January-February 2018 Fishing Thread

This thread will serve as a catch all for:
A) Winter fishing reports
B) Questions
C) Tackle tips and tactics
D) Fishing potpourri

I just saw photos of my finished Vega rod customized to Hokies colors. I can't wait to get it.

Because of the abnormal cold (40 degree high temperatures in Charleston, SC), my sheepshead run is getting postponed. So no fishing for at least another week for me.

570 D37 F6 1 B18 450 A 871 C 6523 D5 DDD735

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I found an unopened joe's flies pack while cleaning. With windchills just crossing into the positive side, that is as close to fishing as I am going to get.

I haven't fished since Sat and I've started to get cabin fever. All of my tackle is in the house and I've been through everything, sorting and re-arranging. Man, I didn't realize how much bass fishing tackle I bought this summer/fall. It looks like my SML attention will be focused as follows:
Winter - jigging for stripers
Late winter/early spring - pulling big shad for big stripers in the backs of creeks
Spring - more shad for stripers, catching some delicious crappie, fish shallow for bass
Summer - expanding on what we learned last year, deep water bass fishing with Texas rigged worms, jigs with craw trailers.
Fall - big shad again!

It might be 30 degrees here tomorrow......so I might fish!

HokieObsession

Getting some cabin fever myself.
Tenative Plan for 2018
Jan/Feb: Trip or 2 for Muskies
Mar-Apr: Shad run at the James Fall Line, Blue Cats, Smallmouth Float Trip or 2
May-August: Cobia (NC and then the Bay for the Summer), Sheepshead, Specs, Reds
September: Flathead Cats on the James, Smallmouth Float Trip or 2
October/November: Reds, Specs, False Albacore
December: Schoolie Stripers

Going to take a stab at targeting Muskies, Shad, Smallmouth and Sheepshead for the first time this year.

Going to take a stab at targeting Muskies

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where, When and whatcha throwing?

Year 3 is coming up!

Looking at going in two weekends, with my buddy who lives in Giles. So some stretch of the New. I'm unsure of what we are tossing. IfishVTIam hooked me up with some of his old musky stuff but I also know my buddy has plenty of lures. He was telling me about his addiction of buying lures and how much money he had in lures. Sorry I don't have more specifics, just going with the flow.

Super Shad raps have worked well for me in the past. So have double 10's but I believe its much too cold for them at this time. Its hard to beat a Jake. Jakes have a funny erratic retrieve. Yes its easy to spend money. An inexpensive musky lure is 30 bucks!

Musky Stuff

Edit: Maybe a glide bait with a very slow retrieve?

Year 3 is coming up!

Yeah I didn't realize that til recently. Pretty ridiculous! Will keep those in mind. Just trying to soak all the knowledge in.

Jakes work well on the New this time of year and seem to be one of the more consistent lures I've tried. I've caught them on Super Shad Raps as well just slow rolled in - a Super Cisco is nearly identical and can sometimes be found cheaper. It really depends on where you're fishing and what the bottom consists of. I've had a bit of luck with bulldogs in deeper holes but they tend to find the bottom and are tough to reel in slow. I've moved a lot of fish with the big jointed Storm Flatsticks and they are relatively cheap. In my experience, you need something that can get down 6' to 8' but be worked slow enough to get them to bite when it's cold. I'm going to try some Raptor jerkbaits this year as I've heard they suspend really well which I think helps this time of year. Find the deep holes and hit them hard on your first pass - this seems to be your best bet for hooking up.

Suicks and Grandmas work well this time of year as well. Something about that glide bait, and Grandma's mouthful.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Man, it is cold outside. I have been watching OKSt film and spooling up some of my new toys. This is going to be a long couple of months.

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

The really unfortunate part of this cold front is it could kill all of the big speckled trout we had show up in the Bay this year

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

yep

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

Asking out of ignorance...why?

I guess I don't know the first thing about speckled trout but can't they just go some place else or go deeper, etc. to avoid some really cold weather/water? It seems odd that they can't tell poor (unsurvivable) weather is coming and do something about it.

Again, please excuse my ignorance. Just a hillbilly freshwater fisherman with a total of about 9 hours saltwater fishing experience.

Seems tragically inefficient, eh? Unfortunately, specs are apt to stay where they're being well fed and have access to moderating springs that might keep them in marginal water over the winter. Here, they famously hang out in Wilton's Creek on the Piankatank, for one example, and I suspect there are springs up the creek that mitigate the cold. Extreme cold, on the other hand, seems to be too much for them. Same same in the Elizabeth River down Tidewater way. The trout that tend to stay put also seem to be the big breeders, so there may be some connection with size and past experience that encourages them to stay past their tolerance in a crapshoot attempt to avoid exhausting travel and stay in breeding grounds, but that's spec-ulation on my part, if you will. The last big die off up this way was fairly dramatic, with hundreds of very large dying cold-shocked trout floating about and being netted by intrepid commercial guys cashing in on the windfall. I personally saw the result that year down in the Elizabeth where hundreds of trophy sized specs were providing a feast for hoards of bald eagles when they fetched up on shore in a well known breeding hole. Fortunately, specs are pretty good at procreation and the population seems to rebound, but it takes a few years, and the next super cold snap is never but so far away. As for moving, by the time the unsurvivable stuff shows up, the big trout are too far from safety and too reliant upon the few extra degrees their winter lairs have been providing to make the trek to the sea. Who knows, it may be part of some grand design for the species, sorta like it taking fire to regenerate some kinds of trees, etc. Just this fairly new salt water guy's take, perhaps someone here knows more about it and will elucidate us all.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Did not know about springs, but that makes sense!

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

You are one smart dude. I was actually researching this this morning to better educate my own self and your summary reads damn close to the NC fish and game website I was reading. Thanks for sharing this. I'm glad they tend to bounce back. I really want to catch one in 2018, but since I've never targeted them I suppose I have more research left to do.

No worries, I'm not an expert on this but will explain the best I can. Basically, sea trout seem to be more fragile than other fish when it comes to temperature. They also don't move or migrate like other inshore species nearly as much. Redfish will often (but not always) leave summer hangouts and head out to sea to escape cold temps in the shallows. Sea trout head into creeks with large, deeper holes in them in the winter. The water at the bottom actually is warmer than the surface water. They will school up and spend the winter in the creeks. As I understand it, when it gets super cold for extended periods of time, the water on the surface of the creek will freeze or get super cold and actually sink to the bottom of the creek holes. The warmer water that flows up also freezes and then before you know it, the entire water column is too cold for the trout to survive. They will get stunned or die and then float to the surface. If it happens, you can ride around in a boat and just pick them up... perfect for the frying pan because they're still cold. Eagles, birds, otters and all of the other predators like the free meals as well. Unfortunately, these cold snaps will kill a lot of fish, especially big ones and then it takes 3-4 years for the population to rebound. We had this exact same thing happen 3 years ago in the Bay. Finally this year we had a nice trout population grow/return and welp, here we potentially go again.

