April-May 2018 Fishing Thread

Post your fishing reports and fishing questions here for April-May 2018.

Here was my biggest striped bass from Sandy Point yesterday. I should have started a new thread but forgot it was April 1.

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Nice

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

Tried for shad for a couple hours after work yesterday. Hooked one but had a weak hook set and got off on the jump. I saw a few other shad caught. Seemed slower than Thursday. Might have been cause I hit it during slack tide.

French, how much space do you have between your shad dart and your spoon on the double rig?

I went out of Osborne Landing in Richmond on Friday afternoon and didn't have any luck, though I was with the kids and we didn't drive up far enough to get to the better areas. The winds were tough but the water was still really cold (51 to 54 degrees), and there weren't many other boats on the water. Definitely seems like the run hasn't gotten hot yet.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I saw people catching a good amount on Thursday. I've seen some other posts online where they did well. It is probably not at peak but there are enough around to catching some. I saw quite a few just jumping around my kayak last night to add to my frustration.

A friend of mine went out yesterday around downtown and caught 1 from the banks. He ran into another guy that said he saw them jumping everywhere but only caught a handful. They were both using white swim baits with a jig head. Do you have a picture of the double rig setup you are talking about?

804

I tie a double uni knot to my main line. I tie my dart about 4 inches from the uni, and the spoon about 12-16 inches from the uni knot on the other end.

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

Okay, I had it closer together to start last night but then broke off and tried with a longer leader to the spoon (2-3 feet) thinking that it would have some more action and ended up getting snagged more.

Uni to uni is by far my favorite knot for splicing two lines together. Fairly easy to tie and I don't know that I've ever had one fail at the knot. Works great for braid and a flouro or mono leader.

Took a client to a bass pond this morning. Guy has medical issues so he is very slow moving and only fishes spin gear. I put on a small Rapala and got a few hits, then realized I had a bag of Zoom lizards in the bottom of the box. (I may open my conventional tackle box once every two years.) Put on a Carolina rigged lizard and BAM, immediately catches a chunky two pounder. Landed two more over the next hour on it. Forgot from my much younger days how effective a lizard is in the spring for LMBs! Going to have to go to the vise and figure out a pattern for them.

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

I don't fish for bass much, if at all anymore. When I did, my go to was a pumpkinseed zoom lizard with a pink fire tail rigged Texas-style. 99% of the largemouth bass I have caught has been on that inexpensive set up.

When I see Senkos, Ned Rigs, Whopper Ploppers, Alabama Rigs, etc etc etc, I just scratch my head. That seems like a lot of work and different rods to do all those presentations.

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

And it doesn't need to be just a spring presentation. It works all summer. For me, all my life I heard people tell me about how slow you need to present it. Then I fished with them and they worked the lure much faster than I did. For me, small twitches and crawl it. If there are fish where you are fishing, you will get strikes on that lizard when nothing else will touch it.

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

Good call.

Also, if anyone is located in Blacksburg you can catch a few decent largemouth at Pandapas Pond using lizards. The pond is full of the 4-6" salamanders and the bass love them. Nothing huge but definitely fun when nothing else around here is going on. Sounds crazy but I have had success using a slip bobber rig and unweighted lizards. It allows you to slowly draw the lizard up to the surface which mimics the behavior of the naturals somewhat as they come slurp oxygen before diving back down.

My last experience at Pandapas had a beaver chasing me the entire way around the pond. I started to fish and then he closed in. I packed up and moved a 100 yards or so, and five minutes later he came swimming up. He chased me the entire way around the pond. Very surreal.

that's what happens when you feed a beaver

...can't tell if you're serious or making a dirty joke. Either way, I like it.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Ummm, I read it as "Yes"

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

Here's the thing about skanky beavers, you can either shoot 'em or pass 'em on to the next guy. I like to shoot 'em.

- My crazy redneck friend when we were hunting beavers in a pond way back in high school

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

Senkos are just as simple or even more simple than the lizard. Throwing them weightless is the most effective way I use and just jerk it a couple times and they cannot resist it when they are on beds. The movement and the colors they offer are second to none (especially to YUM Dingers) but they are 7-8 dollars a pack.........

"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.

I hear you, it's so hard to get away from a senko, you can do so much with them.

Slight aside - my youngest has been pleading with me to make some lures together, so we finally made some time this evening, and this was the result. I did the dangerous stuff, but the rest was all his...not a bad hellgrammite for a 5 year old.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

that's really good!

