March-April 2019 Fishing Thread

I am going to give vertical jigging for catch and release rockfish around the Bay channel edge a try tomorrow. Hopefully the weather cooperates. Plus the last thread was getting long enough to slow down my browser, so here is a fresh one!

Please post your fishing reports, photos, questions, and discussions for March and April here!

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I got the last spot on a offshore charter out of Wilmington with Living Water Guide Service, Rick Croson. Lots of jigging and hopefully some popping. Targeting Blackfin Tuna, African Pompano and AJs. First time going on a offshore charter other than headboat bottom fishing.

Barring any last minute craziness, I am driving to New Orleans to fish Biloxi Marsh all of next week. Swinging by Blacksburg to pick up my friend (her spring break) and heading south. Fishing 3-4 days and targeting reds and jacks and probably a day of playing in the city.

Been tying up a huge box of flies that look like this...

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

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

Nice! I hope to make that trip in the next couple of years. Which guide did you go with last time?

Brandon Keck. He's a young guy and pretty darn good. I'd fish with him again if I didn't have my own boat

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

Thanks! I will keep that in mind for the future

Heading out Sunday for my week long trip in the Middle Keys kayak fishing trip. Looks like fishing has been on fire as the weather has been very warm. Just hope the wind wont be too much of a factor.

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

I'm gonna sit home watchin' Roland Martin on tv. Good luck all you lucky people.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Roland Martin the 1/2 hour late night infomercial?

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Well, it's either that or watching Bill Dance catch those same bass from his private lake behind his house...over and over and over again.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Check out WaypointTV. Just search it on google and it is free to watch. They have some great shows on there to watch such as Into The Blue and Saltwater Experience (all seasons available).

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

Yeah, I don't actually watch Roland or Bill anymore, but when I was young and satellite tv wasn't a thing yet, I watched any and all fishing shows. I quit watching the "aw shucks, SON" bunch when I discovered shows like The Walker's Cay Chronicles with Flip Pallet and Jose Wahebbe (may he RIP) and their enhanced filming and production values, not to mention their more interesting patter. If I do tune in these days, it's usually for the Experience and such shows, and I still like a good walleye show, but seldom watch. I also used to get all the major outdoor magazines, but I think I just tired of all that and would rather sit home and gripe about the shitty weather keeping me in, the emptiness of the Bay in winter, and my lack of funds to head south and fish for a month or so.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Had the pleasure with fishing with Capt. Rush Maltz about 3 years ago, a best friend of Jose. Fantastic captain and person. He gave me a Spanish Fly shirt at the end of the trip, meant a lot!

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

I was watching Jose with a client who was hooked up to a really big tarpon and it wrapped around a bridge piling. Jose stripped down to his skivvies and dove in and unwrapped the fish, climbed back on and they fought on. Cool enough, but as he was getting set to jump in, my wife walked by the tv and glanced at it, did a cartoonishly dramatic double take, and then stood there in front of the tv until he was back in the boat. Never seen her do anything like that before or since. I envy you your trip with Capt. Maltz and definitely envy you the shirt.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

He gave me a Spanish Fly shirt at the end of the trip

Now that's cool

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

One of my buddies managed one 23 incher out near the channel. We had some hits around the discharge pipe but no hook ups. It was a calm day in the water, and very damp air.

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

Ran into one of the local Marine POs at the auto parts store the other day and we were talking about winter fishing opportunities. He said that the Bay had plenty of bunker (like hook and line bunker fishing were even an option), but that one spot had produced pretty well all winter, that being a local "hot ditch" over on the York. He said the relatively warm winter hadn't chased all the fish south and reds and stripers with the occasional trout mixed in with the catfish were caught all winter. I've now wanted to fish it for two years and haven't gotten that done. Maybe next year?
As for the bunker, I know they're out there and saw the proof a couple of days ago in the back of a local waterman's pickup truck. He had a plastic basket and a tub full of medium sized menhaden he'd just netted. Won't be long, I keep telling myself...won't be freakin' long.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Got the boat out for the first time since completely rewiring everything....and after letting it sit all winter without running it or winterizing it.

I was expecting pure doom but to my surprise everything worked. Engine turned over (eventually, I had drained all the gas out of the motor). Boat ran slooow, idk if it was bad gas or what but I topped out at 38.7mph which is about 12mph less than what I usually run. I'm still in break in mode and that gas sat for 6 months so I'm gonna take it out and run it until break in mode turns off (2 hours of run time over 3500 rpm) then see what happens with some fresh gas.

Gas gauge wasn't working then I realized I forgot to put a fuse on the positive to the fuel sender so that should be fixed now. (if anyone knows the draw of a fuel sender let me know. I went with a 3A fuse as a complete guess)

(add if applicable) /s

If its a 12 volt sender than youll be fine with 3A fuses it shouldnt need hardly any amperage of that to do what its doing

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

That's what I figured I just went with the lowest amperage I had laying around.

(add if applicable) /s

Depending on the gauge wire a good practice is max 5 amps for a 12 volt wire if its around 18-16 gauge wire it shouldnt have anymore that 5 amps on it but if its just a sender 3 will be fine

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

5 amps seems seriously low. The ampacity of this wire is more than 20 amps. That being said none of my electronics are drawing much power. The only thing I have over fused over 5A is the dual USB charger which I have capped at 10A

(add if applicable) /s

Its all about the ampacity and size of the wire most stuff in boats isnt gonna go nuts unless you have some wild ass stuff or big pumps etc, just google ampacity charts if its a big wire otherwise small stuff is nice and easy to size.

If you ever want to know the exact value a quick use of an amp probe can give you the exact number if you just replace the fuse with the probe.

Nothing beats realizing my parents had bought a bunch of 6 volt batteries for their 48 volt golf cart thinking it was a 36 volt one. low voltage is a pain in the ass if you let it be

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

Oh the joys of boat ownership. Friend of mine never winterizes his boat or his gas. He just goes out religiously once a month and runs his boat for 15 or twenty minutes, brings her back in and flushes it out. Never had an issue.
I just fill my water/fuel separator filter with Sea Foam, run it until the motor feels the foam, then shut it down until spring, and never an issue. I do just use non-ethanol gas now as well with no additives, usually. Topping off the tank in the winter cuts down on tank area for condensation, keeping water to a minimum. This has saved me money, I'm convinced.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Oh yeah, I need to change my water/fuel separator for sure, and running some sea foam through might not be a bad idea just to break down whatever gunk is in there. It just doesn't get cold enough here to justify winterizing it, I think we were below freezing for 7 continuous hours once all winter. Usually I'm taking it out at least monthly over the winter but it was an incredibly wet winter.

Need to do my lower unit fluid too but that's such a pita with how low this trailer sits.

(add if applicable) /s

The sea foam thing has been a miracle worker for me after initial trouble with fuel and neglect that occurred when I bought a boat from a lying SOB who misrepresented a few things, like the fact that the boat had sat for more than three years without being run, with gas in the tank. Took me five different trips to my boat guy before he finally got all the crap out of all the screens and filters in the motor. We were one step away from trying to drain the tank, but for whatever reason, didn't have to in the end. The water/fuel filter has never had any water in it, but I change it every winter at the end of the season because it's cheap and something I can actually do myself. The Sea Foam gets into the injectors on my Yamaha, and sitting there for three or four months, seems to clean them well. Since I started doing this, my motor starts immediately every spring and seems not to have lost power now for the last five years. I quit changing the oil and lower unit fluid because of all the mess and disposal issues, and my boat guy works for $65 per hour and it's quick work for him, so not worth it for me to invest in an oil pump, etc. My "winterization" is mainly done because I'm just too darned lazy to trailer to the ramp, run the boat, go home and flush the motor, etc., and that seems to have obviated the necessity. Plus, I do think there's value in cleaning those injectors and short of taking them out and spraying them with carb cleaner, this seems to be the best way to do it myself.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Who is your boat guy?

804

My boat dude is named Kenneth Haywood. He lives here in Mathews near the East. Laid up right now due to some serious surgery and medical stuff, but he's been good as gold for me. Another guy who I have heard is comparable to Kenny in price and knowledge is Eddie Inge, in Port Haywood, but I personally haven't worked with him. If Kenny gets his medical stuff straightened out, I'll keep going there, if not, I'll likely try Eddie.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Good to know. I'm in West Point so not too far.

804

I've been told by a couple of local fish and game cops that there is a good shad run somewhere near West Point, on the Mattaponi or Pamunkey, maybe? Any suggestions on launches and areas to target?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I live on the river in West Point and I can't say that I know of a good shad run. They might have been talking about on the Chickahominy. I will ask around and see what I can dig up. We do have good runs of rockfish and always have good seasons for catfish/croaker/perch. I'm hoping if the rain slows down this year we will also get blues, drum and trout but it's been a few years since that's happened.

804

I'm hoping if the rain slows down this year

Im starting to wonder if we will ever see dust again

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

I've heard of people catching shad around West Point in something I read. Can't remember where I read it though

They will be catching shad in the James right at the I-95 bridge soon. My brother went fly fishing for them last year and is going again this year.

Yep, I'm going to try to get out soon for them. River is at a decent enough level right now.

I've heard this from Marine Police and from local VDGIF wardens. Must be something up there somewhere, but I didn't get specifics. I didn't get the impression that the Chick was involved. Again, though, watta I know?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I asked a few people and they hadn't heard about it either. I'll start throwing out shad rigs these next few weeks and see if I can hook one. In either case, they would probably be harder to target around WP just because it's much bigger water than where you would typically fish for them in the James/Chick.

804

I've never caught shad that weren't constricted in some way by current and rocks, or in small tidal flows. I wouldn't think they'd be easy to find in the big water you have there. Looking at the map, first guess is that upstream in the 'Poni would be the place to look. Several boat ramps on the King and Queen side, but I don't know what the river's like up there. Intercepting them on their way to their spawning grounds would seem to me to be a lot tougher than finding them once they're there, so that's what I'd be looking for, or a seriously accessible constriction that would be a main travel artery to those grounds. Anyway, do ask around, I'll bet somebody knows something. I would also bet that the local indigenous folk netted and trapped them historically as they ran. The wardens seemed pretty sure of themselves, but I really do need to get more info if I can. My main experience with shad has been on the Rappahannock in Fred'sburg where they gang up at the first rapids, so while I've caught hundreds of them, I don't know much about finding them otherwise. I won't be chasing them on spec.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah they'd probably be closer to Walkerton where the fall line is. It's definitely fishable up there.

804

Thanks, makes sense. Good shad fishing can be a real treat.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Waypoint TV!

Thanks!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

So my buddy and I are gonna try to learn some brook trout fishing stuff next weekend with a trip into the shenandoah park and thanks to VTfish we have a good spot picked out on Big Run, question is Ive read dry fly fishing is picking up which I always thought was something that was for much warmer weather. Per Ifish were gonna have plenty of CK special nymphs from 20-12 size and variety of colors but which dry flies whould we have a few of incase that bite is hot?

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

Caddis

Yep. The CK mimics caddis casings, amongst other evocations, and a caddis hatch can happen situationally in unexpected conditions. While I admit my predilection is almost always nymphing for production, I understand some are addicted to that topwater thing. I like the top, but trout-wise I'm going underwater and likely outfishing anything floating.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Were definitely going to nymph most of the time but as first timers we figured the dry fly may be easier to get a hang of first and my try tying a nymph on below a dry fly as well. Going to need to get some leader for trout sized stuff need some small flouro looks like dont think my 15 pound mono is gonna work

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

Definitely do the dry-nymph dropper on size 5X or 6X tippet. Elk hair Caddis dry with a nymph on about a 18" - 24" dropper, length depends on the stream depth and water speed that you are fishing. Slow deep pools you need a longer dropper.

where do you tie the dropper to the dry fly exactly? as high up the curve as you can I'm guessing to allow a bite on the dry fly? Kinda want to learn the whole nymph and dry fly bugging stuff to see if I can finally get a pound bream one day

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

Youtube is my usual go to but I've found some good info on here from people in regards to fly fishing so I like asking around incase theres some unknown trick to things I my not find on the nets.

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

Popping bug for bream and dry fly fishing for trout are Venus and Mars. No relationship whatsoever.

Thing is, what you do depends, as suggested, on the water speed and depth. If you're fishing pools on a small creek, just don't junk things up. Those brookies weren't born yesterday, or brought in on the latest tide. They're wary and wise by necessity. Minimize your presence and keep a low profile.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The small brookie streams I fish on, I am crouched or kneeling as much as standing.

My buddy is a giant dutch guy so hes gonna have fun trying to sneak around . Gonna suggest he wears dark colors and hides on the shore. Gonna pick up some sock end waist high wade pants to help with the cooler temps in the mountains.

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

Shouldn't have to wade Big Run. Maybe to cross it. Good luck, you guys.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If you have eBay, serious deals to be had today. Use the app and code PSAVE15 for 15% off.

2019 Tatula 150s and 200s for right under $100.*

I used my Xmas Ebay gift card stash to get a 7'6" Heavy St. Croix Musky Mojo (which never go on sale) for 135.

*Then go here and get this sweet shirt for free $5 (I'll buy it off you if you don't want it!): $5 Tatula Huk Shirt

And here I was all proud I made it to a Tuesday without spending money on fishing stuff.

(add if applicable) /s

This past weekend, wife and I went to Gulf Breeze, FL to spend time with my brother and his family, celebrate his 55th Bday, and do some fishing. He has a new to him 2016 27 ft Cape Horn with twin 200 HP Yammies with plenty of bells and whistles. We had to christen her the right way.
Thursday eve we did a quick fish and happy hour inside Ft. Pickens and found a few of these (I got skunked - 2 hookups wrapped on structure and broken off - but my brother and his son caught a few). All released. I've never seen Red Snapper inshore like this (Brevard County, FL, was my old haunt) so this was a nice treat.

The next day, Friday we went offshore for the entire day. Left before 8AM and headed into 3-4 ft at 4 seconds mixed swells from the SE. Nasty ride out to 25 miles. Boat did great, we were dry and this became a shake down cruise (literally) for his boat (first serious offshore trip on his boat). After 3 hours getting out (we tested a few spots on the way) and getting beat to hell, we came across some structure finally and did a few drifts. Current was insane in 200 ft of water and we struck out. Headed to some other spots a few miles in, trolling on the way. No knockdowns but did see some Blackfin Tuna busting the surface and steered them into the setup with no luck. Started getting a bit discouraged and headed towards a wreck nearby and found structure covered with fish. It was 2:30 when we got to this spot, so it had been a long fruitless day so far. We did as many drifts as we could until 4 PM and headed back in. I think we did pretty good. Kept one legal trigger fish, released all the Red Snapper healthy and fine. I'm hoping to come back for the season. We've got some spots now. The last picture was the last drift double hook up for me and my nephew! Sweet!!
Wrapped up the weekend with a Zac Brown Band concert at The Wharf Amphitheater in Orange Beach, AL. Great Venue, excellent show!

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

Awesome!!

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Great post, great pics, great snappers! Nice boat, too.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks. Yea, he's got a sweet ride. Cape Horn's have excellent hulls and are very dry. I had a Sea Ray center console when we lived in FL and it was very dry in rough seas as well.

Great trip. For his birthday party we did a Hippie Commune based murder mystery party. It was hysterical. The costumes and roles played by everyone was off the charts funny as heck. Partying with a bunch of ex-Navy pilots (most whom now fly for various airlines) is quite the crew - they party pretty high on the scale. Good trip.

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

Used to know a guy that fits that description to a T. His parties were legendary, complete with antique plane air show, way low, of course, and a fireworks fight that had to be seen to be believed. He's a fisherman, too.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Anyone fished the Everglades before. Feeling like going on a trip, need a guide for tarpon for a say probably going to drag my boat down there too.

(add if applicable) /s

Yes, have fished the outside of it putting in at Flamingo. Lot's of good snook fishing in the mangroves

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

We got a guide for tarpon when we will be there in may, cant remember the name exactly but we figured we could get a guide to show us the ropes around naples and then work ourselves the rest of the week.

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

That's kinda the idea I had. Thinking I might be a little late to the party booking someone though.

(add if applicable) /s

Not too late most likely just not going to get the top guide but someone still well qualified.

We had zero issue finding guide with availability, we are going for a week though so we had a large time slot to work with. Also depends what type trip you want a skinny water mangroves trip or a spinning rod and live bait fishing the smaller water guys had pretty open schedules.

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

Looking like I'm going to the Tampa and/or Ft Myers area at the beginning of April with the Action Craft.

(add if applicable) /s

Anyone used a shimano sedona? Thoughts? I'm thinking of getting it putting 30 lb braid on a 4000 series for chopper bluefish mainly.

I have two. Great bang for you buck reels in my opinion, I use 30lb power pro with 20lb Seaguar leader!

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

Awesome! Thanks for the input

right now there are exactly 1 million people in sleepy little St Augustine and most of them were either tying up traffic or anchored in my favorite fishing holes...bikers...spring breaks both near and far...and the TPC. [edit: word is we're now a hot spot for the spring break crowd with the panhandle still pretty beat up]

today's report...lots of boats, lots of wind, very few fish

daughter's boyfriend did a catch a Spanish...in 4 feet of water; maybe 13-14 miles from the nearest inlet...bizarre

hopefully a few of our guests will stagger into the bar where we're playing tonight and fall in love with our lead singer

Yer livin' the life.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

family of one of the players in the TPC is Air B&B-ing it across the street...which explains the TPC courtesy car I saw there Wednesday PM (black Lexus SUV).

Little known, Brice Garnett.

My wife chatted with them briefly yesterday when our cat tried to go visit them...cat thinks that is her house because the previous owners would let her in and give her treats...now anytime anyone pulls in, she's like, "George and Sue are back!"

Anyway, turns out they, and Brice, are from a tiny town (Gallatin) in nowhere Missouri with like 1700 people...and, get this, BOTH of my wife's parents AND her grandmother, grew up there!

Brice made the cut so we have a new favorite player for the weekend. I chatted with his dad this a.m. before they left for Ponte Vedra...very nice folks.

edit: he's cratering today so I suspect we should leave them alone...

Golf is a cruel mistress, and probably one of the reasons God invented fishing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Team! Thought I'd share some photos of me and my 6-year old son, on a recent fishing adventure. During spring break, we took a little drive down to Corpus Christi. Hitting the water at high noon with an impending cold front coming through, we were able to drop anchor in the Laguna Madre, near Baffin Bay. Sitting in only 5' water depth, we dropped our lines in the salty waters with hopes of catching anything with a big bite. Using both live and dead shrimp, we found ourselves surrounded by a school of black drum. In 3 hours time, my son and I, along with another father/son team landed 12...12! Of these sea monsters. Ranging anywhere from 36-42+" and the biggest ones tipping the scale at over 40 lbs...it was an epic day, one we will never forget. All in all we caught 20+ fish, 4 keepers. We fried, grilled and blackened over 4 lbs of meat. It was glorious!

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

Dude! PIGS!! That is awesome. Your boy has some stories now. Great stuff!!! Black drum is delicious!

Edit: I hope the glasses were for the pic... or are they ur lucky shades!

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

Bud, I'm about to have my 6th child under the age of 9...I have a dozen of these shades, in every color. Interchangeable with my little ones, they're inexpensive, hard to lose, and make for crazy fun pictures. Thanks a million! Black drum is deeeeelicious.

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

That's a day to remember for sure. I've only caught little (7 lbs and under) and a couple of 50-60 lb ones, but it looks like you guys hit the jackpot, for sure. I also admit to never having eaten one, despite the characterizations of their worth as groceries. I saw old pictures of guys scaling 90 pounders with a garden hoe in the olden days and the article mentioned their poor quality food-wise and also the presence of worms in the larger fish and that kinda turned me off. I should've been clued in years ago on Ocracoke where everyone around me was more than happy to take my drum when I was about the only one catching more than one or two. They were selling for 10 bucks a pound at the market, too, but I was stubbornly clueless. Sooo, my question to you is what size fish did you end up eating? How'd you fix it? Did your son like it, too?
Great day, great pictures, and thanks for the report!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We kept four in the 22"-30" range. I'm not certain on the slot, but that seems about right.

Fried in buttermilk and bread crumbs
Blackened with various seasonings
Grilled with a little butter and Lawry's seasoning salt

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

Thanks zoom. I love 18-24" reds, but not much bigger, but I'll be sure to try the next small black drum that opens his mouth near my Gulp.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Black drum from 18 to 30" are great fare. Big ribcage. Blackened black drum rivals blackened red in my book.

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

fantastic!

If you ever get a chance to fish the Lower Laguna at Port Mansfield, I highly recommend it

Nice black drum!

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

That is fantastic! A good friend of mine lives in Houston and I am hoping to get down there and fish with him soon. I am so glad your son got to experience that moment. It will be a memory that will last a lifetime.

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

If you are there in the fall, hit Trinity Bay.

this time of year it's hard to say...trout turn on when the surf hits 70

maybe East Matagorda?

I'll look into it, thx! September/October is high cotton, when the bull reds are abundant and running inshore. If ever there is a chance to hit the water that time of year, we'll tackle 'em. My distance to the ocean is equivalent to that of Blacksburg/Roanoke to Tidewater. Takes a little planning, a sizeable $ investment, and lots of caffeine to pull it off.

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

They are born mean!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Hell any musky counts even the wee ones

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

Well, that one takes the cake (or pie, your choice)! I've caught four tiny ones on popping bugs, a real treat and they jumped like troopers every one, but they were still about twice the size of that one. Like 'nator says, they all count.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

New Orleans report...

I wish I had not gone on this trip. That is all.

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

Man, I was hoping for another of your lengthy and well written tales. Sorry it didn't work out. Any trout on the south to wash away the bad from NO?

Did not fish the South, simply stopped into the fly shop to see the guys and get a few tying materials.

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

Was it the fish? Was it the company? Was it the destination? N'awlins chew you up and spit you out? C'mon, spill. Inquiring minds want to know!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If his weekend was anything like mine it was the "N'awlins chew you up and spit you out?" option. St Patrick got me good.

(add if applicable) /s

Here's a partial list... most of my time was spent fixing shit and not fishing.

Bolt fell out of truck brake caliper in nowhere Mississippi on the way down, 2 a.m.. Fucked up the rim on my truck and the caliper but I think they can still both be used. Slept in the truck overnight. Locals hooked me up with another one and a spare after a few hours of searching the next morning.

The gas cap on my boat is stuck. I cannot put gas in it. Don't ask how, it is from turning simply tightening it. No, no matter what I tried it will not come off. Spent over $300 at West Marine on parts and a spare plastic tank to be able to run the boat. Fuck that store and their exorbitant pricing. $15 for the little metal key to open the tank. It's $3 online. Just absurd. Again, F that store and their pricing. Hewes says I need to cut a hole on the interior of the boat to access the gas hose to disconnect so I can pull the old fill out and replace. Shit design.

I McGyvered the $138 (did I mention over-pricing) 12 gallon plastic gas tank to the back deck with the $69 separate hose hookup kit (thanks for raping me West Marine) and was able to use that to get us around. Only 12 gallons of gas to use proved to be the fatal flaw for the fishing part of the trip. It kept us closer than I wanted to be and unable to make the run to some outer rigs and islands that I was confident would hold fish this time of year based on a report I was given.

Forgot my spin rods. Had to buy another one that I really don't need and really can't afford. Of course, I wasn't going to buy some junk that wouldn't last me a year. Penn Battle 2 4000. Really wish I could have spent that money elsewhere.

The rope on my trolling motor broke so it was locked down in position. Not a big deal, but was a hassle. Able to fix on the water. By the end of the trip the trolling motor stopped working altogether despite me continuing to mess with it multiple times on the water. It is not getting consistent power. Something else to fix.

One of the shitty plastic fenders they put on trailers these days finally busted off. Just from using it to get off and on the boat. Very minor issue but just annoying to happen on this trip. Zip tied it twice and for some reason still wouldn't stay on so my boat is covered in road grime on that side from the drive home without it.

Thursday I was in a very bad mood and when putting the trailer onto the hitch, clearly didn't put it on all the way. Trailer fell off said hitch at 55 mph. I kept it on the road somehow and had minimal damage. Good heavy duty trailering chains are a must. Ground a bunch of shit off and cut the trailer wiring. Trailer wiring/lights were a giant pain the rest of the trip, especially on the way home.

Broke the tip on a $475 fly rod. Ugh.

I discovered I have some type of major leak in the boat. The guy I bought it from said there might be a minor one in the live well. This is not minor and it is in the bilge. Going to need to research how to proceed and fix from there.

On the final way back in the engine started making an odd noise. I have no clue, but it concerns me.

As for fishing.... when the weather was supposed to be good, it was bad (two days). When it was supposed to be bad, it was good (one day.) Found no reds. My trip partner said she had one follow and swipe at the Redfish Magic I had her use. Shocker that fish was on an outer island similar to what I was trying to get to, so my intel/hunch likely would have been correct. Everyone else I talked to at the ramp said fish were nowhere to be found in the usual spots around Hopedale and when they were found, they were sluggish and not interested in much. One fish was caught, a 9 inch speck. Glad I was able to guide her to another species off the list.

While in the city I got my truck booted in a public parking lot despite following the exact instructions on how to pay. $90 fee. The guy booting my truck claimed he was just doing his job and had no decision in it. Upon further research, he is the one who could have simply said, yes, you are correct, you did do it the right way and our system is messed up. No charge. So he lied to my face and that really pissed me off. I attempted to use the online appeal but the company website won't work correctly and now claim I'm two days past the appeal opportunity so I still get charged. Fuck that shit and the fucking scam they are running. I wish the worst for you, things I will not say on here.

The city... I love it, despite it being a shithole in a lot of parts and some really sketchy people. Saw a good friend of mine. I drank, but did not have a hangover on the trip. Lost weight actually. Down to 191 this am from 206 about a month and a half ago. Half-assing a keto diet works. I suppose not gaining weight when being in New Orleans is a good thing, so that was a positive.

The company... Sigh. Women are downright evil, just the worst. I wish her all the best.

All of the above are major first world problems, except for the girl. I'm alive, I have more than enough in life and all of this boat shit is part of being a boat owner. You all asked, I didn't want to rant, but there it is.

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

Well that does sounds awful. While I avoid West Marine as much as possible they do price match any online price in store for future reference.

(add if applicable) /s

I didn't know that. Seems like they'd have to cut their prices in half to do that. How do you go about getting them to do that?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks, I'll check it out.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

west marine...preferably on sale...or not at all. sadly, they are convenient and carry a lot of stuff i can't otherwise get

Ouch. Just ouch.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I grimaced reading all of this. Sorry you had to deal with all that. Hope things will be on the up and up for ya.

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

My thoughts exactly. Sorry for the ordeal flyguy.

you should be able to write 2 or 3 good country songs from those experiences

"women are downright evil, I wish her all the best"; yeah, that'll work

Figure out how to work a dog in there somewhere and you'll have all the bases covered. I'll even start you off with the first line "Well, I fell outta love with you this mornin'...'cause of what you said to me last night." Take it away flyguy.......

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Just wanted to say thank you all for the "thoughts and prayers." Some trips are good and some are bad, this one just happened to be on the far end of the spectrum. It's just life, I'm fine. I really appreciate all of the responses.

I did notice that the metal portion of my trailer strap was rubbing against the gel coat on the boat on the way home, so I now have a new blemish on Pretty Fly. Oh well.

On a positive note, my father fabricated a homemade wrench for the gas cap and sent it to RVA yesterday. Being a Negative Nancy after this trip, I was convinced that damn cap wasn't moving. I torqued it hard and the bastard came out. Leverage is quite a thing. Something is definitely wrong with the cap though. I should have made my own wrench down there, I could have, but my frustration was clouding my thinking ability.

Anyways, a potential trip to NC and/or Florida end of this week through next week if I'm able to get some of the other repairs made. I need a rebound trip.

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

don't bother with NE FL right now...it's transition time

Thank you!

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

The window is Saturday afternoon - Monday Morning for lower winds in NC. Been constantly checking with my offshore trip happening this weekend.

After getting some promising reports from yesterday coupled with a decent wind forecast, we gave it a try fishing from noon to 6:30 at the power plant. The wind didn't follow the forecast, but initially we found hungry fish. The problem was we were fishing with 10 inch BKDs and 15 inch fish were smacking them. After lots of misses and foul hooked fish, I admitted defeat and downsized to a one ounce bucktail with a 7 inch BKD. I started hooking up consistently, including my biggest fish of the day.

Unfortunately, instead of slacking out of the west, the wind jumped to 20 kts out of the south. We started a strange drift through the outflow then bouncing jigs off the back of the boat. The bite completely died, although my buddy's other guest (using a black BKD) continued to get about one bite a drift. The two of them combined for about 30 fish. I got 7 and 3 were foul hooked.

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

Good to see that there are schoolies hitting. I just turned my fishing light on a few weeks ago. I'm hoping they find their way up the York soon.

804

Speaking of the York, I know you're way upstream, but have you fished the hot ditch down the way?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have fished it some, but not much lately. It's a good spot for spanish mackerel and spot when the seasons are in. It's also one of the best places to cast net for bunkers if you need bait. I tried fishing for rockfish there last winter and only caught one small one. I was getting marks on the fishfinder all over the place but they wouldn't get on the lines.

804

People are limiting out on crappie in NE TN, especially Douglas and Cherokee Lakes. Unfortunately I'm stuck at home or work and worse can't get anyone to donate fillets to the hungry. This warm weather has things on the upturn. Hopefully everyone can get out and knock the rust off after a horribly wet winter.

Got in on some good crappie fishing at the top of Cherokee lake at Rogersville one spring. Wanted to fish the warm water discharge for walleye, but boat motor wouldn't work, so we went down and fished with the crowd from the bank. Good luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Quick question on trout fishing, I'm going to fish streams in the shenandoah so I know I need the national parks stamp/permit to fish there but does my residential freshwater cover the rest or do I need the trout license as well? DGIF's app has zero clarity on the issue and the regs dont say anything that seems to clarify the issue.

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

If it's stocked waters, you need the permit. June 16 - September 30, you don't need a permit.

Others here have you covered on the license requirements.

Good luck. Be prepared to fight through mountain laurel thickets to catch the most beautiful minnows you'll ever see.

Jokes aside, it's fun to chase natives about once a year for me. Then I'm ready to catch something longer than my hand.

Im excited, its been a long winter and I'm ready to catch my first native trout. Never been and figured I could add it to the list of things I can do to hopefully move on to bigger trout in the future. Just need something to keep me busy till turkey season shows up.

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

As you should be. I didn't mean to disrespect the sport of fly fishing for natives or the natives themselves. It's hard work but rewarding. They are one of the most beautiful fish in the region IMHO. I too am waiting anxiously for turkey season. Damn if this winter isn't holding on forever.

I figure if I'm going to learn to trout fish I ought to start small and with a trout that may be easier to find in virginia and brookies seem to be the fish since most of the big rivers with trout see loads of pressure I figured I'd start out remote and where I have less competition.

The weather is just right if you ask me The colder it stays up to turkey season the better nothing worse than an early spring to get the hens all over the big tom by opening day. That all said seeing a gobbler breathing in a tree while he calls out on the roost with the frost on the ground gives me shivers every time.

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

Watched a dozen hens feed in a field this afternoon while 3 gobblers watched above them. One strutted a few times but they didn't act very interested. I'm like you glad spring didn't come early. Numbers seem down my way but there's a few birds around. I'm ready.

They're getting ready but hopefully they hold off a few more weeks. Numbers are down statewide we definitely don't have as many in Essex anymore but still way more than the none we had when I was a kid. Probably going to start doing some predator control around turkey season

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

I usually pop a coyote or two while turkey hunting. Last year I dropped one at 9 steps and if I'd waited another second it would've been in my lap. A few lip squeaks and it was on. Funny cause I never seem to be able to do that when I target them in the winter.

I'd say raccoons have just as bad an impact around here. Hardly any coon hunters left and they're hard on nests. Turkeys are on the low end of the totem pole.

I did some talking to some biologists and they're studies show the effect of coyotes isn't as bad as feared once since they do a serious bit to raccoons and other pest varmints as well which in turn also helps the turkeys out by ridding the nest raiders from the chain. Dunno if I fully agree they're hurting the numbers but also think the bag limits have gone a bit high.

This times the best to coyote hunting here cause of the turkeys and cause I think it's mating season. I never see them outside of spring turkey so I tend to hunt them this time of year

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

Not only what the game guys are saying about their critter eating ways, but what long time biologists will tell you about how coyotes respond to predation by having more pups more often makes you wonder if it is worth killing them. Once they're there, they're there seems to be the consensus. They're an incredibly wary animal, and can be incredibly beautiful, as well. I'd kill a fox in my henhouse, but not in the woods, but if your woods is, in effect, your "henhouse", I get the urge to at least control the one in your sights.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

ecologically, they are essentially a more adaptable and efficient version of a red wolf and have effectively hybridized them out of existence in much of their range where the wolf populations have been diminished

They are incredibly beautiful fish, aren't they? When I lived in Afton, I lived in an old log cabin for a while, with a native stream right beside me with some good sized brookies. One winter, I got one, maybe 10", and kept it in an unheated room in a 30 gallon fish tank, aerated, filtered and complete with rocks from the stream. Fed it worms and minnows and let it go in the spring, no worse for the wear. It seemed to understand the limits quickly and never freaked the whole time I had it. I have some old pictures somewhere, this was around '80. I used to sit and stare at it like a great painting or something.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Never seen one in person so I'm looking forward to seeing them in hand.

On a similar note I'm currently working on a aquaponics setup for my house so I can garden and grow fish year round off of each other and use solar power to run the pumps so I can do it all off grid with just fish food to feed the cycle. I really want to raise trout so I'm working on how to set it up so I can keep the water cool enough for them year round and now its looking like I'll be building a larger shed next to the garden where I can bury the tanks in the ground for insulation and may even look into some kind of chiller to keep them cooler in the summer when it gets hot. Issue is the more electrical stuff I add the more power I need and solar is tough to get it all done with.

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

That sounds awesome. I had a natural aquarium as a kid, but warm water species only. Had a largemouth for a couple years and then let it go once it got too big for the tank. Fun stuff!

I also had warm water naturals for a good while. I also had a largemouth for about a year and a half until it decided to move rocks around in the spring, I guess in spawn prep, and broke the glass while I was on a week long fishing trip. That bass tamed quickly and would take food from my hand. Sometimes, when it would grab a worm, I'd grab it by the jaw and show it off to visitors. New aquarium lasted for many years, and always had bream, redeyes, and crappie, usually the size of half dollars, and a school of beautiful crimson sided dace minnows (Tenn dace?) to round out the tank. I changed the fish out yearly to curb aggression (bluegills are mean as shit!), and had some really cool rocks and plants for interest. Finally tired of the hard work of keeping a crystal clear, pristine tank (29 high) and refused to have any less than that for the fish and for observers.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I too have had many warm water species.

Have always felt a bit conflicted about having a Brookie, though I've wanted one.

The coolest aquarium animals are by far snapping turtles.

As Fish said above, too much work for me at this point.

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

If I cant keep water temps below 68-70 degrees constantly I'll have to go with a warm water species so probably bream of some kind since theyre tasty and easy to get plenty of.

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

I agree with you on the brook trout. It was just something for that one winter and it didn't seem to faze him one bit for the three months or so I kept him. Of course, the fact that the stream by the house had plenty of natives in it and was well protected by its owner made it not that big of a deal to remove a trout. They taste pretty damn good, too. Again, though, long time ago.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Th brookies are rising a bit in the warm weather. We had a good day last week with some dry flies west of Harrisonburg.

Good luck!

Is it basketball season yet?

Hoping for some luck to the north of Harrisonburg!

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

Size 16 Yellow Elk Hair Caddis

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

Thanks for the recommendation I'll give some a try I have a good collection of elk Caddis flies in small sizes I'll try out we're gonna give ourselves plenty of time to try nymphing and dry fly techniques

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

Size 16 yellow CK Special.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Freshwater license only needed unless you are fishing in designated stocked trout waters. Shenandoah National Park has no stocked streams and does not require another stamp. Fishing streams in the National Forest does require a stamp.

Thanks guys wish they had it clarified somewhere in the regs glad I can avoid the extra costs and all. Really like the map they have of all the streams with trout in them to help find places to go.

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

Yeah the app is useless it seems the websites far better on the computer. Was wondering if they have most or all of the streams a marked on the map. Seems like whenever Im wandering out into Bath county and surrounding areas theres an awesome trout stream everywhwere I look.

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

I'd give a front tooth to be independently wealthy with a 200 acre piece of land bordering national forest in bath County. Such beautiful country and so much good hunting and fishing.

For surf fishing guys, the first big red drum bite went off at Cape Point Monday. Oddly enough, it came on a north east wind. Usually a SW wind is needed in the spring to push warm water in, but the handful of people out there got one heck of a reward.

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

I saw that. I will be down there sometime next month.

I need to sit down with you and go over wind and the beach bite, particularly around OBX.

I have it pretty locked in for Cape Lookout and how it affects the fishing there and how it affects my fishing on the backside of the OBX behind Pamlico, but it still amazes me to this day how wind makes fish eat a specific way off of the beach.

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

Everything depends on where you are in the OBX (and admittedly I don't know the geography on Hatteras Island as well.) My experience, especially with red drum, is you want an onshore wind. In the early spring, S and SW wind pushes warmer water in on the beach, bringing drum close.

https://marine.rutgers.edu/cool/sat_data/show/?print=1&file=../../region...

When you look at the photo, note how there is a pocket of very cold water pressed up against the beach north of Rodanthe. While that isn't surprising this time of year, many fishermen are surprised when they see a similarly cold pocket against the beach in the summer. A prevailing SW (typical for the summer), will be an offshore wind up north even though it is an onshore wind on the southside of Cape Point. The offshore wind coupled with the Atlantic current creates the pocket of cold water (the locals call it "upwelling.") When that pocket is there, surf fishing on the beach or fishing off the piers for big predatory species is a waste of time during the summer.

By early fall, the temperature difference isn't as extreme after several months of being warmed. A SW isn't ideal, but a NW will produce lots of bluefish and trout, NE/E will produce drum because it brings warmer water in and chops it up.

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

Very, very interesting. Thank you!

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

Central Florida would get a similar upwelling from offshore winds in the middle of the summer as well. The water would get smelly and VERY cold. When your out surfing one day in 80 degree water and the next day its 68, you notice! Fishing bite would disappear on the beach and in the Indian River near Sebastian inlet, so we'd fish the Grant area for as much as a few weeks until it went away (or go well offshore where the temps were normal).

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

On the OBX, I'll be down there early may anything I could catch in the surf on the fly or light spinning tackle?

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

bluefish, especially around Avon. Sea mullet should be around too, maybe some trout.

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

Me and some of my Hokie buds are gonna be there around that time also. I've got your number, maybe we can communicate if we coincide, sorta bros heppin bros and all. Last year, we saw very little worth seeing on our hooks. Had one good day with the whiting, but I wasn't too excited about them damn roundhead. The point at Hatteras sucked, with a hundred fishermen and two bluefish caught all morning, so we spent more time closer to Nags Head, but other than a couple of really little blues and some stupidly big and difficult to land cow nosed rays, it was more grass than fins for us. We could have done better fishing the causeway bridge, I think, but we were wedded to toes in the sand, beer, beach, beer, surf and sun and beer. We kept a couple dozen of the whiting for one of us to take home, but I don't like them any better than croaker which I can catch here, so I opted out. Anyway, we're going either the first or second week of May, weather depending.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Headed to Gaston this weekend for a little tourney. Will send an update of what we don';t catch!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Least catch a buzz if anything

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

Good luck; looking forward to some pics!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Anyone know what 33 and skyline drive look like north of harrisonburg? Saw they got some snow yesterday

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

It was shutdown yesterday afternoon, several inches of snow. Back open now.
edit: I just looked at the VDOT camera up there and road is clear but 2-3 inches of snow on the ground.

Crab fly I concocted last night. My buddy Jonathan Kiley owns Flyskinz and does some cool stuff with legs and tails. Used his crab bitz on this one.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvS3sPXDYV1/

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

Great looking fly.

804

Thanks!

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

I am suffering through a ridiculous cold, so my trip this weekend to Florida has been postponed several days. Also need to work on the boat and trailer. I will get down there by next weekend as I've got a wedding in Orlando. Fishing will be had.

Talked to my good friend in NC last night. He has been out on commercial trips trying to make some money. Apparently the albies are as thick as he has ever seen at Cape Lookout, with king mackerel mixed in. They boated 300 pounds of albies two days ago and another 200 pounds of king mackerel. His father was surfing off of Atlantic beach and said the albies were in the waves with him. Easily could have hooked up off the beach. I notified a friend of mine who is heading down tomorrow morning. Wind looks great for the weekend. I may try to hit it Monday if I can get my life in order.

If anyone can go, go!

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

Damn! That sounds awesome. I might be able to make it down. What do they use the albies for?

My thought is catfood....

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

He uses them for swordfish bait. Apparently, some restaurants and seafood dealers buy them though...

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

some restaurants and seafood dealers buy them

I'd like to know which so I can avoid them.

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

Gotcha, I'ved used them for shark/drum bait. Interesting that seafood people buy them.

Finalized my Florida trip. Headed down to the Ft Myers area the second weekend of April. Nixed the guide idea and I'm gonna go freelance it with a couple other hokie grads. Primary target is Tarpon and snook which I don't get a chance at too often in SC. If anyone's fished down that way before and has some advice let me know.

(add if applicable) /s

Yep...hire a guide. The best fishermen I know hire guides in unfamiliar waters. Seldom sorry. Yes, I'm biased.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Should have clarified that the reason we nixed it is because we have the guidance of a local in that area, he can put us in the right areas, we just have to no be idiots and mess it up.

(add if applicable) /s

Nah, man, just bustin' balls. I'm the worst about not hiring a guide, but I'll mooch in on a guided trip if invited in a skinny minnit. Finances is my bugaboo, so if I had a local, I'd certainly use the money to eat out. Flyguy and I are obviously personally gonna promote the notion, and several of the locals I used to fish with turned out to be professional guides when they grew up. Used to be one of those locals myself. My best fishermen didn't need me to tell them what to fish, though they'd ask, or where to fish, though they let me choose the floats. Mostly, on the New, they needed my boat and ability to put them on the right water and use boat control to maximize their effectiveness. And yes, I'm already drinking in prep for the BBall game, so pardon my yakking tongue.
So hope you guys kick ass and have a great time. Still have never caught a snook over ten inches, or even sunk hook in a tarpon. Good luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It all just depends on what you're lookin' for...

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

keep your ladyfish for tarpon bait

should be prime time for snook...challenge is finding them, not catching them

Fishing season starts today for me. Got my Lowrance successfully installed (small miracle), but am catching a ride today to try for some crappie this afternoon in Chickahominy Lake with smc. Tomorrow, finally heading up Dragon Run in my Piankatank buddy's Carolina skiff for shad and/or whatever else we may find after having a weather postponement last week. Home tonight with pizza and beer and H 0 K I E S HOKIES!!!!!!!!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Good luck!

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

Well, I met the best behaved 6 year old I've ever met, caught a pretty good sized turtle on a crappie jig, caught the most beat up largemouth bass I've ever caught, spawn battered on the side and tail, fresh red hook scar on the lower lip, old osprey bite scar behind the head, and skinny as a New York minute. But it was a beautiful day, the boat ran like a champ, nobody else seemed to be doing much either...and yes, I came home with pizza and beer, so let the dance resume, I'm happy.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, my Dragon Run guy has again backed off. He's just a bit too OCD and tends to over analyze any and all things fishing or otherwise, so I guess I'm free to drink beer after beer after.....
And lest I forget, LET'S GO........HOKIES!!!!!!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Was a beautiful day on the water, and many thanks for being so easy going. My 'dad' hat was on, which made it more difficult, but good times nonetheless!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Having now met two of your kids, I can say with no equivocation that you wear that "dad" hat very well. While my experience with kids isn't extensive, I can also say that your two boys were a joy to have along. Probably a little shy around a stranger, but super polite, respectful, attentive and obedient, though so well behaved they needed little instruction, and they didn't get tired of being out there. Wish every dad I've met wore that hat as well as you do.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Dang fish, you just made my day. Thank you for that.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

FAM!!!! Sweet 16!!!!!

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

Smitty you good? FAM threads that way ->

(add if applicable) /s

I'm fine, was in a drink induced celebratory mood after the game last night. Just spreading some cheer.
Boat looks amazing BTW.

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

Spent all weekend putting hydroturf on my boat...still got a ways to go. Much harder to get perfect than I imagined which is probably why people pay so much to have this stuff installed professionally I'll throw some pics up at work tomorrow

(add if applicable) /s

Looks good! I may get a bit of Seadek for mine

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

Night and day difference as far as comfort, jury is still out on cleaning, durability, etc.

(add if applicable) /s

As I said, boat looks awesome.
Question: Is that small deck lite on your polling platform removable? I was thinking trip hazard while you are concentrating on chasing or catching fish.

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

That's my anchor light. It was removable when I bought it. It's stuck and I'm not sure why or how so for now its permanent.

(add if applicable) /s

Yoooou Go!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Seadeking is awesome just wash it off often otherwise it'll hold a stain if allowed to dry

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

Report through the grapevine from the Mattaponi east of RVA... 30 shad caught between two guys on spin gear in kayaks. Biggest at 4 pounds. Was told that bigger were hooked but not landed. Water was very off color. Don't know where in the river they were.

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

!! I've got to hop on this. They just started netting big rockfish up the Mattaponi and they did say they've been catching shad in the nets too. The shad are probably targetable around Walkerton. Keep us posted and I'll do the same.

804

I'll be fishing it in a few weeks

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

Is that for a charter? Let me know if you want some company. I've got boats to use as well.

804

I've got one charter trip lined up (hopefully more) and will likely fish it at least once or twice by myself. I am not very big into the shad game, but could use some pullage at the moment.

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

Just curious, why aren't you more attracted to the shad game? I know it lends itself to fly fishing well.

I wondered that myself. Those devils are high octane fighters, jump like mini tarpon, and will readily take a shad fly. And if they're catching 4 lb fish and up, they're American shad, and they can get good sized. Sounds like fun fishing to me.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

When I first moved to RVA its all anyone would talk about. I went in my yak several times and only caught a few, all small. It just doesn't appeal to me mainly because I don't like sitting in the James River under route 95 listening to traffic, watching garbage float by and trying to cast amongst a bunch of other boats. I'm a snob in that I want to be fishing in place that's at least reasonably pretty. The James in downtown RVA is not that place, especially below the fall line.

Shad fight well, which is great, but they are big minnows. (To be fair, so are tarpon.) For some reason it just doesn't sound all that fun to me to go catch. Now if I ever hook a 4 pounder on a six weight, it may change my mind. I just prefer fish to be a bit more visually appealing than a big minnow. It's the fishing snob / old man in me I suppose.

If I end up doing well on the Mattaponi, my mindset could shift, but I don't think I'll ever be wishing it was shad season. But I'd just as soon be casting to trout, redfish, snakeheads, albies, smallmouth or a host of other fish instead of shad.

I know folks who feel the same way about trout or false albacore. That sounds insane to me. False albies don't hold the same excitement for me like they used to, I've caught enough at this point but they are still fun and I'll still go after them. I miss sight casting dries to big browns out west or nymphing big pocket water.

You know what never, ever gets old?

REDFISH. I'm always wishing it was a mid-summer day at ten a.m., high tide, no clouds with a north wind 5-7 mph on a flat I won't ever tell about in my kayak with my 7 weight and a shrimp fly tied on.

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

So where's that flat?

(add if applicable) /s

REDFISH. I'm always wishing it was a mid-summer day at ten a.m., high tide, no clouds with a north wind 5-7 mph on a flat I won't ever tell about

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

We all have our blind spots and snobbery, and while shad may be in yours, I don't disagree with your take about crowds. I hate crowds on the river. I also hate ugly water, and have fished my share. The Smith through Bassett has some nice trout in it, but it is so ugly with industrial garbage and old litter that once was enough, despite me catching a dozen browns over 14" the time I fished it. Smallmouth on the New lost their appeal to me after catching thousands of them over the years, and having to witness, and deal with, the 10 fold increase in fishing and boating traffic on the New. I'd rather hit a good shad hole now than float the New. Muskies? You can have them, along with every largemouth bass and bowfin swimming.
If all you've caught is hickory shad, or maybe even more likely, the river herring that run with them, maybe you haven't had the best of shad fishing anyway, though I've found hickory shad to be really good fighters and a 2 1/2 lb hickory is definitely fun on spin or fly. They fight better than smallmouth, pound for pound, in my opinion. Minnows? Well, like you said, Tarpon are too, and I find a bright fresh shad not long from the ocean to be a very pretty fish, myself.
Reds? Yep, they're a ton of fun I haven't tired of, but if that's all that floated my boat, I'd sell it or move way further south so I could fish for them without serious travel issues.
Hopefully, you get into them on the Mattaponi and share the news with the rest of us. Hope you find the big whites, too. Get into the backing for a 6-7 lb American in current, and you may have a different take. Good luck getting one to stay still long enough to get a good picture! Their octane doesn't end in the net.

Edit: I will admit that shad fishing being one of the first runs of the spring is part of the allure for me, and after a few trips, it's out of my system for another year.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If I can get on my spot on the Potomac, 100 hickory shad with an occasional American shad mixed in isn't an uncommon day. I love it on medium light spinning tackle. I caught so many one year that I had to replace the drag washers on my Shimano Stradic.

I have heard of some shad caught up here, but I have not dove in just yet. Thursday morning is looking mighty ripe though.

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

Anyone ever fished North Creek in Botetourt? I've heard its great especially in the special regulation area but never made the trek up there. Also, currently putting together a recap of my kayak trip to the Keys which will be on here soon!

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

Sorry, I don't know that one. But your post made me miss White Top Laurel above Damascus.

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

Was there someone on here who lives in or near Blacksburg and owns a raft for floating the New?

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

Beaver hokie has one

That would probably be me.

It's still in the basement though, plan on getting it out next weekend though (hopefully).

Edit: Can't waste this opportunity.

Helloooo? Is this the party with whom I am speaking?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Haha indeed it is you Beaver!

I'm looking for someone I can rent one for a few trips a year (probably 4 max) on the New. Most of the trips I'm running I'm already set up with Mike Smith of New River Fly Fishing. However, I've got a select few clients/friends that I'd like to run for a much cheaper cost than he charges. Any interest?

Willing to pay cash or do a barter of some sort if you prefer.

I already rented Scott McFadden's boat once last fall and it was returned safe and sound so I've got a reference on here.

Happy to email you or call you to discuss if you have any interest.

Thanks!

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

Go ahead and shoot me an email - that way I can let you know what I have got and it if works for you. If you are fly-fishing, it might not be the best route to take as I don't have platforms.

My email is zsowder AT vt DOT edu

Can confirm the boat came back looking better than when it left ... *slightly embarrassed *... by a lot.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I moved from Nebraska to SC less than a year ago, I already have more salt stuff than fresh water stuff.

New Daiwa BG 5000 showed up today. Went with a Penn Allegiance 2 7ft H for the rod, we'll see how long that lasts before I throw it on a Daiwa too.

Got the fly reel all rigged up with backing and Rio Summer Redfish.

(add if applicable) /s

My friend went down and fish Cape Lookout last weekend. Saturday was not good, but Sunday was "slick cam," as they say down east. They found the Albies and the fish were sipping and difficult. That means they are eating super small bait, what we call snot bait. It's called this because it basically looks like snot in the water. The best imitation for it is a very small Apoxsee glass minnow fly. They were able to hook up with two fish and land them. As for the guys that were asking about eating them, apparently my friend kept both fish anything. He said it wasn't too bad.

I have seen several other guides posting pictures of albacore being caught there as well.

The weather looks incredible for fishing down there again Thursday Friday and this weekend with winds at 5 mph If anyone can make it. The big bluefish should be showing up soon and there should be a Redfish moving in from the ocean along shark island and the shoulders. Those rats, when they get schooled up, will eat anything.

I just woke up in the backseat of my pick up truck in Georgia and I am halfway down to Fort Worth Florida. The skiff is in tow. Hopefully this trip goes much smoother in the New Orleans trip. Unsure of how long I'll be down here, but I need to get covered in fish slime. Will post a report

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

fort worth?

lake worth?

Lake Worth. The wind is insane right now.

Anybody fish for peacocks in canals around here?

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

I had a couple of hours this afternoon, so I slipped down to the Occoquan River to see if the shad were around. I was greeted with yoo-hoo colored water. I decided to give it a try and threw darts for about an hour. I didn't get any bumps other than snagging gizzard shad in the back. Hopefully the water will clean up a little.

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

Does anyone have any connections/recommendations on a good charter boat out of the Myrtle Beach area? We would be wiling to head out of as far north as Wilmington as well.

Looking for something the second week of June.

Is it basketball season yet?

What do you want to fish for?

Well, we are considering two options:

1. Stay relatively close and looking to hook a few snapper and things of that sort.

2. Go on out and try to hook into some dolphin (Mahi).

I have no idea the cost on either. And I'd love to go out with someone who has a reputation (good one of course).

Is it basketball season yet?

In that area, I would think you can be nearshore (<20 miles) and live bait for kings or spanish mackeral, inshore (flounder, reds, black drum). Cost for full day would be about inshore (750), nearshore (1000-1200), gulf stream (1600-2000+). Look at fisherman's post (http://fishermanspost.com/category/fishing-reports/north-myrtle-beach) for reports of past years and reputable captains are reporting what they catch. Look at captains website or find their social media. They usually report what they catch each day. I haven't been out on a charter in that area.

I'm sure French will have seen the article but a guy caught a 30 pound striper near DC on the Potomac not too shabby if you ask me.
https://wgme.com/news/offbeat/man-catches-35-pound-striped-bass-potomac-...

Also what size hooks and style hooks do you guys use to tie a crystal schminnows for snook and other saltwater fish? Do they work for stuff like croaker in the bay as well? Gonna tie some more this week and gonna go grab some hooks from the tackle shop tomorrow

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

The basic level Mustad 34007 will work for just about everything. Order online in 100 packs for best price. I still use them on my personal flies while many out there are using more expensive hooks. Just gotta sharpen the point.

If you want to buy some stuff at Green Top, they have a selection of Umpqua hooks. U401 is the model. They are sharper and more expensive but higher quality. This is what I use on many of my clients hooks.

Remember that many hooks are made by some company in China, then sold to Japan, then rebranded under different companies / models and sold to Americans with fancy packaging.

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

What size would you recommend? I have a whole bunch of 34007 in size 2 probably going to get some bigger siZes as well.

Issue is green top runs out quickly I've found so I'll be doing an online order today since they also don't have pink thread weirdly enough

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

For a Schminnow, size 6 and 4. I get the 401 in 4, 2, 1, 1/0, and 2/0.

The Umpqua hook is also the same hook branded by Tiemco and Orvis.

Mustad 34011 is actually a better hook for a Schminnow. I like it in 4.

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

Third time is the charm, and up the top of the Piankatank into Dragon Run we go. Maybe shad of either or both varieties, white perch, small bass, maybe a crappie or two, and some small stripers are in the possible mix. Truthfully, I'd rather be crappie fishing on Beaverdam, but I lack the proper craft for electric motor only water so I'll go dink fishin' up the Dragon to help ease the anxiety of tonight's impending showdown wit Dook. Report will follow.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I went out fishing on the James yesterday with a buddy. Had a good bit of an adventure before actually fishing. Trailer lights wouldn't work so we had rig up a make shift deal to work for the night. The boat ramp was silted up and it was at dead low tide so I had to push the boat across the bar in a half foot of water at the boat ramp. A bass boat wasn't able to get back in at that time. Once we got out, my buddy started schooling me on shad catching 6 or 7 shad in the hour of sunlight we had left while I struck out. We catfished for a few hours of the night and had some runs but never came tight. My buddy cut some big chunks so maybe the chunks were too big. It was good to get out but still frustrated I couldn't get a shad.

Yeesh that landing has always been trash. I usually put in at ospreys landing a bit further down the river where its a really nice ramp and a little better boat ride.

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

Yeah when we pulled back in around 11:30 pm with the tide switched you couldn't tell it was silted out at all. Do you mean osborne landing?

Yup thats what I meant Osborne is way better much more room and alot cleaner as well.

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

Buddy I'm going trout fishing with lended me a few saltwater flies for florida to help start my collection today. Going to wander the mountains tomorrow for some brook trout hopefully will have something to report on sunday.

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

Up the Dragon we went, white perch were in every hole once we got up into the fresh water away from much tidal influence. Not monsters, but fryin' size if we had been inclined. Crappie jigs, Southern Pro grubs and an old Gene Larue paddle tail grub did the work. We caught them almost at will and could have caught a bunch more had we desired. I also got a nice (for there) 16" bass, colored up with a bold line, and Hal caught two small pickerel and the fattest shellcracker I've ever seen. Close to a pound, for sure. Nice day, cypress swamp, ospreys, turtles, blue skies, no wind, and we had it to ourselves. I'll admit to distraction because of the Hokies, but it really did help to get out and get my mind off of it all for a bit, at least. Now, a three inch ribeye steak/roast, haystack diner hashbrown patties, pan seared kosher salt and olive oil asparagus await in a vain attempt to celebrate in advance what is probably an unlikely event, but I've given my all at this point.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

For you folks in the NRV, my friend Eddie sent me a couple of nice walleye pictures from Foster Falls. They've been catching a bunch tight to the falls on jig and minnow. He said it is hard to catch keepers, most being in the 19-28" slot, but a ton of fun. This is going on right now, and I'd expect there to be a bunch of them downriver in their usual spots, all the way down to the lake. If I were there, I'd be floating and casting suspending jerkbaits. I really do miss doing that.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

29 inch smallmouth?

via GIPHY

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

Ahem, earth to French...earth to French...reread post, my friend...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Reading comprehension- I need work.

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

Well finally got out to the mountains to go after the trout and didnt get skunked! I caught one brookie and my friend caught 2 and one was almost 7 inches. We tried to go to Big Run but the parkway is closed and has been since november apparently so we couldnt get to it so we first went north and hiked to the South River down from the parkway. My buddy didnt see what he felt was fishy enough so we didnt go very far down the south before giving up and going to the Rose. I had one decent rainbow rise and miss my dry fly which was a bummer. The nymphs didnt get any love it seemed all the fish wanted the Yellow Caddis. I tried a dropper with small grey and green nypmhs and they kept hitting the dry fly instead. Finally gave up on the rose river after losing a little smallmouth on a tiny pink nypmh( curse the flimsy rod and 7x tippet) and went up to lower rapidan WMA and found a few nice pools with brookies so we didnt strike out completely. Lots of people up there and a few rude ones as well but overall a really pretty place and some nice fish as well.

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

I have musky lures bigger than that guy. :)

Nothing as pretty as a native brookie though!

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

This is Fish's friend's walleye from the New.

Good golly that sum good eatin'!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

never caught a walleye...i should probably do that

I became enamored of them back in the early 80s, though there were few around for me to target. Got some in the Rivanna River (my first, including some on fly rod) in Charlottesville, but until I moved back to Giles, I mainly just read about them. Tennessee has a bunch of them, and I sorta learned to catch them there, but when I found them in Claytor, I became dedicated and thoroughly hooked on catching them. Getting them floating the New above the lake came later, but I got hooked on them there, too. Suspending jerkbaits were a fun bait for them. They do, indeed, eat as well as any fish, and better than most, but there's just something about them that holds my interest. Could be the teeth and the fact that they school up, and that they can be picky as hell about eating, and that they can just be tough to catch. I dunno.
Thanks to Musky for posting that. Maybe one day I'll learn how, but not today.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Finally!!!

I caught my first trout at Mossy Creek. Yesterday. Now, to be fair, it was with a guide (someone gave me a generous birthday gift). I learned a ton about fly fishing, learned a ton about Mossy Creek, and had a great time!

I'd post a picture, but for the life of me I can't figure out how.

Is it basketball season yet?

Post image . .Org. / Upload your pic / find "mark down" link below your pic. Copy mark down link. Choose this thread / find comment and click portrait of VA / paste the PI link and insert.

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Thanks!

Is it basketball season yet?

BOOM! Beautiful fish.

804

Congrats, you go with one of the guides from Mossy Fly shop?

Yes... Bob Cramer (I think thats his last name). Bob is the original owner of Mossy Creek, as you may know.

Those guys at Mossy Creek are great! I try to go to vice club every other Thursday.

Is it basketball season yet?

I know Bob a little. He's one of my friend Chuck Kraft's old friends and a good guide. I bought the aluminum tubing for my guide raft frame from him. He definitely knows that creek.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Chuck has quite the reputation around here (I'm learning about all this stuff)!

We are thinking about getting Bob to take us on one of his legendary small mouth trips this summer.

Is it basketball season yet?

I've been fortunate to know Chuck since '82. I managed an outdoor store at Wintergreen, Chuck was the milkman. He's far and away the best fisherman I've ever met, and was an outstanding guide. I think of him as a genius as a fisherman in general, a fly fisherman in particular. We've caught a lot of fish together and he helped me get my guide business started. Cramer runs a good trip, I'm sure it'll be worth it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Short report.. Beaverdam today, beautiful weather, crappy crappie fishing. 3rdGen managed the fish of the day, as he so often does, with a nice pickerel. I was lucky enough to foul hook a very small bluegill. Just wasn't happening today.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm going to try and get out for shad this weekend. I'm debating between Piankatank, Chicahominy, and Mattaponi - any thoughts?

804

Today's Green Top report mentions runs in the pony and the monkey. My problem is mainly ignorance of where to go. Tidal mentioned a place upriver, and there seem to be several boat ramps along the way, but I'm hesitant to go to unfamiliar waters with absolutely no intel to work from. What I might do, and should do, is just take a ride one day with a rod and darts and drive up and down the Mattaponi to see if and where bank fishing is possible, and check out the river and ramps.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If you looked at the article I linked. All the pictures from Mataponi were shore fishing so I think there is definitely some opportunities to do that.

Yeah, I did look and read (dude's fixated on records, huh?) and noticed just that, which prompted me to believe I need to just bite the bullet and prepare to maybe waste a few hours in scouting. I have seen cars parked on the east side of one of the bridges on an old road bed, but never stopped to inquire of what I suppose were fishermen. I need to poke around, ask folks in the convenience store or a boat place or something. If I can make myself just go, I'm pretty sure I can schmooze enough to get something out of it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah that's his way of challenging himself I guess. He's been stuck trying to get a trophy brown trout for a while now. I forget what else he is missing on trying to get all the freshwater trophy fish. Yeah I'm sure you can figure it out with a few tips along with hokienator said below.

I know one such fellow. He's got a whole bunch of records, and went about it in a methodical way. He concentrated on big saltwater fish on improbable lines, since most people fishing are looking to catch the fish, not land a record. I am told he did quite well at it and had a lot of fun in the process. Another fellow I briefly met was floating Big Walker Creek in Giles County trying to add to his goal of catching every possible species of loosely defined "game fish" in every state he could get to before he died. He was looking for, and found, redeye and two or three different kinds of sunfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, creek chubs, horneyheads, and even managed a couple of rainbow trout. Size didn't matter, and there were many places to catch those fish, but that one float checked off several boxes, and away he went. Wonder if he's still at it? And yeah, I know, creek chubs and horneyheads aren't my idea of gamefish, but he said he considered any fish that would bite a hook, either baited or artificially arrayed, was a gamefish. Ok by me.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Sounds like the definition of a true fisherman to me. I had a lot fun summer days as a kid where a few dozen chubs and horneyheads saved me from the dreaded skunk.

Damn it I need to go fishing soon. Haven't even wet a line since New Years in Florida...

Having lived by those rivers my whole life I can tell you that theyre very very hard to fish due to the public access being in weird spots. You really need private access since they dont flow much youll want to be able to stay close to where you put in especially because of the tidal movement that can cause lots of fun. Other issue is the fish can be severely scattered once water temps rise and makes it hard to find fish floated in a whole lot a few years back to try and figure it out and good days would be 1-2 bass and a few bream but the floats were all in 13-15 mile chunk which mean loads of paddling and longer days. Also once it gets warm both rivers get insanely buggy so bring a pile of deet long shirt and pants cause whooooo wee will they tear you up in the upper mattaponi where its swampy more than a river.

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

Well, not interested in anything but the shad run really, though I've heard of big croaker up there somewhere around West Point when we were getting runts here, but probably not driving to catch croaker.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The shad run is usually up around Aylett area there are a few bridges you can get shore access from last weekend the 360 bridge launch was nuts so I guess they mustve been around there. Parking lot was full and traffic was meh. Theres another bridge closer to mechanicsville where people catfish most of the year but Id imagine thats a good spot to try as well. I had really good access in the middle of no where but lost it this past year unfortunately so I wont be going there this year.

Just sent Fish an email on locations and thought Id add it here as well there are two good access points for the mattaponi aound aylett where you may find shad. The public ramp south of the aylett bridge is good if youre putting in a boat but can get very crowded on weekends. If you want to just fish from the shore best advice is use the ramp in Zoar State Forest its just north of the aylett bridge and has some trails down to the river and a kayak/canoe launch area as well. Ive found shad there this time of year in the past can be tricky getting good water flow though this time of year.

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

I also have a 16' jon boat and a 22' CC available...I'm thinking about taking the jon boat up this weekend but I don't have a trolling motor which would be nice.

804

Less than a week out from my FL trip. Got about everything done to the boat I'll be able to get done. Flies are here (thanks flyGuy), Tarpon rods are spooled up, redfish/snook rods are spooled up. Giant bin of plastics ready to go. Filet knives sharpened, pliers found. Work motivation at an all time low. Planning to take a ton of pictures while I'm down there hopefully a lot of fish.

(add if applicable) /s

Sweet ride!

Nice job on the hydroturf. The boat looks sweet.

I second that emotion, for sure. That's Tupelo honey, right there now.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Just a lesson I learned today - don't buy a mini grease gun to replace the grease in your bearings.

I spent over an hour dealing with a cheap mini version I found at Harbor Freight - finally gave up and went to AutoZone and bought a decent full size one.

Within ten minutes I had jacked up both sides and had replaced/packed the grease in the hubs. Lesson learned for sure.

Bearing Buddies, Bearing Buddies, Bearing Buddies and a good grease gun. Do it right and keep 'em greased and you shouldn't ever have to replace those bearings again.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I bought new hubs from northern tool and I was told they were just as good as Bearing Buddies, but an all in one version.

The NT hub and BB do the same thing - pump the new grease into the hub via a zerk, but the NT version is on the back of the hub behind the wheel, so you have to jack up the trailer, lay on your back, connect to the zerk and pump. The BB version is obviously a much better design with it being accessible from the front of the hub.

It isn't that bad with a good grease gun, but with a crappy mini - I was heated. My hand is still cramping from an hour of trying to get it to work. Took no time after I bought the full size gun.

I'm not sure if BB will work with my hub, but I am going to find out.

you shouldn't ever have to replace those bearings again

Where in the world do you buy your indestructible bearings?

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

For me, they came with the boats I bought, with the exception of when I built my raft trailer. Those lasted 9 years without a problem, and I sold the boat with them still in the wheels. I make no claims beyond my own, but frequent attention and regreasing was all I ever did. The lake boat I bought from Jim Richmond had them already when I got them, and I never did more than regreasing and that was 17 years ago or so with no failure. The trailer disintegrated, but the wheels and bearings lived on. The Scout I have now, as I said, is a 2006 with the original bearings. I've had it 7 years. I don't trailer far in the Scout, but the lake boat has done some traveling, and my guide boat required a lot of road time, but I'm also not trailering anything to Florida, or the Gulf or anything, and perhaps all that running negates the advantages, I can't say. Maybe you or others have had them go bad with properly maintained BBs, but it hasn't happened for me and I'm sold on them. That said, were I to take off for Florida tomorrow, you can rest assured I'd have a set of bearings with me just in case, and I'm also pretty anal about checking for heat every time I stop on a longer trip than normal.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I too regularly grease the hell out of my bearings, but at some point or another, they are going to go bad. I'm surprised yours haven't. I'm sure the saltwater has something to do with it that my trailer gets dunked in 90% of the time. I also haul my shit some serious distances.

Factor in my recent bad luck with mechanical equipment and I expect a bearing failure any day now.

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

As someone that also trailers pretty long distances, every fuel stop should include a bearing check. I haven't come across lifetime bearings yet but I have a new set of super lube spindles and some really good bearings in there now so we'll see how they do.

Edit that bearing check actually does nothing. The two times I've thrown wheels have been within an hour of checking the bearings and they were seemingly fine but I still do it.

(add if applicable) /s

Well, if you also have BBs and keep them greased up, it sounds like I'm just lucky. With all that grease under pressure in the bearings, I don't understand what goes wrong, but I'll take my luck and still recommend BBs. I'm no more attendant here in the salt than I was in the fresh, either water will kill your innards, but I'm not surprised that saltwater and distance hauling are a recipe for failure.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

BB don't work with my bearings. My sprocket is attached to the spindle. The grease goes through the spindle and comes back around the outside, pushing the old grease out the front, much easier on the rear seal.

(add if applicable) /s

Well, there ya go. Not trying to be flip, but it's a different ballgame, apples to oranges. I am truly interested in folks with BBs that have experienced failures not due to attention and maintenance. I'm sure they're around, I just haven't had occasion to know anyone who has mentioned it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

To be clear these have never failed and I've hard amazing things, we'll see how long they last.

(add if applicable) /s

I don't check the bearings at every fuel stop but I do check the four bolts holding in my brake calipers at some point along the way. I don't know how but they have now fallen out on two consecutive trips. It sucks. They are all now seriously coated in lock tite, but they had a little bit of it before.

Carrying a full size floor jack makes repairs SOOOOOO much easier. I couldn't recommend it enough.

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

You grease your bearings meaning you have Bearing Buddies and zirk them, or you take them apart and manually grease them?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have bearing buddies.

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

Well, either I'm lucky, you're unlucky, or a combination of both. Just curious, though, what causes the failure? Like I said, you have grease forced into the bearings and held there by pressure, so what goes wrong if you keep them pumped up?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

When they have failed, it looks like salt water is getting in there and eventually the bearing rusts. Just like no matter how precisely I protect the wiring and connections on my trailers, eventually they go bad, even if the entire wire is sealed. Eventually saltwater gets to it.

I'm not saying this is a common thing for me, but I've had to replace mine on my old trailer more than twice over the years as well as on my father's trailer. I'm just very surprised you haven't ever had an issue with yours. You're likely more attentive to it than I am.

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Just lucky, I guess, but I am attentive. I've also never had properly done heat shrink, electrical taped with pvc glued exterior light wire connections fail. My problem comes from bend and break, or the connections to the lights themselves which I cannot do all the protection to. Seems like if the salt is getting into your bearings, your Buddies aren't doing their job.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah, it might not be worth it, but I had my raft trailer nine years, never a bearing change, and the boat I have now is a 2006, never changed, and my old lake boat which I sold to my neighbor hasn't had new bearings in about 20 years or so. Worked for me, anyway.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

After a week of frustration (family stuff), I got the invitation to try one more fishing trip out to the Chesapeake Bay for catch and release rockfish. It was supposed to be a 1 ft or less sea. Unfortunately, the combo of east winds with a west outflow and outgoing tide turned the Bay into a treacherous angry mistress. My host was still catching, but as hard as I tried I couldn't get dialed in, and by 8:30AM I had made three large deposits in Mother Ocean. My host was wacking 20-25 inch class rockfish on a 10 inch dark purple bass kandy delight on a 1 1/2 oz jighead.

After a brief nap and a calming sea, I got back in the game and caught a schoolie. As I was releasing my fish, Devon got hooked up on a big one. After a good fight, the fish ended up being 41 inches. We got some photos and a quick release. I ended up catching three rockfish. I don't know how many Devon caught but if it was less than 30 I would be surprised.

Oddly, we had to wade through blue catfish in the open Bay to get the rockfish. The catfish were thick and up to 15 pounds. They were a huge pain. The outflow was really crowded but the boaters were really cooperative and respectful. Unfortunately, some asshat decided it was a good idea to lay crab pots within 50 feet of a NUCLEAR POWER PLANT outflow. So, on top of the rough initial conditions, we also had to dodge well over 2 dozen crab pots laid right next to the current.

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

Saw the pics and vids online all nice fish, wild that you were using what looked like wacky jelly worms and finding catfish as well.

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

Flyguy or anyone who ties flies. What Size mono line do you guys usually use to make Mono eyes for lures like schminnows? Cant ever find them at greentop but firgured I could make my own since its just melted mono. Also what color eyes work best on Schminnow.

Edit: Also anyone have any suggestions for good sun pants? I'm looking at buyint the Columbia PFG ones since theyre 55$ and have good reviews. Worked outside for a few hours and got roasted yesterday so I gotta find some long pants for florida so I dont get turned into a ripened mater

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

I love my columbia pfg pants. Super comfortable and light. Haven't tried other brands

PFG are good. If you're willing to wait and possibly spend a bit more $$ Free Fly Apparel pants are coming in the fall. I've worn just about every brand of fishing stuff from Habit, Aftco, Columbia, Simms, Cabela's etc. Free Fly 100% is the most comfortable stuff you'll wear. It is a bit higher maintenance material though

(add if applicable) /s

X2 on Free Fly.

Good to hear they have pants coming out.

Their April Fools Onesie was great.

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I'd totally rock that onsie...that material is that comfortable.

(add if applicable) /s

Honestly I'd been seeing the free fly ads all over thought it was something weird might grab a shirt from them I like my Orvis quick dry shirt but dont feel like buying a second one due to price being 80$. Might grab a free fly one as my back up

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

It's worth it. It does dry slightly slower than full synthetics if you jump in the water or something but it wicks moisture and blocks sun with the best of them.

(add if applicable) /s

buying a second one due to price being 80$.

Nothing Orvis sells is worth the money.

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Nothing Orvis sells is worth the money.

Speaking the damn truth. F'king Whorvis -- or is it really, Whorvis doing the screwing .

Whorvis is a good line, haven't heard that. They claim to make a rod that's more accurate than any other fly rod out there, put a $900 price tag on it and then try to have their dog bed salesmen sell it to a guide like me. However, I know better, but the guy with 2 years of experience and a boat load of money and not enough fly fishing sense will probably buy into the dog bed salesmen talk, thinking it will help him stick more fish. I guess it works as a business model but I don't ever see any hardcore fly fishermen in an Orvis store, but it makes someone like me not want to buy any of their gear, or recommend it. I believe IFish called them Orvoids, (another great line) - people obsessed with wearing Orvis and I see that and can tell that person doesn't have a ton of experience fly fishing. It keeps them in business though!

The best part is when I walk into the RVA shop in River Road and all of the sales guys in there start asking me how the fishing is and where they should be going. I thought they were the experts? I don't often go into an Orvis store, but when I do, it's because I need a tying material for an order quick and this place is right down the street. Most of the time they don't have it and most of the time the sales guys have no clue what the material is I'm looking for in the first place.

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The more I use the stuff the more I agree the shirt was a gift so I'm using it but I'd never buy the brand its way over priced. Hell I've only worn the shirt twice and the fabric is already splitting.

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

Looks like Patagonia is having a 50% sale on their website April 10-16

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

40 pound, but I make those mono eyes for crab and shrimp flies. I just buy these for Schminnow and Tarpon patterns.

https://www.fishusa.com/product/Mono-Eyes?utm_source=google_ps&utm_mediu...

North Face has some rock climbing pants that couldn't be more comfortable. I bought two pairs and wear them EVERYWHERE. Just wore them for three straight days in the Everglades.

Buying three more pairs for this season.

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Thanks for the info didnt wanna buy some heavy mono less I knew I was getting the right size. Do you put your eyes on first or last for the schminnow I've watched a bunch of videos and its 50/50 it seems on when the eyes go on. Was gonna start on the schminnow collection for florida this week after I finish the clouser bit. Was gonna do a bunch pearl/white with flash and then a few root beer as well.

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

It doesn't matter when you put the eyes on, whatever is easiest for you. Generally, I tie all of my dumb bell eyes in first and make sure I put them exactly where I want them. It gives you a roadmap, if you will, of tying in the rest of the fly. Mono eyes I always seem to tie on Schminnows and Toads and they always go in last, just gotta leave enough room.

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Okay sounds good figured I give it a try tonight or tomorrow if I have time and update as I attempt it doesnt seem complex at all. You ever use lead eyes on a schminnow or less is more in regards to weighted eyes? Might have to save some feathers off the turkeys I get this spring and use some of that as well.

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

Yes you could def throw small lead eyes on a Schminnow and then you've got a killer smallmouth streamer to rip across the riffles all summer long.

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That was my thought actually if I go with a root beer color and flash it could be lethal for smallies as well. Figured I could tie a few smaller pink ones for my girlfriend to help her learn fly fishing I feel they could be lethal on the bream which is her favorite

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

Rootbeer would be my go to redfish color in that fly, but I'm sure it will work for smallies too.

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I was trying to see what colors I can find that are watermelon or pumpkin figured I could use red flash or blue as well. It's dangerous for my wallet when I start getting thoughts like that.

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

Fly tying materials are cheap. You could buy some olive green Estaz and marabou or craft fur and flash for under $10 and tie a dozen of those flies.

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Just put in an order on saltwaterflies.com for a bunch of stuff for em little more money to get going but its worth it. Gonna tie em on #2 34007s and mix the colors up with large mono eyes as well. Had to get some fl pink thread as well since greentop doesnt carry that either which is odd nor do they carry mono eyes.

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

Bass pro has the mono eyes, I was just in there.

You can always color white thread. I know lots of guys that do that. I'm partial to using colors though

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I'll give em a check if the large eyes I ordered for the schminnows are too big. I was gonna buy some mono leader and make my own but that shits expensive even on the small spool and online they were cheap.

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

Can't beat Columbia!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Going to disagree with you on that one...

Simms, Patagonia and North Face are all much better IMHO.

I do have an unworn Columbia PFG shirt if anyone wants to buy it. I'll sell it for $20. Size is some whacky thing, I'll look it up.

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I like Columbia PFG shirts for the outlet price...I can usually pick them up under $20 from there. I hate the fit of PFG though. I'm like L-XL in every shirt except PFG if I order a M cause otherwise I'm swimming in the damn thing.

(add if applicable) /s

Agree with you there. My two Columbia PFG shirts are weirdly shaped and not nearly as comfortable as my Simms shirts, hence my comment above. I now use them for riding my dirt bike through the woods, so if they get trashed, I don't care.

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I usually wear them when I'm using cut/live bait and I know i'm gonna end up with blood all over them.

(add if applicable) /s

I started getting eddie bauer from the outlets on kitty hawk each summer for 20$ a pop they last a year or so before ive stained and trashed them but for the price they fit better than the PFG shirts

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

Anyone ever use NRS stuff before? Looking at getting their Comm-3 shoes to keep my feet from getting fried my crocs dont work so well on a beach and that much sun.

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

Yeah they're Rafts are pretty good, their oars are great, their straps are ridiculously strong. Shoes? Got no idea.

I will say that I do have good experience with Columbia's fishing shoes (Bahama Vent) and they're actually shoes which is nice.

(add if applicable) /s

I strongly endorse Under Armour Kilchis. I'm on pair 3 and I love them. Light, breathable, and great grip. They too look nice (until the river gets ahold of them).

I will also add be careful of any shoe that has drain holes to vent water out that are clear through to the insoles. I had a pair of UA drainsters, and they might be fine on sand/mud, but I continually got rocks up through the soles through the drain ports. The Kilchis don't have that problem.

Down to those or the Columbia ones at the moment gonna go try some on and see just need something to wear with water socks as well nothing to fancy

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

This is true, depends where you're fishing. I like my Bamaha Vents as a beach/boat shoe so my feet don't get fried, they don't really fit snug enough to be a viable river shoe but I have keens for that (which do get the occasional rock)

(add if applicable) /s

+1 for the Keens. I wear mine in the surf too. After stepping on something sharp a few years ago that completely punctured the bottom of my foot (should have had stitches), I don't feel great about being barefoot in the water anymore.

Yeah thats what my crocs are for in the river theyre the best but on the beach they dont do well in keeping me from burning up too bad. The vents look alot like the sanuks I used to wear when i was on the beach alot as a kid since they do well in the sand and stuff.

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

Great on the sand.

(add if applicable) /s

Big nope on crocs in the river. That's why God made Keens. Crocs will come off, they'll let big rocks in, they don't protect your heels. There are mussels in the rivers of Va called Heelsplitters, and I never wanted to meet one. The ledges and rocks of the New would be so convoluted that a simple misstep could cause you trouble. Now if you are sure you won't have to wade for safety, or for much more than a few yards of fishing, that's one thing, but when I was in the canoe or raft, I always protected heel, toe and bottom.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

100%.

Guess I'm alone on this one I love my Crocs had the same pair for years and years nothing beats em in my eyes for rivers around here atleast. That all said I got myself a pair of Adidas terrex boat shoes today at Bass pro much more like a shoe with a great sole and very breathable gonna test them out tomorrow on the river. Looked at the keens while there and they were well out of my price range and I gotta have full foot protection or else I'd have red striped feet

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

Not alone at all, I love my crocs and am on my fourth pair. Just sayin' that they aren't my idea of a river shoe. Keens are, indeed, expensive, but go on sale now and then. Yep, you'll end up with funny stripes on your feet by fall, but Tevas used to do the same to me before I got my Keens. Then, I wore out two pairs of them over my guiding years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Grew up on tevas but Crocs are wonderfully priced and I can't stop wearing them plus the dog can get ahold of them and doesn't cause a bit of damage

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

I love crocs too for riding around in the boat or messing around in the yard. However, twice I have had an oyster slice my foot while wearing them wading in saltwater. It stuck through the side hole. No way will you get me wearing them in a river or wading at any point again.

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Yep. This is precisely my point. As for whether or not the dog can eat my crocs is up for the testing with a new puppy.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

They do well on the beach as well?

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

Yes. You're going to get sand in them. But I have yet to wear any shoes on the beach that don't get sand in them. I've waded a lot of different rivers in them and feel very comfortable doing so. Never had anything poke through the sole or give me pause for the safety of my feet.

There might be other models from them you may want to look at. I got mine from REI in Short Pump probably three years ago. Still in good condition for someone who is hard on their gear.

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I'll give em a look then gotta get that taken care of with the trip sneaking up now.

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

I went offshore out of Wilmington yesterday with Capt. Rick Croson on a jigging and popping trip. We caught 24 blackfin tuna along with amberjacks and almaco jacks whenever you wanted to pull on something. It was a ton of fun but definitely got manhandled a few times and lost a tuna and a couple AJs to sharks. I really need to lift seriously to be ready to jig and fight those fish. Highlight of the day for me, was catching a 33 lb blackfin on a topwater popper. Awesome eat and fight. I got on him quick and was 10 feet from the boat and then realized he was hooked and took a smoking run. It was a great day, got to fish along some great fisherman and an awesome captain.

That's awesome casting and jigging for Tuna is an absolute blast but you definitely feel it the next day those things will whip your ass. Hell I remember just the jigging part whooping my ass for a few minutes before I even got into a tuna.

(add if applicable) /s

Oh yeah I'm feeling right now. You have get on them or else you run the risk of sharks. The captain was yelling encouragingly to get on that 33 pounder. I felt like I was in Tech weight room on big squat day haha. Capt would say how far to drop down the jigs based on what he was marking. Usually it was around 100-150 feet. If you go deeper getting into an amberjack was pretty guaranteed.

Exactly what I had to do in the Gulf under the oil rigs last September. It is a serious workout

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Yeah I enjoy the style of fishing and the feeling of the bite and line peeling off is amazing but I have nowhere needed the strength and endurance to keep it up over the course of a trip. I would pop for awhile and then jig when I was feeling decent.

Now that's fun!

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It does look like fun, huh? By the way, how are you doing down in the way south?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Getting one on topwater is amazing. That is a catch of a lifetime.

I told you so on the amberjacks. If the cost wasn't so high, there is never a bad time to catch reef donkeys!

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

Would love to see more photos if you have them!

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

Sweet jesus thats alot of good ass tuna steaks on the pier there. Also what are those funky looking casting rods on the last picture?

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

He'll tell you, but I think it's a jigging setup. He mentioned really narrow reels, I didn't know what they looked like, though. Not sure of the rationale for the narrow-itude, and would like to.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah I got 4 one gallon bags of tuna. All of the guys seem to prefer the conventional reel on the jigging setup. They are that narrow so that your line lays evenly without having to thumb it. The long handle gives your more torque. The conventional reels are lighter than the spinning reel you would use for jigging. Those small reels can put out 30 lbs of drag which can be needed to turn the fish and get them away from sharks.

Bingo nailed just about every benefit. They also have lever drag a lot of times which make adjusting drag a flip of the thumb.

(add if applicable) /s

As someone who has used both, I can tell you that the those little conventional reels made for that purpose are much easier to use than a spinning rod. Although, everything is tough when you hook a 40 pound amberjack.

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

Giddy up

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

More info on this trip here (linky):
4/7/2019

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

Yep, good to get the video in the link. There are more pictures out there from the trip if people want to see them, mostly of the big AJs and more blackfins. Also that boat had the most rod holders I have ever seen on a boat. I think there were 35 spots.

I will let you know how my headboat overnight trip goes next month. Going with one of the guys that was on this trip. Once it is light, he jigs all day and catches a ton of AJs.

What kind of price range are those type of trips I'd be interested in trying that one time.

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

The headboat trip I'm going on is a 22 hour trip so you can get a 2 day limit. It is 200 bucks. Catch beeliners, triggerfish on the bottom maybe grouper and then AJs speed jigging.
For the charter I went on if you can find 5 other buddies to go with you. Its 230 a person plus tip for a 12 hour trip. The advantage is you can target more of the pelagics. https://livingwatersguidenc.com/

That doesnt sound too bad if you can get some tuna thats a good trip really. Might look into that for a future trip somewhere down the road.

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

Yeah I got 25+ lbs of tuna. Definitely worth it

Nothing beats fresh tuna steaks other than fresh mackerel but tuna steaks cooked right is heaven.

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

Fresh tuna grilled with Zesty Italian dressing as a marinade. Soooo good.

Love it! I'm headed to Nags Head this summer with my family and would love to set up a trip like this - do you know of any guides in Outer Banks that do similar trips?

French would be better suited to answer. I know some boats jig and pop for tuna. Not sure if that's what you are looking for or just want to catch tuna? Also not sure how great the tuna bite is in the summer. I know Mahi is big then but I'm not a gulf stream expert.

Do you know which boats jig and pop for tuna? Thinking maybe I could contact them and find out if that's an option in the summer.

I don't know any that do the extended trips with jigging. Trolling for mahi and tuna (more mahi than tuna) is par for the course in June and July. August-September is white marlin season.

The Pelican, if they have an opening, would always be my first choice for an offshore charter. Arch (the captain) is a legend. Rigged Up, Fintastic, and Fishin Frenzy are all great boats. The trip will run you $2000 (for 6 people) and then you need to tip the mate.

Some of the nearshore boats could do a jigging trip to the tower if you want to chase amberjacks. Those are less expensive trips on smaller boats. But, they are going to push for you to troll for spanish (or mahi if the grasslines are close to shore) because those jacks aren't always at the tower. If you want to catch AJs, I recommend one of the ports from Morehead to Wilmington and go in the spring like 3rdGen.

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

I think there are some boats out of Hatteras that do it in the winter for blackfin. It's a different fishery out of Wilmington because there aren't yellowfins around like in OBX. Capt. Rick did say you catch blackfins better on poppers or jigs than trolling not sure about yellowfins. Here are a couple articles, 2nd one gives you what happens in each season. https://www.sportfishingmag.com/catch-massive-bluefin-tuna-on-lures#page-6
https://www.saltwatersportsman.com/offshore-fishing-at-cape-hatteras#page-2

Thanks for the info, French! We have done some offshore trolling trips in the past but it's been awhile and I thought the jigging trip sounded fun. Will see what else I can find out but will definitely look into the boats you mentioned. Do you know of any nearshore boats that you would recommend during the summer? To be honest, none of us are great fishermen, I think the main things we'd be looking for would be consistent action and good fights - something in between catching smaller fish and trolling all day for a marlin and a tuna or two.

I would recommend starting with the boats I have listed and ask if it is feasible. I don't know of any summer time jigging trips targeting tuna. Usually by summer, they are caught on the troll or they are line shy and the captains kite fish. It can't hurt to ask though.

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

General freshwater stuff. Gaston is a bass mess. No one could find any decent fish. They weren't deep on secondary points. Everywhere and nowhere. Water looks like chocolate milk. My lake is the same way. It is like they packed and headed to Anna for a party. They have to hit the beds soon. Headed to Buggs this weekend for a small thing. I'll let you know how that goes. The James looks like Johnstown!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Spring rain muddies up everything, doesn't it? Good thing is, as the waters clear up, but before they totally recede is the best time to get big fish on the big rivers. The New and the James, as well as smaller rivers like the Shenandoah all give up big fish to those willing to work the flow. The smallmouth will most definitely be in the eddies, big and small, so you can forget most of the river and concentrate on where they're stacked up, or have carved out their spawning intentions in pocket eddies. Don't wait for clear water on those moving rivers, but for clearing water, as soon as the shit brown turns a lighter color, get in those eddies with a tube!
Talking to you BEAVER!!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm seeing pics of lots of big smallmouth being caught on the New right now.

Spinnerbait time!

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Not a bit surprised. My big fish of the spring usually came in April. Spinnerbaits are great fun when they're on them, but tubes work regardless. State record was caught on a spinnerbait the first time, a minnow the second time it was caught, so it's always worth having a spinnerbait ready for those rocky small eddies, and if they're on 'em, those muskies won't be far behind 'em either.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

What size spinnerbaits do people throw this time of year in the big rivers? I still have a bunch of 1/4 and 3/8 ounce ones I've used in summer when theyre chasing buzz baits as well. Gonna hit the upper upper james tomorrow and might give the spinners a go in the eddies etc.

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

I was out there yesterday!

Nothing much to report back though. I had a tube rigged up, got snagged and broke off the leader... guess who didn't have any flouro/mono to make a new one? That left me in a bit of a pinch, so I threw spinnerbaits and a paddle tail swimbait with not much to show for it.

However, I got an anchor system - which will help me stay in those eddies - can't believe I was missing out by not having one for so long. Got the kinks worked out at least (and we missed the downpour by a few minutes).

Ifish - what is your favorite spring float? I always hear Egg-Pem is the best. May do that on Sunday.

I lived by my anchoring system. I had the line beside me in the middle, pulleys to an arm off the back. River anchors are a different conversation I'd be glad to have, but it was crucial to staying on those eddies without breaking my back. I love mono, never have to tie leaders. Others will argue, I'm to old to care. It worked and continues to work for me. I only use braid for the big fish where I need toughness and durability, but again, just me. Anything 12 lbs or less is mono for me.
Favorite float no matter when, for me, was Ripp to Bluff, but spring was good on the Egg Pem, and also the Bluff to Glen Lynn runs through the Narz had some nice fish. I think my thing about the Ripp/Bluff run was that I knew intimately each and every inch of that sucker, having run it literally hundreds of times over the 26 years I lived there. I must admit that the row out through the Pembroke pond was a bite after a long day upriver. It was never worth spending much time fishing it except for muskies.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So a good news- bad news report. I wrapped up my calls around 3pm and ran south to Occoquan. It wasn't hot, but I caught 7 hickory Shad in an hour, and most were big females.

Bad news- on the trip home, my Subaru died. I was getting the catalytic converter replaces after the spring game next week, but she didn't cooperate. So now I am waiting for the mechanic to tell me if I have to replace the catalytic or if I blew the engine. Good times.

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

Good stuff French! The car troubles seems to stay with you. Hope the fix isn't too bad.

It is more frustrating when I have a mechanic who will fix it for the price of the part, but he is 360 miles away.

I am ready to catch a cobia.

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

I know the frustration there. Nothing worse than having a good mechanic that is too busy or too far away.

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

Check what it would run you to rent a hauling thingee and pay someone to tow it to the man. Might/might not be worth it, I have no idea.
As for the cobia, I'll be glad to oblige when they show up. Looking forward to it myself.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I am planning for an extended visit. You may get sick of me!

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

Well, I'm not the one you have to worry about getting sick, huh? But no, I'm looking forward to it already and C&R is a good way to get the season started. Maybe the fact that we won't be eating them will lull them into keeping the hook lodged long enough for us to actually boat a decent fish. Add in the benefit of your added chum....sorry, couldn't resist.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'll be going on a family trip to the Bahamas in early June and I think I can take a day to do some fishing while I'm there. Anyone have any suggestions on a charter? There will likely be 3 of us interested in fishing and I'd like to indulge in something I've not done before if possible. Would be interested in shore opportunities as well but not sure I'll have much time for this with the family in tow. Any help is appreciated.

BONEFISH.

There's a million guides in the Bahamas, picking one is going to depend on where you are at.

You can also DIY bonefish from the beaches.

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

I'll be at the Atlantis in Nassau. Bonefish may be a good candidate for some DIY as it looks like there's a lot of flats on the north end of the island. I have absolutely no experience with fly fishing so I would have to stick with conventional gear. Any ideas for an offshore charter for some bigger fish? My saltwater experience is limited to drinking beer and fishing on the beach and inlets and a couple of party boat outings. Would really like to have a memorable trip as I'm not sure I'll have a similar opportunity, especially with family, anytime soon.

I have no clue about offshore opportunities there but I am sure there are captains there for it, especially if you are at the Atlantis.

Bones can be caught on conventional gear on small jigs tipped with shrimp.

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

FLORIDA REPORT

I returned Monday morning at 3:30 a.m. from the state of Walmart, I mean, Florida. Twelve days in the sunshine for a whirlwind trip of drinking, fishing, drinking, a wedding, fishing, drinking and drinking.

I came prepared: https://www.instagram.com/p/BvwTB4ZDZ8j/

I got down to Lake Worth, north of Fort Lauderdale, last Wednesday. The goal was to snook fish under dock lights in the ICW for two evenings, but the wind was blowing 25 miles an hour. Instead, my friend Chase and I fished a local lake that supposedly had clown knife fish and peacock bass in it, to no avail. The people watching was on par with expectations. Trash everywhere, unfortunately. Sigh. Beers were had for the rest of my time there in Lake Worth which is a cool little downtown spot that isn't fully overblown with condos like many of the areas I've been to in Florida. My friends really enjoy living there it seems.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvkdC1WDLkm/

Friday I headed up to Orlando to go to my good friend's wedding. She attended Tech in 2003 as a freshman before transferring to George Mason. Unfortunately, she is Florida State fan now due to her husband. But she watched the Duke game with me and all of her bridesmaids at a bar in Orlando, which wasn't the worst being surrounded by women. I kept smelling something bad throughout the first half and couldn't figure out what it was. Went to the bathroom and took off my shirt, a lucky VT shirt that I had worn for the first two games of the tourney and hadn't washed. It didn't smell bad from me, it smelled bad from Chase's cat PEEING on it while I was there at his house. His cat was apparently notorious for peeing on suit cases. Regardless, I didn't change. Couldn't ruin the good luck. I was the only Hokie fan in there and after the loss, the bartender asked me if I was going to be OK. That was nice of him, I smelled like cat urine, we lost a heart breaker, Buzz was leaving and I'm sure I didn't set the tone correctly for weekend with some of these girls based on my supposed musk.

At the wedding rehearsal I met another guy who is big into fishing and we hit it off very quickly, fishing wise, not the other way. We fished a pond in Orlando for two hours prior to the wedding. I got skunked. He hooked a five pound largemouth on a little swim bait that came off at the bank. The people watching was again, on par with expectations. He offered for me to come fish mosquito lagoon with him on his Gheenoe.

The wedding was a blast and I drank all of the gin and tonic's. There was plenty of fishing to be had amongst a variety of single women and my streak of bad luck / mojo continued.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvsIrSVDE3k/

Sunday I headed back to Lake Worth and relaxed and then Monday, Chase, his fiancee Steph and myself headed to the Keys. We stayed in Big Pine Key at the Big Pine Fishing Lodge which is a pretty well set up campground. Not bad for 50 bucks a night with showers a pool and a boat dock and ramp. We dumped Pretty Fly and cruised around Bahia Honda for the evening. A school of 10 pound Crevalle Jack showed up in the channel under the boat. We made numerous casts to them and like the women at the wedding proceeded to simply follow our presentations but never commit. After 10 minutes they were gone. We headed north west and fished around some mangroves where I saw some juvenile Tarpon. My cast landed and they spooked. We tried exploring more shorelines but of course my trolling motor would not work again. I really hate it when stuff doesn't work as it should. The sunset was great and we ran the boat back to the ramp in pitch black. The stars were epic. Good first day despite the refusal.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvuvCvXDID-/

Tuesday we headed to Key West and there's my luck with my truck and boat would continue, another bolt fell out of the brake caliper heading south. I was PISSED. I have a temper when things don't go right on multiple levels and after the last trip, I'd about had enough of my shit breaking. It's astounding to me, I've driven across country six times to Denver and into Florida and Louisiana another eight or 10 times in a Silverado and a Sierra and never had this happen prior, yet in the last two trips this happened each time. I was frustrated. Luckily I had all of my tools with me and floor jack and there happened to be in NAPA store just down the street who randomly had two of the missing bolts. Bought both of them, one to replace and one as a spare, as well as a tube of Loctite, which I proceeded to then put on all of my bolts on my brakes on both wheels.

We finally got the boat splashed in Key West around noon and shot over to the flat west of Key West looking for big barracuda and maybe a permit to show. Tide was high and I prefer this flat to have a lower tide. We didn't find anything and with low winds I made the executive decision to run the boat 18 miles west to the Marquesas. This is not an easy run and something I've always wanted to do and the low wind seems gave me the opporunity. I also needed to test the capabilities of the gas tank on my boat, which I don't fully trust yet. We made the run all the way to Marquesas in about an hour, stopping in and looking at some of the other keys along the way which randomly have giant houses on them and an old beat up sailboat. It was incredibly gorgeous.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwCh9h2DVgI/

Once at the Marquesas, you can't see any of the other keys, so it's pretty far out there. We entered one of the channels on the south side and immediately saw a small johnboat tied up just sitting there. I joked that sharks probably ate the person that it belonged to. Less than 20 minutes later about a 10 foot hammerhead showed himself just off the bow. I'd been wanting to swim in the water but decided this was not the spot to do it. We fished out of the channel and saw lots of Cuda of busting bait. I searched for permit on the flats but did not see any. For whatever reason, we could not get the Cuda to commit to our flies or plugs. They would swirl on the bay and swipe at it but never fully attack it. I was really frustrated when a monster Cuda swirled around my plug as it landed, but wouldn't eat, even as I ripped it away from him. I realized at some point along the day that I hadn't caught a fish since mid November. Seriously bad mojo.

At least the Marquesas was cool as shit. Never figured out why the John boat was tied up there.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvxUp0Wj2Hn/

We headed back to Key West and got dinner in the marina to go and then ate it on my boat while sitting just off of Mallory Square. It looked like the scene from Caddyshack when there's a thousand people on the lake all doing something different on the water. How accidents don't happen around there with all of those boats and all of those people blows my mind. Again, the people watching lived up to expectations. Also, I HATE cruise ships and that's all I will say about that. Bill Burr has a great bit on population control and cruise ships, check it out.

Once it got dark we fished off of the Naval Station lights but the fish never showed. Some of the Navy guys were fishing off of the dock and one caught a small Jack. I fished this spot several times prior and caught a lot of Jacks and Tarpon there. They just weren't there. On the way back in I noticed one of the hotels had installed those green underwater lights off of it docks. Baby tarpon milled about on them. We scooted inside the dock and Chase maneuvered me around while I made 50 or 60 well-placed casts with 10 different flies to these fish. They wouldn't bite. Sigh. I'm sure these fish lived off of french fries.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv1gD4YD875/

The next day we explored around upper Big Pine Key. Chase put a small chartreuse grub on a spin rod and started immediately whacking little barracuda in the mangroves. Even a small 16 inch Cuda will fight like hell and sometimes peel line off. They are impressive and very underappreciated fish. I put on a white streamer and after a while of searching for a permit or bones on the flats, made numerous casts to baby hammerheads swimming about. Still nothing. Took a break, drank some beer, put on the Foo Fighters. The wind kicked up hard and we sought shelter. I pulled out the Top Spot maps and started looking for some areas marked as fishing spots that might provide it. Hit the first two flats marked as holding tarpon and perms and were in lees from the wind. Both had guides on them. At least that was a good start and I made notes on it for the next day. The third was empty of other fisherman and we were able to started casting. Chase was crushing the baby cuda off the bank on the grub, one after the other. A few up to 20 inches. They wouldn't touch my fly. I missed several eats from 15-20 inch fish. FINALLY one was kind enough to be a slump buster and I brought a 15 inch fish to hand. We ended the trip docking on No Name Key and eating at No Name Pub. If you haven't been, go.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvzx0_VjlI8/

My mojo is finally back. That night we went out and partied in Key west which is fun as always. I struck out again on the local land Tuna. Before we left we wandered over to that dock to look at the french fry tarpon. The harbor was slick calm and the tarpon were all over the place, popping shrimp on the surface voraciously. Would have been perfect for fishing.

Thursday we woke up to worse winds. Chase and his fiancée headed back north and I headed to Flamingo to fish in the Everglades. I was able to get there and get settled with my boat in the water by 6 PM and decided to put in on the dirty side since I only had an hour of light. Three years ago on my 30th birthday trip, Chase and I had caught some snook here and seen a few rolling Tarpon. The water was chocolate milk. I'm not kidding it was chocolate milk with 1 to 2 inches of visibility. I ran the boat five miles up the coast and creeped into the narrow canal on a falling tide. Tarpon were rolling every few seconds in it. I was shaking with excitement but so were the mosquitoes and biting gnats. I had to cover myself and head to tow with long sleeves, pants, buff, hat, shades and bug spray and they still got through. I was able to tie the boat to the tree and make some casts at the areas the tarpon were rolling. One swiped at my Bangarang fly and I missed the hookset. No more eats, except for me being eaten, and I returned back to the campsite.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwChtqMjeT3/

The next day I hit the clean side for the first time ever. They were dozens of trucks already in the water by 8 AM . I cruised up the canals and then headed to the right when I got in the open Whitewater Bay. There is so much water there it's not even funny. It is all fishy looking. I can't recommend this area enough just based on how pristine it is. There wasn't a single piece of trash that I saw anywhere of the next two days. That's probably what most areas of the world would look like if humans actually took care of the environment. There were birds everywhere. The water was tea colored, but clear, with an average depth of three or four feet everywhere. I ran up in the Hells Bay and just fished creeks and flats all day long. I spooked one big fish off of a flat and never got to see what it was, likely a redfish. I ended up catching four hammer handle snook on the olive and white Bangarang, as well as a small Crevalle Jack. God damn this fish fight so well. Also landed a healthy Mangrove Snapper. Before ending the day, I fished the dirty side again for another hour in the tarpon filled canal.

They were again there. These fish were acting like trout sipping dry flies on the surface of a western stream but if I perfectly timed my presentation, they would launch themselves out of the water after it. I'm really good at setting the hook with the strip set on just about anything, but when tarpon launches itself out of the water hitting your fly, even I screw up. I managed to hookup to one that jumped four times before tossing my fly. This felt like true success, finally. I celebrated with a Budweiser. Three other visitors came into the canal as well, an eight foot gator, a ten foot gator and what I would estimate to be an eight foot shark. They were all after the tarpon too. When they showed, the fish disappeared. When they slid away the fish returned. Falling in the water was probably legit dangerous. Based on a serious commotion, I'm pretty sure the shark got one of the tarpon.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv9L2WijAwu/

Saturday I fished more open water in Whitewater Bay. The wind was bad so I stayed in the lees behind taller, older mangroves. I determined that moving tide was key, the snook would hit well on the falling or the incoming but for a two hour period at the bottom of the tide it was dead. They absolutely crushed a white Egyption Mule Driver (fly pattern of mine) and a few other white minnow patterns. I caught probably 15 small snook with the biggest at 19". I also landed a 16 inch sea trout and a small redfish, complete with nine spots. Celebrated with another ice cold Budweiser. Felt like I halfway got my fishing mojo back.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv_1dp6jnjO/

One more attempt at the tarpon canal ended with two more blown hooksets on my part. Tarpon fishing is something I clearly need to improve upon. Too bad I don't live closer down there or else I'd do more of it. The drive out past Miami was INSANE. I would have felt safer towing my boat in the middle of the Talladega 500. Saturday night I slept at Chase's house again and called the guy about fishing Mosquito Lagoon. He told me to meet him at 5:30 a.m. at a spot 3 hours away. I bailed as you can imagine. I woke up and said goodbye to my friends and watched the cat pee on my bag again before I was able to get out the door. Once I was finally out of Florida I realized sometimes it feels good to be a little further away from Walmart.

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

Sounds like an awesome time. I just got back from South Beach last week and I share your sentiment on the people watching and gin and tonics. Place is insane. Was in Key West last March and it's unreal the tarpon that just cruise in and out of the marinas. Makes me wish I could spend more time in that area with a rod in my hand. Thanks for the story and pictures, and glad you made it back in one piece and didn't need a dose of penicillin upon return.

Good write up, great pics. West Coast Florida write up coming this time next week.

(add if applicable) /s

Shit thats sounds like too much fun hopefully I can find a few snook below naples in a few weeks on some flies. What I'd give to go on a trip like that instead of work 7-4 every day

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

What I'd give to go on a trip like that instead of work 7-4 every day

This is one reason I'm so anti-establishment and all about working for one's self. I try to take road trips like this 4-5 times a year minimum. Hell, I've already done two long distance ones this spring. There will be more this year. People call me crazy and I have high stress levels but I value my freedom above all else and highly recommend others do the same, whether its for fishing, traveling, or whatever blows your skirt up. If others don't try to break out of the comfort zone, that's ok, I like attention dollars too haha

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

Well, the reason not to live life like you, well, we have is that when you reach my age, things get a little tighter, money-wise. We didn't have kids, so that helped. We also had a little money saved from 5 years of regular jobs for buying our own place, so we bought a 500 sq. ft. hunting shack and paid the mortgage off in a year. We then doubled the size of the place and when we sold it, we owner financed at 10% (We're talking the '80s here) and worked our way into a 150 yr old farmhouse in Giles. Paid the mortgage off in a year. So, no mortgage, no kids, we started working part time and did until we retired. We even shared a job surveying for several years. We never had much in the way of money, but we never felt impoverished, and for many years, we took a month off every other year and went out west camping for the month. I could fish during the week (Wednesdays, right?) and we could more easily wangle time off for beach trips, etc.
Now the thing is, it was a deliberate choice on our part not to do things like all of our friends, and for us, time without money was still better than money without time, and we've never cared about clothes, cars, or fancy houses, eating out, etc., so we didn't feel deprived. Most folks we knew wouldn't have considered that much of a life for them, and we understand that very well. Now, they're taking grand trips we choose not to try to afford, but probably wouldn't have if we could have anyway. We pretty simple folks. We did, however, spend months out west, did the 10+ mile hikes in the rough country none of us want to do now as older folks, and spent weeks in places they'll never see, so again, we don't feel deprived. We also don't have the pleasure of children and grandchildren, but never missed that pleasure. I have friends who spend more on upgrading their houses and furnishings than we spend to live in a year, but we don't care what our counters or cabinets look like as long as they're functional, we drive two 15 year old vehicles, etc. My work as a fishing guide was the first and only job I've ever enjoyed, and guides don't make much money, but seldom work full time, so again, I had a lot of time.
Sorry for taking off, but what you said resonated with me. I don't recommend my lifestyle, and I'd be happy to defend it if it were necessary, but have seldom had to do so.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" to any of this; just recognize there is no free lunch.

My $.02 is if one is going to take the personal freedom path, stay social and keep a solid network of friends and family so when life happens you don't have to shoulder the emotional part by yourself. I can attest that some folks die very young because they skip that part.

How long will you be in Naples? If I have free time I'd love to meet up and buy you a beer and talk about fishing (and all things Hokie, of course)

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

FREE THE "STICK IT IN" CHANT!!!

Hit Claytor yesterday on a bass boat with a buddy of mine. Caught numerous spots on docks with keitech swimbaits, a couple smalljaws on chatter baits on rock walls, and one largemouth on a keitech. No fish over 15", but going on Claytor I wasn't expecting the big-uns. Was too nice of a day to pass up!

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

Hit the James yesterday below lynchburg and caught one hell of a sunburn and thats about it a few smalljaws here and there but no where near pre spawn behavior unfortunately.

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

Bass in my 2 acre pond are staging heavy - males are cruising flats and a few locked on bedding areas. I've seen a couple paired up but for the most part it doesn't look like the females have moved in yet. Fishing is spotty so not sure what's going on but I expect to see some females on beds after this weekends front comes through. Now is a good time to catch a slaunch if you can get out there.

Quick foodie question are mangroves snapper good fried? Debating on bringing my fry daddy to Florida I've only broiled snapper in the past

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

They do taste good, I have blackened them. Sometimes it's hard to catch keeper size. Lots of little fish to wade through to get to the bigger ones is my experience. Biggest I ever got was 18" and I'm told that's a monster. If you find holes at the base of mangroves, good chance there's a snapper in it. They cannot resist a live shrimp tossed in those holes but you will go through a bucket of bait very quickly. They readily eat flies.

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

I cannot attest to it but there is no reason they shouldn't be excellent...

cut 'em into small 1" - 2" chunks;
pat down on paper towel to mostly dry
season;
dust with flour;
dip in buttermilk;
roll in favorite coating;
deep fry

Since my last report was so long, here's a short one.... I caught a shad.

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

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

Went to Hatteras this weekend. Fished Saturday and Sunday. Caught about 10 blues 2-4 lbs all on bait. Missed when they were biting on metal on Sunday. We ran out there after getting a call as we were watching Tiger down the stretch at the Masters but bite shut down when we got there. Missed the drum bite on Friday. Only a couple caught Saturday. There was a school on top that came through on Sunday. I ran down the beach after them but only having bait and not a big lure to throw. The one guy that had a lure got 3 drum in 20 minutes. 8 other people hooked up on bait. All I caught was 2 blues during the school rush. The bite only lasted about 30 minutes.

Reports I'm seeing are that Drum are all over the beaches down there.

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

Yep, there were a bunch yesterday afternoon caught. SW wind pattern will keep it going. Work deadlines made me come back or else I would have been there yesterday and should have gotten my big drum.

Sharks have been bad (lots of complaints in my Facebook feed) but several guys have found the drum. I saw awesome footage from folks getting them on lures. How much of a headache were the closures?

Sadly, the big bluefish have not arrived in Delaware. It is going to be a long 6 weeks to cobia fishing.

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

The closures made people packed in like sardines. The bank is getting eroded and with people parked and there was a one lane width in and out of southside of the point. There was an area where you could only drive through, no parking or foot traffic, to get to a secondary area of the southside of the point. People did disobey the rule and fished there but came running when they saw the park ranger. The guy throwing lures had a drum rod and conventional reel just like how Travis did in his video. We fished the secondary point of access on southside but there were a bunch of people with multiple sand spikes fishing for puffer or sea mullet. Follow Cape Point Sh** on instagram for some entertainment of people doing stupid things on the point.

Ha! Jake loves those burner social media accounts.

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

It's a good laugh and there are too many things that go on that need to be shown haha. I sent the account a pic when I was down there of a ton of sand spikes. There was a even better sand spike setup at the inlet where the guy had 10 setups all spread out and he was only the one looking after them all. Wife and daughter were playing in sand.

Always have a spinning rod with a gold Hopkins spoon spiked by your car in case that happens (bluefish or drum blitz.) My Dad didn't know much about how to fish effectively, but he always kept a rod with a 1 1/2 oz Hopkins whenever we surf fished and a handful of times it paid huge dividends.

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

Jig head with a white plastic grub has worked for me in situations where nothing else was working. Or, the fish were seeing every other bait imaginable. Toss one out and bounce it on the bottom a bit. Works very well.

Yeah I had one rigged on my 7' trout rod with a 2500 series for blues but this guy was throwing a big spoon like 5-8 ounces. I had big spoons like that for speed jigging but left those at home.

We always had a 8-9 foot spinner rated up to 4oz with a Hopkins. I still don't know how Travis was able to reel fast enough to keep his metal off the bottom to get a fish to bite. I sent him a note but didn't hear back.

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

Yeah I have a rod rated to 3 oz but didn't have a 5000 series spinner on site that would be suitable to do that.

Private pond, once a year thing today. 33 crappie, 18 bass, 4 pickerel and 5 big bluegills. Jigs and Southern Pro grubs. Worst day there in 5 years for crappie, but still a good day. No monsters, big crappie maybe 3/4 lb, bass maybe pound and a half.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Pretty work!

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

Guided today on the Mattaponi. Only three shad came to hand. I think the recent rain hasn't helped but we fished the best hole at low tide, which is what you want. They weren't there or if they were, they weren't biting.

This might become my new favorite spot to fish around Richmond. It is tidal and has a huge fluctuation. It has shad, stripers, catfish (98 pounder caught over the weekend) Bass and tons of big bowfin.

Apparently, the clay banks are full of sharks teeth. Best of all, it very rarely gets blown out. Everything else around central VA is high and muddy right now and this is up maybe a foot and still has 4 feet of visibility. Hoping to have more reports from this spring and summer there.

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

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

Yes, it's great to fish! I had rocks swimming around my pier a few days ago. They are netting the monsters further up river but the schoolies are starting to come closer to West Point. It's also good year round for catfish - both the Mattaponi and Pamunkey.

804

With the news that the powers that be are strongly considering a moratorium on taking those big stripers, it is a shame that netting them is allowed at all. Some strong mechanism is necessary to keep the fishery robust, but it will have to be regulatory in nature, and come with some serious enforcement to head off another collapse in the striper population. The apparent mortality rate of released fish also bodes poorly for the fishery as well. I've usually maintained that the recreational fisherman has a lot less impact than netters, but I'm having to rethink that position. The best days I've had in the fall have resulted in maybe 60+ fish caught, but if 30 of them are going to die, and I've been informed of this happening, I'm gonna have to have a talk with the man in the mirror.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I've seen a bunch of different numbers on mortality of catch and release as low as 10% as high as 50%. I wouldn't think it would be 50% if hooked in the mouth and released quickly but am willing to learn more.

Recent reports are touting the 50% number, and seems specific to stripers. I also wonder, but what do I know? I do know that the folks that estimate this stuff invite skepticism, but while the fish swims away just fine, what happens in a week? I know catch and release doesn't kill them all because I've caught dozens of fish with hook marks and scars, but like you, I do want to learn more. I'd always assumed that saltwater fish had an edge on survival since saltwater is a great coagulant and preservative, but again, watta I know?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Would be a fascinating study for a school like tech to conduct. Would be very tough to accurately test it but thats what grad school projects are for. I for one cant imagine why they still allow netting at times it has such a high amount of bykill it cant be any good for the ecosystems. Saltwater is tough because of how warm it can be alone might not allow for a good chance of living after being caught. Also one other thought is the huge uptick in marketing with a caught fish like posing for a billion photos before releasing it could be a major hangup as well. I cringe every time I see a picture of a trout out of water on a rock or something like that with a follow up like catch and release. Gotta keep em wet and if you need a photo be quick and keep them cool as you can. Thats why I love my GoPro for photos you can mount it and use voice commands to get a quick picture then right back they go to give them the best shot. Also have to agree with flyguy on the menhaden thats not helping one bit at all and kinda shitty it still goes on. You dont have to look far to the china and japan seas to see how minimal regulations worked for them.

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

Yeah I hear ya. I'm of the opinion more of it is killing all these big breeders is hurting it. Make it like the drum regs and I think there would be a resurgence. Obviously getting rid of omega and having more forage would be helpful too.

I think the bigger issue is the lack of menhaden and the shitbags over there at Omega. No need for me to say publicly what I would do with that company.

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

I'll light the fuse...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

COMPLETELY agree with this. Also, VTFish, I will say that some of the people netting the Mattaponi are Native American and it won't really matter what laws are passed. I do still think new laws could make an impact and fish that have eggs should be released no matter what.

804

And being of the obvious sort of liberal bent on conservatism (how's that for a contradiction?) I really don't worry about the effect indigenous folk have on the striper fishery. Those folks have earned a lifetime pass from me, like they care about that, or should. It's the rest of us that are the problem.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Oh boy was that a trip.

Thursday, put in at Marco island. Went in completely blind with some reports of tarpon rolling on the beach. Got out there a bit late didn't see any. Figured we'd go get some bait and try to soak it in the residential passes. Finding bait was way harder than I pictured, eventually got into some good size mullet and waited around for a bit. Got bit off by a shark or two, had some massive gafftops taking it. Ended the day with Gafftop, one black tip, one small mangrove snapper, and a trout. We had one take that took off like a tarpon, it broke off and never jumped the abrasion up the leader makes me thing it was a big tarpon.

Day two we woke up late after a strategy meeting at the bar lasted till close. Put in at Goodland and ran through 10,000 islands. Today was a trip solely targeting snook. Took us awhile but we finally found them back in the mangroves got 6 right at 25 a smaller one, a jack crevalle, and a mess of lady fish.

Night Trip day two (I didn't have the energy to go) my buds went and fished dock lights had a blast fly casting to ladyfish apparently caught one every cast.

Day 3 Tarpon on the mind. Got rained out in the morning but got into a mess of mullet when we got on the water. Baitwell loaded we picked our spot and waited them out that afternoon. Managed a 6 foot black tip which was a fun little fight with a fluro leader that managed to hang on. There was a tarpon tourney out of the ramp that day. 0 tarpon caught.

Day 4 aka disaster. With the bait found we grab what we can. I'm up front with the cast net for 20 or so minutes catching a good amount of mullet. When I turn around I see water coming from the bilge out onto the deck and the transom nearly completely underwater. The baitwell overflow clogged and the bilge pump failed to kick on. Managed to mess with the bilge switch enough times for it to kick back in and we were fine in 3-4 minutes. We went and soaked baits in multiple passes looking for tarpon working our way towards 10,000. Running out of bait and patience we decided to cruise the calm water passes and see if we could find one rolling. Right as we were about to call it quits a tarpon breached about 1/4 mile infront of us. Raced to the spot. Couldn't get him to eat. We decide to take our less than alive bait and head back to some deeper holes and throw them on shark rigs.

At this point we're 15ish miles from Marco. My motor decides its had enough and dies weirdly. I'm thinking its an electrical issue the way its acting so I disconnect everything except the motor and she fires back up, without my depth finder I decide the safest route is to head out in the gulf and straight line it back to Marco. We get a bit offshore and the motor toasts itself. Luckily I had one bar of service (I had just taken my VHF out of the boat) called insurance and Sea Tow was to me in 15 minutes. He got us back to the bay but the tide was too low for him to take the shortcut he texted me "Make sure your bilge is on" when I checked out heading I realized we were going out through the breakers and coming back in the channel. We hopped 7-8+ footers catching air and slamming back onto the water. Somehow managed not to die or sink.

Once the boat was on the trailer and back home I realized what the issue was. When the boat flooded in the morning there was some sort of leak that allowed water into my oil reservoir (2 stroke) after sitting for a bit then running for 4-5 hours my boat side oil was 100% saltwater. I'm guessing the motor is completely shot but didn't want to touch anything until insurance looks at it. I've got claims from fiberglass damage from the batteries and anchor slamming down, the motor and I haven't even had time to check the underside for signs of any possible structural damage.

Fishing overall was pretty slow and hard to come by but we managed to get some good action before my boat took a dump, glad I've put all this time into fixing it up when I total is completely in the realm of possibility.

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Wow! Boating ain't for sissies.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

What stuff were you guys throwing for the ladyfish and snook?

Boats are a constant cycle of work I've found sounds like alot of work ahead hopefully it sorts itself out!

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

Ladyfish were eating pretty much everything. The snook were extremely partial to DOA Airheads on a weightless hook and a small bullet weight up front.

(add if applicable) /s

Sweet only 3 weeks till I'm down there I had never heard of the airheads, I'll look into them I have a bunch of traditional saltwater shrimp tackle I was gonna use if I take a break from the flies.

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

Yeah caught a couple small ones on DOA Shrimp too.

(add if applicable) /s

Looks like you fish it similar to a fluke almost. I'm gonna do my best to stick with the flies or live bait for the bigger snook but we will see. Might try some night dock fishing around naples as well with some shrimp.

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

I think you might have topped my New Orleans trip... that sucks. You may need to get yourself a 4 stroke.

To continue my bad luck I left the top section of a $500 fly rod in the bottom of the river yesterday.

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Yeah if it results in a new motor (pretty sure it will as there has now been salt sitting in it for days) it'll be a 4 stroke.

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Anyone ever fished out of a Panga style hull? I'm having boat dreams while mines in the shop waiting on word from insurance and fell in love with the Andros 18-22'. 8" draft, handles offshore at Panga speed (20 mph), wide open decks. Only negative I see so far is they're damn heavy boats.

(add if applicable) /s

No, but I saw one for sale awhile back in Morehead and I wanted it. They look awesome and very versatile. I will in the next few years when I visit Belize.

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

A guy I know that has one (out of Vero Beach) mostly, if not exclusively, uses it for diving. Economical way to get offshore though.

The rancher I was working with today is looking at a Yellowfin...he fishes mostly out of Charlotte Harbor. No idea what that is but I'm going to find out

edit: they look very nice and very expensive

Yellowfin is a very nice and expensive boat brand. They make mostly Center Consoles.

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

not surprised.

he's probably 10 years older than me and just got rejected for his pilot's license because of a heart issue. the Yellowfin is a rebound purchase. Plan A was to buy a Carbon Cub (plane).

maybe I can talk him into a snook trip

Buddy of mine flirted with them a few years ago and tried to talk me into one. He'd fished out of one somewhere in the tropics and really liked them. I saw a fellow at my local ramp with one two years ago and he swore by it. Said it was slow and heavy, but pretty much took whatever he handed out to it and he really liked the open decks.
Let us know if you get some good intel.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah I've heard that you're gonna get beat up going fast in them in chop which is true for any flat bottom. These Andros are apparently pushing 50 with 150's on the back which is as fast as my AC went. The 18 foot boat is about 400lbs more than my AC hull which is the heaviest true flats boat I know of. They look like a better bay boat to me and if I have to replace this Action Craft I'm going with a bay boat.

(add if applicable) /s

Hewes Redfisher is a flats boat that acts like a bay boat, hence the reason I got it. Maverick Master Angler is even better. I looked at ACs and was always told they are wet to ride in. What did you think of it? Mine is pretty dry, especially with the trim tabs.

Best bay boat out there is the Action Craft 1910 Coastal. They are hard to find but they act like flats boats and are easy to pole. Pretty popular with guides in the Keys. New one costs $65,000 without a trailer. I found one for sale at 25k in the fall but that was out of my budget.

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

I always thought the AC was dry until I was running beaches in FL. Got soaked every day. Its a heavy boat too so poling it is a bitch. I never really missed poling though, much rather have a bigger bay boat to reach near shore stuff if I want to and a good trolling motor to get to the spots I want to fish.

I've read good things on the Coastal Bays but as you mentioned even used they get out of my price range quick.

If I end up with a new boat the things I want to check off are: Standing console, ability to go 'offshore', 4 stroke, open deck, storage, low draft (<12"), fairly affordable.

Right now the Andros Pangas 18, 20, and 22 check off all those things. Pathfinder and AC checks them all off to except they get pricey quick.

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Look at Tidewater and Sea Pro. They make a 1900 and a 2100 CC that may suit your needs. The newer brand is Tidewater but it is the exact same hull. The brand new Sea Pros are different to my knowledge. I almost bought the 1900 last summer but it was gone in a hurry. $12k, with a 4 stroke Yamaha with 92 hours. What a steal. They are reasonably priced. Bulls Bay has the same hull design if I remember correctly, but they are a bit more. I saw a Sea Pro 1900 with 60 hours on the newer Suzuki at Lake Anna for 16k, plus trailer last fall. It did not last long.

I have friends who have both the Tidewater 1900 and 2100 and have fished them both, great boats. You could probably pole the 1900 if needed.

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

For any interested parties, the South River Fly Fishing Expo is this weekend in Waynesboro. I'll be there with a table tying flies and I'm doing two presentations each day. It's a small show but has a lot of good vendors at it, including Pat Cohen, the best deer hair tier in the world.

www.southriverexpo.org

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

Have any of you guys ever fished the Wallenpaupack watershed for trout? When I was really young, I fished Taylor Creek behind my uncle's house and it had the most beautiful (and way bigger than I have seen anywhere else) native brook trout. I would love to go back, but with him long passed, I don't know if there is any access.

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

Note- this is east of Scranton, PA

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

On a work trip in upstate Connecticut curse having to fly to and fro and not having a travel safe fly rod to allow me to try the streams up here

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

None of your rods are 4 piece?

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They are I just hate flying stuff I don't want broken or dug through. Also the 12 hour days in plants don't leave enough time to fish. Sucks being somewhere you'd love to fish but cant.

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

I realize this isn't a classifieds page, but does anyone have any interest in buying my 13'5" Gheenoe Classic (hull only) before I put it on Craigslist?

I bought it a year and a half ago and have used it probably 10 times. It won't get used now with the addition of my Redfisher. Awesome little boat. Great for lakes, slower moving sections of river (musky fishing) and it is absolutely perfect for poling and stalking redfish in shallow water. Would need a 5 horsepower engine. Electric trolling motor also would work. It's not a cream puff, the hull has dings and scratches and needs a wax, but I was never concerned with that as I knew I would probably add a few. Two people can fish out of it. I fly fish standing in it.

I paid $800 for it and that's what I'd like to get for it. Title is in hand.

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

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrQBE-tjpRp/

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

You are good with me for the add. Fish. Trying to help out the group! Meanwhile I have been watching musky vids on LOTW and getting reved. LMAO they don't even have ice out yet!

Edit: We need a new thread soon!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Any idea what these weigh. My dad's looking at Solo Skiffs I mentioned this as an alternative but he'd need to get it from the bed of his pick up to the water by himself.

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about 130 lbs w/o motor

My guess is 125. It's certainly not easy to pick up. I can put it on my kayak trailer by myself. I would recommend some type of cart / axles with wheels if there is any distance between the water and where he can park.

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

Schminnows ready for some snook

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

Schminnows ready for some Shnook you say? Them's awful purdy. Nice job with the photo as well.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Those are certainly nice lookin! Idk where you're fishing at but I've heard a few guys say the Snook are pretty hungry right now around Naples/Marco island. Tarpon are starting to run too, so everyone and their brother have been just off the beach for the last week

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

FREE THE "STICK IT IN" CHANT!!!

2 more weeks and I'll be on Keewaydin island all week it's gonna be a blast. Supposed to be going for vacation but I'll be up early every day and out late every night chasing snook

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

Oh man. You should get some great action then! Bait is all over the place too if you bring a spinning rod and cast net with you. I was up on top of the tower I work at on Wednesday and it looked like one solid school stretched the entire length of the beach.

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

FREE THE "STICK IT IN" CHANT!!!

Gonna have a spinning rod and cast net to keep the girlfriend occupied while I focus on fly fishing. Never done it before but cant wait to get out there, I've already got palm trees and margaritaville in my head its gonna be a long couple days at work.

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

That island looks awesome! You staying in rental house there? I assume you're using your own boat for access. You getting there from Marco or from Naples end? I'd like to do that as a vacation (My wife and I lived on Grant Farm Island in Brevard County for 5 years - we did the boat access to home daily thing for a long time).
What agency/website did you use for the rental home (if that's what you did)?
Have a great time!

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

We used VRBO to get this house and you get picked up from Naples and shuttled from there to the island and just get food from Marcos island using the boat they have there. It wasn't cheap so we're going with a bug group to level out the cost. I may just become an island hermit and live down there if it's better than working every day

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

I'm just gonna be honest with you. It is definitely better than working every day...anything is better than that.

out late every night chasing snook

Nice!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

5+ hours in the sun, wind, and ridiculous boat traffic today...1 ladyfish...1 flounder

did see a sea turtle; and apparently it was ladies thong day in St Aug. some can get away with it, others not so much.

Oh, but those who can...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

and apparently it was ladies thong day in St Aug.

damn I miss my boat

(add if applicable) /s

Get a paddle

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

Guided on the upper New today. Floated 100 to Allisonia. It was SLOW, which I fully expected. The water was two feet higher than normal and off color. Saw three musky gulping air in the upper pool, one 20 feet from the boat. After an hour of pounding the bank he says fish on. We finally got a hook up throwing my top musky fly. The fish circled the boat several times. I knew it was big and was completely geeking out at the thought of guiding a big musky catch. After a couple minute fight it came to the surface and I was ready to net it. FUCKING CATFISH that was hooked in the stomach. Unreal. It was the only fish landed all day. We hooked two other smallmouth probably about 15 inches on a white Swingin D but both came off because he wanted to horse them in. Client could cast pretty well but did not do the little details correctly to hook or land fish, no matter how many times I tried to correct him. The fishing was slow and it sucked but it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't miss a few more besides the other two smallmouth.

IF the water drops to normal levels it would be on fire.

Tomorrow I hope to get in a little brookie fishing before returning home

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