass and had a good time with a dozen above pound and a half
Biggest catch of the day was this guy he was a solid 8 inches never seen anything this big before the fish wouldn't even touch him.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Google Hickory Horned Devil. They are way cool caterpillars.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah looked em up I've never seen one that big before but if a fish won't eat it you know it's big also saw a big eel it stole a bream off my line sum gun

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thanks for the report and pics! I have never tried a senko with a weighted hook - seems like a good idea: snagless and can get down a little better in current.

And that caterpillar... no words! I wouldn't have even touched it with my paddle lol

A senko with a swimbait hook is a hell of way to do it. I used to use a toothpick to hold a weight but now I use the swimbait hook gives the worm a very seductive wiggle when it's dropping like a wacky rigged. I prefer to minimize knots or breaking points in the line losing big fish is enough to send a man to drinking

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Glad to hear someone is catching fish in the James. Many of the guides are reporting numbers way down this year. The fish around Richmond seem to have disappeared.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I'm not gonna get started on the river quality this year I've had some BAD days on stretches that were great last year anywhere below bremo is garbage to me I'm not a happy camper on the quality of the James any more but I try to be optimistic it's the best we have in central va I can't afford to go to the new every weekend

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Wow, I had no idea, but I'm seeing the same thing. My quick go-to spot is Watkins Landing, just above Bosher's Dam, but I don't even waste my time anymore. Its never been a good spot, but you could always get something. Not now, its been completely dead, as in 0 bass. Even bream on a nightcrawler is way down. Did something happen?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Last two years were bad spawns for smallies as far as I know that's it mostly just more and more traffic on the water as well

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Fished a bass tournament on the james today. Not even a bite. I am snake bit this year!

Where is Lawson?!

You and I need to start a snake bit thread.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We found a pocket where the water was 93! Chin up though In less than 2 weeks I will be in the cool Canadian wilderness catching walleye, smallies and hopefully a musky. Although the way things are going, they will all be northerns! Last year:

Where is Lawson?!

Nice pic. We'll be heading up north for an extended camping excursion as far as Newfoundland this September. Not a fishing trip, per se, but I'm seldom too far away from a fishing rod. Heading out to try for some flounder tomorrow.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

What's wrong with Northerns??? I'm hoping to stick several of them on fly next week in Wisconsin.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Have a great trip Fly! Where in Whiskey? I have to admit musky people look down their noses at northerns. Bit of a different personality. Catch them all when you get up there!. Send pics! And no I don't mind latching onto a decent northern!

Where is Lawson?!

Thanks! Hitting the road tomorrow. 17 hours the long way to Madison. Will hit the Driftless area for a day or two, then not sure where in between there and several days around Menominee. Hoping I get into a little bit of everything!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Pike is one of the best fighting fish I have ever landed. I love the fight of my fish, why I hate trout. Every trout I have ever caught just meekly gets reeled in.

Simple solution...catch bigger trout.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I stopped fishing for trout after just reeling in an 18" brown trout up in New Hampshire. I had a better fight from a 12" pickerel on the trip.

Or go after amberjacks in saltwater. They aren't called reef donkeys for nothing.

Reef donkeys would change most musky guy's religion. Hee to the haw!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Living in Christiansburg, my access to saltwater fishing is very limited. I might need to make a trip or two next year.

Can confirm. Caught a 92#er off Sebastian Inlet, FL, when I lived near there before I moved to Christiansburg. Landed that sucker, but it kicked my a$$!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

What a brute... easy to hook. Landing is a whole different game. The last time I went AJ fishing, Captain Brian had them up beside the boat...

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

That's pretty sweet, Brought the 92#er up from 170 ft. Not too bad, but the seas were 4 to 6 at 6 sec intervals, pretty nasty. How our guide kept us on that number in those conditions was unreal. He was excellent! We stayed on that number for an hour and a half and boated 4 grouper and 4 AJs. All grouper were "de-gassed" and released (out of season - we tried to keep bait away from them intentionally). One of the AJs was a smaller Almaco Jack, which had much better flavor than the other AJs. Smoked all of the meat we got, gave a bunch away to friends, and made some kick-a$$ smoked dip, it was delicious!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

or catch a wild trout in fast water. Stockers are limp noodles.

This. Get a wild five pound rainbow on 6 lb test and get back to me on the no fight issue. I've heard the same knock on walleye, but get a decent walleye on light tackle and a suspending jerkbait in the upper New in spring, and that notion will also go away.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Along the course of the season, I had had the pleasure/distaste of having to deal with several companies - while not fishing reports - it is nice to know the companies that will treat you right, or even more important wrong.