I just received an email notice from NC CCA to report any sea trout stuns or kills found in an around Cape Lookout. This cold front could definitely hurt the excellent trout fishery down there, which is one of the best on the east coast in my opinion.

Unfortunately, fish like the ones below are what take the brunt of it. These fish were caught in between Christmas and New Years 2013. We landed 18 that day, this size and bigger. A week and a half later, the creek was littered with floating dead ones because the temp dropped into the single digits for 7 days straight. There's a photo that was floating around on the internet of a guy with probably 35-40 trout this size on the deck of his boat. He just rode around in the creek and picked them up before the bald eagles got them. Not sure the legality there, but I bet he had trout to eat for years. Up until this year, it was difficult to get good, consistent trout fishing in the same areas. I hope it doesn't happen again.

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

Thanks to you as well for the educational summary. Seems a damn shame but lots of things in nature can look that way. I hope it's not too bad of a kill.

Are they decent to eat?

Quite welcome. Yes they are!

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

Good post. I agree also about the deeper holes, and I think some of them are fed by, and likely formed by springs. Hoping for all concerned that they make it through this snap. Don't know where the fish would hang out in the winter near New Point. I doubt I'll go looking for them, though I have been intrigued with maybe fishing Wilton or a couple of the others off the Piankatank to see if I could rustle up a winter bite. Just not motivated enough to deal with the elements and absolute lack of knowledge. Right now, I'm getting ready for snow. Whoopee.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Stay warm!

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

I know the exact spot they are at.... problem is, it is too cold at this point and some days you catch 18 and other days you catch one. I'd just as soon sit and tie flies and drink bourbon and save my gas money for when the weather is warm. Unless of course, I know the bite is really on...

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

OK, tell me where they're hiding and I'll let you know if they're biting. Seriously, I don't eat them and likely will not venture out in cold weather, but I have made a New Year's resolution to do more trout fishing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Also, I know of a certain warm water discharge that I'm sure is holding lots of puppy drum throughout the winter. I would be inclined to maybe hit that....

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

I sure enjoyed the Hot Ditch fishing on the Elizabeth, but don't mind losing the fishery to get rid of Dominion's mess down there. Now, about that discharge you're mentioning...you have my email, let's check it out when things mitigate somewhat. I can cadge my wife's Hobie if it is a kayak thing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It doesn't matter now. Virginia just shut down all speckled trout harvest until June 15

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

Solid puppy drum action is always intriguing.

My NC buddy in Morehead City says there are lots of reports of stunned trout down there. The sound in the OBX is freezing. Not good for the specks...

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

The feels like temp hasn't broken positive numbers in nearly 2 weeks here (-25 when I went to work this morning). Good news is there's safe ice on every lake and the ducks and geese are everywhere. Bad news is its way too cold for me to go sit out on the ice.

(-25 when I went to work this morning).

When I say it I really mean it...................fauuuck no!

Year 3 is coming up!

Inlaws gifted me a Penn Fierce II spinning reel mounted on an Offshore Angler Power Plus rod. The reviews for the rod are...not great, so I'm planning to upgrade it. The reel seems much better quality.

I mainly fish when we go to the OBX at The Point, Avon, and Buxton beaches with drum, bluefish, and whiting being the main target species. FiL provides mullet and shrimp. I am open to trying a different bait.

Any pointers for upgrading the rod and what kind of line should I have it strung with? I'm 6'6" and fishing from shore so I need to cast over breakers.

Thanks, guys.

I have this exact reel with a Penn rod I bought as a combo on Amazon. I think I have the 6000 model which has a 9'-0" medium heavy rod. I put 15 lb Trilene Big Game fishing line on it in the green color. I then use about 3' of Berkeley Vanish fluorocarbon in 15-20 lb to tie my own terminal rigs consisting of two dropper loops and a snap swivel for my weight.

I've fished from Buxton, NC all the way to Sanibel, FL from the surf and it has performed extremely well. I'm just a smidge taller than you and I have had no problems casting in even relatively big surf.

I used fresh shrimp with great success but if you get a mole crab / sand flea rake and learn to catch them, they make an even better bait that's free. I usually try both on a two hook pompano rig and then switch if one is getting more hits.

God I hate winter.

What is your budget and what is the typical weight you would throw? I always prescribed to the theory of fishing with as light tackle as you can use and still do the job. For the species you are targeting, especially around Hatteras, the best fishing is usually in the lip of the beach and first slough, so huge casts are not always critical.

For an inexpensive decent surf rod, you can't go wrong with the St. Croix Triumph surf rods. http://stcroixrods.com/products/saltwater/triumph-surf/ Of course, I wouldn't throw more than a 2 oz sinker with the 9 footer, and sometimes 2 doesn't hold.

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

I think we were using 4 oz pyramids this Thanksgiving due to strong currents. Otherwise, i believe 2 oz weights are usually what we use. I'd say my budget on a rod is preferably less than $100 but could fudge it to $150 for the right reason.

My go to weight for surf fishing is 3 oz, pretty much regardless of conditions up to big stuff, when I'll slip up to a 4. The three allows for distance and holding in most situations, and I feel like I can really load up on the cast without worrying about snapping the rod or breaking off the rig. Usually, when the surf is really flat, I'm not fishing surf gear, anyway, but throwing Gulp! on my smallmouth gear.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I am thinking about going to the Richmod Fishing Expo. I really would like to hear Bruce Ingram and Britt Stoudenmire talk about fishing in the area, and check out the tackle scene.

However, I'm not sure if it is worth the 3 hour drive and the $9 to get in, because honestly, I have never been to a fishing/hunting expo before.

Anyone ever been? Is it worth it? Are there good deals on equipment and tackle?

I have been there, and I enjoy the seminars when I can hear them (the acoustics are not great inside.) However there are two types of dealers. 1) Folks selling normal stuff at MSRP prices or 2) Folks selling stuff cheap that is absolute junk and overpriced for what it is.

For Richmond's show, the coolest part is the big bass tank and those lectures. For example, I didn't realize that a feeding bass always eats from the front of the bait (strikes in the back hook are reaction bites.) Then the pro Angler would throw in a Sennko or a plastic worm and I would be damned if every bass didn't swim around to the front of the bait and try to eat it head first.

