2018-19 Winter Fishing Report and Discussion Thread

The October thread spilled all the way through December, so it is time to kickstart a new winter thread.

I had the pleasure of joining IFishVT out for a day on the Chesapeake Bay. We had rougher conditions than predicted for the day. Initially, both of us caught fish immediately slow trolling smaller bucktails on the bottom. Chartreuse and white with a grub trailer (I am not sure if we were using 1oz or 1 1/2 oz) bumped up and down as we went just faster than a drift was the ticket. That was my first rockfish on one of Bowed Up Lures rockfish bucktails. I was in the smaller fish, with my biggest only coming in around 17 inches. I also got one on a chartreuse BKD on a 2 oz jig head.

FishVT managed the majority of the fish and two fish over 20 inches, and one was so gorged that I wouldn't have been shocked if she had 2 pounds of small bunker or sand eels in her belly. All fish were released despite FishVT having two keepers.

The coolest part was getting fish on essentially medium action bass tackle, while all the folks around us (and there were plenty of them) were using those giant mojos. And, as always, it was a good day on the water chatting up FishVT, eating peanut butter crackers, and watching the birds dance around.

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As for winter fishing, I am not sure what I have in store. I would love to try togging in the Bay (I have caught some from the shore in Ocean City but I'd love to find some bigger fish.) A couple of my buddies will likely head to the Florida panhandle to find those sea mullet after postponing our original trip, but that would be a tough one to make. I hear the sheepshead are showing around Charleston too.

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

If you can come up with crabs, The Cell has plenty of togs in the winter, and I'd love to do that, but until I win the lottery, I won't have boat enough to do it.

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You will chuckle at this. On Sunday I was in an old bookstore in Winchester, and they had a copy of the old Virginia Fishing book by Bob Gooch (this one was a 1990 or older version.) It had Stingray Point as a prime time tog spot. I just chuckled.

Also, if you can get them, sand fleas are my preferred tog bait, not green crabs. Bev's Bait and Tackle in Ocean City always seemed to have them this time of year before they shut down. I haven't been togging since.

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

Not so funny, maybe. There are some hidden spots locally that you can't get out of the few who are in the know. There are a couple of iron ore reefs just off of Gwynn Isle that are purported to have produce togs in the past, and a couple of rock piles not far from Stingray that are also rumored to hold them. Gotta find 'em though. Stingray could very well be holding some, but I certainly don't have any first hand knowledge of it and have never seen anyone toggin' there. Maybe we oughta give Gooch's pointer a try sometime if we can get the bait.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If you don't mind me asking, what took you to Winchester? That's where I grew up. I can't think of a single reason a person would choose to go there, so I'm assuming work related?

Visiting my future sister in law. We had bitmap at Mr. Noodle and Rice and then went to a used book store.

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

Mr Noodle is amazing! Good choice.

Sheepshead are in Charleston, have been for a few weeks. I need to get out and get after some seen a lot of my friends catching boat loads.

Togs or sheeps would be fun. If you end up going to Charleston, I'd be interested in tagging along.

I did a Mount Pleasant Pier trip in January 2017 and had a good time.

I'd love to try togging for the big ones out on the Bay, but getting to the areas where they can be found is tough sledding.

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

Will probably start probing the New for some musky after the first of the year. Didn't get to make many trips last year so I'm gonna try to make up for it this year. I'm running a prop so we're relegated to above and below boat ramps depending on flows. If anyone hears any reports I'm all ears.

My friend on the New says they're still catching them when they can go. Not every trip, but enough to call it good. One place this time of year I liked is between the Narrows ramps. The one below the Narrows Falls and downstream to the one on the 460 side. Not a lot of mileage, but good ledges and doable in a prop. You probably know all this, but another place is in front of the Sportsman, deep water, RR car in there somewhere, but fished regularly by good musky folks. I knew some guys who hit it regularly for a while with rainbow trout for bait. I have a spot on Claytor Lake that I used to catch, or more likely fight and lose them regularly in the winter when walleye fishing. We've caught three a day twice and two a day several times. I never fished for them, though. Water's 25-35' deep and they were on the bottom, hence the walleye jig minnow getting bit. I caught my biggest one there on a 1/4oz jig and bass minnow on 8lb test. Open water made it possible. Point is, they're not just in the river. I'll reach out to Jim and see what he's done this past week.