The good ones:

Z-Man Lures - my chatterbait was damaged in the package, so Z-man sent me 2 of the ones I bought and 2 more premium chatterbaits to try. Great service. I didn't even ask for them, I just inquired if my lure was damaged or if it was normal.

Dick's Sporting Goods Normally I hate DSG, but they did me right. I bought a 300 dollar tent on super clearance. They processed my order, and then had to cancel due supply. A week later, a tent shows up on my door. I called the company and offered to pay or return it, but they told me to keep it and enjoy it - it was their mistake.

They also sent me the wrong lures, so I sent them back to get a refund, and they sent me a 20 dollar GC for the trouble. Can't beat that. The people in-store usually are do-less, but corporate is great.

The absolutely awful:

E-trailer

I strongly suggest that you NEVER buy from this company. My trailer threw a bearing, so I ordered 2 galvanized hub assemblies with 2 day shipping to get back on the water as soon as possible. 3 shipping days later, I got my parts.

When I got my parts, the threads on the hubs were mashed and there was no way the lug nuts were going on them. I asked for them to overnight the part- they wouldn't do that. In fact - they wouldn't even send me a new one until I took pictures to prove the damage, they approved it, and then I shipped the damaged one back and THEN they would ship a new one. I told them that was ridiculous and I wanted a refund. But wait - they won't refund the shipping cost ON A DAMAGED ITEM. How is that my fault?

They have now had my return for over a week and I have not been issued a refund. Every time I call it is a different answer - first they had a question about the return, then it was still not processed, and today they haven't even looked at it according to their CS. Who knows if I will ever get my money back - I guess I will have to contact the CC company soon.

Anyways, I hope this helps someone down the line. It helped me to vent!

My friend floated from hardware to bremo on Thursday only caught 18 smallies all under 10 inches he said very slow fishing and they didn't see any fish of any size at all all caught on tubes on 1/2 ounce Carolina rigs

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I just caught my first largemouth bass this weekend and now I'm absolutely hooked. I have two questions: first, how do you properly lip a bass without getting your thumb absolutely shredded? Second, does anyone have a best all-around rod and reel combo they suggest?

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

If you catch too many LMBs you get the side effect of "bass thumb." It's a good thing, enjoy it.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

In terms of rod and reel combination, it depends on how you want to fish for them. I have a really hard time fishing carolina rigged soft plastics on a spinning rod, so I have to use a conventional. Let us know what technique you use and I am sure recommendations will start flying!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

My friend and I went out on Monday to go Cobia fishing for his birthday. We went out to Windmill Point and fished the last hour and a half of low tide on one side of the ledge. We caught a shark and a cobia within the first 15 minutes of getting there. Once it hit dead low tide we decided to make the switch to the other side. We ended up catching 3 more cobia and all on live eels. We had a shot at a double header when I got my cobia close to the boat there was another swimming right beside it. My friend couldn't get the other cobia to eat the bucktail we threw at it. Overall, I learned a good bit and got to catch my first cobia.

Awesome! Did any of them keep? There are a ton of small fish around this year and it is good to hear they are still on the western side of the Bay.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

(Insight- a keeper cobia in Virginia used to be 37 inches total length. It was increased to 40 inches this year. Most of my friends have been catching fish that have been right on the border. Make no mistake, a 40 inch fish can give you a handful.)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Unfortunately, we did make the rookie mistake of not having a measuring tape in the boat. So we agreed to only keep one if it was a no doubter. Mine pictured above was the largest of the 4. I'm not the best at estimating but it was in that 37-40 range probably. It didnt put up as much fight as I thought it would. Probably around 5 minutes tops so that makes me think it was under 40.

stick on ruler in every boat or ice chest you think you might ever put a fish in (rod rulers are handy as well)...and no, you aren't the only person in this conversation who has either had no ruler, or didn't know the size limit. : )

Thanks for making me a little better. The fishing trip was a little last minute idea of the weekend and it was at my buddy's place/boat. So normally I could have been a little more prepared but I had never gone fishing with him before. Ice chest work on most fish, but you need to have a cooler larger than 100 quarts to measure 40 inches. I will have to buy him a stick on ruler for the boat haha.

Well, like I said, if you want a cobia, make sure you keep me out of the boat. Congratulations to you and your friend.