It is a cool educational experience. But if you are going to buy tackle in the cheap, I'd just stick with the fishing flea markets.

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

Unrelated, I just spent two hours in AllTackle's brick and mortar store in Annapolis. Most of the time was spent eyeballing a Stradic 2500 reel paired with a Trevala rod, already spooked with PowerPro and hooked up with a BDK for jigging rockfish. I didn't need it, but my god it was sexy.

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

I understand!

Year 3 is coming up!

I appreciate the info!

I really want to learn from the expo, so I probably will go. I also like the smaller/local bait companies, so this can give me a chance to try out some things that I wouldn't know of, or would have to pay shipping for.

I'll wait to truly feed the bait monkey on another day.

My buddy that used to play at VT will have a booth at the Raleigh expo next week. There is also a small expo in Frederick MD next week (in case either is closer.) For me, the best educational briefings have been at the Richmond One, especially for bass. Also, VT's bass fishing team has a booth in Richmond.

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

Hey Ward.....oh I mean Beaver. I go to the Richmond Expo usually out of boredom and it always seems to rain and sleet that weekend. It is hugely downsized from the old bass-a rama that would come to town. French is right about buying stuff. There are no deals and on the boats i think they put a 1.5 multiplier on the retail price.I bought a couple of packs of plastics from North Anna Bait Company just because the guy worked so hard on his pitch! Be sure to catch Brit's talk on musky and smb. He has a booth and does seminars through out the weekend. His musky talk discusses basic equipment and some tactics. Hum...let me see what bass guys are speaking this year,,,,buffering....oh! Gerald Swindle! Do not miss. Not only does he know his stuff he'll probably make you run for a diaper change. John Crews...meh he just wants to sell his lures. Mc Cotter and I believe Favors are Lake Anna guys. She is saltwater but never and I mean never miss Julie Ball!. What day do you plan on coming?

Year 3 is coming up!

Wait, Dr. Ball is presenting? Oh my beating heart...

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

Cabin fever is my main reason for going - I've been going mad during this cold streak.

I don't work Fridays, so I was thinking about going for day 1, but I might change that depending on when Swindle will be there. I know Stoudenmire and Ingram are speaking every day, so I could switch it up. I have tickets to VT/FSU so I probably won't go Saturday.

Thanks for the info!

How long a haul is it to get there? It is about 20 minutes north of Richmond just off 95.

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

From my house it is about 3 hours and a half- which means Saturday is probably out for me if I am going to the basketball game (and that's what my wife will want to do, so...)

If you like I will probably go Friday. Hit me up on walleye0 at gmail

Year 3 is coming up!

Will do!

Britt is also trying to sell his trips, Ingram his books. It's a big shill, pretty much, but there are some nuggets to be gleaned if you feel like the drive. It would be worth it, however, for Dr. Ball's presence.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

She looks talented.

Qualified fisherwoman.

Edit: I like that she has well maintained nails.

Year 3 is coming up!

Holds a ton of IGFA world line class records.

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

She has a nice pair. Of hands.

Those are two robust trigger fish.

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

The way she has those trigger fish lifted and separated, really shows off how nice of specimens they really are.

I hail from the harmonious and hallowed hometown of our beloved Hokies that is Blacksburg, where I came of age pursuing smallmouth on the New and native trout from her headwaters. However, life has recently led me to the far east, to the subtropical archipelago of Okinawa, Japan. While my quest for fish has not waned, my method for procuring them has altered significantly, as I have traded in my rod and reel for a speargun and snorkel, and I regularly sneak down into the shadows of the reef to silently stalk my prey. I hope to provide some diversity to the broader genre of this thread, and I am also curious if any fellow Hokies have experience spearfishing throughout our planet. After all, lets not sell ourselves short as simply Hokie Nation. We are Hokie World. We are Virginia Tech.

Sweet!
Obligatory: We are waiting.gif

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

Sunday morning Outdoor Channel is killing me. I got the bassN jitters!

So bored that I am studying the interwebs trying to find the correct way to tie a perfection loop. And based on that research there are 56 ways to do it. None look alike. And, when I try to emulate them, they look like they will fall apart if I sneeze too hard.

Back to the uni, I guess.

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

Right there with you, just reorganized most of my gear; moving on to cleaning reels now.

Anyone have any decent lightweight trolling rod + reel combos they're looking to get rid of? I'd like to do a little more trolling for striper this year, and don't want to spend a ton on new stuff.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I am going to hit up some of the Maryland fishing fleamarkets in the next couple of weeks to try to find a TLD15 on the cheap. It kills me that I got a TLD20, fully spooled, with a cheap little Tsunami Five Star rod for $119 about 7 years ago, and now the TLD15s by themselves are $150. It is the exact same reel for a huge price increase. For comparison, their economy spinning reel (the Sedona) sold for $59 and is now $69.

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

French, here is the version I use, which happens to be the only version I know. Like most things in life, once you get it, it is easy. Great knot, I use it all the time.

http://howtoflyfish.orvis.com/fly-fishing-knots/perfection-loop-animation

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

Thank you. I will give it a crack. Is it true that the loop knot gives the fly more action, and is it as strong as a uni?

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

We always used to use the loop for popping bugs when smallmouth fishing. Some folks like it for vertical jigging. I've had a few break, but no more than most knots, and a bit more vigilance and checking for nicks would likely have helped with that. Learn it, tie it properly and you'll be good to go.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Quite welcome. Yes, I firmly believe a loop knot gives a fly, and lures/jigs, more action. I use the non-slip mono knot on everything tied on 40 pound test or smaller on flies and lures, except dry fly fishing for trout. I haven't tied a uni in years and couldn't give you an idea as to the strength comparison, but I have 100% confidence in the loop and you'd have to hold a gun to my head to get me to tie something else for 98% of the fishing I do.

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

Thanks! I should qualify this by saying I am using 50 pound and 60 pound fluorocarbon for the knot- this is for a 2 ounce bucktail. I use 50 pound Power Pro (most cobia guys use 65, but I like the smaller reels so I need lighter line to have the capacity.) I tie a double uni (can't tie an FG knot to save my life) and then a uni to the bucktail currently.

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

i usually just tie an overhand; run tag end thru the eye and back thru overhand, and then tie a half hitch above it. i've never had it fail. very fast, minimal loss of leader. if i'm around SAV, then i sacrifice a little more leader and take the extra few seconds to tie the non-slip/kreh. the tag end is less clunky and less likely to catch on anything.

Yep, that's the way I've always tied it. I'll bite, though, and ask. What da heck is SAV?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation?