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Just out of curiosity, what is Wolf Creek like? I know that's right there in the town of Narrows.

"Can't argue with that logic" - Rick Sanchez

Wolf Creek is a strange body of water. I've never fished it other than where it dumps into the New. It floods crazily all the time, then is a smallish rocky creek for months. It runs for a long way along a valley right into town as you noted, but other than small redeye and smallmouth in the deeper pools along the way, I don't know what would be in there. At the mouth, however, I've gotten some really nice smallmouth, several citations, and downstream from the mouth a couple hundred yards I saw the biggest smallmouth of my life. State record for sure, client even had it on. I thought it was a carp when it approached the lure its head was so wide and it was so long. When it took and rolled to dive, the width of the body astounded all three of us. Fish story, though, in the end, but I was a better fisherman away from being a famous Virginia smallmouth guide. Sigh.

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Might have to check it out.....thanks for the input I just had heard about some smallmouth being in there. I think they stock it with trout a little upstream as well.

"Can't argue with that logic" - Rick Sanchez

Yeah, they do stock it further up, but I think it's a pretty good way upstream.

Edit: Wolf Creek runs all the way from Tazewell Co., past I-77, Burke's Garden, and miles and miles before reaching Narrows. I think it is stocked in Tazewell. It is a ridiculously long creek that drains a tremendous amount of mountain land. When we first moved back to Giles in '86, we saw a lot of houses over there for ridiculously low prices. I mean like 4 BR brick houses for $18,000 cheap. Didn't take much research to find out how badly Wolf Creek floods. I'm sure there are fish in it, but its volatile nature might limit any good fishing. I'm sure some locals know a few hot spots or deep holes that'll hold worthy adversaries, though.

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About a decade ago I caught a citation sized smallie out of Wolf creek - but it was way up in Bland county. That smalmouth was in a huge hole that probably was safe from big floods.

I do hear some locals talk about 6#+ smallies getting fat on trout where Wolf Creek empties into the New, but I have yet to see actual evidence - but your story adds some possible truth to the story!

They actually stock wolf creek from upstream of Shumate all the way through Narrows and almost to the convergence with the New. This is in addition to the portion along 77 near Rocky Gap. I've never fished it, but in researching stocked trout waters I noticed the stocked portions on the VA interactive trout stocking map.

Thanks for the info. I lived there for 26 years and never knew that. Then again, I lost interest in stocked trout decades ago and only went to the Narz to launch or recover, and I never saw trout or any evidence of them or stocking when I did. Most of the poachers I had to run off of my spring creek came from Narrows, but my fish were a hell of a lot bigger than any stocker they'd have there.

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I hear you. I have lost interest in most of the stocked trout. On occasion I'll go in weeks after stocking with my fly rod. One, for the challenge. Two, because my mom loves rainbow trout. I probably go once or twice a year to put a few in the freezer for her, but other than that I avoid the bait dunking crowd like the plague.

almost to the convergence with the New

No doubt musky are nearby and eating those rainbows

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

If it is stocked, you should be throwing a rainbow trout colored musky lure/fly around that creek mouth where it enters the James.

New. Corrected. Too much wine last night.

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

I'll resist the urge to give you grief for the James reference...long way from the Narz to the James, and the water flows the wrong way to boot, but in all my years on the New, I never saw a musky in the stretch between the mouth of Wolf Creek and Narrows Falls. There's some really deep water and a great drop off out from the campground where it seems muskies should be, and there may be some in there, but we never saw one there. Your take on the lure is spot on, though. Muskies love them some rainbows when they can get 'em.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I appreciate you calling me out since I'm a grammar fanatic.

Here's my latest rainbow...

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq8pXK8HOgz/

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

My mother taught me early on that a slip of the tongue is no fault to the mind, but since we're sorta on a friendly basis, I figured I could give you an elbow without you thinking I was challenging your riparian knowledge. On the grammar front, I must admit that it actually causes me to wince sometimes at TKP posts. I make mistakes as often as most, I guess, but you will never hear me say "He should have ran" or "We should have went", etc. Like fingernails on a chalkboard.
Your musky fly looks good. I'd like to see it on the strip. First musky fly I saw actually catch one looked like a baby mink and had tandem hooks. The fish hooked up on the tandem, but a long shank hook could make hook ups more likely than a short shank.