As for the ruler, one little trick an old timer taught me back before I became an old timer myself: A dollar bill is 6" long. Measure out a space from an obvious spot, seam, corner, ding in the gelcoat, something, anything, and mark it somehow, or from your rod butt up, whatever. It sucks when you're after fish you want to measure and not have a ruler on board, but most of us have a buck or two in our wallet. The stick on ruler is the ticket, but in a pinch.......

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That's a good idea. It is kinda chaotic when its thrashing around and you have it deep hooked. Live and learn for next time and won't forget a measuring device in the near future.

Not a bad idea. I prefer to spread out my hand as far as possible. Measure from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pinkie. Mine is right at 9 inches, so if I want to measure a fish, I just lay out my along it and can determine the length quickly and easily.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Yeah, I've done that as well, canoe fishing without wallet. Thing about a dollar bill is that it is exact, but you can't lay it on a fish very easily. I have just taken the buck out and measured out a length of fishing line to serve as a tape for the day, though. That follows the contours of the fish for an accurate enough length to feel confident if the man wants to check your fish box. Cobia, in addition to being good fighters, are difficult to subdue on board without whacking them senseless, although I've had luck calming them with a wet towel or T shirt.
How did your trip to Wisconsin go?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Went out on the Piankatank yesterday for some dock fishing. Using Gulp (surprise!) swimming mullet, got several rat reds, a couple of stripers (one 23"), a couple of white perch and a couple of speckled trout. Stopped off at a popular spot haunt, the "Mud Hole" in the mouth of the river. There were a couple of head boats and a few private vessels, all catching spot occasionally, but they weren't yellowbellies, and we weren't interested in the smaller ones, so we hung around for a bit, caught a couple, then boogied. Went to my flounder place for a short while and managed two short flounder, lost a bigger one. Would like to have gone back to the docks, but the heat and sun sent us back home for a cold beer or two. Can't help but think there are bigger reds around, and would like to have had more time on the flounder, but you can only do so much in 5 hours.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Going on the rappahannock tomorrow for spot will see how we do not hearing much about the yellow bellied ones yet but we shall see
Edit: fishing was awful and the river was really rough so we went and loaded up on crappie from a pond was much more worth while, nothing beats fresh fried fish on a Sunday morning

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Also a new question for those from the area I'm going to be taking a guided fly trip on the new in 2 weeks and looking for somewhere nice to stay with my significant other and good recommendations for the Pulaski area or anywhere around max meadows that is nice would be appreciated!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

This is a really long report, I apologize in advance! Been writing a lot of this in my head over the past 18 hour drive back from Crivitz, Wisconsin...

Two weeks on the road to the land of the Sconnies since 7/26. Thursday the 27th through the following Tuesday I spent in Madison a.k.a Madtown. What a FANTASTIC place. Large college town/small city, very clean, with an excellent atmosphere, State Street. Tons of bars, beer and cheese curds of course. Lakes surround the city and it is very outdoorsy. Wisconsin's campus is really cool and has their Student Union on a lake, hundreds of people sit out there on the weekends drinking beer and eating brats, on campus! It is just incredible. We went to college bars, upscale bars, dive bars. The wedding was flat out awesome, huge congrats to my close friend, fraternity brother, fellow fly fisherman and Hokie, Derek Gaines for scoring the catch of his life, Erin, who happens to be a Sconnie and Badger fan. I sure as hell hope Whit gets the schedule figured out for the home and home against the Badgers, because I will most definitely be heading north for the away game. Pray its early in the fall so for those of us who want to muskie fish in Madtown, you can!

Monday following the wedding Derek, Erin and Erin's father and I fished a small stream called Gordon's Creek west of Madison in a famous trout area known as the "Driftless" region. Not a bite was had unfortunately. Most of the state had received 18-20 inches of rain the two weeks before. You could see the tiny stream had several more feet of water in it just days before. The water was chocolate brown. We tried with hopper/droppers, but nothing. The wedding party had to head out early to pack up, so I hopped aboard my Yamaha WR250 dual sport and rode 150 miles through the rolling farmland just exploring and taking in the scenery. Tried a few more streams with the 2 weight, but no luck. The rain had likely screwed it all up. Erin's dad said a big brown here was 12 inches, so I made the decision to forgo more trout fishing the next day and head to the far north.

Tuesday I got my work done and began the trip towards Crivitz, where I was staying at my friend's lake cottage for as long as he would let me. I stopped by the Tight Lines fly shop in De Pere on the way up and the guide stuck behind the counter warned me of more impending rain and a huge cold front coming through Thursday and staying through the weekend. NOT GOOD for smallmouth, particularly with an already weird summer of weather that was severely affecting the fishing.