Really? Sounds plausible. Like snot algae, huh?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

yup

What da heck is SAV?

Fish, can I interest you in an online course at UM: Limnology 4100?

Year 3 is coming up!

I tie this way when I'm doing 50 pound test and up for muskie and pike. Technically it is called an Arbor Knot.

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

hmmm, the pics i saw of the arbor knot is not what i tie.

it's more like the Homer Rhode knot in Musky's link only with a single half hitch pulled back toward the overhand

in theory, the half hitch could become untied...but it never does

this guy
https://ibb.co/f0pZmm
https://ibb.co/dFCFsR

tension on the loop keeps the tension on the half hitch

Interesting, that is different than what I was imagining. I'll have to try that one

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

one of my fishing buddies way back when, who also had been in the merchant marine, saw me taking forever to tie a loop and said "do this, it will never slip"...25+ years, so far so good

I was kind of wondering. I use an arbor knot to tie line onto my spool. I am not sure how it wouldn't slip down to the bucktail and cinch

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

Also for you walleye (or light tackle guys), the Manassas Cabelas has the St Croix Legend Walleye Tournament rods almost $100 off (retails $249 and selling for $159. I don't think they are advertising it so I am sure it is an in-person thing. All the rods were fast action rated for 4-10lbs in varying lengths up to 7 feet. I won't lie. I walked around with the 7 footer in my hand for about 20 minutes before putting it back.

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

My go to rod for jigging flounder, casting Jerk Shad for trout and reds, and most summer fishing here short of cobia is a Lamiglas 7' walleye rod. I thought it would be too light, too fast for the fishery, but I was absolutely proven wrong. Since I rarely go over 8lb test, and usually go with 6lb, and my lures usually under a half oz, this rod has been a lot of fun to fish with and hasn't seen a walleye in years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

French, what is your rod and reel setup for fishing the shad run?

I go a little heavier than most. I use my 3000 Stradic FJ on a 6-12lb St Croix Triumph and a 2500 Sahara on a 4-10b St Croix Triumph. Most years, I fish with 10lb mono. This year I am going to try 20lb power pro. I tie on a leader with 12lb mono to the braid with a double uni knot. With the tag end, I tie on a 1/2oz dart. You can get away with a 1/4 oz in smaller tidal rivers. In the Potomac below Great Falls you need the extra weight because of the depth and current. Then on the long end of the leader (about 16 inches below the dart) I tie on a gold (clear water) or silver (murky water) Nungesser spoon. The dart is usually just the weight to cast. 85% of my strikes come on the spoon.

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

For the dart, weight matters more than color. But if you want to get more hits on the dart, I like a red head with a chartreuse body. The best source for darts is Lockett Lures. You can order darts in bulk (cards of 36 darts for $27.00 plus shipping.) They are much better quality than the Marathon darts you find in Dicks Sporting Goods.

http://www.lockettluresoutlet.com/

If you are fishing Fletchers Cove or other big water that is deep and has serious current (like above Fletchers Cove on the Potomac above DC) I would go half ounce. If you are fishing smaller water (like under the walking bridge at Occoquan) 1/4 ounce is fine.

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

Thanks for the advice. I would be fishing on the James in Richmond. So I will probably go on the lighter side. Interesting that there isn't a bigger selection of shad darts. I'm going to try using my ultralight combo but wanted to see what you used.

Back in the day I used to fish the Rappahannock in Fred'sburg at the fall line (pre-Embry dam destruction) and I was using six lb test most days, even down to 4 lb test in clear light flow. There were almost no American shad in the mix, just herring and hickorys, and while I had a few break off, the lighter line allowed for longer casts and a lot more strikes. I caught a lot on French's spoons, and usually tied one on my double rig on the top leader, I also caught a ton of fish on the darts, actually more than on the spoons. We used the red head with chartreuse, red head with white, green head with black and vice versa most often, but some days they liked pink, too. Half oz was usually too big in that water. On a good day, we'd get a hundred or more fish if they were in properly. I would wade the breaks and get out into pockets most folks weren't willing to try to reach. A bit dicey, but worth the effort for me. Since Chesley's (since defunct) was the only tackle shop in the area and didn't open until after we were already fishing, I would scavenge broken off darts from eddy points in the breaks, often coming up with a dozen or more darts. Amazing the numbers of them I would find on some days. We'd try to hit Chesley's on the way out of town or during the morning break to help supplement the darts for the next foray. Lotta fish, lotta fun. Small fish, but high octane performers on light tackle.

Edit: For those of you who weren't around, the fishery back in the 80s was phenomenal and seemed unlimited. Haven't been up there in years, though. Not sure what's left of it these days, but blowing the dam should help.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

For anyone interested, there is a decent little fishing expo at the Frederick Maryland Fairgrounds on Saturday. I am going, weather permitting.

There is a cobia seminar, but generally most of the event is built around the upper-Bay striped bass fishery.

http://mssafrederick.com/?page_id=2859

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

So that I may actually add something informative and useful for a change, I offer this guide to gourmet knot tying:

All kinds O' Knots

Year 3 is coming up!

This is the knot I have been tying. But even with just four loops, the heavy stiff mono gets lopsided when I cinch the knot down. It feels strong, but looks awful.

https://www.netknots.com/fishing_knots/non-slip-loop-knot

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

instead, just tie a half hitch above the overhand and see what happens

Your version of the loop knot and the Palomar knot are about all I use on terminal tackle anymore. I had a couple of loops slip early on in my use of it, but it was because of sloppy tieing. Same with the Palomar. These knots are so simple and yet so effective that I have become lazy about bothering to learn other knots. Properly tied, spit on and snugged, they just don't fail unless there is a line problem or a neglected nick or abrasion. I used to think the Palomar wouldn't work on heavy line, but I was wrong. Pliers and a little muscle will snug the Palomar down pretty well, but I'll still use other knots if the line is 50lb or bigger, or if the lure is really big and I don't want to waste the fluorocarbon necessary to get around the lure. dave's loop, though, is solid and too simple to ignore. It may not be as sexy or complicated as some, but in my opinion it is the only one you need to know for most loop applications.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i use this knot on all lures and the Improved Albright to attached leaders to braid.

only time I don't want a loop is attaching 1/32 -1/64 oz jigs to tight line with a jig pole around stumps for bream and crappie. i want the jig to stay parallel to the bottom and no slack in the line on the decent. so i'll cinch up an old fashioned clinch knot and slowly work those jigs in and around trees and stumps in the swamps...standard technique in the Atchafalaya way, way back in the day.