That's smallmouth candy right there. Ive always wanted to get into making soft plastics, is it all that hard?

"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.

It's not hard at all once you have the tools. Check out do-it molds, they have everything you need.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Senkos are unreal on smallmouth. Still trying to develop a fly to mimic it reasonably well

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

I don't know what it is about them, especially on the New. I have tried YUM Dingers too and they won't even sniff them. Wacky, weightless, texas-weedless, it's crazy.

"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.

I beg to differ. I have put thousands of New River smallmouth in my boat with YUM Dingers. I had a special way to rig them, and I will agree that Senkos are maybe a superior bait, due to their softness, but I made a living using Dingers.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I thought the same thing when I first read his comment, I was so confused I read it again. I'm thinking he's saying they won't even sniff them, they just eat them?

I have tried so many times with Dingers and I cannot get them to bite it. I don't know if it is me or not but I just have so much confidence in Senkos I just stick with them. Any tips on dingers would be appreciated though because it will help my wallet!

"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.

When I was guiding, I used a combination approach of Senkos, Dingers, and even occasional Bass Pro Stik-0s. The softness of the Senko was a plus, and I liked them, but the Dingers weren't as hard as the Stik-os, and they offered a myriad of colors, some not available in the Senko. I pretty much was color driven, but the cost was a consideration for sure, and the Senko was pretty expensive compared with the Dinger, and the BP offering was cheapest. The softness of the Senko made it less attractive when the fish were really biting because it would only catch a bass or three where the Dinger was good for more fish. I only used one or two colors of the Bass Pro worm. In muddy water or really early in the season, I'd prefer the Senko because we were fishing for fewer bites and the black Senkos were very good in colored water. When fishing for numbers in the summer, though, the Dinger was the mainstay, with the various pumpkin with different flakes being the best producers. My phone number is in the fishing threads as is my email if you want some specifics on the rigging I generally used. I pretty much guarantee you won't come up with it on your own, but it was solid gold for me.

Edit: Confidence is a big thing. I use Gulp reflexively for some of my saltwater fishing because I know it works, regardless of its expense and the stink of it all. I'm sure something else would work as well, but I have so much confidence in Gulp, I need someone to show me something else working better before I'm switching.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That's some sweet stuff. Love the weedguard, too. Small conehead weights on the front of some? So simple.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I tied some with dumbbell eyes as well. Some I struggle to throw with my 8WT and a light action spin rod could cast them a mile. Imagine a worm lure that you never had to worry about tearing off the hook or coming apart.

Thanks! I've actually been tying a version of this for awhile. It is a very good fly, but to get that exact replica of the action of a Senko is basically impossible. The density of the soft plastic in the water just has an unreal action to it.

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

Humans are a fucking disgusting species. Way to shit where you eat. Nothing new, I know, just venting.

Dominion Power... I hate this company so much it isn't even funny

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

Without getting into the politics of it all, I want to share an anecdote that highlights the ignorance that abounds. I recently "suffered" through 4 days without power due to that snowstorm. A curmudgeon in my office walks up the day power came back on and asks "how'd that hot shower feel this morning?" Then proceeds to spout venom towards all those opposed to the mountain valley pipeline. He was basically saying that a hot shower being available at all times is more important and of higher value to him than the protection of our native environment.

I am not educated enough to weigh in on the various pros and cons for the pipeline. I'm just somewhat put off by folks who won't even consider that something other than human comfort and convenience might be well placed higher on the collective priority list.

One of my best friends has a new 125' swath cut across his Giles County property, so I will admit to being biased, but the fact is that the pipeline will not be providing any energy of any kind to anyone in Giles, and isn't likely to provide any energy at all to anyone in Virginia. This is a money maker for Dominion and that's the bottom line. I'm all for eminent domain for necessary infrastructure, but this is a for profit project with absolutely no value for anyone but Dominion and a few small-time temporary jobs during the construction/destruction phase.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

While having no direct connection or reason to be, I'm equally biased. Shit like that just really grinds my gears. "I don't know why I get fightin mad, but for some ole redneck reason I do." Song lyrics aside, I'm going to leave it at this for fear of hitting on the anti politics policy of this community. The pipeline is wrong and I have a bad feeling at least one environmental issue will pop up due to its construction and operation.

If I'm your buddy I wouldn't have any of that equipment on my property without it being permanently disabled as soon as it touched my land.