Just west of Crivitz is the Peshtigo Forest, with the Peshtigo River flowing through it that is dammed up by several lakes, or "flowages" as they call them. There is a Fly Fishing section of the Peshtigo just west of town. I assume it is designated this for the spring trout and I was pleased to see it was wadeable and looked extremely fishy. I hit it for two hours that evening and was able to land two nice 15-16 inch smallmouth after hooking four. Also lost two pike, all on a big white streamer. The smallmouth were the hardest fighting smallies I've ever hooked. They were built like footballs with huge shoulders. Awesome fish.

With the oncoming weather Thursday, I decided to forgo my float on the Peshtigo on Wednesday and instead hit the Menominee for a 6 mile float. The Menominee is known as one of the top smallmouth rivers in the country and nearly all of the fishing is done with topwater poppers, so needless to say I was pretty damn excited. Bluebird day and 76 degrees, I floated the first 4 miles without a single bite. Fished every type of topwater popper and bug I had and it was looking like a total skunking. They wouldn't even touch my top smallmouth streamers either. Finally, after fishing what seemed like everything, I put on a black M4, one of my Hail Mary flies, and stuck 6 nice smallmouth, none smaller than 13 inches! Slow day on the water for a river well known for producing 50 plus fish days, but I was happy to crack the code. Spent the evening drinking beers and talking to locals at the Klondike Saloon, the hospitality up there rivals that of the deep South. So do the accents and the stories.

Thursday it poured, but I hit High Falls flowage looking for Pike and Muskie. It rained Forrest Gump style and I fished the weedlines. Only a largemouth came to hand and after three hours in the pouring rain, I called it quits. My buddy showed up to the lake house late afternoon and we hit the beer, bourbon and local Lee Lake Tavern hard. Friday was a high of 55 and we spent the day hung over watching the rain. The weather broke and the evening offered some sun and a short pontoon ride, where some largemouth came to hand from Lake Marl.

Saturday morn I hit the Peshtigo fly fishing section again and came away with 7-8 more smallmouth, all chunky fighters over 10 inches. The water was a foot higher than Tuesday, which made wading interesting. Saturday night was a wild one at the tavern, Sunday again was rainy, perfect for our hangovers. Nick and I cruised the trails in his side by side and explored the Sconnie wilderness.

Monday I floated another 6 mile section of the Menominee near Wausaukee. This section was deeper and had a huge Oxbow in it, with little to no riffles. Within 100 yards of the put in, I cast at the bottom side of an island weed edge and immediately had a solid take. The fish turned out to be a 20 inch smallmouth, pushing 5 pounds, my personal best! Another 100 yards further I got my first pike. The rest of the float was off and on, with large 5-6 inch white streamers hit every few hundred yards by a feisty pike or chunky smallmouth. 3/4 of the way through, I got caught in a wild thunder storm complete with hail. I ended the float with 5 pike to hand, the biggest at 25 inches, a lost 30 incher, and 8 or 9 smallmouth, none smaller than 13 inches. A guide at the take out told me the water was higher than he had ever seen it. Two-three feet up from the usual flows and the fishing was all screwed up from it.

Tuesday I fished the Menominee in the town of Marinette as I had several locals tell me the area below the dam in town gets loaded with giant 6-7 pound smallmouth that come up out of Lake Michigan. I am not a fan of urban fishing, but thought I'd give it a try for the big ones. The water was ROARING out of the dam. I paddled and floated a couple hundred yard long stretch 7 or 8 times over two hours. Only one eat and I missed the set. Once I heard the horn sound releasing even more water, I called it quits, stopped by the Sequins cheese shop for $45 worth of flavored curds and hit the road south back to VA.

Overall the numbers of the fish were much less than what I had read about, but wow, the size and fight of them rival any fish in the New. They put the James and Doah fish to shame. The Northerns add a whole new dimension and require the use of wire, unless you want to lose a lot of flies. The rain they've had all summer obviously made a huge negative impact. I'll definitely be back soon and I cannot wait to fish the Menominee and Peshtigo and flowages when the water levels are normal.

Sorry to rattle on! If you are a smallmouth lover, this area has to be on your list.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Wow! What a trip! Thanks for sharing the report.

Every trip you go on is a "trip of a lifetime" in my book. Hopefully one day I can also make it on a fishing adventure somewhere. Until then, vicarious living it is...