Don't forget saliva on it

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Musky, let's go walleye fishing. Bound to be somewhere we can go this time of year without breaking the bank.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Lets go! Let me think on it. Where though?

Year 3 is coming up!

Other than south, I'm semi-clueless. Got anything closer in your pocket? With the ice and stoopid river conditions, not sure I could suggest my old haunts.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Shout at me walleye0 at gmail

Year 3 is coming up!

Done.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My trout spinning outfit is sitting next to my easy chair waiting to go.
Too darn cold. I'm not wading with this much ice on top of moving trout streams.

The True Meaning of Dork Magic

Year 3 is coming up!

Ugh.

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That is offensive.

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

Whenever I see that, I hope they get a great bite and the entire rod n reel combo goes splash. They have to learn somehow...

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

Had a client that fished that way alllllll daaaaaay looooong. He was an older guy and had been doing it that way all of his life. Nice fellow, and while his more conventionally fishing daughter outfished him a little, he was able to make enough casts and proper retrieves to catch fish and enjoy his day. I soon got over my frustration after he caught a few fish, and it wasn't like he didn't know he was doing it "wrong", he just didn't care.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I've had people with little fishing experience insist on retrieving a spin rod this way because they think that the reel is supposed to be on top. Guess their experience with a Zebco will get after ya

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Working on a 15' boat Fish. I can only imagine your patience. My son and I hooked up with Hutchins on Anna a few years ago and he mentioned that we were his best clients in months. I asked why is that so? He said in a deadpan voice, you can cast. I can only imagine!

Year 3 is coming up!

Not to mention that it could have damaged the rod.

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

It was his rod. I didn't bother to give him one of mine, which I encouraged usually. I had worse fishermen in my boat over the years, though, so I shouldn't say much about him.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Just a little friendly reminder that the Virginia Wine and Fly Fishing Festival is this weekend in Doswell (Kings Dominion exit) for anyone interested in fly fishing. Lots of good presentations and demos on everything from casting to tying to kayaking. I do not have a booth this year but will be wandering around there for most of tomorrow. I'll likely be the only one in a maroon and orange Knot the Reel World shirt, unless of course some of my clients have shown up wearing my gear too.

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Have a good show!

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

Thanks! Trying to cap my spending at $100

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

Your Knot the Reel World shirts are the bomb-diggity, dawg. Truly good lookin' threads.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you! I have a friend who told me he wants to get rid of the one he bought for his wife because she wears it so much, often to bed. Apparently, he doesn't like seeing my logo when he wants to have some personal time with her!

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Now that's funny right there!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I've been trying to plan a trip to the New to chase musky for the last week or so. It looks like next weekend may be a good window with highs in the 50's and lows in the mid to upper 30's. I'd imagine that the water temp last week was hovering barely above freezing, but hopefully with this warming trend and rain all the ice has melted and temps can get back into the upper 30's to hopefully 40. Looking at the streamflow data it looks like they've been keeping the flows below Claytor very low for the last several weeks, which hopefully tick up a bit with the rain we're getting. The plan would be to hit a few deep holes below the dam and around Radford - unfortunately my options are a bit limited with a prop drive.

Has anyone been brave enough to be on the river this winter? I'm a couple hours away and haven't laid eyes on it since I drove by during football season.

Planning on going after musky this sunday on the new. Will let you give up an update.

Its Sunday morning please tell us you did not go! It's 18 in Richmond!

Year 3 is coming up!

13 feeling like 4 in Blacksburg. I really hope he didn't go!

Don't worry, it's a dry cold. And the wind is blowing to help things out.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Lol. Of course.

No response yet ... I think he's dead. Or wishing he was.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

He's an intrepid fisherman, he might not be able to use his fingers for a day or two.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Year 3 is coming up!

Unrelated, the package is in the mail. Also, I will give the rod holder a try when we go chum again. If it works, I am going to get one that holds three. Two down rods and a shotgun with a RediRig float... we are going to get one!

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

Relevant to the New- but not fishing related:

Let us know how the trip goes, could be good with the warming temps!

This is so cool! Is this the New?

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Yes! I figured the text from the FB post would embed but I guess it didn't. I am not sure exactly where on the New this was taken though. *EDIT: I just looked at the original post and it said Mouth of Wilson.*

We drove the river from Pembroke to McCoy after the artic blast ended and it was unbelievable - all kinds of crazy ice structures. The changes in current, boulders, and turns all made for interesting ice "figures?".

I wish I had done the same today.

Thanks for all the concerns. It didn't feel too crazy to go fishing today. Got to the ramp about 10. Had issues starting the engine because of the cold. Didn't leave the ramp til 11. Trolled down the bank in a deeper hole. My buddy was using a jake and got a musky in our first 30 minutes of fishing. I thought he was messing with me and I was turned away for a few seconds. Then he was yelling at me to get the net. He caught another one about an hour later. A really nice 47 incher. No more action. Saw about 5 other boats out on the water. Was very bundled up and didn't feel cold unless we were up on plane.

Oh chi mama

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

Nice tub!

Edit: What type of boat were you on?

Year 3 is coming up!

14' jon boat with a 20 horse mercury jet motor. I don't remember the specific model of jon boat. I can ask the exact model if you are curious.

Nice! I guess I was wrong in assuming the day was only fit for ordering fly lines and tying flies. That's a beautiful fish.

Thanks! Well I forgot to mention two of the reels froze up in the cold. There was ice that would collect from reeling wet line back in.

Like my old buddy Cecil would say, "Ya cain't catch'em sittin' home watchin' Roland Martin on the TV." Congrats on a successful day. I've cleaned a lot of ice out of my guides over the years, but never had a reel freeze up. Y'all's tough!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Love a good Cecil quote! Tough or stupid who knows but I had a blast!

Nice fish! Glad you guys had a good day. Were you trolling when you picked up the fish? What was the water temp where you guys put in? I was going to make it up this weekend but my plans fell through - hoping to make a trip up this Saturday or Sunday if the forecast holds out. Hopefully the water won't be too crowded.

Thanks. Yeah, we were trolling. About 39 degrees I think.

Wow, nice fish. That is what I have been hoping to find.

Awesome fish! Not sure I'll ever swim in the river again tho! 😅

Hokie fan | W&M grad

You scared bro?

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

Lol. Not gonna lie, swimming in murky water is NOT my thing! 🦈☠

Hokie fan | W&M grad

They like those toes...