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This fly jackknifes pretty darn hard in the water. I tie them with tandem hooks but lots of fish are caught on single hook flies as well. Brad Bohen, who is one of the muskiest (how's that for grammar? lol) dudes in the country, ties his Buford on a single hook, as well as his Hangtime pattern. Both catch tons of muskie.

I'm exploring different versions that don't always fit the standard bill and are a little easier to tie. Most of my musky flies these days are 9 inches long, so a single hook will work for them. The fish are being hammered and seeing larger baits all the time and I think they feel a little better taking a smaller one. Mike Smith's neighbor caught and landed a 48 inch musky on one of my nine inch flies, and hooked another and lost a larger one than that, both hooked on the trailer. Two other clients of mine caught 40 plus inch fish on my single hook creations. Two hooks is kind of dangerous tying and even worse casting. But those fish do get caught on the trailer hook.

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

You are right on there. Cecil's mink fly with two hooks was a menace to be in the boat with, and he stopped tying them with the tandem hook for ease of casting (not to mention partner safety). You are also right about the fish being hammered these days. Back then, nobody fished flies for them and it was still before everybody and their brothers were chasing them, but these days, it does pay to downsize sometimes. That's why my little Suick was so successful, I think. It just didn't raise the big boys, but it did put a fair number of smaller fish, 10-15lbs, in the boat.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It is worth noting, the first French homestead in SWVA (settled by Matthew French) was at the mouth of Wolf Creek, and there is a monument erected by DAR there commemorating his service during the American Revolution beside of the creek just upstream from the mouth.

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

Please tell me Mr. Matthew French is doing the Heisman pose for the monument.

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

Pretty sure the railroad car it right around the mouth of the little river. Be careful near there as it will take out a lower unit.

I've never seen it, but I thought it was in pretty deep water. I do know muskies are caught around it, though.

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I will spend most of my winter tying flies for shows (doing at least two, maybe three) and prepping for a few talks.

Musky will be available all winter long, as will freshwater trout with the high flows. I plan on doing a bit of both and hopefully getting down to OBX and maybe a trip to the Gulf, when I buy a boat. Also hoping to go to the Bahamas for bonefish for a few days with a buddy.

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

My guide friend Jim Richmond floated Ivanhoe on Sunday fly fishing for muskies. They had one follow and talked with a guy at the mouth of Cripple Creek who'd caught a 45" musky on a hard bait that day. Not exactly hot, but a follow musky fishing is like a close up gobble from a big tom in the spring turkey woods.

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Thanks for info. I'm right there with you - if you're chasing musky and moving fish you've done something. Gonna try a few different hard baits this year that work a bit better in the slow deep holes of the river. Most on the market are made for covering water or trolling on lakes. Tough to find the perfect balance of getting to mid depth quick and staying there on a slow retrieve. So far my best luck has been off of jakes, super shad raps and believers. Sucks to drop $25 on a lure you can't present properly.

Suicks were my best bait over the years, and a small Grandma Plug for winter and a couple of different colored Mepps Muskie Killer and Bouchertail spinners for the summer. I had a small bumblebee colored Suick, maybe only five inches long or so, that was deadly on smaller muskies, summer and winter. All that stuff really adds up.

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I'm going to respond to both of you here -

04Hokie - I have some jointed believers that are really old. You interested? I think I paid like $30 for 6 of them, and I rarely use them. If you want one or two I can meet you somewhere and maybe you can get some use out of them. I would put new split rings and hooks on them if it were me, but they seem to be in decent condition.

Ifish - did you leave your raft out in the winter? I always worry about it getting so cold that it becomes brittle so mine is in the basement. Of course, I have the cheap PVC NRS raft, you had that built like a tank Maravia (that I assume was hypalon or something close).

Yes, my raft was out year round, but I used it a few times a winter for walleye trips on the upper New. When not in use for a few weeks, I'd cover it with a cheap tarp, but that sucker was so tough it never showed any adverse effects. In the 8+ years I owned it, I only had to repair pin holes once, and had a failed valve once as well, but that raft had so much floatation and support that I didn't even know the chamber was flat until we landed at the ramp. I would deflate the boat somewhat to lower the stress when sitting, but not too much in the winter. The Navy Seals helped with some of the design of those rafts and you could tell. The shell was made of PVC encapsulated in urethane. Tough as nails.