Thanks! I'll say that every one of my trips is certainly not a trip of a lifetime, but I much appreciate the compliment!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Awesome report. You guys have no idea what I would give to find a nice, walkable/wadable stretch of smaller water to work for smallmouths. I think of everything I miss from back home in Abingdon, that may be a top 2/3 thing.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Thanks French. I'd highly recommend the Rivanna south of Hooville.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Awesome report, thanks for sharing. I'd been looking for something new on this thread since I haven't been able to get out, and this was the perfect temporary fix! Some beautiful fish and some beautiful country. :)

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Thanks for the report, flyguy. Great pictures and descriptions. As to northern smallmouth, closer to home, you can get a taste of that same body type and fight in the spring on the Susquehannah. Bigger shouldered footballs when compared to the New. I was surprised at the difference, since it's not that far away.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

You are welcome and thank you! I have thought a lot about the Susq and I'm sure I'll hit it at some point. Have a guide friend up there who also says those fish are really big. There's also a guy who perfected a specific fly on that river by the name of Clouser....

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Have spent four days in the early spring fishing the Susqy with Ken Penrod. That is one really big river. We fished from a jet boat, and Penrod knows that river better than anyone alive, I'd warrant. Kayaking in the spring wouldn't be a good way to fish it, I can vouch for that. As for the size of the fish, I will say that if you are looking for a six pounder, you're probably better off on the New, but the fish in the Susqy are built differently, and shaped more like footballs, similar to Great Lakes northern strains. An 18" fish there would weigh more, and I think fight a bit harder, than a similar length fish on the New. First spring, our two day total was around 70 fish, with bitter cold, windy and rainy conditions. Second spring, we were well over a hundred total for two days, and Penrod keeps a clicker (as do all of his guides) so the counts were pretty accurate, not that I can remember them exactly 5 and 6 years later. I did get a 20+" fish on back to back casts in the confluence of the Susqy and the Juniata, the second of which went right at 5 lbs. Most of the fish were around 18", though, and I remember thinking that the fishing put the New to shame. That river has problems, though, with runoff and pollution, and the area where we fished wasn't nearly as picturesque as the New, but all of the fish we caught were healthy and I was seriously impressed. I have caught enough smallmouth for my lifetime, but if I were a rich man, I'd be fishing the Susquehannah every spring with Penrod or one of his guides for the rest of my fishing days.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Good to know! I have heard of Ken's name in fishing circles. Thanks for all the intel, I may need to move it up the list of places to fish!

I have yet to find a warmwater river as picturesque as the New.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Ken is an icon, and really knows his stuff. He's been doing that stuff for decades. Also check out the Northern Neck Anglers on Google, I think it is on tidal fish or something for the video and post of Ingram Bay trout fishing, from a kayak, that produced a most unlikely fish, with pictures. A big tarpon took the guy's Mirrolure that was sitting still on the bottom when the guy went to take a leak. Fish jumped, landed in too shallow water to swim, and according to his report, he jumped on the fish and wrestled it to a standstill, got the lure out (pic) and took one from his Go Pro with the tarpon on his lap. A big tarpon, at least for these waters. Anyway, even as long winded as I've been about it, ya gotta see it. I'd go there just for the trout fishing, which looked really good.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Side note - if the weather holds out, I'll be on Lake Anna early tomorrow AM. I've been a river guy, so big water is new to me; any suggestions on lure selection for Anna in August?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I don't know Anna at all. In my experience fishing on big water lakes in August has been pretty tough. I will defer to others, but working points adjacent to deep water with soft plastic (lizards, texas rigged, barely crawled on the bottom) has been the summer pattern that has worked best for me. Granted, the whole Senko style came after I completely stopped bass fishing, so I will defer to others and suggest that their advice is probably better.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Dynamite is my best suggestion.

In all seriousness it's known as the Dead Sea for a reason I have one hell of a good bass fisherman I go with out there and we never catch more than 5 if we're lucky usually catch them on 6 inch floating worms on a neg rig style hook bouncing it along the bottom

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thanks for the feedback! We ended up sneaking out Sunday afternoon + just stuck with bobber fishing, sounds like that was the right call from what ya'll are saying. :) The kids caught a pile of tiny bream + went swimming in a lake for the first time. Good times.

Not sure if these will come through, but giving a shot.


Hokie fan | W&M grad

Last week I again guided on the James in Richmond. Two anglers, wade fishing with me and both of them could cast very well. ZERO smallmouth came to hand. I'm dumbfounded. The river is dead below Bremo Bluff. The Upper James River Keeper sent me the numbers from the last two years of electroshocking study by VGDIF. The numbers are abysmal below Bremo Bluff. I wonder why that is? Cough *Dominion* cough. Above, it seems like the numbers are pretty good, though reports I'm hearing are that numbers are down above Hooville as well. I'm done guiding on the James for the year and may even skip next year.