In the 70's, I lived in Giles while finishing up at Tech. We were repeatedly warned of the "giant catfish" bigger than a full grown man that lived in the deep holes. It was said that they had eaten more than one unwary wader in the New. Of course, there were also the tales of the "whirlhole" near Eggleston that had swallowed an entire train and that no one had ever found the bottom of. There is, however, at least one train car in the river below the dam above the I-81 bridge, according to some musky fishermen I know who have seen it on their graphs. Supposed to hold big musky, but I wonder if that's where those six+ foot mudcats live, and they drag their victims inside the car to devour them at their leisure.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I remember the stories about those catfish, except divers reported seeing them around the dam in South Holston Lake.

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

Yep, heard the same thing about the divers at the Claytor Lake dam, but you know how fish stories are.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

"Catfish the size of Volkswagens"

Just looked up the US record for catfish was 57 inches at 143 pounds. So that 72 inch catfish would be ridiculously massive haha.

Now, don't go letting statistics and science get in the way of a good winter fish tale.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Haha sometimes my engineer mind gets too logical and in the way of a good fish tale.

they probably didn't pinch the tail.

LMAO! Fantastic!

Year 3 is coming up!

Damn.

Do you have a picture of this "jake" lure? How does it act in the water?

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dunno but it's apparently good enough that if they got hung up, 3rdGen was going to have to go in after it

Apparently one of my buddy's friends had a musky yank the rod out of his hand and he dove in after it in winter water... We only had two jakes luckily it deflects off cover very well. Didn't have to think about jumping in haha.

Thanks! I have gone in after some really good flies before

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Looks kind of like a stretch. The only time I targeted big rockfish out of Oregon Inlet, we pulled giant plugs that looked like that behind the boat.

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

Walleye Toooooooooonight!

Year 3 is coming up!

Re- Richmond Fishing Expo, who else is planning on going on Saturday? Sadly, it looks like Dr. Ball dropped off the speaking schedule. Hokie-owned Bowed Up Lures will be there selling bucktails, zig jigs, trolling spoons, and swimbaits. If you are nice, ask him to tell you stories about Vince Hall knocking him out.

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

I was going today but something screwed that up. Maybe I will see you tomorrow among the masses. I want to see Swindle and the sonar guy.

Year 3 is coming up!

Will do. Should be there mid morning for awhile. Bowed Up with be at Booth 13, right next to the Saltwater Seminar room.

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

Really cool video on the Back Bay fishery in Coastal Virginia. This was released at the Fly Show this weekend.

I hung out with Walt Cary at the show and he was telling stories of hauling in stringers of Largemouth Bass that had 24 fish on them and weighed 140-150 pounds.

Hopefully it can return to that quality on day...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdg8aqz-Lnw

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The vid ...............yep!

Year 3 is coming up!

went there in '71 or '72. sadly it was a total blowout...literally. storm had blown most of the water out of the bay.

wound up fishing some borrow ditches on the refuge and caught a few bass and some pickerel

can personally confirm the density of cottonmouths

Grew up in Chesapeake and used to fish there in the '60s, wading in homemade tube floats, popping bug fishing for bass. Got separated from my dad up a slough and ended up stranded when a whole bunch of cottonmouths decided to emerge from the tall swamp grasses to sun and swim in a narrow bend of the slough, after I'd gone by and fished to the ending of it. I couldn't get by them, dad couldn't hear me yelling, I was pretty much as scared as a 14 year old could be. Ended up just hiking up the tube and cutting across the swamp in head high grasses to avoid the bend, running and screaming at the top of my lungs, certain that I was about to step on whatever moccasins that weren't in the water. I'm not afraid of snakes, having collected them as a child and handled maybe more than my share of them, but that day, I was truly afraid for my life.
We did catch a lot of bass in those days, though. Glad to hear the fishery is back.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So jealous that you and Dave (above) got to fish it in the heyday. Cottonmouths be damned, I'd kill to fish it when it was that good.

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There were always a few around, but that day, somebody was throwing a wang dang doodle and they all decided to show up. Seriously, I'd have to say there were three or four dozen of them within a 15' area. Bigguns, too. Never seen anything like it, before or since, but if I had to deal with that every time I went, I'd go bream fishing in a farm pond instead. That was the day that my dad finally got an 8 lb bass on his homemade popper and hand crafted bamboo rod. He was ecstatic, I was shook up.

Edit: Just remembered something else about that day. Dad stopped at the Maple Inn in Currituck and bought four soft shelled crab sandwiches, then at a local store for a six pack. Only time I'd ever seen him drink beer and drive. We got home, beer was gone, and we'd eaten all four crab sandwiches. Momma was pisssssssed!!!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

MMMMMMMM... Road sodas!

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should have saved her a beer!

i've never seen cottonmouths "congregate", but when I see one every couple hundred feet or so along the bank or roadside, i stay in the boat/car.

Jake 14" : Yaws right to left and rolls back and forth on its axis. Then it will glide right or left before coming back in line.

Year 3 is coming up!

Jakes are pretty handy baits. I was never much of a big crankbait guy but this things seemed to get follows all the time.

Interesting, thanks!

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For the fly fishers among us, looking for recommendations.

There's a Redington fly rod and real combo, 9'-0" 7 weight, with line and a hard case, available at Cabelas right now for less than $200. I'm looking for something between my 5 weight and my 8 weight to use for smallmouth in the river and largemouth in ponds. Any recent experience with Redington?

Also, recommendations for fly line for the above mentioned 5 and 8 weights? Looking for a floating weight forward but having a hard time choosing a price point, make, and model.

Thanks!

Redington makes good gear, but it could be a beginner set up. Do you have a link?

I love my seven weight, I prefer to use a 6 weight for smallmouth. If I'm throwing big flies, I go to a 7.

What current make and models rods do you have? It is key to realize that just because a rod is inexpensive, doesn't mean it will match your casting style or what you may enjoy casting because there are different actions. I get clients all the time that bring new rods to me that they bought without casting just because they were on sale. Come to find out, they like something that has a much different action after casting my rods for a bit.

For fly lines - Rio, Scientific Anglers, Airflo, Orvis. Spend the money on quality lines and take care of them. Lines are the most important part of casting in my opinion and the most overlooked. Folks don't want to spend $70 on a line, but a good line will add several feet to your cast. It's well worth it.

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The outfit I mentioned can be seen here: Redington Path Combo

The two rods I mentioned are St. Croix, can't remember the models off hand. Medium fast action on the 5, fast action I think on the 8. The 8 is pretty stout. Only time I've felt the need was snook fishing on the beach in South Florida. Too much rod to enjoy the typical bass I'm able to fool. The 5 is usually fine but a few times I've felt like a 6 or 7 would help with bigger flies and more insurance with the occasional bigger fish.

I definitely like the casting feel of the medium fast versus the fast.