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I may take you up on some of those believers if you don't care to part with them. I've got a possible Canada trip lined up this summer as well so I think I could put them to some good use.

Shoot me an email- zsowder AT vt DOT edu

I live in Pembroke and work on campus so I'll be happy to get them to you somehow.

Christmas sale that may be of interest.

Tackle Direct is selling Penn Clashes at pretty big discounts, especially if you are looking for a 6000 size or 2500 size real. I was sniffing around a 5000 size to upgrade my bucktail reel (machined gears on the Clash) but they are on back order and the discount for that size was less impressive. https://www.tackledirect.com/penn-clash-spinning-reels.html

Most big fishing gear places are unloading whatever inventory of Penn SSVs they have to make room for the SSVIs. You can get them in the $70 range from several spots.

Tackle Direct's best prices are on the live liner SSVs https://www.tackledirect.com/search.html?query=SSV

BassPro/Cabelas starts at $90. https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/penn-spinfisher-v-spinning-reel?bvstate=...

I have been looking for a good price on Shimano Stradics or Saragosas, but haven't found anyone dealing. I did pick up about $40 of Owners SSW 10/0 octopus circles (my preferred drum hooks) at some different stops.

Are any of you being your own Santa this holiday season?

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

That power pro deal is a really good price

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

...Cyber Monday find

All good deals, French.

If you are interested in floating the river comfortably (sorry all you yakers), NRS has their 14" PVC raft on sale for super cheap - from $2100 to $1340.

NRS Outlaw 140

I have had this raft for 3 years and been on approximately 65 trips. My only knock is that the floor isn't the most durable - you can get pinholes from hooks or fish, but can easily be patched with Tear-Aid. The floor does come out though and is $400-$600 to replace from NRS. The floor is drop stitch which makes it nice to stand on (almost like a stand up paddle board as a floor).

The actual rubber of the raft has had zero issues so far and the bottom is super durable and tough.

If you are around the New, these things are worth it for the price right now. The fishing frame with three seats will be about $1200 or so. Then after oars shafts, oar blades, oar rights, sleeves, and oarlocks - you could be in a brand new raft for under $3000.

I had my frame custom made, and while it didn't save me any money, I think I got a better frame because it was welded instead of fitted. Fitted frames can wear loose over time and the cracks can be line snaggers. Problem was that my frame was made of 2" aluminum (irrigation pipe) and most add ons like anchor stuff are geared toward 1-1/2" pipe. Still in all, $3000 for a new raft ready to row is a good deal, if you like the raft. Mine cost considerably more than that to put on the water. Then, comes the trailer....

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I would love to really work out a new design for my frame and custom would be sweet. The NRS one is fine but I hate sitting so low while rowing. Not only does it help to see fishy locations when you are higher, but also for rapids. I find myself standing up a good bit to read the water.

Knowing what I know now - I would have done a lot of things differently - raft, frame, and trailer included. However, I wasn't sure how much I would use it or love it at the time. For an entry level raft that can handle all of the New in Giles, it worked out pretty well. Plus I bought the whole damn thing with discounted Cabela's gift cards so it made the deal about the same price as the scenario above.

However, the next one... big plans. But that will hopefully be 6-8 years from now.

My seat was on top of the raft tubes which were 16" tubes, so there was a bit of elevation. Front seat, same. The frame was in two pieces, with the back seat and attendant frame elevated even slightly more than mine. The anchor arm was out the back and attached to the rear frame with pulleys holding the anchor line up to a cleat beside me at my seat. Jim Richmond's frame includes an aluminum flooring that keeps everyone above the top of the boat and if you stand, you're really pretty high up. I'll admit to that being a bit dicey compared to having feet on the floor of the raft, and I once had a rod and reel slide off into the drink, but we got it back. The welding was done in Pembroke by Wesley's Welding. His place burned down years ago, though. The design was Chuck Kraft's with a little redesign to account for the changes in the Williwa II over the years.
With prompting from Chuck and Jim, I didn't use oar rights and it took about one trip to get comfortable with that. Much more freedom of use when feathering those 10' oars. I did, however use counterweights to aid in lifting the oars and help to keep the blades off of the bottom when out of hand. Only takes a time or two of the blade hitting a sudden ledge and popping up and out of the boat to see the sense in that. I also always carried a complete oar and blade replacement after a couple of close calls in cold weather. My boat rowed like a sports car corners, floated in about three inches of water, fully loaded, and was an all 'round dream...until the wind started blowing. Then, that big baby was like a sail. And of course, it was almost invariably in my face.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I need to practice without oar rights and I need to get a spare oar.