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

They came with cops. The pipeline swath crosses his driveway and is far too close to his house for comfort. Talk about screwing up property values. Dave fought the pipeline as hard as legally possible, and still is involved in the effort, but has little hope that anything he can, or is prepared to do, will have any effect on what is a "done deal". The money they offer for taking the land isn't enough to offset the ruination of a really cool place that he has essentially built and lived on since the late '60s.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Unreal. It's a shame that in the US, Dominion can essentially act like terrorists and despite the thousands and thousands of people that oppose what they do, they "legally" can take someone's land for their profit.

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

I'd love to talk to that asshole. Thanks to Dominion, I suffered through 9 days without A/C or power in early September several years ago when whatever hurricane it was blasted the east coast and knocked Richmond out of power. My cousin and I actually had power still on after the storm but noticed a tree leaning on our lines. We called Dominion, alerted them to the situation and they sent a crew out who didn't turn off our power but proceeded to cut the tree down, which ripped the lines off our house and set an electrical fire off on the side of our home, which my neighbor had to put out with fire extinguishers. We had black burns up and down the side of our house. The Dominion crew left afterwards without doing anything or even notifying us what happened. The neighbor watched the whole thing and told us what happened while we were at work. Power was restored to the neighborhood, except our house and we went days without it being turned back on. Dozens of phone calls later and Dominion still refused to take ownership of the mistake of not cutting off the power or attempting to properly remove the tree and charged us with hooking the power back up. The most insane bullshit I've ever been a part of. Talk about discomfort...

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

Suck it up fly! We were out for 16 days! Finally got some ones generator and it came back like 4 hours later.

Year 3 is coming up!

That sucks. At least yours was storm damage and not caused by a big ass corporation.

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

It's actually Dominion Energy now. And that company has (and has had) a gargantuan of Hokie alums there (from top to bottom).

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I wish VT alums would take a better look at the company they get hired by and work for and what the company claims to value versus what it actually does before signing on the dotted line.

I have taken out numerous clients that work for Dominion and I hold back no feelings on who they work for and what Dominion does to the same river/environment they are paying me lots of money to try and catch a smallmouth in.

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

Warnings such as these are nothing new for either river. Add to the New's problems the fact that the Radford Arsenal is the largest polluter in the state, and you have a cautionary tale. Lots of locals disregard the warnings, however, adding to any potential problems. They can't see it, they don't taste it, and they feel ok the next day after eating it, so it's just fine and the nabobs spouting sciencey warnings are dismissed. There are still a lot of folks who think that dilution is the solution, but things like Keypones stay around in the sediment for decades. In Giles Co., we (meaning a robust clean up committee called "Renew The New") did a great job of reducing obvious trash and dumping sites in and around the river, but the stuff you can't see will screw up the water just like baby diapers and old tires will. Watta world, watta world.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Tech environmental classes were still teaching dilution is the solution to pollution in the mid 90's.

I can't remember if it was Renew the New or not but back when I was in school and working for Tangent we essentially shut down for a day and had an organization take a lot of our boats out to clean up the New. Some of us (guides) went along behind them making sure everyone was being safe, taking bigger items on the raft etc. It was incredible the amount of stuff they picked up: cans of all sorts, tires, bumpers, giant plastic drums, etc. I can't remember the exact float they did I want to say it was McCoy to Ripplemead, maybe Pem to Rip, but they did a hell of a job.

Nice to hear Tangent is finally involved in Renew The New. When we started the committee, and as long as I participated in the clean ups, Tangent was conspicuously absent from the effort.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The owner is a great guy and incredible fisherman but very set in his ways. I know we did it at least twice while I worked there ( 2012-2015). To be fair to his business I can see why he might not want to donate the cost of us not only not operating for a day but also running company vehicles and equipment all day is a pretty extreme cost to a business that size. At the same time you really want to keep the resource your business is based around in top condition, which we always did our part just not to the extreme scale of those one off events and more of a clean up everything we can while we're out guiding.

I know him. Most of the other pros in the region were in on the cleanup, doing just what you described, investing the entire day and loads of resources to protect the resource. As I said, Tangent was conspicuous in their absence. I left the area, and resigned from the committee in 2012, and I know exactly why they weren't joining in. I used to work for them before I went independent and started my own business and I know how they roll. I will stop there because I have very strong feelings about things that are far enough in the past that I need to let go. As for daily cleaning up, I believe my clients cleaned up more trash at the ramps while I was running shuttle than Tangent cleaned up anytime I ever saw them. I will give them this, Tangent didn't add to the problem, they were just not involved in the larger solution, so while he was making money, we were cleaning up the river for his clients as well as for ourselves and our clients and everyone else out there using the river. Obviously, it still chafes a bit.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Moved around my pond yesterday and noticed that male bass are starting to move into the shallows and fan out some beds. Mind you this is in a 2 acre pond that probably has warmer water than most larger lakes, but it's the first time I've noticed them there this spring. Weather here was sunny and 75 yesterday evening, and it appeared most activity had taken place since the weekend. A large cold front is supposed to move through this weekend that will likely shut things down for a bit, but just thought I'd pass along as an FYI as things will pick up quickly as soon as we get some stable weather.