The advice on the line is what I was looking for. I'm going to not be a cheap ass on that for sure.

Thanks for the advice and your thoughts on this.

Thanks for the link. Not a bad looking combo. You're probably splitting hairs for the 6 versus the 7. If you think you may use this rod in the salt, go with the 7. The line on this is Rio, but it is probably their basic line. You may want to replace it in a few seasons with a better. My absolute favorite line is Rio Redfish. Only drawback to Rio is the coating on them tends to crack and wear off sooner than other lines but they are slick

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

I agree on the 6 vs 7. I'm leaning more towards the 6. I want something just a little more stout than my 5, but if choosing between a little lighter vs a little heavier, I'd prefer to go a little lighter just so the average fish puts up more of a fight. I think the 6 answers the call better than the 7, now that I'm thinking about it.

Good to know about the Rio line. I will take a closer look. I don't mind having to replace it a year or two sooner if the experience during use is elevated. I'll check out that Redfish line.

Thanks!

Perhaps a dumb question but anything wrong with choosing that Redfish line for river smallmouth and pond largemouth? The data on it mentions all sorts of features for chasing Redfish but not sure about that as a choice for potential cooler water. I might end up using this line on a rod that will see some larger trout river action in addition to the bass I mentioned. Still a good choice?

Thanks!

That line is perfect for tossing bigger flies. It will work great for LMB and SMB.

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

NEW TOY ALERT

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

That is a beauty! Looks ready to put the smackdown on some big fish.

naturally, you were getting ready to shower with it

delete, double post

Got your TLD15 I see, great reel!

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

Thanks. It was donated to me late last summer by one of the folks saying thank you for the work I have done to try and keep the cobia season open. I am trying to find another one that is in good shape.

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

donated to me late last summer by one of the folks saying thank you for the work I have done to try and keep the cobia season open

from all of us.

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

I am trying. But, it isn't looking so good this year if ASMFC's technical committee chooses to use the 2015 MRIP data in their averages. It is a significant outlier, yet it sounds like they are going to use it. If they do, I am hearing Virginia's season will get clipped significantly. I hope I am wrong. I hope you guys like to catch and release and eat a bunch of sea mullet.

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

Thank you for your efforts. My uncle was pier fishing off Avon I want to say in early December for the last part of the drum run and also did some sea mullet fishing. He and his buddy caught 370 some odd sea mullets. Can't imagine how long it took to clean those.

VTFIsh and I had one epic day of catching little sea mullets about as fast as you could in our chum slick when the cobia weren't cooperating one day this summer. I love catching them- there is no harder fighting panfish.

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

I haven't ever targeted them really other than bycatching them bottom fishing drifting in the sound behind Ocracoke. Will have to mess around with them sometime on a small rod.

If you can get into the one pounders, it is tough to find a better eating fish. They are much better to eat than croakers, spot, and flounder.

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

Hmm, will have to test that out. Usually have eaten blues, spanish in the past. Recently have eaten more drum, trout, and snapper. Haven't had croakers, spot and flounder in awhile. Mom and Dad don't like eating flounder so haven't targeted them.

If they would shut down the Menhaden fishery for 5 years you wouldn't need a longer cobia season and every other fishery up and down the entire east coast would improve as well.

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

While I don't like what Omega does to the Bay, I have a much harder time advocating for people to lose their jobs so I can enjoy recreation. Fortunately, cobia is one species that the stock is incredibly healthy in spite of the menhaden depletion (in fact, there was a wider catch radius of fish with cobia being caught in greater numbers than ever seen historically in Maryland Bay waters and northern mid-Atlantic states like Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island than ever before.

This issue is that we caught the South Atlantic Council fudging the numbers (a single week where two fish reported as harvested via a phone survey was extrapolated out to over 379,000 pounds in catch.) Not a single other week exceeded 100,000 pounds. For the stats folks, that single week, when compared to the other weekly catch totals that season, was 3 times the standard deviation. It violates every data quality standard used by the National Academy of Sciences to use that data. So, SAFMC admitted it was an outlier, and then transferred management to ASMFC where states can't refuse to comply with their findings. And then ASMFC appears that they will use the tainted data.

Virginia, in essence, is being punished for adopting much more restrictive creels than the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. Those states are hoping that by restricting our catch, it will help recover the stock. Unfortunately, the science seems to indicate that the stock is moving further and further northward, not southward. In essence, they are attempting to "solve" the wrong problem and circumventing the legislative intent (to rebuild overfished stocks) to solve it.

If anything, the cobia stock is damaging other species. They gorge on blue crabs, baby flounder, puffers (Bowed Up started selling puffer colored bucktails when the first round of fish appeared with their guts filled with puffers) and other panfish. The cobia numbers (along with the increased number of big red drum) will hammer the crab population, while boats that can't harvest cobia will put more pressure on spadefish, flounder, sheepshead, and spanish mackerel.

I like to eat cobia, but I am a catch and release guy unless I have friends that want to eat it. I released my biggest fish last year. I have harvested three fish over the last three years. I would imagine that I am much more typical of the average angler's success rate with cobia than the charter guys limiting out. Given how fast cobia grow, how they spawn year-around (another thing the last SEDAR stock assessment got wrong), and the fact that the increased size limit in Virginia allows for a full additional year of recruitment, the Bay is going to be filled with cobia as long as they have a food source. In my experience, while they will eat menhaden, that is much less critical to the health of the population than crabs.

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

i've been in natural resources management for nearly 40 years and am currently consulting on water and wildlife issues in FL. i never did figure out whose job was more important, so i always tried to stick to the x's and o's of maintaining a sustainable resource, and applying the law the way it was intended. when i had a chance to change rules and apply some common sense, i did.

it seems kind of heartless, but all these issues are some form of public policy about how we use commonly held resources, and i tried to let those processes play out. in the many thousands of public statements I read or heard over the years, no one ever said, "hey Dave, you seem like a good guy, why don't you just go rogue on this one!"