Been telling myself this from day 1, but here we are. One day I'll learn...

The oar right thing is a jump off the cliff kind of thing. You just have to take them off and dive in. I think you'll be surprised at how quickly they become superfluous, then if you have to use them again, you'll wonder how you ever thought they were a good thing. You'll feel hogtied. As for the spare oar, I had to swim for one once, almost got away from me. Luckily it was summer. I didn't learn the lesson, though. The second time I lost the oar, I'd added the 4lb counterweight, but it still hit a ledge and popped out in the upper New while on a walleye float in February. The water was 42 degrees, the oar was in four feet of moving water. We got the anchor down immediately and tried to lever the oar blade up with the net, but every time I touched it, it slipped a couple feet downriver, and a few inches deeper. Faced with an untenable situation, you just can't row those rafts with one oar, I ended up stripping down to my shorts and hopping in to get it. Successfully, and we were ready with a T shirt toweling and back into dry clothes, but that was the last straw, albeit almost too late. Later on, we went to a local store as we left the launch area and my buddies bought me a six pack to celebrate a good day. They told the lady cashier about me stripping down and jumping in the cold water after the oar. She laughed and said she'd have paid to see that. I then held my fingers about two inches apart and said "42 degrees!" She got the joke immediately and got a good laugh out of it. From then on, though, every time I stopped in that store after a float to get a brew, she'd point at me, hold her fingers like I did, and shout "Here comes Mr. 42 degrees!" Some things, you just don't live down.
That night after the swim when I got home, I immediately ordered the extra oar shaft. I already had the extra blade in my emergency kit. Never needed it, but when you think about what you'd do with only one oar and lots of river and rapids in front of you, it quickly becomes a no brainer.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

This is tempting...

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

Quick report: Rockfish up to 40" were caught earlier this week north of R2 in the bay. They were full of baby bunker so the guys downsized their baits and got lucky. Using mojo rigs, but with the small baits, also umbrella rigs with three inch sassy shad. Go figure.
Also, walleye are on fire around Austinville on the New. Somebody got one almost 12lbs the other day.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Mike Smith is fishing that stretch right now. I'll let you know what he says

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

My pal Easy Eddie sent me a picture on my phone of nine fatties they got there just a few days ago. I'll try to remember to send it to you. I'll be interested in seeing if he gets them on the fly. Eddie sure didn't.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Please send me the pics! Just got off the phone with Mike Smith. He and his friend only threw musky flies and got skunked. They didn't see a fish. Water temp was 36. Said there were 5 other boats on the Austinville stretch also chasing musky. All of the trucks had NC or Tenn license plates. The word is certainly out on the New.

Mike also got a report from the best musky guide in VA who said the New below Claytor has been on fire. A few days ago they had 9 follows, five eats and two fish landed on a trip.

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

OK, I think I still have your number somewhere. If not, I'll email you and get it again. Eddie was also supposed to send me the pic of the big one his friend caught, but hasn't. I'll put a bug in his ear and see if I can get it also. Sounds like a good bite on the lower New. As for the out of staters, it's been building yearly for a while now. Tenn, NC, KY and WVA are all descending upon the New. I was about pissed off about it before I retired. Someone else's problem now, though.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for the pic!

I get the same people giving me dirty looks in North Carolina around some of my redfish spots. It is what it is, with more and more people getting on the water, other anglers are going to show up.

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

Fish here have reshuffled with the "cold" evenings...took my daughter's boyfriend out mid-day and scratched out 3 legal trout to 18" and a handful of smaller fish. Perhaps more importantly, he's a cool kid and really likes to fish.

A keeper then?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

if he'll fix my electrical issues at the house...