Grand daughter's first bass. I held the rod and she did the crankin'.

Year 3 is coming up!

That's awesome. Way to get them outside and interested in the outdoors. I don't know where else I'd find such solace in my life if my family and friends hadn't introduced me to the outdoors at an early age. It's such an integral part of who I am and it teaches you so many things about the world around us. Congrats again, hope there's many more moments like that in her and your future.

really special moment!

I see she also got the good genes

Hey, I am looking for a new reel for my light fishing rod as the old one broke. I primarily use it for bass and trout fishing. Any recommendations. I am looking for a deal for a casual fisher. Reading some of the comments in these threads reminds me there are a lot more serious fishermen out there.

I've had good luck and see a lot of positive reviews on Pflueger President reels (I assume you're looking for a spinning reel). They come in several sizes to fit your needs and are fairly inexpensive given the quality. As stated below, buy the best reel you can afford. A cheap reel that has to be replaced every couple of years is not a bargain compared to one twice the price that will last 5 times as long. There's several sales going on right now and you can probably save a bit if you shop around.

Y'know, for a really casual amount of use, I'd recommend sticking with well known names and looking at their mid-priced offerings. I have had a lot of luck in the past with Daiwa, and a lot of folks like Shimano. There are a ton of other reels out there, though, so it may just come down to seeing last year's model on sale at your local Bass Pro or something. I think most brand names have similar degree of competence in their mid-range stuff, but most anglers will tell you that whatever they bought last is the best thing on the market, so good luck. In the end, spend what you feel you can afford and just know that the less you spend, the sooner you'll be in the market again.

Edit: Meant as reply to HokieAlum.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks, the reel I am having to replace came on a rod that my father in law made for me last Christmas. It didn't even last a season of casual use before literally the bale snapped. I have used Daiwa (have some old rods of theirs as well).

My collection of rods and reels is very eclectic ranging from the bamboo rods that I inherited from my grandfather, to rods that my dad built out of spare parts when he had no money.

I definitely don't have a problem spending money on a quality reel if it is going to last. I just wasn't sure if there were any reels to specifically target or avoid in today's market.

I'm a Shimano guy but regardless of brand there is one feature I require...and that is the ability to oil the reel without having to open up the body. Typically it's just a screw covering an oil port. Makes routine maintenance, and the likelihood you'll do it, much easier.

My $.02.

My rule for reels: I have to like how it feels. I don't care who it's made by. I give them a few turns and see how they balance in hand.

Some observations from the feel tests:
More bearings is generally helpful. I've had some 5-7 bearing reels just feel terrible though.
Store brand reels can be all over the place. Bass pro had reels that were everything from awesome to awful.
My ultralight combo felt great. I didn't buy it when I first handled it, but I knew it was the one I was going to buy. Was a Pflueger Trion GX7. Moral of this story: when you find one you like, bite the bullet then. Don't wait and end up having to go back.

I'm going to mention a reel many might not consider, and that is the Shimano Spirex. It's the "quickfire" model with the double paddle handle...front drag. I've used "quickfire" spinning reels since they came out and am quite comfortable with them. Not everyone is, and I get that. Some don't like that it doesn't have the anti-reverse feature until the bail centers. I get that, too.

I've owned 3 of them and bought them for fishing around and often under docks and piers in the lower St Johns River. That kind of fishing is basically quick casting, up on the front of the boat, bass fishing...except I fish for redfish.

They have a bunch of ball bearings and the drag holds up nice with reds up to 30". Under the cheap plastic rear cowling (which I remove and leave off) there is an oil port...easy oiling. Is it a much more expensive reel in disguise? No. Will it operate reliably for many years? With regular maintenance. Yes.

I'll share my experience with the caveat that I'm not suggesting 1 brand or another, b/c owning 1 of any brand isn't a fair sample size.