Friday night I cruised down to Roanoke and spent the night with my friend catching up over beers with his wife. Reports I was getting was that the New was fishing very well, particularly poppers on fly. Saturday we floated from Eggleston to Pembroke. Indeed the fish are looking up for cicadas falling out of the trees along the bank. You can hear the constant drone of the bugs. The river was busy to say the least, alot of folks kayaking and 5 or 6 jet boats that felt the need to haul ass up and down the river all afternoon. I could have a put a bullet hole through their outboards... they could not have been more annoying. We ended up sticking an 18 inch fish, a few at 15-16 and several in the 12-13 inch range. No true studs, but I'm sure we missed a few fish. It is awesome watching them sip a popper imitating a cicada. Finished off the day seeing a dead musky mid thirty inches long floating down the river. Summer is NOT the time to go after 'skis.

Saturday night I planned on taking it easy, but a las, ran into some friends and ended up at Tots. Two and a half rails later and Sunday was ROUGH from a physical standpoint. Ended up floating Pembroke to Ripplemead and I dropped my bugs into every fishy looking hole. Every smallmouth I saw bolted, they were in a spooky mood. I only caught two. The good news, I didn't puke on the river. I need to get back down again next year and try again with the late summer poppers. I doubt I'll get the chance to try for them again this season. The New remains the prettiest smallmouth river I've ever been on and my favorite fresh water spot to fish. Eager to hear how hokienator did today.

Today I guided a client and we hit the Piankatank (thank you VTFishIam for your email with intel) and my typical docks produced zilch. I was very surprised. Ended the day with two stripers and a rat red as we watched the eclipse from the boat. Nobody out on the water but us which was nice.

I'm guiding again this upcoming weekend in the Bay and several days next week, and then hitting OBX and Cape Lookout for Labor Day and the week after. The best salt fishing of the year, Sept and Oct, is just around the corner! Will definitely have some more reports by late September.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

What are your favorite float trips to do in Virginia?

Anywhere on the New around BBurg and the South Fork of the Shenandoah around Luray. Rivanna also is sneaky good below Charlottesville

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Thanks, I have all of those on my list to try out. Rivanna especially since it's so close to Richmond and since it's smaller seems more manageable fishing with my lack of river fishing experience. My work is 10 minutes away from Hugenot Flatwater/Pony Pasture area so I will go there to but have my expectations tempered from all your reports.

Let me know how you do fishing the James. I don't fish Hugenot Flat Water at all.

Rivanna is better fished earlier in the summer with higher water levels but you could probably still do it this time of year. You may need to drag your kayak/canoe in a few spots. The put in is on the road to Lake Monticello and take out is in Palmyra. 6 mile float

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Will do. My buddy goes on flathead catfish trip with a guide every year in September. I'm going with him this year.
The float starts at Huguenot flatwater with fishing for panfish and smallies then goes on to hit deeper holes for the flatheads. So I'm hoping that will give me an advantage on figuring out the area quicker. Even if it's more panfish which is what I expect, I can build off that

I hope there are panfish. I haven't seen many at all this year. Catfish certainly love them. You can get a lot of catfish on the fly in James around RVA

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Gotcha. I hope there are too. It would be nice to go out after work and be able to easily catch a few. I've been thinking about getting an ultralight rod for that.

Labor day, I'll be on the 'doah. Can't wait!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I love that cicada, is that specific to a fly rod? I'd love to get something that'll work with a spinning rod.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Not to speak for him but yeah it's for fly fishing. Try a Heddon Torpedo or Tiny Torpedo. A retrieve with plenty of pauses seems to work for me. It's not a close replica like this fly but it's a close enough interpretation to catch plenty of fish. Good luck on the Shenandoah. I love that river after growing up fishing it all summer every year. Post some pics!

Thanks for the tip - I'll give the Torpedo a shot next time I get out! PS - had some WildTurkey last night.

A pic of the Shenandoah from last year - me and my little buddy nestled in the mountains; hard to beat days like this. He called that spot his Money Spot (for good reason):

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Man that brings back so many good memories...what a beautiful river.