I successfully learned how to tie an Alberto knot today. Winter sucks.

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

'bout time : )

I tried this the other day with an FG knot. Never got the hang of it.

FG or improved FG- I can't get either one without having something to hook it to. It is a 4 hand knot.

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

has anyone swapped out or have experience with in-line hooks on hard baits in lieu of trebles?

ordered a couple of Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Sub Walks (they need a shorter name) that come with in-line hooks...I'm considering trying them on some of my shorter topwaters as well

edit: actually just put them on the longer skitterwalk...looks reasonable

This is a weird question:

My Forester is on it's last legs (160,000 miles in 6 years will get after ya.) I know when people think fishing and the outdoors, they automatically go to SUVs. However, when you live 2-5 hours away from your favorite fishing spots, dependability and efficiency become more critical.

What are some good choices which balance affordability and efficiency with the space (minimum of 8 1/2 feet from front window to back window for my bucktail rod) needed to make a serious fishing trip happen? I have eyeballed the Volkswagen Sportswagen a few times, but I am open to suggestions. Please note, the new Forester seems like it has corrected some of the issues with fuel efficiency and oil that mine had, so that is on the table too.

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

I own a Sportwagen...blast to drive and very practical to haul stuff.

If you go that route, get the Alltrack...not as sporty as the 2wd but more inclement weather friendly. Consider a Thule "blade" roof rack (not the VW rack, which is noisy and less aerodynamic...it DOES make a fuel mileage difference), with a rod tube for the roof. Sportwagen is a great road trip vehicle.

Do not park a VW under trees as leaves/debris can find its way through various grates and holes into your A/C condensation collection system, block the drain tube, and dump water into your car, doing about $2500 worth of damage...yeah, almost exactly.

edit: when I went car shopping, I took all of my music gear (bass cases, amp, PA, stands, gear boxes) with me and required that they let me load the vehicle to make sure it would hold everything. None objected and most thought it was hilarious. I say take your fishing gear with you for the test drive.

So you're saying you need to just go ahead and spend the 2500 on an aluminum carport if you're going to get a Sportwagen? Everywhere I've ever lived had trees dumping crap on my vehicles. Wife's Buick has a constant problem with leaves and detritus in the cabin filter which is right by the big crack aft of the hood. What a pain. Poor engineering in my book. Could move to Arizona or something, though.

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that's what the mechanic said I should do...and then I unloaded on him about piss poor design...and it's not like they don't know about it. surprised insurance companies haven't sued.

my old Tundra sits under the trees, has inches of tree shit on it at times, and it NEVER gives me a problem.

That sounds positive. The MPG is attractive. I wouldn't need a roof rack. I always drive with my rods inside the car, wrapped in a bundle.

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

MPG is good. Not sure you can get that 8.5 inside.

edit: just measured and I'm surprised...if you angle from the back corner, i think it will actually fit with a couple inches to spare just short of the dashboard...definitely take your "bundle" and gear with you and check if you go that route.

edit 2: maybe even straight through the pass through in the back seat!

My old Forester has about 3-4 inches of wiggle room on my older bucktail rod. My new one works, along with my surf rods that are 50/50 splits. If I ever get one of the 70/30 split CTS surf rods, I could have a problem.

Three years ago, I went with two people in a Prius drum fishing, and somehow the surf rods fit (50/50.) My bucktail rod wouldn't work though.

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

if you want a pic of a tape measure from the back to the front, I can do it in the morning

I can put my longer rods in the Buick. Butt on the back deck, through the split in the front seat, and onto the dash. I pad them and use hair ties to keep them together. Never actually measured things out, but there's a lot of room in a vehicle if you don't mind having rods on your shoulder.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I use Velcro straps and bundle the rods. If I wasn't lazy I would take the reels off, but I like to grab and go.

I'd appreciate the measurement. If you don't want to send a photo, your word is good on the measurement.

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

2016 VW Sportwagen (Mk7), FWD, tape is at 102"

straight through the pass through

if you angle it slightly toward he passenger side, there is more room to the right of the console into the legroom area

traveling alone, 9' will fit

One of my fellow guides in Aspen rode around in a decked out orange VW bus. It was awesome and he could sleep in it.