French, thanks very much for your efforts on the cobia front. I'm sure the folks who depend on cobia fishermen for a living appreciate your work.
However, the menhaden issue is much more important to many Chesapeake Bay fishermen, and since most predators in the Bay target menhaden at some point in their lives, perhaps the menhaden stock means more to the livelihoods of many more people than the cobia fishery. While it is true that there are a relative few (I've heard around 300 or so, but have heard a few more or less as well) folks actually work in the industry in Virginia, every person who fishes in the Chesapeake is impacted by the harvest of tons of the very basic building block of the ecosystem for the profit of a relative few and the manufacture of fertilizer, cat food and fish oil capsules. The fact that the menhaden fishery was taken out of the control of the fisheries management folks in Virginia and given to the state legislature for political favors should tell you something about the whole stinking mess. No other state is doing that, for good reason, and I would posit that the relatively few jobs you are talking about are not reason enough to essentially denigrate the resource for millions of others. Yes, if it were my job, or my family's job I might try a little harder to make sense of it, but since I'm speaking as a recreational fisherman, I'll throw my lot in with the fish, birds and millions of affected fishermen who are crying out annually, and mostly in vain, against the practices Virginia allows for the profit of a few wealthy people and a very few hundred probably mostly lower wage jobs in Reedville.
And while a mature cobia is likely not too fixated on eating menhaden, most, if not all of the fish they do eat depend to some extent on menhaden at some point in development to attain and maintain a healthy population, so in the end, menhaden are still important to cobia and cobia fishermen. Speaking from an economic perspective, the health of the Chesapeake and the millions of dollars spent by recreational fishermen who fish the Bay, is responsible for many more jobs in many more ways than the few menhaden processing jobs in Reedville.
Just my take, but I'm not alone in having this mindset. Some jobs just aren't worth the cost to the rest of us and the health of the Bay, I'd posit.

Edit: Sometimes I shoot my mouth off without checking more into my claims. According to Google, those Reedville jobs are incredibly lucrative for "watermen's" jobs. Either they're inflating the salaries, or most of the jobs are administrative managerial type affairs. Not sure what's what, but it doesn't change my argument.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Like I said, I would rather Omega not be there to make the Bay healthier. However, (and we have discussed this) I start to get ethically compromised when I suggest a fix where I am not negatively impacted and someone else loses their ability to pay their bills based on something other than the supply and demand of the product they deliver. That crosses a Rubicon for me. Hence, I sit on the sideline on the menhaden issue and hope that some kind of palatable solution which allows for the economic viability of the commercial fishermen and the health of the Bay to both be achieved.

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

As always, I respect your position while disagreeing with your reason for it. I do believe the negative impact is more negative than the few jobs is positive, and supply and demand have very little to do with the essential question of why Virginia allows the misuse of the menhaden fishery to the detriment of the peripheral livelihoods that depend on a healthy Chesapeake Bay, and that includes those whose livings depend on recreational fishermen and the larger bulk of commercial fishermen that don't rely on the menhaden harvest to make a living. I will leave it here, though, and agree to disagree with you on this one. Leg for your explanation, anyway.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I take it that Omega is the new Zapata-Haney?

Year 3 is coming up!

And therein lies the rub.

Edit: And please understand me that I don't begrudge those folks their jobs. I mainly begrudge the politicalization for favors of a natural resource that belongs to all of us in order for a few folks to make money from something that should not be political, but science based. This is way more than an economic issue, and should be treated as such.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

French, thanks for all of your work with the cobia and the intel on them. I'm going to start tying some puffer colored flies.

IFish is absolutely correct, the menhaden are the most important food source in the Bay and the entire east coast. Look at the records of the Native American tribes in libraries in West Point. 90 pound striped bass used to be caught. Ninety. They just don't have anything to eat any longer and current fish have legions on them. They have to turn to other food sources, i.e. blue crabs, and thus hurt that population even more. This overfishing of menhaden is killing the Bay and probably severely harming the Atlantic Ocean.

As a fishing guide who takes clients to the Bay, this menhaden overfishing harms my business plain and simple. It isn't just about any of us catching 30 inch stripers for fun, it's millions and millions of dollars that pour into other businesses around the Bay as well. I understand the concern about those Reedville jobs, but does Omega care about us guides in the Bay? Since I know they don't, it leads to my next point...

I'll agree to disagree as well, but I do begrudge those jobs. I know three of those guys that harvest menhaden and they don't give two shits about the environment. Ask them about the numbers and all they do is proclaim science to be full of bullshit and that it's always been this way, and there's tons of fish in the ocean so it should continue to be so. They could care less about data. If they want to provide me with a legitimate discussion on numbers and science in their favor, I am all ears. Still they refuse to do so. The ironic part, one of the menhaden fishermen that I know is also a striped bass guide. I went out with him once and we didn't catch anything. Ironically, he bemoaned the lack of striped bass. Hmmmm.

I saw a tv show recently where a company took 15 or so coal miners from West Virginia and in less than a month had them trained to work in the IT industry from their homes in West Virginia. They were making more money, in normal hours and much safer conditions. Why can't these Reedville guys do the same? In today's age there are a ton of ways to make a living, particularly online and it is not that hard to do. I have no qualms about those jobs being erased. Hell, I've been laid off and I didn't think twice about it.

The kicker in all of this? A good portion of those menhaden are harvested to be fish food for farmed fish like Tilapia. It's not being used for anything special.

The politicization in this state is atrocious. Virginia is the only state left on the East Coast allowing this practice. Dominion bends us all over and does what it wants to the environment to make money at our expense and Omega is just as bad.

Sorry for any political talk, Omega sucks, end rant.

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

Wow, looks amazing! I'll eagerly await the sequel - the one where you land a citation cobia on it ...

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Hopefully, I'll be behind the camera when he does.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Checking the Expo schedule and I don't see Brit scheduled for anything. Bummer. BTW, the website is crap.

Year 3 is coming up!

Musky, one of these days I'll unload some of my New River guiding days experiences on you. Suffice it to say, no love lost between me and some of the guides down there.

Edit: Unnecessary snark. Let it go, fish, let it go.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Dr. Ball vanished too. I am going because I need to head to Richmond anyway and Bowed Up got a booth very late in the game.

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

I'm gonna hit the New River on Saturday in search of some musky. Will probably get the boat in the water around 9 and fish until early afternoon. I'll try to post a report when we get back in.

Catch them up. At least it shouldn't be so frigid.

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

Good luck!

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

Fishing Saturday was a swing and a miss. Got on the water about 8:30 and had about a half hour till the wind became pretty brutal. Boat position was a nightmare. The flows were very low so we stayed put in one area. Didn't see a single fish and called it quits by 1. Water temp started out 32 and ended up about 35. Tough day. Hopefully the weather perks up and we can try again in a few weeks.

VT's Bass Fishing team has started selling some gear to help support the team. I picked up a hat and sticker at the Richmond show.

https://www.vtbassteam.com/

They also had a sweet Hokiestone fishing buff for raffle. I told them they needed to start selling those. Apparently their vendor already jumped on it. http://www.gofanfaces.com/ $25 is a bit steep for a buff, but it looks pretty sweet.

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

We bought a t shirt online. Plan on doing something else to support their team, any ideas?

HokieObsession