While I personally prefer the Baby Torpedo, a bigger version of the Torpedo, for big fish, I can tell you that for catching big smallmouth on the fall New River cicada bite, nothing will adequately replicate the drift of a dead/dying cicada except a properly presented, dead drifted popper. Fished tightly in the shade under brush, not popped or "worked" which tends to spook the big fish, a nicely tied bug will catch big fish even in the middle of a hot day, an unusual time to get big fish to participate. They are keyed in on them, but they seem to want them dead, and usually don't expend a ton of energy on the take...pretty much a "sip", turn and go. While the bug doesn't need to replicate the cicada, per se, a well crafted one is evocative rather than imitative in nature.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Cicada flies are deadly for carp too during the hatch. My brother and plenty of others have slayed them.

Yep on the carp, and you can add trout as well. The last big 17 year hatch I was around for up there, people were coming from England to fly fish for carp on Claytor Lake. One of my dogs, a normally 15 lb pup, suddenly gained several pounds. Wife and I were arguing about who was overfeeding the dogs when I looked out the window and saw her picking cicadas off of a downed willow branch. We had to cut her food in half until they quit emerging. Everything loves those things, that goes for "dog day" cicadas as well, but when the 17 year hatch comes out, it's game on.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It is tied for a fly rod. Chuck Kraft style bugs. They are actually pretty heavy, I'm sure they could be cast on a very light spin rod.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I've tried it...didn't work for me. Heavy for a fly, light for a lure.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Sounds like I might be outta luck unless flyguy can make a cicada imitation that's a little heavier than the normal ... *eyes cut over to flyguy* - what do you think? I live in Richmond + have cash (well enough for a lure or two anyway). :D

Hokie fan | W&M grad

You bet your ass I can. Email me: knotthereelworld@gmail.com

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Email sent - can't wait to see what you can come up with!!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'm sure he can tie a bang up cicada for you. I've bought a handful of cicada imitations made for spinning gear through the years, but they haven't worked. Main reason is that they aren't made for use in the same way the fly works. The lures are made to be cast and retrieved, no real difference from other surface or crankbait lures. The "secret" of the cicada popper is to get it under brush into the shade line and very close to shore, letting it drift with the current with absolutely no working motion other than what it takes to mend line to maintain the drift and avoid hanging up until the fish eases up and sips it down. Try to work it or pop it, and the fish will usually just turn and vanish. Sounds doable, and perhaps flyguy can come up with the perfect product, but it'll be interesting to see if you can make this work on spinning gear. I sure hope so. Best thing to do is learn to fly fish! It's not hard to learn and I'm sure flyguy can teach you. I've seen him work, he's good at it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'd love to get some time with a flyrod, but with 3 little ones, if I'm going fishing, they're generally coming with me and going to require most of the focus and attention. That's why I was hoping to find something I could tie on to an ultralight rod, and take a quick cast or two when I get an opportunity. Is the concern that I won't be able to get the adequate distance? I'd figured, on letting it just float like you'd mentioned, though I can see where it would be difficult to find the perfect balance between castability and still having it float.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

The James has gone off a cliff this year in particular I've fished even above bremo and it's gotten way worse this year last year we had a few near 100 fish days this year we haven't had a day out of the 30s and no big fish to speak of it's been really worrying trips that were killer last year appear dead this year and we have yet to find any good trips this year, the complete lack of panfish has always worried me in particular it's been years since I've caught a bream on the James

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thanks. It is worrisome to hear this

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Took my first pilgrimage to the holy land today, yes I mean the new river and it was well worth it. Took a guided trip with a fly guide on the new learning how to fly fish the proper way and I lost a few studs early trying to get the hang of playing 19 inch plus fish I struggled early but my girlfriend stuck and landed a 20-3/4 inch, 4-1/4 pound smallie and being her first real fly trip landed a couple more 16-17 inchers and a bunch of 12-15 smallmouth. I on the other hand lost two very very very nice fish before finally breaking my curse and on the last stretch before taking out landed a 19 inch 3-1/2 pounder on the bug and for someone who'd never fought something that size on the fly I was nervous as crap but got him in. First class trip I will be making many more pilgrimage trips back to the promise land again.

Crap like this is sad 40+ musky

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Awesome, who did you fish with?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Jim Richmond was the guide, he said it was a slow day but I didn't complain we had a heck of a time

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Awesome. He's a good guy and guide. I figured it was him based on the fly your gf was using.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Yeah his flies were exquisite far from the stuff I get from greentop they were way more durable, Jim took a first time fly fisher woman and got her a citation with her casting not exceeding 15-20 feet at maximum she's learning but he had to stealthily keep us on the shore to help get us close enough so I cannot say how nice it was fishing out of his raft!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I hate seeing those musky float by. Had a couple of boats fish last fall and for some reason the musky were hitting crankbaits way more often to be a coincidence in our boat. I told my buddy lets change tactics after breaking off two with a double treble hooked square bill in their mouth. We met up with our other boat at the end of the float and they said they tried to land them all afternoon and broke several off. Probably killed a few nice fish and likely would've been the same had they gotten them in and got the lures dislodged. Hate to see that.