I've had 5 Shimano's and abused the heck out of 2 in particular, and they've all been excellent (their Sahara and Sedona lines are good an inexpensive). I've had 1 Pflueger + 1 Okuma, and neither operated or held up as well as the Shimano's (the Pflueger now grinds + I ended up tossing the Okuma). I used to have a quantum rod/reel setup that was excellent and inexpensive. That was probably the best value spinning reel I've ever had, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another at all.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I went shad fishing on the James yesterday. I went to a new spot where there were less boats. Talked to one of the boats around me who was catching a decent amount. They said they caught 71 in 2 hours on Saturday upriver. They were fishing their lures a lot faster than I was, once I changed that I got some bites. I lost one shad at the boat. Caught a hickory and then a nice American and a smaller American. I kept the Hickory for cut bait for catfish. I move downriver some and put two rods down and was trying to drift with current but was caught in slack tide. I changed from one edge of the river channel to the other side. Pretty soon, I had my rod tip bouncing but I was preoccupied with retying my other rod which got snagged on the bottom and had to catch it. I check the rod in the water and no fish but still had bait. Dropped it back down and it got hit again. Something weird happened by the time I started reeling it in. I reel up and I have a catfish wrapped up in my line with a full shad in it's mouth not my bait. I thought it was foul hooked so I tried to get my line untangled. Once, I do the catfish realizes that it is hooked and takes off. It is eating drag and my kayak is getting pulled down river. I start gaining some line back and tighten the drag some but it makes another run or 2. I finally get it back to the surface and need to get it in my kayak. Took a few tries but I ended up grabbing the mouth and swinging my leg underneath like I've seen in some kayak fishing videos. My phone got wet so it took longer than I would like to get a photo but I was able to revive it. Based off rough measurements from the picture I took, it was around 40". Tried to drift some more since the current got moving again. I did get snagged in something weird, I thought it was a metal wire at first but it was just 1/4" rope that was extremely tight. It had enough give to get my rigs back but I'm confused on what it was. Overall, great night and got super lucky to catch a nice cat.

Great story, great fish - thanks for sharing!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Damn. Gotta be careful this time of the year... if you fall out in that cold water it can be bad news trying to get back in. Well done!

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

Thanks! I try to take the precautions with the chest waders, wading belt, waterproof top and a life jacket. Definitely have to be careful. I didn't feel the boat rock too much when landing the blue cat which is fortunate since that was my first big fish in the kayak.

Good to hear. I almost drown in the New in mid summer, can't recommend wearing at least one of those inflatable life jackets enough

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

I have a decent life jacket (pfd type 3), I do like that it has a bunch of pockets on the front so I can keep my leatherman, braid scissors, and maybe a lure. In the future I will probably get one of those lighter weight paddling life jackets.

Woke up yesterday morning to an inch of snow on the raft and 26 degrees in Hillsville Virginia. I was down that way to practice rowing and guiding for my spring floats on the New above Claytor Lake with Mike Smith. Snow remained on the banks in upper elevation for the entire day, but it was sunny and got to be fairly pleasant weather wise. We had a solid day, hooking 7 smallmouth and landing 4, at 16", 15" and two 12" fish. The two big ones got away, estimated at 18 and 20 inches. Successful flies were 3 inch white streamers, large Hellgrammite patterns and my 6 inch chatterbait fly. All of the fish ate between 10 am -1 pm as the air temp rose. Water temp was around 50 we guessed. Each fish was hooked in slack water, 4-5 feet deep with boulders in it. I saw several schoolsof 1-2 inch long minnows swimming about, which surprised me. I'd say the season is officially underway...

The raft on Saturday afternoon... it was definitely worse Sunday.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhScbb2nvDu/?taken-by=newriverflyfish

My fish:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhVKZXQAMnT/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

Mike's:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhUnh5eHxVf/?taken-by=newriverflyfish

Blane Chocklett has also been posting some huge smallmouth caught out of the James.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhP1BsdHi0D/?taken-by=blanechocklettfishing

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhU9PFtnMD4/?taken-by=blanechocklettfishing

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

Love the pics and thanks for the details! Those last two images are frigging awesome smallmouth. Can wait to get out on the water again.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

First decent fish of the year. ~7 lbs. I put her right back.

Year 3 is coming up!

Your definition of a decent fish and mine differ slightly. That's a hog! Looks like she's full of eggs and chowing down before the spawn. What are water temps up your way? I may try to get out this weekend and fish in between chasing turkeys.

Damn nice bass! I haven't caught a largemouth that size in years!