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

I can sleep in my Chevy Express Van if I want. A queen sized mattress fits right in. Can't wait to get rid of it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Is this you at Carmax? /s

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

Loved my old Forester sold it a while back with 330k miles on it was awesome fishing vehicle but I bought a new Colorado to haul boats with the mpgs aren't bad I get 24-25 on average trips

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

Anyone fish much around the Wilmington Area? Looking to relocate again and have a few good leads that way. Might take my boat up and hang out for a weekend to get a feel for the area...no better way to do that than in the water.

I have fished on Oak Island on the piers there. Lots of blacktip sharks in the summer. Kings are good in May and October.

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

I have a family friend that lives in Wilmington now. I don't he has been able to fish much since moving down there. There should still be some trout and maybe some stripers around.

My friend says there are trout and reds around, but they move unpredictably this time of year, weather related. He said he'd concentrate on the "deep holes". Where they at, I dunno.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

This time of the year redfish are going to school up on the darkest shallow water flats in the marsh they can find, if its above 40 degrees. If the water temp dips below that, they will move out to the surf where the water is warmer.

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

I have a hankering to relocate there as well...

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

Are you thinking about guiding down there?

I would probably do some guiding there. Def would still do some to the North around Cape Lookout

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

Yeah you know that fishery so well it would be hard not to guide there

Thank you. No guiding is easy, particularly with the weather down there. But luckily, there's usually somewhere to fish at the Cape no matter what the weather is doing.

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

You're welcome. There is always something going. Best of luck, can't wait to hear your guide stories.

Do it and teach me how to fly fish effectively.

You'll have to recruit me better than that

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

Obviously, he will supply bud light for any of these lessons.

One of my nearest and dearest Hokie friends (he was in my wedding 45 years ago) lived there for a long time. He relocated to Smithfield for work about 5 years ago (runs the IP paper mill in Franklin), and he fished a ton. He trolled for Kings, cast for albies, and worked the inlets and creeks for flounder, puppies (spot tail bass he called 'em from previous years in SC) and trout, but seemed to concentrate on the flounder in the summer. I can get names, places and seasons from him, or maybe even put you in touch for an old fashioned "conversation" about it if you like. He's about as affable a fellow as you're likely to ever meet and is currently building a house in Surf City. And he's as Hokie as Hokie can be, so there's that. If you want to talk to him, I'm at newriverangler@hotmail.com. I'll get you hooked up.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

A big gem in Wilmington is Masonboro Island. Like an almost private (weekends and holidays, well...) beach only accessible by boat. Cool place. Surf fishing from the front, flounder in the inlet, great place to take the family if you're willing to walk a little from the land side where you anchor. My friend will also be knowledgeable about the local BBQ and shrimp and grits places.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Masonboro Island surf is excellent as well.

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

Yep. My friend's son is a big wave surfer now in Hawaii, but he honed his craft right there. Decent local spearfishing available as well, if you're into that.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Brett Barley?

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

Curtis Snyder.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Well I'm gonna be staying in Carlisle PA for a week over the holidays and am wondering if anyone knows what's good around there this time of year if anything is? Would love to try trout fishing but I'm not sure how PA does their regs and all

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

Lots of good limestone streams up there. They are not easy

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

New to trout fishing in a sense here im assuming limestone is good for holding trout but challenging to fish? Gonna have a few days to kill up there so was gonna try and do a one day go out for the day and if I have to hike a bit to get somewhere decent but wasnt sure if trout have a season up in PA or not.

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

I'll be right by Yellow Breeches Creek if anyone's fished it before I'd be open for any suggestions

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

Heading out for another schoolie striper foray in the ayem. Report to come. Supposed to be almost 50 degrees, seas of 1' and E winds at 5kt. Hard to find better days this time of year here on the Bay. Of course, it'll all probably go to shit by the time I launch, but at least I get to feel optimistic for a night.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Good luck. I'd rather be with you than where I will be.

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

First hookset will be for you, my friend.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Well, I owe you French. No birds, no boats, no bites, no runs, no hits, no errors, two bums left on base with clean hands and a boat without slime or blood. Quit at lunch and ate at the Hole in the Wall. Closest we got to a fish was the Landshark pints we had. I can honestly say that I seldom get skunked, but I got fully dipped in skunkitude today. Humbling.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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