Oh my!

Where is Lawson?!

Yeah the guy at the take out said the guy we passed up river kills every musky he catches dunno why but we also saw a 4 pound smallie days old float by hate seeing that stuff

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

keep'er

Like Hokieflyguy, I could have identified Jim as your guide just by the bug, but since I recommended him to you, I didn't need to guess. I am happy you had a good day, kinda figured you would. I have said many times that the best fly fishing for smallmouth in Virginia is the fall cicada bite on the New, and your "slow" day would have thrilled most avid fly anglers. Jim knows his fly fishing, and his fly box would be worth killing for (yeah, I've said that before, too). Really glad he got you on to some big fish, as this is the time they're available best for fly fishermen. Nice pictures, too.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The trip was top class best trip I've had in years and finally I've learned how you're actually supposed to cast a fly rod!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Now that I finally know how to properly cast a fly rod I was itching to go again all week and dipped out of work early to go pop around in a farm pond and man it feels nice to finally have some range and accuracy to my fly fishing caught plenty of bream and bass and managed to snag my first chain pickerel on the fly poor guy looked skinny as can be with the summer heat

Heading off to Avon, NC this week if anyone has any tips they'll be welcome bringing my surf and saltwater gear and cast nets and clam rakes hoping the weather will give us a few days of fishing!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

East wind- head to Rodanthe pier with a 10lb class spinning rod and a gotcha or Bowed Up Lures Zig Jig (made by former Hokie fullback Billy Gorham), and a heavy spinning rod with 50lb braid and a fluoro leader attached to a Bowed Up Lures bucktail to find cobia.

If it is a prevailing SW wind, get on a make up charter out of Oregon Inlet and experience some of the best white marlin fishing in the world.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Get on google earth, look up flats nearby where you are staying in Pamlico Sound. You want to find flats with some grass, pot holes are good. Get in a kayak or SUP and go paddle those flats on a high tide to falling with light wind. Take a spin rod and gold spoon. Look for cruising redfish

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I read this and I completely trust any fishing advice you offer. But do folks really fish from a SUP? I tried for a week this summer while on vacation and my best ride was about 30 seconds before eating it big time. And that was light surf. Maybe I'm just terrible at it. I can't imagine casting from one let alone hooking a sizable red.

they make sup's that are designed for fishing

edit: I know zip about pamlico but if the bottom is firm and water isn't too deep, you might consider yakking until you find fish (or nervous bait) then anchor up and get out and wade

Yep, Bote makes a pretty cool paddle board built for fishing and fly fishing. Holds a Yeti and a leaning post on it, it is not cheap. I've got a client that prefers SUP over kayak. Personally, I've never been on an SUP and would like to drop 20 pounds before attempting it. However, my Jackson Cuda 12 kayaks are the same width as SUPs at 30 inches and I stand in them just fine. Granted, I've been doing it for years and have taken a few spills. (7 beer standing ability is the max in a Jackson Cuda for this guy) I prefer a kayak I can stand in versus a SUP because it allows me to sit an paddle or stand and paddle. The SUP is just stand as far as I can tell.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

i can't imagine a SUP tracking very well without a skeg and then you probably draft deeper than a 'yak...at least that is what I tell myself. too many oyster bars here for a skeg

i'm looking at the relatively inexpensive but a little heavy pelican "catch" 120 kayak for a sit high/stand up option. my back won't let me sit more than an hour in a regular SOT kayak (i have 2 perceptions). at 34" wide and a bit of a cat hull design, i'm hoping it will do the trick. lighter would be nicer but transport isn't much of a factor.

I was looking into buying that kayak but West Marine is having a sale on the Pescador Pro. The reviews were also favorable although it is 32 1/2" wide but people said they could still stand easily. I think either would work and I do like the nice stadium seat on both of the models.

If you aren't sight fishing, going with a popping cork and a 3" gulp shrimp is a solid option.

What do y'all think, time for a fall fishing thread come September 1?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Good plan.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Please! Maybe it will change the Mojo. I have caught less than dick this entire year. One pre-spawn LMB at 5# and nothing else. The muskys and northerns were off in Canada. Even the walleye were slow. Largest Canadian fish:

18" walleye-That's one expensive fish!

Where is Lawson?!