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

Spent a half day up Dragon Run out of the Piankatank. Looking for shad. Got one shad, but also got several largemouth up to two pounds, several dink white perch, and three stripers, up to 18". Beautiful tiny run, there were fish in the deeper holes, but the wind eventually made for a tough day.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That is a very cool waterway but damn it is hard to get in there! Were you in a boat?

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

Yes. My buddy lives in the last house on the right before the power lines at the top of the Piankatank, so Dragon Run is in his front yard, pretty much. He has a small Carolina Skiff with a 25hp gas motor and a nice trolling motor, and we really only had one place where we had to trim up and motor slowly. We could hear the traffic on the first bridge upstream, so we got pretty far up there, and we found some pretty deep holes way up the run. One of them was 24' deep. While it is still too early for the foliage, the cypress and such make for a really pretty stream, and as windy as it was yesterday, we were in calm water all morning...until we tried to get back to his house in a gale. Luckily, we just had to cross the river to get to his dock. He has had better days with the shad up there and has gotten several Americans the last couple of years, but we didn't see any yesterday.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That's a pretty shad you caught!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Well thanks for that! He jumped twice, clearing completely both times. Fun fish, but wish there'd been more of them. Oh yeah, while I'd been throwing darts and spoons, I had switched to a Southern Pro Hot Grub in Acid Rain colors on a 1/16 oz jighead trying for a crappie, and the shad hit that. Those grubs caught every fish we boated yesterday.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Anybody fishing in the Oakley Big Bass Tour this weekend?

Looks interesting but I don't get the hourly weigh in thing. Are you talking Smith Mountain?

Year 3 is coming up!

Yes it was, not too much luck this weekend. Caught a 3.25 and a 1lber. Big weight was 8.32lbs

Fished the Nottoway today with a Hokie friend who was able to get away from real world work. I had never been out here prior but we brought my Gheenoe, beer, and three fly rods. We fished a solid 4 hours upstream of the 258 put in before we had to head back because his wife put a 6:30 p.m. curfew on our fun.

To this day, I still question why I would ever get married when I'm given a curfew for fishing when I know plenty of guys out at strip clubs instead.

We found an incredibly promising creek feeding into the Nottoway which produced nothing but a 25 inch copperhead swimming across it. I'm amazed how those snakes literally float on water.

The only fish ended up being a 24 inch citation chain pickerel that crushed a specialty fly I've been working on. I didn't invent it, deer hair guru Pat Cohen did, but my version has tricked two large fish in two trips the past week so far. I'll reveal it if Pat gives me the ok to publicly sell it on my website.

I'm surprised we didn't get a bass or bowfin, but my spin fishing loving, fly fishing hatin', bass tourney entering friend who suggested the Nottoway told me (this evening, after the trip) that the Nottoway is very spot specific in the spring for bass and the big bowfin are finicky early until they get really aggressive in hotter weather. Perhaps summer is when I'll get my big bowfin.

Here's the monster pickerel/mini muskie:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhhXSJbn4pt/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

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

Some advice for you flyguy...don't get married. You aren't ready yet. I was once in the boat with two guys giving me holy hell because I couldn't fish the next day with them. They started up with all this marital advice about telling my wife what I was doing instead of asking, etc. Between the two of them, they'd had six wives. I've been married 45 years in June and I can tell you that I just laughed at them and their divorces and alimonies. I have fished more than most folks I know, happily married or not, but marriage is based on compromise, not lines in the sand. As for your buddies out at the strip clubs, what do you think their wives are doing while they're out spending the family money on cheap thrills? Get those ya-yas out first, and remember that if you're lucky enough to get old and gray, it ain't all bad to have someone getting there with you who actually cares enough about you to stick around and make things a little easier. While I'd love to travel more for fishing, I'll admit that my limitations are more financial than marital, which is my own lazy self's damn fault. Shoulda done more working and less fishing, I guess, but my wife was ok with that, so maybe I did well enough in the long run. I also must admit, though, that I envy you your fishing trips and travel, and get a little vicarious pleasure from reading your accounts and seeing your pictures.
Nice pickerel, by the way!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I am not sure it has to do with how old you are as much as how well you match lifestyles. If one spouse wants to sit at home, and the other does not, someone is going to be unhappy. I've had as many friends get divorced over that as anything else. Mrs. Kville loves to play tennis, 3-4 times a week, and a couple of weekend trips a year, plus wine with her tennis friends whenever anyone has a birthday. Occasionally I come along. I have never said "don't go" even when I did not want her to. She has never given me grief over hunting, fishing, cigar and card night, getting drinks with friends, etc. (excluding either spending too much) Most of the friends we go out with are the same way, because those where one wanted the other to always stay home with them are not together anymore, or are both just sitting home. If either of you cares if the other is with you or not, whether home or out, you both better feel that way. Just my 2¢.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

my life experience is that women and fishing are not mutually exclusive endeavors, and that a person's insecurity is seldom limited to one topic.

