Feb 2020 Fishing Report and Discussion Thread

Catfish are biting in the Potomac, and I have heard of white perch as far up river as Port Royal in the Rapp. With temperatures in the 60s today, I am sure folks are out trying to find perch, crappie, pickerel, walleye and bass around the Mid Atlantic. Puppy drum and trout are still the story south of Hatteras.

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Well, the daffodils are coming up and some are blooming already. Peepers are peepin'. Early Spring?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Either that, or March is going to be a bear.

Charlie Taylor's latest report. Take it with a grain of salt:
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Small yellow perch may be found on the flat behind Roosevelt Island, taking small plastic grubs and live minnows. Bass are feeding heavily on slow moving, minnow-imitating lures, throughout the city. Most productive lures seem to be three inch, dark colored plastic grubs rigged on 1/8 ounce leadhead jigs, and dark colored jigs. Chrome Rat-L-Traps, in the quarter-ounce size, and small, wide wobbling crankbaits are also taking some good bass. These baits should be fished on shallow flats, adjacent to dropoffs. Slow to moderate retrieves will produce best. Bass are available at Blue Plains on Silver Buddies and Carolina-rigged lizards. Crappie are schooled up and biting well. Try the underwater brushpiles in Belle Haven Cove and The Spoils. Nice crappie are also available around the docks in Washington Channel. Live minnows and small crappie jigs are the ticket. Yellow perch are taking live minnows, small Hopkins spoons and Roadrunners on gravel points and coves in the Woodrow Wilson bridge area. The island in the back of the Spoils holds a large number of these tasty little fish. Check the discharge from the Pentagon heating system in Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary for walleye. There are nice fish reported on the bottom at the exit pipe under G.W. Parkway. The mouth of Four Mile Run is giving up large numbers of bass and carp to anglers fishing under the bridges.

POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Some good bass may be taken by concentrating on dropoffs into 15-20 feet of water. Small grubs and jigs are producing lots of fish. Most of the fish are in the 1-3 pound range, but an occasional five pounder finds it's way into livewells. Crappie schools are roaming the dropoffs and brushpiles in most of the tidal creeks and may be taken on live minnows or small crappie jigs. The best areas are adjacent to wood structure or cover that is close to deeper water. Yellow perch have invaded the river, but have not been in great supply in the creeks. Live minnows are the best bait, although yellow, 1/8 ounce Blakemore Roadrunners, fished very slowly on the bottom, will also take the fish. Catfish are taking cut bait, preferably winter shad, fished on the bottom in the main creek channels. Crappie are still schooled in the backs of Mattawoman and Aquia Creeks.

OCCOQUAN RIVER - The yellow perch have still not put in an good appearance. Isolated fish are taken, but numbers are still missing. The boat docks and rock wall on the North shore of the river are holding largemouth bass. Fishing the dropoffs here will produce good numbers of bass. The key is patience. A jig, plastic grub, drop shot or live minnow, cast into the shallow water and moved very slowly into the deeper water, will entice the bass into striking. Use an exposed hook where possible, as the strikes will be very light, and hooking the fish will be difficult. Silver Buddies, fished on the dropoffs among the boat docks at the mouth of the river, will produce lots of fish for patient anglers. Bring along plenty of the baits or a good lure retriever, as the bottom has lots of debris. Bottom-fished shad baits will take some of the large blue and flathead catfish cruising the river at this time.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Very little action. Those bass that are caught are coming from the main lake points downlake. Lots of good crappie are being taken on live minnows and tiny jigs in the submerged brushpiles and standing timber.

BURKE LAKE - Anglers are scarce as fishing from the shoreline is not very successful. Catfish action is fair on chicken livers and nightcrawlers, fished in the deeper holes near the dam. Bass and walleye action is slow, but fish are being taken on live minnows, nightcrawlers and plastic grubs, fished on points. Muskie are on the prowl, with jumbo minnows being the key. Panfish are taking small minnows and nightcrawlers.

FARM PONDS - The fish in these bodies of water will turn on as the sun warms the water if the pond is not iced in. Fish for largemouth bass with small plastic worms or grubs. One of the best methods for catching these early spring bass is to pierce a 4-6 inch plastic worm with the hook right through the center of the worm. This allows both ends of the worm to hang down when the hook is held up. Casting this rig in the root structure of the trees growing along the dam or deep bank of the pond will normally trigger strikes. You may not feel the strike, but rather, you will see the line streaming out toward the middle of the pond. Take up the slack quickly and set the hook immediately upon detecting any movement of the line. This method has managed to get my line popped more than once while fishing a farm pond in the early spring. Remember that most ponds contain one or more snapping turtles and they also have to eat. Plastic worms will catch them as well as fish, so be prepared. An ample supply of small minnows should be carried when fishing farm ponds, as most of them have good populations of crappie and bluegill. These are tasty fish and will take small minnows very readily. They are also school fish and when one is caught, fishing in the same spot will normally produce good stringers.

POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Those afflicted with "Cabin Fever" might want to try the deeper holes in the river, particularly those with a little current running through them. The ledges just below the mouth of Goose Creek are a good place to start. A good access point for smaller boats is available at Edward's Ferry on the Maryland shore. Small dark colored grubs, tubes or jigs will readily take the fish. Small wide-wobbling crankbaits, fished slowly, will also tempt the smallmouth bass and an occasional channel catfish or walleye.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Excellent fishing for blue catfish in the lower tidal sections. Many of the big fish are being caught on cut shad and herring baits, fished on the bottom, in the outside bends of the river channel. Some of these fish are weighing in at over 30 pounds. Fair largemouth bass action in the tidal sections on live bait and plastic grubs. Crappie are available around brushpiles in the creeks and on the main river. White perch, yellow perch and stripers are also in the lower river. Above the city, smallmouth bass are taking live minnows and plastic grubs in the deeper holes, when access is available.

SHENANDOAH RIVER - The water is lightly stained and cold. No angler's reports available this week.

MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Yellow perch are scattered throughout the rivers. Mattaponi anglers are averaging up to 10 to the boat, with a number of citation fish being taken. White perch are also showing, taking bloodworms. Catfish and bass are mixed in the catches, with bass taking the minnows and catfish taking cut shad.

LAKE ANNA - Near the dam, the water temperature is in the lower 50's, midlake finds 40-45 degree water and it cools to 38-40 degrees uplake. Largemouth bass and white perch are being caught on main lake points, near the dam, in 6-8 feet of water. Best choice for bait is live minnows, small crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs. The bass are running 2-7 pounds. Crappie fishing is good, with the schools suspended over the creek channels. Live minnows and tiny jigs are the preferred baits. Some striper action is being found around the Splits, with Sassy Shads.

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

Just a shout out to flyguy for his report from the fly show. My wife really tried hard to bully me into tying earrings and pins, and I really did give it a try. Ordered the hardware and some cool feathers and hackles, but could just never get a decent looking product. I lack the manual dexterity and patience to produce a meticulous piece of jewelry, and had no real interest in doing so, but I don't think she was wrong. Also suggested bundling flies. Smallmouth, trout, poppers, etc., with four assorted in a package for more money than they were probably worth...again, never did it. Tying flies was something I did out of necessity, like all of my lure making, but I never was motivated enough to do it for profit, and most of the flies I tied, even if marketable, would never have been worth the time I put into them for what I'd likely get from them.
Good work, and good on ya.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you. Gotta try to pay for my broken down boat and truck somehow. The earrings are fun, easy to tie and women seem to like buying them.

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

Always happy to make suggestions I didn't have the talent to follow up on, but I'd hit up Orvis and other fly shops with a dazzling display of earrings and try to get a foot in the door. Also, vintage type women's shops or any place that sells outdoorsy type of clothing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

They are going in stores next. My Aunt's in Leesburg has sold a few dozen pairs for me and they are open one weekend a year. I just need to make a couple hundred pairs.

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

I just discovered that River Monsters is on Amazon Prime. RIP to my social life.

Between that and Waypoint TV I have enough to watch before bed for the next year or more.

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

Waypoint is an absolute must in the winter when the weather is bad. Although, I really wish there were more Virginia/Outer Banks focused shows. It seems like so much is either Florida Keys or Venice LA.

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

Yeah I have always thought that until I was listening to the Tom Rowland podcast. He said it is pretty darn difficult to catch fish for all the eps. with a crew. They are always making runs to try to find fish for quality content. Unfortunately I don't think we have that luxury in VA/Outer Banks as much as they do down there, especially year round. HOWEVER, BlacktipH on YouTube has filmed a few of his shows with Finao Sportfishing down in VB fishing for cobia and huge drum. Those are definitely worth checking out!

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

When I was fishing on the pier in Australia, a kid asked me if I knew Austin because he saw BlacktipH's cobia videos. Austin is a good guy and a good fisherman.

I really wish Rob Alderman's old OBX show had been picked up more. His bluefin and red drum shows were amazing.

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

He talked about it in this podcast. Really cool guy. Think I'm going to take a kayak trip with him when I go down to Hatteras in the spring. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzO7F1JqVas

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Rob is good people. He is loud, but nobody loves the fishery of the OBX and the history associated with it more than Rob. He is a hoot to fish with, going all the way back to the old PierandSurf.com days.

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

I'm looking forward to it. Always enjoy fishing with people who love the fishery and have great knowledge.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

He tried to do a TV show, and a couple of episodes aired in rotation on the local OBX information station. It was great stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI7cH8bSUIQ

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

Hadn't seen these. Watched the blackfin trip teaser one too. That got me fired up

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Austin's mate Steve is a friend of mine. Played lacrosse together for 5-6 years in the summer/fall, he was a great pier fisherman and then finally hopped on Finao.

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

Want to alert all concerned that there is, indeed, legislative motion going on with regards to the regulation of menhaden in the Bay.
Check out House Bill 1448 and Senate Bill 791. Elections do sometimes have consequences and while both sides of the aisle have been complicit in the travesty that has been menhaden regulation, it seems the recent change in power has brought some hope to this issue.
Not politickin' just bringing it to the attention of any and all who have cared deeply about this issue for years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

This 26+ was the only keeper today, but more importantly I had a blast with a long time friend who several years ago showed me that I could catch fish on artificials in NEFL. I owe him a ton...and not just for the fishing.

This one bit the black/purple bucktail, and I had 5 other undersize reds; one on a black-gold Slayer paired with a z-man trout eye (red), and 4 on a white gulp swimming mullet/red DOA head. Fish were hugging the bottom in 5-7' of water.

That's a beautiful fish!

Side note- I lost your email address somehow. Can you shoot me a message when you have a moment?

Warning- Filter lost.

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

sent

Awesome catch. They are still my white whale after I struck out in Destin.

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

Nice Red! Making me jealous

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

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

I've wrecked more big fish in February than any time of the year. If you have the opportunity to fish this month, particularly if you're able to either time a warming trend right, or hit warm flooding water, do it.

I'm headed to either Sandy or Briery on Friday to hopefully take advantage of the reservoirs flooding and pushing bass close to shallow cover.

I used to fish both those reservoirs a lot but haven't been back in about 10 years. We ended up hitting Sandy more than Briery as it was just easier to fish and we seemed to do much better. How are the fisheries holding up now?

Sandy is just now starting to peak.

Briery is back on the upswing, I think. The grass carp are starting to be fewer in number and I'm starting to see more sumbmergent vegetation coming back.

The giants are still there.

Is Sandy electric only, or can any boat put in there?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Sandy is 10 HP or less.

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

ASMFC News regarding Cobia in 2020-2022
The quota for cobia from Georgia to New York will be increased from 640,000 pounds to 2.4 million pounds, as the SAFMC stock assessment confirmed that the stock was much larger than previously estimated.
The bad news is, as we knew, that the new way that MRIP works calculates catch estimates way higher than the old formula, as hard as that is to believe. That means 2.4 million is also the estimated catch estimate if each Atlantic state adopts the same state regulations as 2019. It seems like the rules changed mid-game, but EVERY species monitored by MRIP has the same headache.
The good news is, in 2020 all the state regulations should be about the same. If there are any changes, it is because the state governance body (VMRC, NCDMF etc) decides to create regs which shoot to go under the targets.
2021 and 2022 will be a fight as long as ASMFC recognizes MRIP and doesn't utilize reporting data from the states.
Unrelated to the quota, I was told that Virginia had a 76% compliance with mandatory quota reporting. Those who got a cobia license and didn't report will not be issued a license/permit in 2020.
I know the spot/croaker issue and red drum oversight were also on the docket. I don't know what the outcome was there.
Thank you to the chair, Pat Greer of VMRC, for allowing Billy and I to offer comments on cobia. ASMFC doesn't work the same as state and SAFMC meetings. They seek public comments in advance. The public comment item on the agenda is only for issues not on the docket (ie- you can't talk about cobia if they are voting on a cobia issue.) After the public comment was concluded, the Technical Committee presented their case, and asked for a 2,000,000 pound quota. The Commissioners pushed back at the conservative estimate, and Billy and I were allowed to approach the mic and make statements as part of that discussion. Mr. Greer did not have to let us speak. I appreciate his consideration.

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

I was not at the striped bass portion of the meeting, but I heard it got pretty nasty. Here is the report from VSSA:

he meeting ran way over the time allotted as the board had to deal with 49 "Conservation Equivalency" (CE) proposals from the States to get to the 18% reduction jn harvest. You will recall that Virginia submitted CE proposal that called for reducing the Recreational harvest by 23% and the Commercial harvest by 9% with an overall reduction of 18%. Virginias plan was accepted but a couple of states are having to rework their plans. VSSA formally objected to the use of Conservation Equivalency to no avail.

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

Great insights - thank you for the updates. Do you have any guesses as to how the rockfish limits/seasons would be impacted by this? Are we in for another blank spring?

804

Selfishly, I'll admit that I'd like to see a 5 year moratorium on harvesting stripers in the Bay, along with a complete cessation of menhaden harvest in the Bay as well. I'm getting old enough that I may not see the benefits down the road, but it sure would be nice to return to the heydays of our best fishing. I say selfishly, and I mean it. I know the hardships this would cause some folks but still I'l love to see it. One day, mankind will look back on our profligacy with natural resources as small minded and short sighted, driven more by profit and hubris than concern for the consequences, but that's a day I am absolutely certain I'll never live to see.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If the menhaden ban went into place, I hope policy makers also recognize and address the water quality issues being created by building housing developments in swamp land and the destruction of food sources on the ocean floor decimated by beach front dredging. I had an eye opening conversation with a captain of a research boat after he gave public comments demanding why species like weakfish and rockfish have high recruitment, but are not reaching mature size, and he referenced lack of food sources, the impact of dredging, and the impact of natures filters of fresh water being destroyed, dumping that water into nurseries as possible reasons. He clearly doesn't feel like there is any interest in answering "why." The only strategy is to restrict fishing access to reduce pressure.

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

I hope policy makers also recognize and address the water quality issues being created by building housing developments in swamp land

Not to get political but the revocation of Clean Water Act just nixed any chance of that.

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

I wasn't there for rockfish, but I know Virginia and Maryland will have to take big cuts. I would be shocked if there was any kind of spring trophy season or a season without a narrow slot.

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

Every bluefin boat on the East Coast is headed that way due to that video. I'm not joking either

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

One of the OI boats had similar film a few years back. They free-gaffed a 10 pound bluefish, put a hook in it and threw it back overboard. A huge bluefin smashed it as it touched the water. But, I have not been able to find the youtube video.

Let me tell you, I enjoyed that kind of fishing... until you are at about minute 20 of the fight. We didn't put the rod in the gunnel and crank. Those things will hurt you.

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

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

I feel this... haven't even lined up my rods since I packed them in December. Changing that this weekend

(add if applicable) /s

I made 3 casts on Sunday in the Watauga. Promptly broke off my streamer on a rock. That's the only fishing I've done since returning from NOLA in early November.

Might go this weekend but have to fix Truck Norris first...

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

I hauled gear all the way to Georgia two weekends ago. Never even made it out of the cabin with the stuff. Very disappointing.

last week our drummer had photos of 3 speckled trout that looked more like salmon, taken out of one deep hole.

he wouldn't say where but the house in the background is forever etched in my brain.

these days guides in our area take pictures of clients with nothing but the sky in the background just to make sure no location data is shared...I don't blame them

Yupp in the age of social media. If you're not blurring you backgrounds you're giving away spots.

(add if applicable) /s

Well 70's all week 20 degree swing into the 50s tomorrow. 60s Sunday. Throwing the boat in the water one day, after that storm ripped through here last night I'd say sunday is the better bet. We had/have 24 hours of sustained 20mph winds, overnight up into the 40s with gusts to 60....water conditions yesterday were 8.8ft at 9s rising to 10ft at 10s overnight.

(add if applicable) /s

You Da Man! I would have been in the garage and drinking!

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

First LMB of 2020. One ~1,5 and another ~3.5. Gonna be a good year. I am certainly due!

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

Nice! I see you near that rock; what did you catch them on, a jerk bait or something else?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

4" Sus Rapala and barely moving it. You should come over. There are some very large bass in this lake.!

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

Remind me your email address again and I'll ping ya. Next good day, I'd love to come by - itching to catch a few this year.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

walleye _0 (the number zero)_gmail

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

Went out Saturday on the worst on paper fishing conditions I've fished in awhile. Had 40 hours of 20+ mph sustained wind and a 20 degree temp drop fishing post front absolutely nasty mud water. Decided to go anyways just to explore my new home water.

Got one 27" red on a zman paddlerz one of the best fights I've had with a red he did not want to give up and was up in rocks pretty good.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8UlRSZp19G/?igshid=11t5uodzdxxg9

(add if applicable) /s

very nice!

Pretty fish!

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

For all of you fly fishermen or those interested in torturing yourself by hearing me talk too much, I've got a tying table at Lefty Kreh Tiefest at the BWI Marriot outside of Baltimore next weekend. The show supposedly is really good, this will be my first year. I've been asked to do a seminar by the show operator, waiting to hear back on if he provides me a topic or if I can pick my own. If I can pick my own, I'll be giving away all of my redfish secrets.

The show doesn't have a website, which I find very odd, but it does have a Facebook page with info. Feb 22, Saturday 10-4:30 and Feb 23rd, 10-2:30.

For big names, Blane Chocklett, fly fishing legend from Roanoke, will be there and a few others.

Cross your fingers I survive Baltimore....

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

PIT BEEF AT PIONEER OR YOU ARE MAKING A GRAVE ERROR

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

Thanks French, will see if I can swing it.

Me going to Baltimore is a very grave error... I HATE that city.

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

I like Baltimore; I'm just afraid to go to most of it.

If y'all want to not get shot in Baltimore....Charleston has a rather big weekend for the outdoor industry.

SEWE is this weekend: https://sewe.com/ really recommend checking it out if you haven't been before some of the best working dogs in the country, some fun for everyone in the family, lots of good fishing seminars.

Kick it off tonight with Flood Tide Co. tonight, who are hosting a kinda fly get together with Yellow Dog and Drake boatworks. Beer, fly tying, fly casting, oyster roast, general hanging around. Free admission cool companies. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/flood-tide-co-x-yellow-dog-flyfishing-oyste...

(add if applicable) /s

Haven't been but have heard it is awesome! Met the Flood Tide guys (and girl, Kelly) in ATL. They are some good dudes.

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

Yeah I'm unfortunately going to an all day inshore seminar in Hilton Head Friday night - Saturday ( https://www.hhboathouse.net/eventslist/82068/460601 link in case anyone is interested) so I'm going to miss all of it this year but I stopped in for a few of the events last year and its pretty cool already have the calendar blocked off to make it next year.

I haven't met the Flood Tide people yet but I'm a big fan of their merch. They host smaller events all the time so I plan on stopping by at one I can make.

(add if applicable) /s

They have the best hat imo. Fits perfectly

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Funny you say that I had to return 3 cause they were all too big for my head lol finally got the classic mesh back style and it fits okay.

(add if applicable) /s

Interesting, I have the tailing red hat. Makes me hesitant to get a different hat cause I really like how it fits.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I have a rather small head. All the truckers fit the same. I can fit into those fine, the fiddler is probably my most frequently worn hat. I tried the performance hats, too large width wise to look not goofy on my head, foam truckers were the same but you kinda expect those to be slightly large.

I just wish they'd put the surf & turf raccoon mullet logo on a standard hat.

(add if applicable) /s

Yeah I was looking at their website just now and I really liked that one. Seems like they got rid of the tarpon and permit hats that were the same style as the tailing red.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Horse shit. You have not worn a Knot the Reel World Hat.

Ask Hokienator

I do enjoy my new Flood Tide Hat that Kelly gave me in exchange for some earrings...

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8dCRSGhyP_/

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

I guess I could test it out sometime haha. I'm open minded.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Personally I can attest the KTRW hat is by far the best fishing hat that isnt made of straw. For anyone who needs a good outdoor fishing hat theyre genuinely awesome

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

Thanks dude.

I ordered mine through Ouray, which seems to be a common company for fly fishing shops out west. Super comfortable mesh trucker hat

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

I hit Briery on Tuesday. It was pretty slow until I found a school up shallow chasing and gorging on bluegill. I picked off two 20s before the school either dispersed, went deep, or got spooked by me.

The conditions just felt like I was around a teener, and I can't but help think that I had a rare window to catch one and didn't do it.

The fish are definitely in pre-spawn mode, but this cold front coming in will push them back deep.

Nothing like being out when the conditions feel fishy. What were you throwing? I'm going to try and make a trip that way first weekend of March but it may be a long shot.

Mostly squarebill, spinnerbait, and jigs.

Fuck Maryland'. I know that's not nice.

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

Well folks my fiance and I have our honeymoon booked to Captiva island in the middle of May and we're gifted some spending cash so we were planning on getting a guide for a day but curious as to what's around that area of Florida and what might be the best option to go after. I know about Boca grande not sure if that's what we have in mind with tarpon being in an odd period that time of year but would be interested in anything else spinning or fly fishing light or heavy tackle. The fiance is crazy about getting a Goliath grouper but not sure if that's the right time for that or not either. Any advice would be welcome going to spend the remainder of the trip (4 days) relaxing and beach fishing from Captiva which seems similar to most gulf coast Florida fishing but any tips on that as well will be welcome.

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

Well, if the weather stays on the course it is right now with highs in the low 80s in February, May should be fire in Captiva. Jewfish ought to be easy to find around the bridges. Maybe not the massive ones, but certainly some-even those around 100pounds pull damn hard. As far as fly fishing, it'll depend on the water temp but you should be able to pull at least some jack and spanish mackerel off the beach. It might be a tad early for snook on the beach, but again it depends on water temp.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

for 'nator....It's a transition period so it might still be spring, or might already be summer. It's 83 degrees in St Aug as I type this (5 pm), which is crazy warm. I'd try to line up a guide sooner than later and stay as flexible as the guide is willing to be in pointing you to what is happening at the time.

I bet its not 83 today.
I know how winter works in Florida.

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

lol, 58 right now.

we could use a cold snap but i think we're going to be 60's-70's and breezy for awhile.

seems like the windiest winter since we moved here in 96.

We were in Keewaydin last may same week and we had a guide originally setup for tarpon but once we got down there we switched it to snook and inshore stuff since they werent quite where the guide felt solid on finding feeding ones. I'd still prefer to go after the tarpon in back waters not too interested in the mammoth ones I'd rather go for the smaller ones on the fly in the inshore stuff and mangrove areas. LAst year we hit the drum and specks and pompano as they began to show up while the snook and jacks were everywhere hopefully they show up like that again it was alot of fun.

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

I hit the Goodland bridge stop off on the way to work Thursday morning. It was the best fishing I've had in months. It was just before the tide started to swing back out while I was getting carried away by mosquitos and tying rigs (yeup, forgot the bug spray and my arms look like I have chicken pox again...). But once I could see I knew it was going to be a good time.

The old bridge pilings (wood) are now surrounded by oysters and rocks, and the way its positioned is perfect for presenting gulp jerk baits and DOA Cal swimbaits with the outgoing flow over the bar. All I saw was bait being chased. The water was boiling in spots. There were 5 or 6 tails sticking straight up out of the water. It was a sight to see. I didnt get anything on the top water (I always start with that in the mornings) but switched to a DOA Cal after about 20 minutes and never switched again. Lost about 6 rigs of leader and bait, two of them because of not being able to get the fish out of the bar fast enough.

But I ended the hour and a half or so with 4 snook and a jack crevalle. All of the snook were around 20", which for February without a boat, I'm plenty happy with.

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Nice work. It was 15° here in Blacksburg this morning, so needless to say I'm a bit jealous. I don't get any salt action until maybe late March in Myrtle or July in Hilton Head.

It's been crazy. I think I've worn long sleeves to work maybe a handful of days this winter. Jacket maybe once or twice. The water temps are around 65 on the beach and 67/68 in the shallow bays and backwaters. Its wild

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I wish we had some normal cold weather this winter. Although, this very warm winter should be very good for the redfish in Bay this season

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

That is big time stuff. I spent the morning at the fishing flea market up in Pasedena. I didn't find any tackle that I wanted, but I scarfed down 3 Maryland Pit Beef sandwiches. I wish I had the cash with me to pick up a Wahoo Industries multi-rod holder. I have one that works great when your boat has limited rod holders in the gunnel rail. They are a good Virginia business (Lynchburg) if you are looking for rod holders to fish multiple rods out of one gunnel without drilling anything into your boat.

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

If I had a boat, I'd look into them fornsure.

Them sammiches sound good....

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Big thanks to Musky today; went up to his place and he toured me around his beautiful lake. It was a mostly quiet day on the water, but I did manage my first fish of 2020, a nice 2.5 lbs or so lmb. I'd post a pic, but I only have my phone for posting anymore. Hooked into another one in the same spot, but as Musky properly called it, I may have set the hook like *ussy. 😂 Anyway, it was a great day on the water and I can't wait to get back out there. Thanks again good sir!

Edit, here's a link to the pic: https://www.instagram.com/p/B8pkrNWlIsYQyboj6vjVUr9P1SJ5s5rsPzBAAY0/?igs...

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Here you go! It was great to have you over. Sans the massive leak.

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

I went down to Rocky Mount on Saturday for a heaver demo day. Got to test out a couple different rods and talk to some of the top casters. From talking to one of the guys, it's more about the feel of the rod because casting distance improvement between the top rods is negligible. It was fun to watch the big casters and nice to try out new rods.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

1) Heard it drew a ton of folks away from the Dogfish tournament at Seaview
2) Which one did you like the most? Vega, CTS, Century, Cast Pro?

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

1. They were disappointed in the turnout. There were probably 20 folks there when I got there mid-day. They had another one about a month ago and it was more like 40 guys and worse weather.
2. I liked the Vega Intimidator L the best and it was cut to 12'3". Don't think I'm gonna fork over big cash for a new rod when I was getting the same distances as my balistic 40.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I love my ballistic. I wish I could get it repainted and rewraped because the color stinks. But, it throws great and catches.

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

Yeah it definitely does. I just need to get my technique better to get my distance up. I was in the low 300s with top guys around 450-500.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Continuing the trials and tribulations of this well decorated Sea Captain...

I put in this morning at James River Marina in Jamestown to hit Hog Island / Surry in search of fish that would bite in the warm water. Took with me my friend / mechanic, Mudd, who knows how to fish it very well. He had gotten a good recent report. We put in and Pretty Fly performed admirably. No more fuel leak. There was a wall of fog greeting us under the bridge to enter the James. With the sunlight, it was nearly blinding. I dropped on the shades and we hauled ass to the discharge. One other boat there off of it, bait fishing for cats. We pulled up, tied off and cast up into the opening. No bites for an hour, which was very surprising. Generally, there are big stripers and huge catfish there. They love rattletraps. Expect to lose several in the rocks and structure. The water was very stained, maybe a foot of visibility. I threw a few flies as well, but the clarity was bad for them. We moved spots over the next three hours and motored around looking for fish on the depth finder. Water temp in the discharge was between 66-70 degrees. Finally I got a hit on a free falling white gulp and chartreuse jig head in 15 feet of water and the heavy current. Ended up being a 15 inch red. He escaped overboard before a photo could be had. 10 minutes later I got another hit, but missed it because I was in the midst of text messaging. Dumbass. We ended half hour later with no more fish.

Ride home was uneventful, the new trailer tires were great. Upon returning I took it upon myself to fix the slow leak under the boat at the water intake.

Now I cannot work on this boat without issue, right? While prying out a stuck screw, I lurched my head sideways and cracked it on a sharp metal edge. No problem just a little pain. Put my hand over it and I crawled out from underneath the trailer and my hand was covered in blood. Welp, that sucked. Called my sister to come look as I couldn't see the gash on top of my head. 1/2 inch long or so. Ended up at the Patient First, waiting an hour and a half and then getting a staple in my head to close it. What a waste of a warm afternoon working on the boat. Anyways, that's the second time I've split my head open working on this trailer... I think the tally stands at Trailer 324, Chris 0.

At least I caught a redfish.

Fog pic from today. Check from story for the head gash...

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8t4yLOBv4n/

- Chris Stapleton

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

fog was a little thicker here and kept me in this a.m., hopefully better tomorrow

Wait a minute...you are telling me there are still redfish holding in that warm water discharge? My parents live just at the mouth of the Chick and I had no clue they were still there.

I know what my spring will be consisting of.

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

Academy here in Jax is finally stocking the weedless eye-strike Texas eye jigs, though pricier than what I've found on line...

And for those who use a lot of eye-strike jig heads (or if some of you see each other enough to split an order), you can buy in bulk from the Eye Strike site and increase discounts based on volume.

https://eyestrikefishing.com/wordpress2016/store/#!/~/search/keyword=bulk

I bought in bulk a month ago some trout eyes and texas eye. They do run sales online around holidays to get extra savings something to lookout for if you don't need it right away.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Nice! I needed that link....lost 8 the other day. gonna go ahead and stock up now.

(add if applicable) /s

not foggy this a.m.

fishing was slow but the weather was great

one slot red (22-23) on the black magic jig, two undersize reds (gulp) and a small flounder (storm wild-eye)

good stuff. beats the sinus infection i am fighting

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

I feel your pain...I get one with every cold

double post

Pretty work Dave! Funny enough a new podcast came out on Eastern Current and they talked to a guy who ties his own jigs and his number one was very similar to yours https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn8ajcSt1vY&t=0s

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I checked his website; his black "double bunny" is very similar. He has a rusty color in one of his lures I like as well

I fish fairly shallow so color selection probably isn't as critical as I would like to think it is. But one thing I think gets overlooked by many is that blue is the color that remains most visible as water depth increases...the last color you can detect before color goes black. Green is next to last. Red turns to black first.

I think turquoise/teal blue is probably underutilized across the board in the industry. Check out the color of this subwalk...iridescent backing behind the eye for contrast, dark olive back, white belly, greens transitioning to blues on the sides, highly reflective. In low turbidity water, this is a highly visible bait. If I was tying jigs for a living, you'd see teal blue/copper flash paired a lot (copper oxidizes to cyan) as accents for contrast.

Weather looks like it might actually cooperate for a jigging trip on Sunday. Targeting Blackfins and AJs. Might try to poke around inshore or in creek in Morehead/Beaufort on Saturday.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Is this a guided trip?

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

Yep, Capt. Mike Jackson of LiveLine Charters out of Wilmington. Also have gone out with Rick Croson of Living Water Guide Service.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Do any of you fine gentlemen (and ladies) know about a possible shad run in the Rappahannock soon? I'm shooting over to Fredericksburg with my brother this weekend and want to know whether or not to pack the waders and trout rod.

Being a Hokie fan automatically takes ten years off your life... I wouldn't have it any other way.

In my experience, that would be mighty early. Earliest I have caught them in the Potomac is March 13th.

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Usually April for shad.

Too early guy!

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

Question for you guys. I've never used a baitcaster before and I'm thinking of trying it this year. Thinking mainly warm water rivers and lakes around Blacksburg for largemouth and smallmouth bass. First, what are the advantages, if any, and are they significant enough to make the effort and investment worthwhile? Second, if the answer to the first question is yes, what situations and techniques would be better suited to a baitcaster over my typical arsenal of spinning outfits? Lastly, any advice on specific outfits to consider?

This is more of a I want to learn just so I don't have to say I don't know how any more, but would like more justification for the time and expense than that. Thanks!

My rule of thumb for reel selection is pretty straight forward. If I need distance and speed, I am going with a spinning reel. If I need depth control and feel, I go baitcaster. Most of that is saltwater fishing. I use baitcasters for bridge fishing for rockfish where distance matters much less than feel and getting the soft plastics back deep quickly in the current. I also use baitcasters for targeting structure oriented fish like tautog and sheepshead with bait. In freshwater, if I was inclined to start bass fishing again, a baitcaster would be my choice for Texas-rigging plastic lizards (my preferred technique) because I like to use my thumb to feel soft bites.

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

Brand-wise, I have been pleased as punch with my Daiwa Tatula TW. Avoid Lews Speed Spools (model around $100) like the bubonic plague. My drag failed on my first fish.

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

baitcasters handle heavier line better, in some cases can cast further, allow the user to feather their casts for distance control, and used to be better in the anti-line twist category

somewhere in a box I have a late 1970's vintage ambassador (5000, I think)...almost never used. later, i bought a shimano curado left hander so I didn't have to say "I don't know how" anymore...ultimately I used it a couple times and gave it to a friend.

IMO, small diameter braid, improved drag systems, and an endless supply of spinning rods with unique specs for certain types of fishing have helped spinning reels close the gap on the advantages of baitcasting reels. I'm sure there are some very good reasons to use baitcasters otherwise bass pros wouldn't use them. but I still "don't know how" so I hate them and will rationalize why I should never buy one.

Good points. I'm not convinced I need one but for some reason I really want one. I will probably regret it 10 minutes into my first birds nest.

I'll put my .02 cents here, including my opinion on this.

First, as someone who just a few years ago learned how to use a baitcaster right before turning 30, starting with mono was the common advice I read/heard, but it honestly made things worse. Any error lead to the cheap line, most likely due horrible line memory, exploding off the spool. Use cheap braid if you want, but I don't think it will be necessary (KastKing 8 strand is pretty cheap and works). I struggled and struggled until I switched to braid and it became a piece of cake. Make sure to wind the line on as tight as you possibly can* - this also helps eliminate any deep backlashes. A year later my father started with mono, struggled, and then made the switch to braid and had zero issues.

*I can't figure why learning to cast is easier with braid (for me at least) and I have been reading all kinds of online accounts on the process without a clear answer. The common issue I am seeing is that people aren't putting braid on their reel correctly and that leads to a struggle with braid. Use a backing of mono and only use 100 yards or so of braid. Once you get it on the reel, take all the line out and use a person/fence post/tree to reel the line back on with the drag as tight as possible. This step is crucial IMO. If the line feels "squishy" when you push on the spool, it is nowhere near tight enough. Here is a video that I learned a lot from when I spooled my Diawa Lexa for musky: Spooling Braid on Baitcasters

Second, if you learn how to set the brakes, you won't really have to worry about backlashing. I turn the spool brake (some call it a tension knob) to where my bait barely falls with the spool disengaged. When it hits the water, the line stops. Turn the other brake as high as it goes, and then as you get used to using it, turn it down. Lightly thumbing the spool is all you need to do. I was nervous/scared/frustrated at first, but learning to do this makes it incredibly simple and easy.

I do think that having a good quality baitcaster helps, but all of mine are in the $80 - $150 dollar range. I have a Lew's custom black combo, (M, 7') that I frequently throw small poppers, cranks, and other smaller items with on the New. I also have a BPS Carbonlite Combo that (MH, 7') that I throw bigger lures on in the New. I love both. I have some others, but these are my favorites.

Now that I can throw a baitcaster, it is all I want to use - so I would make the switch sooner than later. Distance control is so much easier and I am far more accurate. And if you are used to spinning reels, buy a left handed reel.

I pretty much stopped using baitcasters once I moved to salt but used them heavily freshwater fishing.

1 don't go cheap. They difference between an Abu Silvermax and something like a Lews Hypermag is a whole damn lot. Don't use braid. The thin diameter of braid causes it to dig into itself and it can cause a mess. Also starting out you're going to backlash and braid gets expensive quick. Start with mono. I keep 12lb fluoro on mine.

Advantages: Flipping river ledges on a float is much easier. After practice, distance and accuracy becomes significantly better that a spinning reel.

Disadvantages: Light baits in wind can be a pain. Learning curve. Everyone uses the wrong hand for baitcasters so getting one that is on the same side as your spinning reel is difficult (assuming you're right handed).

TBH I got rid of my bass size casting reels because of price. I could get 2 decent spinning reels for the price of one good casting reel.

(add if applicable) /s

Another question for everyone. Is it unusual for people to prefer left hand retrieve for spinning reels but right hand retrieve for baitcasters?

I think that is the usual for most people.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

That is normal for reasons I do not understand I like left hand retrieve for both because why would I switch hands?

(add if applicable) /s

Bait caster= line control! Centrifugal braking systems have improved greatly and once dialed in backlashes are rare, Learn to use one and you will find spinning stuff cumbersome although necessary for some techniques..Depending on sales you can get a decent reel for ~ $100.

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

Want line control? Pick up a fly rod.... hehe

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

Lol. Fly fishing will always be my favorite. I should probably just spend the money on new fly line to be honest...

Treating a fly line with Mucilin (the green pack) is super helpful. First clean it with a hand wipe, then apply the mucilin.

New fly line can also work wonders on your casting. They aren't cheap so taking care of them is key.

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

I know you've posted on this in the past, but what is your current recommendation(s) for a modest, occasional use, saltwater flyfishing outfit (rod/reel/line).

I assume you are going for redfish in shallow water?

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

In an ideal world, yes.

I picked up a Lure 10 'yak that has the ratcheting ("gravity") seat up to about 10" and is also stable enough for me to stand. Not going to paddle very far but I live adjacent to couple of intertidal backwater marshes off the Matanzas River (ICW). It's mostly small fish territory...max fish would be reds in the mid 20's, but more more likely undersized fish...reds, trout, flounder, jacks, bluefish.

I'm thinking 9', 8 wt.

How many boats/kayaks do you have Dave? I swear you have one for every situation inshore haha.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

LOL, in my search for perfection, I wind up making way too many compromises...and am always looking for another.

My bass guitar addiction is worse...

Haha I can never keep with what you have. Whatever gets you to the fish!

Can't spell DBU without Bud

my wife can't either...

Just got my boat back from being serviced + they asked if I was going to pay cash, and I was like 'no, it's $800, does anyone do that?' Laughingly, the ladies replied, 'yes, a lot of guys do to keep it off the books from their wives.'

Hokie fan | W&M grad

That's the size you want. Fast action is what I would recommend. What's your budget?

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

Budget isn't the issue. I just don't want to overspend for something that will likely be at best a secondary activity. I learned to fish on a fly rod as a youth...bream on a yellow popping bug in farm ponds. In Texas, I caught a few trout under the lights at a friend's dock, using a cheap freshwater rig. If I get the "bug" again and want to move up later, I don't mind.

But for now, I think I just want to put good line on something that will be functional/reliable... a Fenwick Aetos paired with a Reddington Behemoth?...along those lines?

Echo makes some good fast action budget rods, I use the ion xl 8 wt 9 foot and it's an awesome rod for good price. Pair it with a decent reel and your in business. If you don't mind spending a decent price for a Allen kraken they're great for saltwater use, that said the behemoths aren't bad either. I've spend most of my time with Allen krakens so I can be biased but I love them. Also make sure to spend on fly line, Rio redfish line for that setup is awesome and well worth the change

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

you like lamson's speedster?

I have no experience with lamson stuff fly guy would be a better source on that they're a better than average brand. The Alpha 3 is cheaper and a good budget reel from Allen if you don't want to pay for the kraken level

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

10-4. There's a variety of mid-level rods and reels out there that would fit your needs, that you won't need to move up from.

No to Orvis, especially their shit reels. I think their rods are overrated.

Fenwick Aetos is a very smooth casting rod. I like them a lot. It would definitely suit you well.

Loop Q is another one that is underrated and inexpensive. $200 or so. Kind of hard to find but TaleTeller's Fly Shop in Lynchburg sells them. Ethan the owner would definitely ship you one.

One of my favorite redfish rods is the Colton Tradewinds. It a lot of my Redfish porn, I'm holding a Tradewinds 7 weight. I'd take that rod anywhere.

http://www.coltonfly.com/tradewinds-xs.php

My all time favorite is the St. Croix Legend Elite Saltwater. Colton's taper and is very similar to this rod. St. Croix just redid their fly line, I don't know if they even have it any longer. Their customer service is top notch. I've broken 10 or so of their rods and they always send me another.

Redington Behemoth is not a bad reel from what I'm told. I think it is ugly as shit. Redington makes good reels though, I've got two trout reels of theirs.

LOVE my Allen Kraken reel and it is a go to. Huge bang for your buck.

Lamson also makes an excellent reel. Used to own a speedster but now it lives on the bottom of the ocean. Would buy one again.

My next reel with be a 3Tand. Owner is a super great guy and they are high quality.

Lots of folks talk about Okuma as a budget reel but I've never used one.

Rio Redfish line is the line to go with. It's $100 but the taper is just perfect and if you take care of it, will last 3-4 years (as with any line.) If you don't want the Rio Redfish, I'd get one of the newer Scientific Anglers lines, they are in $80s and cast well. Monic also has some good lines. Do not go cheap on the line. It will make a difference.

For backing, use 150 yards of 60 pound braided line. Leader, 5 feet of 40 pounder mono, 2 feet of 30, 2 feet of 20 flouro.

For flies, just ask...

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

Thanks to all for the input...I checked out every item mentioned.

So weight and drag are important factors for me in rods and reels. That being the case, I went for what seemed to be the best specs I could find for the $...the Fenwick Aetos paired with the Okuma Helios. For those unfamiliar with the reel, here's an older review.

http://www.flygearreviews.com/okuma-helios-fly-reel/

Fly order coming...

I have a 15 year old Okuma Sierra 3 weight reel that has never had a problem. Granted it hasn't been used much lately.

I should have mentioned and I'm sorry I didn't, but sealed drag is better for the salt. Looks like that Helios isn't sealed, which isn't the end of the world. Just make sure to dunk it in warm water after every salt use. I also like to coat all of my reels with a salt treatment every winter. Trying to remember the name of it

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

It's sealed.

do i want summer or winter rio redfish line?

Summer is the what I've always used. I'll second flyguys note on Colton rods my 6 weight is heaven they're typically on sale this time of year and we'll worth the money

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

Summer

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

Thanks everyone. Sounds like the only real reason for me to do this, considering how little I get to fish usually, is ego. We'll see how the cards fall. I'll come back with entertaining stories should I decide to proceed.

Good combo to start with is a lews speed spool with 12 pound mono and a good St Croix or similar rod, makes throwing bill baits, spinners, buzzbaits, frogs all kinds of stuff much easier. They have their place just like spinning rods and reels. They're awesome for heavier baits but finesse stuff you'll still need spinning stuff.

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

Thanks. I'll check those out. I have a few ponds where frogs would work well. Seems like an adequate enough excuse.

Baitcasters are far superior for baits that you need to burn. If you're rolling a buzz bait you can cast and have the blades churning as soon as it hits the water. Work well for cranks and spinnerbaits frogs too. Also for power fishing in heavy cover. I still use spinning rigs but mostly for finesse fishing. Both have their place but excel in different areas imho.

If I had been paying attention to this thread over the past few days I'd have sold all my old tournament rods, reels and lures to you rather than the guy that got them. Now that I've moved to saltwater and fly fishing, they sat in the closet, only taken out to get cleaned every few weeks.

I do agree that braid has some disadvantages on a baitcaster, but you'll want it if you ever flip into "the shit". I always had 60lb braid with a foot of 40lb fluorocarbon leader just as a shock absorber when I was flipping heavy stuff. I did use it in the 30lb test for lighter texas/carolina rigs and 50lb for frogging. But anything like a crankbaits, spinner bait, buzzbait, swim jig, etc. was all fluorocarbon. The rubber band effect (especially with a glass crankbait rod) helped the hookup ratio in a big way.

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

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I appreciate the thought. I definitely would have considered buying one, but glad someone got them who will probably use them more than I would have been able to. And thanks for the tips!

If you do end up getting one, YouTube videos on how to get the backlashes out every time, it'll save you a lot of frustration. That, and don't load it up with flouro to start with, you don't want to be learning on that, especially if you're not using it a lot (mistake I made), braid is a lot easier to work with - just put your favorite brand on and go.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Thanks! Do you need to use a mono or fluoro leader or just tie lures right to the braid? Seems for most of the type of fishing I'd use this for, finesse isn't a part of the equation so perhaps the leader isn't necessary and just adds more failure points.

It really depends on what you're doing. If I'm throwing frogs in slop, it's braid all the way. If you need some more subtlety to your presentation, try a leader. One thing to think about - if you're fishing a heavy wire jig on 50lb braid and get hung down deep, you're going to be cutting off a lot of line cause you're not breaking that thing off. I've switched to light wire jigs where I can get by with them and just straighten the hook out. Or run a leader which is probably a better option, but it can be a pain to deal with if you have to retie a lot. If you're already throwing braid on a spinning rig you probably experience a lot of these things, but on a baitcaster I tend to run heavier line so it adds another wrinkle. It's nice to be able to thumb the spool and just rip a big fish out of heavy cover if you need to.

That's a good point. I haven't used braid without a leader so I hadn't thought of what happens when you get hung up.

Theres no perfect technique on backlashes for baitcasters just need to be very very very patient and never let yourself try and cut it out it always goes deeper than expected and will give you serious issues.

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

Exactly. Even after you get comfortable with your reel you're going to get minor backlashes. Unless you absolutely try to it's hard to backlash to a point where you can't get everything undone without cutting. Spend a little more money on a good reel with a centrifugal braking system and it will help - you'll be glad you did. There's no way I could go back to solely using a spinning reel and it pains me to watch people throw spinnerbaits and frogs on one. Some tools are just better at certain things in my opinion.

always carry tweezers...and a spinning rod as backup : )

always carry tweezers...

This, this, and more of this. There's also a company (don't remember who, but I'm sure there's more than one) that makes a little tool that looks like a little hook with a screwdriver type handle on it. Works absolute wonders in tandem with tweezers or without if the bird's nest isn't too bad.

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It's hilarious when someone hits a brush pile while deep jigging with straight 40lb braid and thinks it's a trophy fish... Unless it's you and your rod is now the one at the bottom of Lake June....

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I'm moving towards having every setup I own be a braid to fluoro leader, but I don't flip in heavy cover though like '04 mentions. Also, to the point about getting backlashes out - since watching some of those YouTube videos, I've never had one birds nest bad enough on braid that I couldn't easily fix. Also, plus one on the comments recommending a nice reel too - makes a big difference. I can vouch for the Daiwa SV TWS + the Shimano Curado DC - they're fantastic.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

The SV TWS, is that the one that's $549 at Bass Pro? If so, I'm thinking of something about 1/4th that price point. Any recommendations?

I may not be the best person to ask on baitcasters, I've only used a handful, but here's the Daiwa I was referencing, it's in the Tatula line. It looks like any of the Tatulas are excellent reels, and I'd trust them. I also have a Cabelas brand knockoff called the Arachnid, which is made by Daiwa, and it's been great too.

Shimano has a Curado line that people love as well. The Daiwa drives more like a sports car - it's lighter, casts further, and feels smoother overall. The Shimano is more like an F150 - it's heavier/very solid feeling, still super smooth, but probably doesn't cast as far and just isn't quite as smooth as the Daiwa. Backlash control is better on the Shimano, but that's b.c it's the DC line, so you'd have to get that version. Overall, I'd rate them both 5 stars, but the Daiwa is just a hair more impressive to me.

That's my 2 cents, but as I said, I'm not baitcaster expert and would be curious what others have to say. I'll add that one thing I've learned is to just focus on the best players in the industry for reels. I used to try all the brands that people loved and were cheaper, and they'd work great for a couple years, but would never last (okuma, pflueger, et.c), and it would always cost me more, b.c I'd end up buying something else to replace them after 3, 4, 5 years, or I'd be fishing it (quantum, daiwa) next to the shimano, and it just wasn't as good. I'm all shimano now for spinning reels, and they'll be there for 10+ years. So I guess my thought is, if it's a matter of spending 20 to 40 extra dollars to get something that's proven and excellent, spend the money now, so you're not spending more in the long run.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I've been out of date on baitcasters since the SV came out I was working at Cabela's then and we got the samples in and we took one and dialed the settings in. You could launch a bait at a wall and never stop the spool and you'd just have a small over run most any other reel would have been an absolute disaster. That's the last baitcaster I bought and the only one I still have.

(add if applicable) /s

I think I could swing the $200 for a reel. I didn't find this one, only the somewhat similarly named version that is $549, hence my shock lol.

On Bass Pro's website, they have the Tatula SV TW but I don't see a Tatula SV TWS. Does anyone know the difference? Or is it a typo, because in the photo for the SV TW, the reel itself has TWS printed on it. Link

And in response to the post below about buying once crying once, I am a big believer in that. I am also all Shimano now for spinning reel purchases. The last one I bought has been fantastic.

TWS/TW just stands for T Wing System.

https://www.daiwa.com/us/contents/reels/tatula_sv_tw/index.html

In your response to Shimano...this was actually my first daiwa Reel and I put it on a Daiwa Tatula fiberglass rod...I fish solely Daiwa rods and reels now and sold all my mid level Shimano stuff.

(add if applicable) /s

Ah, I see. Thanks!

I'd try to up your budget a bit if you want to separate yourself from entry level to a bit better reel. There are a ton of reels in the $75-$100 price range and I've not had terrific luck with any of them. A few will give you good service for a couple of years but it's really a gamble. Once you get above $150 or so you can start to get into some better reels. The Shimano Curado DC mentioned above is an absolutely great reel in my opinion - I've had an earlier model for about 10 years now and it casts just as well and is as smooth as the day I got it. Great braking system and cast like butter. They're in the $250 range. A reel I really like and have had for a little over a year is a 13 Fishing Concept A. It'll run about $175 and has done really well for me. It has a very nice finish and features for that price point. I tend to find the 7:1 range of gear ratios as the best for my all around use but that's on the faster end. If you're specifically cranking or pitching you may want to go lower or if you're burning baits you may want to go higher, although I'll say the 8:1 range hasn't been around very long and I don't like to be a guinea pig. My $.02.

FYI - the Curado (non-DC) is 139.99 at American Legacy Fishing: Use code CURADO at checkout.

The Tatula 100 is 119.99, and not exactly for your situation, but a LH Daiwa Lexa 300 with the power handle is 119.99 as well.

I think all 3 are great deals.

I use a Daiwa Lexa 300 for musky and I love it. Great reel for the price. Thanks for sharing - those are some good deals.

I'm making a mental note to post here before I buy in the future - you guys can find some deals.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

JandH Tackle has Penn Clash spinning reels from 2500 to 5000 size for $119-$140, which is almost $100 off the regular price.

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

Report from the weekend:
Saturday - Had a lazy mid-day start to let the mud bottom warm up the water some after a cold night on Friday. Fished a creek off the Neuse, started covering a good bit of ground in my kayak and came back to a spot I had been earlier in the day after a local said it had been producing. First or second cast, hook into a solid trout. Caught another one and then didn't get a bite for 15 minutes so explored some more. Ended up coming back to the same spot for one last fish. Pull the hook when a 20+" head shook at the surface. End up catching 3 more all around 18.5" in 10 minutes to end the day. 1/8 ounce jig with swimming trout trick was my lure combo of choice.

Sunday - Slow day overall offshore but captain managed to put us on some fish. Tuna bite was off. Water temps had risen 6 degrees at the spot where capt caught them last Sunday. 5 lb almaco jacks hampered us along with the sharks. Managed some bottom fish just to get on some sort of bite. The other guys got a couple of 8'+ sharks up to the surface that ate bottom fish we hooked.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Almaco jacks are the better tasting when smoked of the amberjack like species. Did you keep any of them for fish dip?

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

Yep, we kept a few of the bigger almaco jacks. One was 20+ lbs. I have always heard about people smoking them but haven't done it. What's your recipe and is there a work around if you don't have a true smoker?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I'll try to get my wife's recipe. We use the same recipe we use for Kingfish. My job is to catch 'em, clean 'em and smoke 'em. Smoking should be done the day they are caught for best flavor (IMO). Then she does the rest and we let it sit in the fridge overnight for the flavors to meld. I have done this with Amberjack and almacos, The almacos are definitely better. Kingfish is the best smoked for dip tho. I've also done this with Blues and Spanish Mackeral. They are OK, they just don't have the best smoked flavor compared to the Kingfish and Almacos. We have an electric smoker, so I'm not being the smoking scientist, just getting it done.

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

I love this thread

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

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

Tournament week for me. I drove to Santee Cooper Friday night to get eyes on the lake on Saturday but absolutely struggled.

The Catawba river is roaring with cold muddy water, and the air temps at launch were in the mid 20s.

I'm hoping I eliminated a lot of water, and I think I've found the areas where I'm going to concentrate my efforts when I go back on Thursday.

Just adding a few gear notes b.c I'm bored:

  • Plano 'edge' tackle storage boxes - I got a couple of these for Christmas, and I love them. I have the jig and terminal boxes, and the terminal box keeps things nice and tight, and my hooks and sinkers don't magically end up all mixed together. They're pricey, but I'm oddly excited about them.
  • Bullfrog Rust Blocker Strips - I stumbled on these, but really like them + figured I would share it. One more way to try to keep the rust off your hooks/lures.
  • Kistler Light-Medium Heavy Rods - (video description) - Kistlers always run discounts, so I found a day where I could apply multiple and got a steal on one of these. I haven't had it long enough to see how it will stand up, but the light-medium heavy action is interesting, and my first thought is the inshore guys might really like this for reds, stripers, etc. It's got a lot of backbone for pulling larger fish (well, large for a freshwater guy), but a soft tip w/ excellent feel.
  • Fenwick Aetos Spinning Rod - I got mine for $150, and it out classes all my other rods in that price point. The cork, the reel seat, the blank - they're all fantastic. It's the most sensitive rod I own, handles abuse, and flat out catches fish (great hookset for a ML setup). Both Fenwick's I have fall into that 'no regret' category, and have ended up as favorites over others like dobyns, ark, and st. croix. Highly recommend this one if you're in the market.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Other news. Sounds like most online tackle places are going to stop selling blanks and rods over 7'10 because of changes in shipping rates.

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

Yeah I saw Jake post about that. I heard some heaver rod builders going to 60/40 split to get around it

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Sucks for bucktail rods

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

Is an 8 foot bucktail rods the standard?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

For pier guys, 8-9 is standard. Boat, 8 for some. I like a 7'6.

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

Gotcha, that makes sense. I know you are a lot more plugged in with the sightcasting crowd.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Lefty Kreh Tie Fest was a lot of fun. We partied HARD on Saturday night. I escaped Bmore without incident. I made several new friends and more connections. I think that might be the favorite part of these shows.

Spring break / work trip upcoming... On Friday, I am driving to Florida and towing Pretty Fly. Two days in Lake Worth, then Key West for a week. Everglades for three days, then back to Lake Worth for an undetermined amount of time. Swinging by Tampa / Sarasota to visit my grandmother and then a friend for a day or two and then headed to Steinhatchee to fish for 3-4 days. Apparently, the redfish are on fire there right now. Might hit Savannah, Charleston and/or Morehead on the way back north. Will try to provide fishing updates along the way.

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

I hate you. Not really, but kinda.

Enjoy the trip!

Steinhatchee is 3 hours from here, used to be in my work territory, and sadly, I never went. If there is any remnant of "Old Florida" left (for better or worse), that's probably it. Good luck!

B&B trailers in St Aug does good work...just thought that might be something you'd want to know.

And if you are still speaking to me after that comment, I'd like to buy some of your flies at some point.

LOL I need all of the trailer assistance I can get.

Staple has been finally removed from my head.

I'll be taking some of my tying gear with me. Let me know when you need flies.

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

Looking forward to hearing about the spring tour for Fly Guy!

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Let me know if you come through the low country.

(add if applicable) /s

Where are you base camping for the Everglades portion?

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

Flamingo

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

Ah, I was going to say if you were basing out of the west coast somewhere we should get a beer one night. I'd love to pick your brain

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

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Where are you at? I'm kind of wide-open but I know a little bit about Flamingo so easier for me to build on previous knowledge.

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

Ft. Myers to live, Marco to work, so mostly Marco.

Let me know when you have a travel plan and if I can buy you a beer on your way up the west coast at all I'd be happy to

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

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Sounds good, I much appreciate the offer! Shoot me an email if you wouldn't mind. knotthereelworld (at) gmail.com. I'll be much better connected on there.

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

First fish of the year. First time fishing along the greenway and first time using a spinner. Been so long since I caught a fish, thought I hit a snag at first.

I have an unopened box of Piscifun Onyx (inexpensive) 300 yds/50 lb braid (black) that I will mail to the first person who responds with their mailing address or email contact info.

Free.99?

knotthereelworld (at) gmail.com

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

yes, and it's yours. email sent.

Awesome, thanks!

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

Hey Florida crew- any easy access (think someone who is on portable oxygen can fish) late March spots where jack crevalles are plentiful? I welcome any input. Ideally looking for Tampa north or St. Augustine.

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

I have caught several small ones up to 18" or so around the Flagler beach pier as well as Varn Park. Both spots have easy access and are roughly 30 minutes south of St. Augustine.

Edit: just saw the March part. Unfortunately I haven't fished there in March so I can't help.

March is usually too early for jacks in NEFL.

As far as access, there are piers in St Aug Beach (ocean side) and Vilano (ICW side)...I know nothing about fishing them...and a few places where you can park very close to the beach for surf fishing both north and south of St Aug. If you have a 4x4, there are a couple of sections of beach where driving is allowed (with a permit).

I have a friend who networks with some surf fishing types and should see him today or tomorrow. I'll try and get a report.

Trying to accommodate my dad. He is on portable oxygen and is limited to using a scooter to ride on a pier. Surf is out.

If there are spots further south where jacks are easily accessible, I am open to checking them out.

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

got it.

are you open to whiting or just looking for something that will pull some drag?

could be spendy but I'd bet there are handicap accessible fishing charters somewhere in this retirement-oriented state, especially on the gulf side.

Whiting would be fine, but he can get those in numbers in NC. To make the 10 hour drive, I am hoping for something with a little more stank on it. He loves jacks (we caught one or two big ones off the pier and his best day of fishing was an amberjack charter.)

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

spoke with my friend and confirmed what I suspected...it's too early here for the surf. you need to go further south on the Atlantic (Brevard?) or go to the Gulf side; and I have little knowledge of either.

Brevard County: Sebastian Inlet State Park
https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/sebastian-inlet-state-park
The catwalk on the North Jetty is Handicap accessible. The easiest for him would be to fish on the inside the inlet side about half way out to the tip. There are less rocks there and you can drop bait off the side.
The day your there needs to be low to medium surf so the waves aren't crashing over the jetty at the narrower easement onto the North Jetty (where the beach ends, rocks start and jetty starts).

Slack and outgoing tide are best. The inlet current CRANKS at peak movement - sometimes at 2-4 knots. You will loose tackle and you should adjust sliding sinker weight vs tidal flow. But the variety of fish here is pretty insane.
Snook, Reds, Flounder, Blues, Jacks, Ladyfish, Tarpon, black drum, Sheephead, jewfish (big ones!), mangrove snapper, and many other species.

Also, the surf and beach viewing can be epic:

Hope this helps.

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

For the time I was living down there in Tampa, I always found the Sunshine Skyway fishing piers (specifically the southern one) produced fish. Not necessarily jacks, but I'd always come away with a few snapper or spanish when out there. Also, its an old bridge where you can drive right up to the fishing spots, get out and start fishing. You will have to pay a toll to get on the bridge, but its well worth the experience.

Being a Hokie fan automatically takes ten years off your life... I wouldn't have it any other way.