Saturday I took out fellow TKP member Hokiewriter for a fly fishing lesson and wade trip near Richmond. Andrew picked up the casting very quickly and we had a great day with a nice bass landed, some crappie and assorted other sunfish and trying to temp some giant suckers/carp into eating but they wouldn't have it. Great day overall. Thanks again for coming out Andrew!

Yesterday I picked up the lady friend from the airport with the boat in tow and hit the Chickahominy Reservoir looking for bass, pickerel and bowfin. If you have not heard of or ever fished the Chick, it is an out of this worldly place. It looks like southern Louisiana and it is 40 minutes east of Richmond. Eagles Landing or Ed Allen's campground are the two put ins. It's a nature lovers paradize... we saw multiple bald eagles, mating snapping turtles, tons of herons, talked back and forth with owls. The fishing can be really good or slow. Generally I like to fish it in April and May. It rained a bit on us yesterday afternoon, but we had a good time with two pickerel landed and several more fish missed.

On the flip side, I still have yet to get a bowfin and it is driving me nuts. I'm told they "are all over the place," but I cannot find one. It's like they don't exist when I'm fishing for them. One of these days I suppose...

The Chick:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhmyDtAHDoF/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhnPwFcnOKM/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

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

Had a fantastic time with HokieFly Saturday. I recommend taking a trip or lesson to anyone interested in getting started. He is a great instructor. First fish on fly was about a 2 lb bass. Consider myself officially hooked thanks to HokieFly. Photos below courtesy of Hokiefly.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhkpwWYDu2y/?taken-by=andysharbel

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhkqBQDjUqq/?taken-by=andysharbel

Fished it once around 1980. We weren't doing much until we spied a couple of guys in a jonboat that were flat out slaying crappie on jigs. We anchored off a good ways and tried to do the same, but with no luck. Our luck turned when those guys finally had enough and moved on. We moved into their spot, anchored up and ended up doing almost as well as they had. Didn't have a depth finder or anything, so not sure why they were in that particular spot, but the hole was full of those specks. Concur on the bayou feel of the lake.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for the report! I have will have to check that place out. I have always seen the reports in the time dispatch but haven't headed down that way.

I can't recommend it enough. It is still a bit early with this cooler spring weather. May is absolutely gorgeous and prime time. If you are going to paddle it in a kayak, definitely put in at Eagle's Landing, paddle across the main section and head right. Keep paddling and paddling. The further up you go, the more remote it gets. A boat will obviously let you cover the most water.

Weedless lures and flies are key. The pickerel love shallow running baits tossed right against the trees and quickly retrieved out. Yellow is my favorite color in the lake but also had solid luck on white.

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

Thanks for the tips! I appreciate it. I will probably be in my kayak. I appreciate having solitude on the water. Just got some weedless hooks recently for reds on the flats so that works out nicely.

You may not have complete solitude. There's usually bass boats running around but you can pretty easily get up into shallow spots and creeks that they will not go into. Just be careful in the main channel areas because they absolutely haul ass and I'm always slightly nervous in my yak that one of them won't be paying attention.

Also, the put in at Eagle's Landing costs $8. Sucks, but the owner is nice and its worth it.

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

Gotcha. That is a little scary. I appreciate you giving me the lay of the land. Are pickerels the best species to target in the shallow spots and creeks?

Concur on the pickerel. I have had a lot of luck with small buzzbaits in May for pickerel. You get bass, also, but the pickerel just love to smack them. I think the ones I've been using are 1/4 oz. Black, white and chartreuse seemed to work almost equally well, but my favorite is a white/chartreuse combo color with a short white trailer. We caught them without trailers, with a bit better hook up rate, but not as many bites, hence keeping the trailer short so they don't concentrate too much on it. Main thing with shallow water buzz baits, you have to have it going the second it hits the water (easier with the small buzzs than the big size) and you must remember not to set the hook until you actually feel the fish. They'll hit and miss, sometimes two or three times, throwing up a bodacious splash, but you just keep the bait moving apace and they'll quite often come back and hit and hook up.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I went down to Beaufort, NC for a few days last week. First day, went out around Atlantic Beach in the morning. Didn't see much activity. Jigged a bit off the reef. Tried fishing the backwaters in the afternoon, had jumping mullet everywhere. No bites. Second day had light wind, headed to the Cape to try and find some Blues. Nothing was happening so headed out to the reef. Jigged stingsilvers and glass minnow jigs. Dad was moving the boat slightly and line started peeling off and wasn't slowing down. I palmed the reel and it instantly broke off. Dumb move, the reel was probably half full to start was confused at first cause I thought I was hung. This was about the third bite I had so far that day. I'm thinking it was a false albacore or bonito. Redeemed myself with a 24.5" red and 18" blue. Caught a bunch of sea bass, smaller blues and grunts. Still kicking myself over breaking that fish off. Fished the backwater the third day, big ole skunk. Rough winds made it tough. Glad to get down and catch some fish in the salt. Hopefully will run into the chopper blues in a week and half when I'm down at Hatteras surf fishing.

Ya'll gotta stop it with the reds, I only have so much time and money ... I don't need any more temptations/hobbies.

Seriously though, that's a beautiful fish!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

!!!!

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

That is the good things about reds. Dont need fancy tackle to catch them and accessible by surf or boat. If you want to get your red addiction started. Take a charter out of Oriental, NC on the Neuse in August/September.

Thanks! They are truly beautiful.

The charter captain to go with out of Oriental is Capt. Gary Dubiel.

(Or you can hire this guy... www.knotthereelworld.com)

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

How big were the sea bass? If they are in season, large enough, and you get enough of them, they are pretty darn tasty.

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

Biggest sea bass was around 13". Out of season right now. I haven't had sea bass in awhile. Seems like it would be good eating. Just gotta get through all the small ones to catch the keepers.

That is the perfect size light tackle red, and perfect size for table fare too!

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

I agree. I usually look for table fare reds from barely legal to maybe 24". After that, they start to lose their appeal.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I usually look for...barely legal to maybe 24. After that, they start to lose their appeal.

Sorry, couldn't resist...

I fully expected no less. I lob 'em up there...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It was a solid fight as always and tasty! I haven't eaten any reds bigger than this.

I've eaten a handful over that size, and had a couple of decent meals with 26"ers, but also a couple of less than satisfactory ones with 25" fish and none of them were as tasty as the smaller reds I've eaten. Taste is so subjective, though, and a good chef can make a lot of magic happen, so I'm sure there are ways to enjoy the larger fish. I don't like a lot of fish that other folks seem to really love though, so I'm not much of a barometer on such things.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I think on a previous thread seems like everyone has their different preferences. A good chef can definitely make the fish taste a lot better.

I've never had taste issues with a red under 28" and I've never kept one over that. The only think I can think of that would affect flavor in a slot fish would be if it had been in VERY low salinity water for awhile...or if you left too much of the red lateral line on it.

I took my family fishing at a friend's place here in Texas over the weekend. A 17-acre spring-fed lake, surrounded by 400 acres of piney woods and seclusion. Using a top-water minnow, I was able to land my all-time personal best, a 5.5-6lb large mouth. It was great! I was so happy to share this with them. On the same trip, my 6-year old son landed his personal best, a 3+lb large mouth as well. What a day!

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

Congrats, that is a monster.

NICE TUB!

Oh I had walleye last night.....just sayin'

Year 3 is coming up!

Great stuff! God really did bless TX it seems. :)

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Anyone here from or live in MN?

Year 3 is coming up!

The rivers are all blown out across the state. Maybe another week before the New and James are even close to fishable after all of the rain earlier this week. That being said, the high mountain streams in the Parks are running very well and the trout are whacking dry flies with a vengeance.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhwUqGNHWPo/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

Also, this weekend is the South River Fly Fishing Expo in Waynesboro. I'll have a booth set up and be giving a presentation Saturday and Sunday on shallow water redfish techniques. There should be several good tiers and lots of good fly fishing info, plus some beer!

www.southriverexpo.org

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

Good luck, flyguy. Hope the show goes well.
I'll also remind folks in the position to do so, that as soon as the water turns color from mud to dull green, the big fish will be in the eddies and shoreline pockets around rocks. Tube 'em and hang on.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That's a good tip on the water color change, I didn't know that. Thanks!

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

Yeah, they're there regardless, but when the water changes color, they start feeding normally again because of the increased visibility, and the fact that a lot of the bait is hanging out there with them. Biggest thing, though, is the proximity of the spawn and their need to fill up before the ordeal. Best of luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays