2018-19 Winter Fishing Report and Discussion Thread

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

Mr Noodle is amazing! Good choice.

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

(add if applicable) /s

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

almost to the convergence with the New

No doubt musky are nearby and eating those rainbows

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

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

New. Corrected. Too much wine last night.

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

Here's my latest rainbow...

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

Shoot me an email- zsowder AT vt DOT edu

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

Christmas sale that may be of interest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That power pro deal is a really good price

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

...Cyber Monday find

All good deals, French.

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

NRS Outlaw 140

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

This is tempting...

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for the pic!

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

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

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

A keeper then?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

'bout time : )

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

(add if applicable) /s

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

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

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

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

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

This is a weird question:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

straight through the pass through

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

traveling alone, 9' will fit

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Is this you at Carmax? /s

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

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

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

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

(add if applicable) /s

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

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

Are you thinking about guiding down there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do it and teach me how to fly fish effectively.

(add if applicable) /s

You'll have to recruit me better than that

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

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

I'll supply the boat and beer.

(add if applicable) /s

What kind of boat? This is a big sticking point as I hope to have a very kick ass boat soon.

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

Still in my Action Craft...if I land this opportunity in Wilmington might be adding a CC

(add if applicable) /s

Forgot you had that boat. The AC will work well!

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Masonboro Island surf is excellent as well.

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Brett Barley?

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

Curtis Snyder.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

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

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

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

Limestone streams hold trout well. Those ones I've heard are very challenging.

I know nothing of the PA trout season, in fact I don't really understand trout "seasons," after fishing 3/4 of my life. I've fished for trout all over the country, all year long. Not questioning you, just making a point maybe someone can explain to me.

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

Ahhh I see what you mean on the limestone streams I'm looking into more info on what to fish with and where.
And the trout seasons thing is just how I always had thought the stocked trout streams were a heavily regged thing like a hunting thing. Guess I was poorly informed or things have changed, guess I'm basing my info in my head off the articles I used to read about opening days in trout country and the pictures of a billion people lined up fishing a trout stream shoulder to shoulder. Seems I missed the whole fish whenever the rivers right thing.

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

Stocked streams had seasons in Virginia when I was a kid. It stopped when I was about to go to college. Fishing stocked waters in February with no other competition was amazing, and I didn't eat any so they all were released. Then VDGIF started posting the stocking schedule online around 2000 and the bottom fell out (at least on Whitetop Laurel.

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

I unfortunately, can't tell you what rivers to go to. The Letort is famous. A difficult river means the trout will be picky, and you'll likely have to use small flies and super light tippet, say 5 or 6x. Just a hunch though. There are likely fly shops up in those areas that can tell you what is going on. If you haven't fished much for trout, it may be a bit daunting both in terminology and difficulty. Best way to learn is go to a shop, talk to them and then go out and do it.

I hear ya on the stockings. I prefer to stay away from that nonsense, but that's just me! Full disclosure, I got skunked by a bunch of stocked trout this morning in a stream in SWVA.

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

I, too, have fished for several decades and all over the country and can say that there are, indeed, "seasons" in some states, as well as Canada. Some states have closures for spawning purposes, and even Tennessee has some closures in particular stretches of some rivers, like the S. Holston, also for spawning purposes. Most of the closures I've run into over the years were in the Fall, and weren't comprehensive, like some for streams but not lakes, certain streams, etc. Most likely to run into this in the Northeast, like Maine, for example. This has nothing to do with stocking like Virginia's put and take system used to be, it's a whole 'nother thing. Quick call to a fly shop or tackle shop in the state/area can clue you in.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

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

First hookset will be for you, my friend.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

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

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Seems the fish don't sync up well with the best weather it seems but a day fishings far better than a day anywhere else!

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

I used to hear the old refrain "A bad day fishing is better than a good day's work" so often that it actually irritated me as I sat there pulling oars for 9 hours, busting my butt to assure my clients didn't have that "bad day". That, and the even tireder refrain "That's why they call it fishing, not catching" should be retired.
But, of course, both of those things are true, so I guess it's just me. I am, however, thinking that a warm day on a sunny Caribbean beach with a bottle or rum and a lime would beat my last day's fishing. Matter of fact, I'm sure of it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

scroll up for your photos

Any owners of the following rods? All would be in the 8-17 pound, fast action, 7 foot variety. I would welcome thoughts:

Temple Fork Outfitters Inshore Tactical Rods
St. Croix Tidemaster
St. Croix Mojo Inshore
Shimano Teramar

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

Love my baitcasting mojo bass rod by step Croix medium heavy throws anything well and stuff enough for solid sized fish

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

Also looking for a good set of waders for trout fishing in colder temps nothing terribly expensive but something decent for the buck since I'm trying to finally get myself into the trout game

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

Cheap neoprene does the trick for me. Never had the big bucks for the GoreTex stuff, which is so much more versatile as it can be used regardless of season and the neoprene is hot in the more moderate climes, but it's hard to stay warmer than neoprene in the cold. I still have my second pair of Bass Pro cheapies from 25 years ago. They have a couple of pin hole leaks, and are stocking foot waders, necessitating a pair of wading boots, but they'll still keep me warm and pack easily into a day pack. I stayed away from hip boot styles due to doing some deep wading in some cold Western rivers, though you can roll them down to the waist in shallower creeks. If money were no object, though, I'd likely own some GoreTex bibs.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That was another question I had since I'd noticed alot of them are bootless if that's really any better but since I'm gonna use these for waterfowl this winter as well I'll go warmer with boots maybe

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

had sock foot neoprenes for both wade fishing and duck hunting for years...just put lace up wading shoes/boots on over them. hard to imagine boots being warmer...question would be how thick of neoprene, 3.5 or 5 mm.

My stocking foot old ones are 3mm I think, but my heavy winter ones are 5mm with thinsulate in the boots. They are the warmest and dryest things I've ever owned, but don't try to walk more than a couple hundred feet in them. I wore myself to a nub on the San Juan a couple of falls ago trying to walk and wade two days with them bogging me down. My heavy ones came from Cabelas.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Since you guys both use wading boots is there a good brand or type to use? Might go that way so I can use the wading boots year round anyway

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

I haven't bought or looked at wading boots in years, so someone else will have to elucidate you if they can. Once I bought the heavy duty booted waders, I seldom used the stocking foot waders, but since I also have a pair of stocking foot hip waders, when I did use them, I used tennis shoes since my felt soled wading boots finally gave up the ghost. Either way, though, I chose felt over spikes when I got the first boots, and got them high enough to give me ankle support, and protection. Also, you should wear socks between the stockings and the shoes to help preserve the integrity of the wader from rocks that get in the boot. This is inevitable, regardless of how tight you tie everything up. That and the accumulation of sand in the wading boot is the main reason I went with booted waders when I stepped up to my winter/duck-goose waders. You might also pose your questions on the hunting thread. I'm sure there are a bunch of waterfowlers out there with good suggestions.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Depends on if you want felt soles or rubber soles, I prefer felt with metal studs for fishing slick rock trout streams. Rubber soles are too slick for me. Hiking in long distance on trails in wading boots is tough on the felt soles. I have Chota brand wading boots that have done well for me. My brother fishes probably 50 plus times a year and will go through more than 1 pair.

Huh interesting one pair might not last as long as I thought they might I'd def go felt they seem the better just gonna have to do some thinking on it I'm still budgeting to see what I'm willing to do to get into cold weather trout fishing

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

Felt is almost a necessity for wading mountain streams. The rocks are slick as snake snot and felt is a good dampener. I avoided the studs because I thought they'd be more damaging to the bottom (probably not true) and to any interior I happened to find myself walking into while/after fishing. Not as bad as golf shoes, but still. You should be able to get more than 50 fishing trips out of a decent pair of wading boots, though. If you're not in waist deep water for any length of time, get a lower priced shell type wader and layer up well underneath. Don't spend much until you know how much you'll be using stuff. No need to start off at the guide level. Get a pair of old high top tennies and cut and glue your own felt soles onto them, get a cheap pair of stocking foot chest waders and have at it. They sell the felt and glue at the big shops, and it works. I resoled my original canvas wading shoes and they really were little more than heavy high tops anyway. The obvious issue is use. If you're going to get something for a couple of weeks this year, that's one thing. If you have multiple uses in mind, there's another. While winter fishing cries out for neoprene to me, summer trout fishing in deeper water can freeze your nibs as well, but might not call for neoprene. A decent Goretex type wader can be pretty versatile if you make sure you have room for layering underneath for true cold weather use.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Heading to Florida again for new years. Same place as usual (Flagler area). Any thoughts on surf fishing this time of year? Any tips on fly fishing the beaches at any time of year? Thanks!

I'll ask around

Thanks! We did decent with whiting and puppy drum (black) a few Thanksgivings ago, but I've never fished in January.

had been doing real well inshore until the last 2 weeks when the weather cooled...the deck has been reshuffled

best surf fishing guy I know hasn't been lately...says your best shot may be pompano...Genung's fish camp (https://genungsfishcamp.com/) had some nice sand fleas as of a few days ago.

otherwise go with the standard...fresh dead shrimp on a Carolina rig.

Thanks for the info! I'll probably do just that. Various bottom rigs and various bait. Had good luck with the fresh dead shrimp, fresh caught sand fleas, and the various incarnations of fish bites.

I'll post if we have any success.

two incarnations of our band are playing NYE at the St Aug Beach pier prior to their fireworks show...scheduled to be on stage from 6-8. if the weather is nice, that is usually a pretty good event

the lead singer for one of the bands is unexpectedly out with some minor surgery so we are having to rework things a bit between now and then...ugh. our options are good, actually very good, but we have to restructure the sets we've been planning to do for the last 2 months and get them installed

Good luck! I'll try harder to make it up this time.

thanks, we'll need it! I hate the last minute changes...but that's the way it goes.

I picked up a new Daiwa Ballistic LT 3000 reel today at the Cabelas. I wish it had been a good experience, but they had the reel at MSRP despite their own website having it marked down for $50 off ($174 instead of $229.) I told them I wanted to buy if they honored the web price. It took showing them the website, sending the link, and two managers to get them to honor their own posted price. also, the SSV 3500 on display was listed at full price instead of the advertised $89. The Stradic was also marked up to $239. Make sure you research your prices and know them by heart before you visit a Cabelas or Bass Pro.

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

Cabelas or Bass Pro.

There's a reason I left when this became a conglomerate. Top down exhaustion of the little bit of freedom local stores had to take care of their customers, now everything is run through one guy I'm not particularly fond of.

(add if applicable) /s

I'm right there with you. I always thought Cabelas had the best customer service and their name brand clothing and products were top notch. Since the merger they seem to have dropped a lot of their product lines and customer service has went south. They also don't seem to stock products like they used to. It's a real shame as I've been a Cabelas customer for over 20 years, but I basically quit fooling with Bass Pro for the same reasons. Both have stores within 1.5 hours of me (Bristol), but I only go there if I'm in the area and rarely order online anymore.

I heard they dropped the bargain cave. If so, I am disappointed. Haven't been down to Bristol in a while to check.

Shout out to Watson's Marine in Bluff City, TN for a good customer service experience today.

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

Just returned from Nashville for a fellow Hokie frat bro's wedding.

Fly South in Nash is hands down the best fly shop in the country. Super hospitable ownership and guides and they have more fly fishing gear than I've ever seen. The tying room made me drool. I wanted everything. It is right across the street from Hattie B's hot chicken. Ate there twice. Amazing. If anyone ever goes there, I highly recommend checking out both spots.

There apparently is some good bass, musky and trout fishing in the area. I spent all of my free time in bars with my best friends... the scenery inside was well worth not fishing.

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

That's my old stomping grounds. I lived in Franklin for 5 years or so and that fly shop was my lunch break stop many days.

I fly fished the Harpeth a lot, good warm weather and stocked trout stream, but the most fun I had was catching what I think were striped or hybrid bass schooled up in one of the coves on Percy Priest lake. Also, if you get a chance, the Caney Fork east Nashville is an amazing place for trophy trout. Very challenging but a beautiful river with a lot of big fish potential.

And yeah, the bar scene in Nashville is about tops in my book. Glad you had a good trip.

Struck out again yesterday...4 undersized reds on gulp. Rain very heavy all day today (why I went yesterday); looks like a repeat of last week.

Ran into a couple young guys (I'd guess college kids on break) poling/flyfishing from a gheenoe-based rig (complete with duct tape on the nose...something I would have done!) in some really skinny water...said they'd picked a up a few reds each day and that they were schooling (which is what we would expect at this point).

For Flyguy, they said they were using a black "slider"...tells me were in the brief fiddler crab window and to get out the black bucktail.

we need a couple weeks of no rain to clear up the water and have the pattern settle out. probably after Christmas before I try again

Thanks! Black Clouser / bucktail with a little bit of gold flash is what my friend in NC uses all winter long.

What's up with your "fiddler crab window"? You only have them for a small portion of the year?

You say struck out, but I'd say one redfish any day is a home run!

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

I'm with you flyguy. I think 4 reds is definitely not a strike out.

when the water gets cold (50's) in the winter, the exposed mudflats heat up in the sun. when the tide comes in, reds will work the edge of the tide line on those warmer flats; and typically they are focused on fiddler crabs.

for about a 2 month window typically starting some time in December, bouncing a black bucktail (I like a few purple and copper or gold flash strands buried in the black) on the bottom can be VERY effective on reds...and very, very few people in this part of the world will do that...probably much less than 1%.

Interesting. I would think those flood tide flats would have fiddler crabs on them in the summer as well, much like the Lowcountry. I'm surprised so few people fish it. That is the epitome of the perfect redfish scenario. That jig looks exactly what I tie in a black Clouser. My Yellowstone Slider pattern would also work very effectively for them.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmgdDbunh-L/

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

I'm sure reds take fiddlers year round just like they do blue crabs (I've caught a few on bucktails over rangia beds in the St Johns south of Jax during summer) but right now, fiddlers are the energy efficient target and the match-the-hatch approach is much more effective than at other times.

If you are ever in Jax, Strike Zone is far and away the best tackle store. Go see what they have in stock for bucktails suitable for inshore reds.

Used to have a couple of CK tied flies that were coneheads with medium/short black maribou and a strip of black dyed rabbit fur. Killers.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I went out yesterday for a possibly last attempt to school some schoolies and got schooled myself instead. Traveled far and wide, north and east almost to Tangier Island looking for the tell tale birds, but they were scattered, resting, or absent all day long. The few we found were over really small fish, the smallest schoolies I've dealt with in my six years of chasing them. If not for my big fish companion, 3rdGen, we'd have been looking at a 14" foul hooked big fish. He managed to find an 18" fish amongst the hoards of 9-10" ones who were so small, I was foul hooking them almost as often as mouth hooking, and they absolutely destroyed a Spro jig by pecking all the bucktail off behind the hook. Could have been worse, I talked with two guys who hadn't gotten a bite, but for all the running and searching, it was a tough day. Good company on the water, but a tough way to end the season if I don't make it out again.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It was tough but that seems to be the deal with chasin' birds for any type of fish can be feast or famine. Always pleasure to be out with you.

Since I'm drinking beer, frying bacon, and getting ready to watch this year's Commonwealth Cup clash for the third time, I have no fishing report from the Bay. However, I do have some intel given me via my annual Christmas call from one of my favorite clients from my guiding days. He went to the Wilmington area three weeks ago for some visiting and ended up fishing with a guide that took him on Southwest Creek near Jacksonville. He said they catch gator trout up to 30" often enough to hope for them and he got a 22+" fish that day. I don't know the area and haven't heard of the creek, but he said it was fairly well known, and J'ville isn't that far from Wilmington.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all you Hokies, and you can trust my client's word, him being an old Hokie hisownself, and disinclined to exaggerate about the important things in life, like fishing.
To salt my scratches from last Wednesday's small fish trip, he and his cousin were in the Bay that day, somewhere between buoys 36-41 and they caught one fish trolling. It weighed 45# 8oz. One fish, but damn, whatta fish.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Coming up to the new year and I would like to forget 2018! Here is a recap.

3 bass tourneys and didn't weigh 10#
Trip to MN = nada no muskies
Trip to MN = no walleye
Lake in my back yard-didn't do shit
Cave Run - no muskies
Grand Daughter's first bass!!!!! Beauty!

Maybe it wasn't so bad after all!

Happy New Year fishing guys!

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

Since it is winter, there are upcoming boat and fishing shows. Thought we could post any that we may be attending and can meet up if other TKP Fisherpeople attend as well.

The Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival is January 12-13th in Doswell, VA. I do not have a booth, but will be wandering around all day Saturday.

The Fly Fishing Show Atlanta is Feb 1-2, which is Friday and Saturday. If you've ever had an interest in fly fishing, this is THE show to go to. Super Bowl is in ATL on Sunday, which should make things interesting. I'll have a table in the fly tying section. Come say hi.

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

A couple buddies and I are fishing the Keys flats for spring break in kayaks (the dates are March 10th-16th). We are staying in Islamorada for a couple days and then Duck Key for 3. I know that the permit start to come in the flats to spawn that time of year along with some some huge jack crevalles. We plan to do use fly and spin tackle depending on the day. Was curious if anyone has had any experience fishing the flats that time of year and are willing to share what they discovered. Fish on!

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

First off, I am jealous.

I have kayak fished around the Keys multiple times. Little Duck Key on the ocean side will have bonefish and permit on it on occasion. It is a popular hang out spot though. Only bonefish I have ever seen was tailing there. Certainly worth checking out a few times. It is wadeable.

If I were you I'd spend time around the lower keys, specifically Big Pine. Less development, less people and a lot more keys to explore. No Name Pub is a must do, get the shrimp pizza. There's a launch just around the corner from it that I spent a few days exploring. Head northwest and you can find A LOT of good water to fish and explore. Don't steal any dollar bills.

No Name Pub:

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

I have caught a lot of fish in and around Key West. My favorite move was to party on Duval and then when it died down, go night fishing till dawn. You'll have the great spring break nightlife, but one block north of Duval, I think it is Simonton Ave, has a small ramp for kayaks all the way on the west end. There's a hotel there with lots of lights. I've jumped the fence and fished it many times in the middle of the night and never had an issue till a tarpon I hooked jumped into the side of a sailboat.

Mallory Square has lots of baby tarpon cruising the lights all night long. By baby I mean 5-20 pounds. 10 weight is best. These fish are smart. You will get one or two fish to eat a fly, but then have to switch as they seem to communicate to each other what isn't real. Expect to hook fish here for the fight and then break them off if fishing from the waterfront. Use light tippet or leaders, get a jump or two and them clamp down. It will kill them if you try to drag them up to the top of the concrete. Trust me, I've done it and still feel awful about it. You will find jacks along here too. Good shot at getting one on topwater at night in the lights. Those you can pull up on the concrete, unhook, photo and they will survive.

If you can find large grass flats with bigger potholes in it, throw big chartreuse streamers or tube lures for giant cuda. There are some west of KW, but it is a paddle. About a mile or so I'd guess. We also saw permit on those flats. Make sure the weather report is favorable for you as the storms can just show up. Cuda can also be found along the edges of the passes. They love Chartreuse. Photo of big cuda below...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BB6U9hTlcGa/

The Navy base on KW south of Duval is where the epic fishing is. It's a bold move, but night fishing there in your kayak can be really damn good. I highly recommend having a good light on your kayak (to be seen), wear your PFD, take a whistle and go with a partner when the weather is calm. Put in at the ramp on Simonton and paddle close along the water front heading south. You will see the giant lights shining in the water. It is LOADED with big ass crevalle jacks, tarpon and sharks. I caught a 15-20 pound jack there years ago and have caught dozens of smaller ones in five pound range. Huge schools of tarpon will swim under you. Never had the sharks bother me but it was a bit unnerving to watch them swim under my yak. I've never had the military police mess with me when I was in kayaks, but going up there in a boat, they always told me to get back 100 yards from shore.

The key north of KW has good ocean front flats and access. I forget the name. It's a public beach and apparently nude, but I never saw anyone out there. I did have a 100 pound tarpon cruising down a line, swim right up to my kayak, go around it and then back to his line and continue on down the beach. That was awesome.

The easiest fish to catch down there is mangrove snapper. You can catch tons of them along just about any mangroves. They are a blast on light spin or a 6 weight fly rod. Don't be surprised when something bigger hammers your offering out of the mangroves. Live shrimp was always the best bait for me when I wasn't throwing a fly.

If you find dirty water, snook may be in it. May also see a redfish on flats. Cast to any large stingrays. Never know what is trailing them.

The Angling Company on Simonton in KW is a first class fly shop. Nathan is the owner, super nice guy. Florida Keys Outfitters in Islamorada is good too. Sandy Moret is the owner. Of course you'll have Worldwide Sportsman/Bass Pro.

If you can I'd suggest spending $20 on a Top Spot map or two. It will give you a solid basis to start and helps you get around on the water.

Feeding the tarpon at Robbie's is also a lot of fun. Watch out for the pelicans, their beaks are sharp as hell.

If you want to see the biggest tarpon of your life, go wander around Key West marina. It is extremely highly frowned upon to cast to them, but I'm not sure if it's illegal or not. Either way, I don't know what you'd do with a 180 pound fish hooked up.

If you party in Key West, see if Patrick and the Swayzees are playing anywhere. Homeless guys formed the band and they are fucking awesome. I saw them at the Green Parrot.

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Wow, very appreciative for you to share all of that. It is a trip I have personally wanted to do my whole life to test my salty knowledge (reading and shows like Saltwater Experience ignited my interest as a kid/teen). We are going on an offshore charter the first day in Duck Key out of Marathon hoping to get some insightful info from the 'cap too. We have 3 full days in Duck Key so may take a trip down to Little Pine or Sugarloaf for some exploring.

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

Sure thing man, have fun. I haven't been there in 3 years so eager to see how it fishes after the hurricane battered it two years ago.

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Ill be sure to make a post of how the trip went. I plan to make a video as well with gopro/higher quality camera footage!

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

Thanks for the info Flyguy! Tentatively planning a trip to the Keys in March, with a buddy. We are going to rent a boat and go offshore/wreck fishing. He has done it a few times before. Hoping for sailfish, kings, blackfin tuna, snappers, AJs whatever else is around. I would love to catch a juvenile tarpon on light tackle while I'm down there

Has anyone on here fished Rural Retreat Reservoir?

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Rural Retreat lake?

Shore fishing is pretty much limited to small species, but you can hook bluegills like crazy. There are large musky to be had. Near-record size carp have been taken, just make sure you follow all the rules on harvesting carp. I have a friend who slays carp over there.

Lake is electric motors only. No gas. It's a nice paddle on a kayak.

I've seen posts online about things being slow after they did an herbicide treatment a few years ago. That doesn't seem to have slown the carp down.

If you're fly fishing, there are a good many other streams in the area I'd hit.

Yes, that's what I was referring to. Thinking of driving down and hitting it tomorrow for musky out of my Gheenoe.

Thanks for the intel

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You can supposedly put in up at New River Trail State Park and have a shot at some muskies there as well. I've never tried for muskies at either location.

Fished Rural Retreat yesterday in my Gheenoe. Special guest was @barbieonthefly on Instagram. We threw 9 and 10 weights all day and used every single musky fly I've got. Didn't see a fish. The top end of the lake had maybe a foot of visibility. The lower end had two feet. We had strong winds that we had to deal with for most of the day. Several other folks fishing from shore. Talked to one other boat out there who was a guide. They had gotten a 41 inch musky and 30 inch Pike, which was a surprise given they were last stocked in 1999. Some of them must be reproducing. I'll definitely fish it again.

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The top end of the lake had maybe a foot of visibility.

That's like double the vis I've ever fished on that lake I've only been a handful of times and just assumed it was always muddy.

(add if applicable) /s

A few years back it was very green. Couldn't see much of anything. I would assume that's why they went the herbicide route.
Water doesn't come in or out of the lake very quickly. So, a lack of clarity doesn't seem all that surprising to me.

Ken Trail and Rock On Charters?

I follow him on social media and saw that pike - never imagined that would be in there. Here is the pic

looks a lot like a chain pickerel; but I would not be the expert on that

Definitely a northern. A 30 inch chain pickerel would probably be a world record. Biggest I've got was at 25" and it was a monster.

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It would be a really nice one...maybe a state line class or lake record fish. The spots on the fins suggest pike but the body coloration is classic pickerel. I'd have been taking some really detailed pics of the head before I released it.

Body coloration does look like pickerel. If it had that eye line, would have been a dead giveaway, but his hand placement on the photo. Looks like IGFA world record pickerel was 31 inches.

http://wrec.igfa.org/WRecDetail.aspx?uid=18812&cn=Pickerel,%20chain#.XC0...

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Yup, that's Jason, who we talked to. He guides with Ken.

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I've never fished the lake but have passed by it a few times on my way to chase musky on the New. Given the water levels right now on the river and the forecasts I may try to make a trip up there in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for the report.

The New below Claytor was chocolate milk yesterday. The upper James is green, but high as hell. RR Lake requires electric motor, no gas allowed. The upper end near the put in is apparently 5-6 feet deep across from the map on VDGIF. Friend of mine who guides for musky told me that's where he likes to concentrate in lakes for them. I tried to fish up there but the wind kept blowing us out. We fished the west bank the entire way down and it is 3-6 feet deep and then drops off. The shelf at the dam apparently goes to 10 before dropping off. The other guide got his two fish there. They were throwing 7-8 inch long plugs, one natural looking and one fire tiger. I threw every color fly under the sun.

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Thanks for the additional info. I fish some small electric only lakes down my way and usually mount a "kicker" transom mount trolling motor beside my outboard. It helps if you've got a long run or if you're fighting the wind.

A few years ago I bought a transducer with a WiFi box that sends a signal to my phone or iPad. I use it in conjunction with Navionics sonar charts and have made some decent charts of smaller bodies of water. If I get out there I'll try to map some areas and share with you if you're interested. I've learned there's a lot more detail to be found doing this versus using only published maps or charts, especially 5' contour maps.

Now that's a good idea. I need to do that once I get my next boat. Would love to see some of those!

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Just found the pic of the muskie they caught. Damn it was big.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsG-znyAeO_/

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Looking to get into dry fly fishing for trout? One of my old and dear clients is moving and has sent me two Cortland Rimfly XSmall fly reels, in perfect condition and loaded with backing and line, plus dozens of dry flies. I have no use for them, but have told him I'd find a home for them. Given freely, I'll happily pass them along as freely to any TKP member who can use them. Couldn't tell you what "weight" the line is, but the reels look like they'd be good for the smaller weight rods typically used on smaller streams. The flies are typical drys, with a wide variety of sizes and patterns, all sto' bought. First up gets them. Not sure of the age of anything, but the reels are still in their original boxes with some paperwork and appear to have been barely used.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm brand new at this... Living and learning to fly fish in the Shenandoah Valley.... trying my best to gather equipment... I'm in!

Is it basketball season yet?

You got 'em. newriveranglerathotmail.com will reach me (@, of course).

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Dang, too late. You are a good man Fish.

Spread the news!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Son of a gun that's a good little pile of stuff good luck using them let us know how they work!

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

Got on a decent surf bite today in Flagler. Fished from 7-10, caught dozens of whiting (kept three to fry for my mom, averaged about 15" on these), several tiny permit I suspect (definitely not small pompano), and what I think is about an 18" bonnet head shark. Great morning on the water and a nice respite from the relative cold in Virginia.

Also heard reports of great pompano fishing near Ponce Inlet a bit further south. Not sure of any Hokies down that way but thought I'd share.

NYE

"The light in the window is a crack in the sky; A stairway to darkness in the blink of an eye"

That you on the four string?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

yup

go you!

There are some reds to be had in the surf off of beaches around the Crystal Coast. My buddy and his girlfriend from Morehead fished yesterday chucking gulp on jig heads into the whitewater and caught 5 drum, all 20" and up.

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Yeah I saw your friend post that. That's a good day!

He also just called me from his boat while Tuna fishing out of Bogue Inlet and said there are false albacore EVERYWHERE right now

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Damn! That's awesome. I've heard of people speed jigging and popping for Blackfin Tuna out of Hatteras during the winter months and they have to fight through catching all the albies and amberjacks.

a little short...very red

Dang, that is a really dark red. Is your water pretty tannic?

Moultrie Creek upstream of US 1 near the railroad bridge; yes; and still subject to maybe 4' of tidal amplitude.

and what it tells me is that those fish (i caught another just like it) either don't move very much or pick up that color in a hurry. The ones near the confluence of Moultrie Creek and the Matanzas River are standard color...like 2.5 miles downstream from where this was caught

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

That's a pumpkin!

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I don't understand your net.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

lol. i almost didn't post the pic because I figured someone would ask...

that's called: stumbling across an old, old, old wade fishing net in the bottom of a storage box; picking it up; having the cork handle disintegrate in your hand; and then deciding what's left of it will slide nicely under the seat of your kayak and a that you can probably find a short piece of PVC to sub for a handle...if you really want a handle

For French...you had asked about cobia fishing down here this time of year

i just saw a photo of 4 caught "on a wreck" yesterday and a nice wahoo from "a little further out"

edit: and I just saw a couple nice steaks of each variety go into my fridge : )

haven't done anything with cobia in forever...any special recipes out there?

Grilled and blackened with seasoning is the way I've always had it cooked but recently we tried some fillets with a carribean jerk marinade and they turned out great

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

sounds good!

Food for thought: Just read about a 613 lb bluefin tuna being sold at auction in Tokyo for 3.1 MILLION freakin' dollars.

I propose we quit our jobs, if we're still working, sell most of our boats and fishing gear, pool our resources, and go bluefin fishing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My buddy Luke and his gf Natalia in Morehead spend a ton of time, energy and gas Bluefin fishing all of December (bluefin season). I'm not sure whether it is worth it, but it is their thing. They use his 28 foot Contender, which is not the best in bad weather. Walkaround would be a lot better. I'd guess they fish three weeks total in December. Last year he hooked three and lost them all and man was he cranky. This year they hooked and landed 5. Three keepers, two undersize that they let go. The keepers were 210, 225 and 520 pounds. He got $3000 each for the two smaller ones and $4000 for the big fish. This fish do get shipped to either Japan or China, I can't remember which. The big fish would have been worth about $8-9k, but it got tangled in the line during the fight and died, which messed up the meat. Bluefin are warm blooded so killing them requires a specific process so it doesn't taint the meat, apparently.

He keeps asking me to join him on a trip, but they are out there at 4 a.m and may not come back till 10 p.m. It's serious fishin'. I turn him down. The bluefins come into Onslow Bay, where Bogue Inlet empties into, just west of Cape Lookout.

Here's a pic of the big one they got this year. For size reference, Natalia is 5'9.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BroO2EvA-9e/

Capt. Sarah Gardner had one feeding right next to her boat there last fall. They didn't cast to it with fly or spin gear. I would have hooked it on a fly, just to say I did. Wish I could find the video she took. Pretty sure it's on her facebook page.

It's crazy to me that Japan has outfished their waters so much that a tuna goes for a few million bucks. That's a lot of fish / bio mass removed from the sea...

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Yeah, it's nuts. Even the guy who made the winning bid said he knew he'd overpayed, but still.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Still sounds like more fun than work. Not surprising at all what they've done to their fisheries unfortunately they poorly managed their waters and now they're paying the price literally

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

I don't know, they put in some serious time for 5 fish. Days and days and days of nothing.

They did hook a whale last year, which is every fisherman's dream lol

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Anyone have a recommendation for an OBX area charter that can take on 8ish people?

Most of the offshore boats take 6 max. So you might need to split your group up. The other option is to go on a headboat trip.

The Country Girl out of Pirates Cove is the only one I know of that can take more than 6 besides a headboat like Ms.Hatteras

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

I'm going on 4 weeks of flooded lakes that are basically unfishable, my parents HOW told me I can't bring the boat anymore so about to make bold moves with the boat again. Ripping all of my electrical out this week. and rewiring everything. I've noticed really inconsistent voltage and upon further inspection have found that 50% of my wires are horribly corroded.

New switch panel, new wires, accessories battery, battery switch, BUS bar, fuse panel, probably throw a new bilge pump in. May add a second live well pump, right now I've got one pump running both wells. New trim tilt motor.

Ideally this just takes this weekend, in reality it'll end up taking me 3 weeks cause every project does.

(add if applicable) /s

Ideally this just takes this weekend, in reality it'll end up taking me 3 weeks cause every project does.

Fact of life

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When I rip out the first wire the weather will be beautiful, the lake will drop and clear, stripers going nuts, every bite will turn on inshore and I'll be working on the boat. So get ready for some good fishing.

(add if applicable) /s

LOL.

Good, except I'm stuck in the basement tying flies for shows.

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IDK how the weather has been for everyone else but it seems like it only is sunny on weekdays here. This past weekend we got some sun. other than that rain every single weekend. Just checked the forecast to start my project.... Sat rain 70% Sun rain 80%

(add if applicable) /s

I feel your pain. This was the 2nd wettest year in RVA history (have to go back to the 1800's for the record), made getting out on the local river a bust for most of the year.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

As an electrician I prefer to never to redo a system unless it won't work at all boat electronics are an even trickier thing to do. Those projects never get done on time but can be fun to do

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

Yes and no. 1 I'm slightly worried about electrical fire risk, most of these wires are original to the boat. 25 years in a marine environment is going to take a toll. 2 they're a balled up mess every time I have an issue with a switch or a fuse it turns into a 5 hour job just tracking the wire and finding the bad connection. The state of wiring on this boat is sketchy at best. All of my negatives are essentially a 3 way male connector with 5 or so female grounds coming into it, the three posts are filled the others are just kinda taped on top.

Makes sense to me at this point to just get it done right. It also helps that I like electrical work and thinking through the solutions to do it most organized, efficiently, and logically.

(add if applicable) /s

I hear ya there gotta keep it clean use lots of zip ties and multiconductor cables to make it safer neater and my favorite looking clean

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

Off to a good start, custom ordered a switch panel. Checked in on my order confirmation this AM, have a rough time counting to 6 apparently because i only put 5 switches on it.

Edit: If yall ever need electronics or switch panels. I'm going to possibly prematurely throw in an endorsement for NewWireMarine exceptional customer service despite my clear and obvious fuck up.

(add if applicable) /s

Man two for two. Went to replace my tirm/tilt motor, got the "hard screw" out. Stripped the fuck out of the second screw. Good thing its still working cause I just bolted back down the other screw and called it a day. I'll deal with that when the motor actually fails.

(add if applicable) /s

After deciding that the trim motor is still working and not worth fussing with, I've tightened it back down. Yesterday I removed all wiring (ignition and mercury smart craft wires). I've got 500ft of tinned marine wire being shipped to me. New switch panel is here, fuse box, battery switch, terminal bar, bus bar are all ready to do.

If I had everything at the start this actually could have been a two day project.

Stay tuned for how I fuck this up and turn it into 3 months.

(add if applicable) /s

a hair too long

Boy from Oklahoma?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

but it had friends

the longer of these 2 (24") hit a gulp shrimp three times...bam (miss), bam (miss), bam (hook up)

the oversize fish hit the little storm shad I've shown y'all before...on the 6' 9" HMG ML...in the current. that one took awhile. i EVEN used a net...with a handle! : )

after that, I went straight to the gulp on a 7' Medium and caught 3 slot fish, an undersized red, and a dinky flounder all in about 30 min.

Nice work Dave! Pretty reds! What lure were you using?

oversize on the small storm wild-eye shad (red eyes, bunker color) which I use as a fish finder; and the rest on gulp shrimp (natural) fished slow on the bottom...a medium hop maybe every 2-3 seconds. I like to cast up current when possible and did so today

Those Storm shad are killers. I've had great luck at the CBBT on them for stripers and one night, a couple of 10lb trout. Bunker or croaker were the colors of choice in those days.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

What's your cooking preference?

Do you eat the cheeks and the throat too? Redfish throat a.k.a. Saltwater Quail, is delicious.

Video on how to cut out fish throats...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDsZycI3yRM

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grilled with blackening seasoning or pan broiled "a la meuniere"...whatever Mrs D is in the mood for...lately, the latter

I don't eat the cheeks and throat but I should start doing that

Definitely use the throats at the least. It's a whole extra (smaller) fillet and it tastes different than the regular flanks. Tastes to me like chicken, but I know everyone has different taste buds.

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That's funny. Seems like half the stuff people tell me taste like chicken end up tasting like crap. Taste buds, though.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Everyone I've turned it on to loves it, but yes I agree with you. An I've eaten so much chicken lately that I'm over it haha

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Just got a report from yesterday morning in Morehead City from a good fly guide down there...

"Saw almost a thousand reds in 4 hours today. Schools of 10-100 fish. Lots of trout too, even on the flats. Caught ten reds and just as many trout, which were accidental bycatch. Fish were not spooky but when you'd hook one the commotion would make the rest uneasy and then that school would get harder to catch."

I can't give away his spots (he would never talk to me again) but it sounds like it is on fiyerrrrr. Of spots that I know, I would expect the shallow flats around Harkers to hold fish, but I have not fished them in winter. There is some mud and oyster bars back there though. If anyone goes, get out a map, find an oyster bar / mud flat and start looking. You'll want sun. Small black flies (2 inches) and I'm assuming soft plastics that size and color are what they want.

This fishery lasts all the way through the end of March, but the fish get harder to catch as the winter goes along.

If I pull the trigger on a flats boat soon, it is the first place I am going.

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That's pretty sweet! I will be down there in late February for a fishing seminar. If weather is decent will go out on Sunday.

Check your email

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Fished lake Anna all day yesterday thinking it might be worth it and we had insider knowledge on where and how to catch them and someone who knew what to do and still got a big fat skunked I'm beginning to believe I need to move to Florida in the winter to avoid the fisherman blues every winter cause not being able to catch anything leaves a bad taste in the mouth if you forget the beer.

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

Florida for the winter??? Brook trout fishing, musky fishing and walleye fishing are on fire right now. Speckled trout are being caught in creeks in the Bay, all in VA. NC saltwater fishing is great right now. No need to go to Florida, just stop fishing over populated and over fished Lake Anna. In 20 years with global warming, you'll hardly notice winter anyways!

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I hear ya wish I had the time to get into the trout this winter but building this houwe myself is taking away my free time. I'm curious on the specks are they in more focused spots or in general in the bay? Ive got a boat on the mobjack I can use but dunno where they are this time of year

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

They hang out all the way up in the backs of creeks. Some creeks have them, others don't. 3-5 feet deep seems to be primo depth. I've done best on jerkbaits when fishing for them.

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In my now 7 years on the Bay, I have always heard about winter trout, but never went after them. Seemed like a real hit or miss thing and I just didn't have enough to go on to try it in the cold. I think flyguy is right that they are somewhere in just some of the local creeks. Most I hear about is creeks off of the Piankatank, though, and even then, only after a winter kill causes a bit of talk about hundreds of dead and dying big trout floating around after really cold temps. My personal belief, and we've discussed this before, is that the creeks that hold those fish all winter are creeks with springs that afford a source of warmer water when the main flow gets really cold. I suspect that some of those springs that flow from the bottom also create deeper holes around the outflow that also help insulate the wintering fish. I don't know, but I suspect it is only the bigger fish that stick around, though, for reasons biological we can only specKulate about. Seems to me that since your family knows everybody around here, someone should know someone who knows someone... That is likely the best way to get on them, since we are surrounded by creeks, rivers and lots of winter dead water that would take a lifetime to properly explore. That, or systematically fishing all of them and keeping track, but what if you're fishing over a couple of hundred that just aren't eating that day? Flyguy's take on jerkbaits is spot on. A very slowly presented suspending jerkbait, complete with dramatic pauses and subtle twitches, is the best bet for cold water trout, but I truly believe it's finding them that is the more important piece of the winter puzzle.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I truly believe it's finding them that is the more important piece of the winter puzzle.

Bingo.

Piankatank

Bingo again. I heard there were a few in one of the lower creeks on the Piankatank. My guess would be Cobb, Wilton or Healy.

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Wilton, for a fact. Other than that, I'm clueless.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Were you around Dike 3, or somewhere else? I went all over that place a few weeks back, mostly just running gas out of the boat, but it was dead.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

We were in the middle chunk we hit everywhere we could find good spots to fish but it was dead as nails sucks cause that lake looks soooooooooooooo good but has no fish

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

Heading out in the morning for one last search for birds and fish in the Bay. Season's over, boats should be gone, hoping for one more shot at some schoolies. Non-ethanol is down to $2.75, so I may as well take advantage of it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Struck out again. Nice day, great to be out, all alone. Birdless, fishless, miles and miles of beautiful. Empty. Water. Time to put the boat up for a while. Topped off coming home on the 2.75 non-e gas. Might conceivably try a winter trout trip, but might also be done for the winter.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Throw some Stabil in that tank regardless!

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I usually do, although my mechanic says that if I only use non ethanol and fill the tank, I shouldn't need an additive. I also usually change my fuel/water separator filter about this time. I then fill the new filter with Seafoam and run the motor until I hear the Seafoam hit the injectors. Pour the rest of the foam into the gas tank and she's good 'til Spring.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Interesting, I've always been told to put an additive in if the motor is sitting for several months not running. Non ethanol or ethanol, gasoline breaks down and gets water in it and the additives help to combat that.... so they say.

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Ethanol is what breaks down to cause water. Now your non-eth isn't going to be as good, there's definitely a shelf life but it shouldn't be causing any water. I put Stabil in over the winter just cause it doesn't hurt to.

(add if applicable) /s

I don't have any scentific evidence to back it up, only my handyman and gearhead father who told me that gas that sits in a small engine for a long period of time has a shelf life and will likely get water in it one way or another. He used to tell me this well before ethanol gas was around. I, and he, could certainly be wrong, but I always have put Stabil or the like in dirt bikes, ATVs, boat motors, lawn mowers if they were going to sit for a few months.

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Main problem I've had over the years with leaving any gas in an unused engine is that eventually it will evaporate, leaving a varnish, especially in small engines. I recall more than one carb rebuilds on lawn mowers because of that. As for the water, filling the tank up to eliminate room for condensation is a good thing also. Still, and all, I'll be adding some stabilizer anyway, whether I need it or not, and I trust my water/fuel separator filter to take care of incidental moisture.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So like the idiot I am I bought a bunch of flash-a-bou in different colors. Problem it is tinsel and I can't use that for my lures. I need either standard or magnum. Who wants the tinsel?

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

I would but damn if I don't have a whole box of the stuff myself

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rinse and repeat of yesterday...a 22 and 23 in the box in a matter of minutes and this 28" oversize on what my fishing buddy calls "black magic", the little black bucktail with just a tad of flash.

caught this on the light rod again...didn't think it would get in the boat...probably 2 minutes before I even got a look at it

Genuine question here I'm looking to do a few trips on the Susquehanna this upcoming year, family has a house near it in harrisburg and was wondering whats a good place to start on the river? I know very little other than the smallmouth are like glorious little bronze tanks.

Also was gonna start looking into trying to find a place to try northern Pike fishing out one day maybe depending on where I can find em I was hoping to hit one of my favorite ponds that has a solid stock of chain pickerel this weekend but the snow is saying no to that.

Edit: what are good flies for chain pickerel in cold weather? Usually spin fish for them with all sorts of spinner baits and some jerk baits

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

Susquehanna = Muskies

Never fished it but I hear they are there!

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

I just read an article on the best sections for floating the Susquehana. I too want to check that river out. I'll see if I can dig it up. Pretty sure a shocking report would tell you what is turning up where.

For pickerel my top fly is a yellow and red seaducer with small bead chain eyes and a weed guard. I do not chase them in the winter, however.

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I'll pick up a few seaducers for the pickerel maybe I'll use the bangarang flies you tied for me as well if I'm feeling dangerous.

We have a house to stay around near it now so I'm itching to give the river a go since we have a place to stay and such and we had a good time last year branching out and trying new rivers so we wanna do it again this year.

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

Careful with those Bangarangs. Big bass love them and we got several nice Bowfin on them last year out of the Chick. I think those bowfin will eat when it is cold out too.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlDcR0Kn3TV/

Pickerel flies:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnBwxWNH8HS/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhH9JpegC3c/

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That was my only fear throwing the bangarangs at something with sharp ass teeth like pickerel without a leader atleast thats why I usually fish cranks and spinnerbaits for pike so I dont lose so much tackle. Any tricks with a fly to help from getting cut off like say on muskies but scaled down for pickerel? Would a heavier leader work better etc?

Those flies look good wonder if a pickerel could still get the hook well enough with a 40 lb mono weed guard.

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

I use 25 pound flouro for pickerel. 40 pound test hasn't inhibited hookups from anything short of maybe a bluegill.

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I'll give it a go when the ice quits falling then and see how it goes I haven't tried fly casting with heavy tippet so far should be fun

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

I've fished the Susqey six times on guided trips, four of them with Ken Penrod. We concentrated on the areas above, below and around the confluence with the Juniata and caught tons of smallmouth, while encountering a few muskies, none landed. Early spring brings high muddy flow, but also is when to catch numbers of very large pre-spawn fish holding in the major eddies. We fished there last year because Harper's Ferry was "blowed out" as my old buddy Cecil would say, and did very well accessing the Susquehanna at a public ramp above Duncannon. This was a bit later in the year and the fish were where they should be in normal flow and clear water. People were catching walleye as well, but we caught only smallmouth and one nice channel cat. We were in jet boats all six times, so not sure about floating through, but access is pretty good around there and not very far from Harrisburg. For information about the fishery, I recommend you start reading Penrod's website in the spring. He's impeccably honest about numbers, and even baits, usually. His guides have fish counters, so accuracy is important to them. He runs almost all of his trips out of Johnny Cunningham's campground in Duncannon at the confluence. Johnny is a trip, but knows the river like the native he is and can definitely be a great source of information if you take the time to ask him. I have no experience, or information, on fly fishing there, and don't recommend fishing high and muddy with flies, but later on as the river drops and clears, I'd imagine it would work for you. The smallmouth there are definitely a different animal than ours here in VA. More like footballs than torpedos and for my money, the river was a cut above anything I've been into in VA, production-wise. Of the six days I fished it, only one wasn't up to snuff and that was because last year, the first day the guide made an unwise choice of sections and we tried to fish muddy water from the Juniata that didn't produce, it being well past the spawn and the fish not being ganged up by high flow and pre-spawn imperatives. Good luck, and if you need a phone # for Johnny, look up Riverside Campground or shoot me an e-mail and I'll hook you up. All of our early fish came on Mizmo Teaser Tubes, and last year it was my specially rigged Senko that was the winner. Good luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for the info as always I'll see what we can do and report on it for flyguy as well if I didn't have a couple guided trips already setup for this year I'd add one for the susqy first but I think we might give it a go by ourselves once this year. Will look into those stretches to float or just paddle around depending on the flow around there tricky but will be timing weather well and learning the flow of the river as always. We have a bass boat but no propless motor so it'll be canoes and kayaks.

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

I managed a 28 inch rockfish jigging with light tackle today. My host caught a 45 inch fish before daylight. I was using a chartreuse BKD on a 2 oz jighead and my new 3000 Daiwa Ballistic and heavy GLoomis Inshore spinning rod.

I am being purposely vague on the spot on behalf of my host but if you know the Bay and the set up I was using, it won't be tough to figure out. And, it was bloody cold.

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

Someone please tell me how to post photos on here so I can show something

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Imgur, upload to your collection the copy and embed the direct link it's only doable through browser not the imgur app it's weird like that

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

Welp, I tried and it wouldn't put it in there for some reason.

Maybe this will work

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You buy a redfisher? That's the only other boat I was looking at when I bought mine, they're awesome boats.

(add if applicable) /s

That's the rumor...

I love it already.

Gotta do some upgrades and fix a minor thing or two but I'll be fishing on it Tuesday / Wed / Thursday

Thank you!

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It's a beauty!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

nice rig!

grab rail? poling platform? what else?

edit: side scan sonar?

I've got the grab rail and poling platform to block on it. It's a 2004 hull with a 2008 Yami 115. Simrad fancy ass GPS electronics. Mercury prop that apparently is the best for it.

This boat was actually in Jacksonville. Negotiated a price last week, drove down Saturday morning and picked it up after close examination and water trial. Was going to fish yesterday on Charleston but weather and the drinking got the best of me.

Fishing the next 2-3 days with it in Morehead with @Blonde_gypsea.

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

that sounds like a really, really good plan. good luck!

Thanks! Will have a full report

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I switched from the original prop on my '05 Yamaha after stripping the sleeve on oyster cages in the North River here off of Mobjack Bay. The Merc prop came with a replaceable rubber sleeve that didn't need to be sent away to a prop shop to be replaced. I then promptly stripped two more sleeves trying to get reds in less than a foot of water. It was nice to be able to replace the sleeve and be back on the water immediately. I got the original redone, and it took six or seven weeks to get back, but it sits unused now for the last four years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That's interesting, he said a new sleeve came with this one. I'll have to see if it's rubber! Great idea.

Piranha props are a brand that the blades slide off so they can be easily replaced.

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Looks awesome, and congratulations!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Thank you!

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Good looking boat!

Thank you!

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Fished today for 5 hours looking for the reds in da mash... Didn't see any. Saw a lot of small trout and some baby sheepshead. It was cold, but when the cloud cover broke, wow it was pretty. Lot's of military aircraft provided us something to look at since the reds were hiding. Took the Hewes out into the ocean too. It is quite a capable machine and I cannot wait to get the new minn kota on it, poling platform and a few other kinks worked out.

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

Boat name ideas so far...

Drumbum
Pretty Fly
Brandy

I'm leaning towards Pretty Fly...

We are back at it again tomorrow.

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I should have bought a newer boat cause I settled on Never Fucking Ending Project for my boat.

(add if applicable) /s

LOL trust me, this one has some super simple projects that I know are going to take 9 times longer than they should...

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I'm partial to Drumbum

Second this

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

Make that a third vote.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I love drum bum too, but the boat is sea foam green. I feel like it would fit better if it was yellow or red

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Think it would look sweet with a drum top half painted the length of the boat OR have a drum tail with spot painted on the sides torwards the back

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

Yea I've been thinking about that tail

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Either of those ideas will turn out better as wraps. Even with my new paint job I've considered a wrap on my boat.

(add if applicable) /s

Yeah a redfish wrap would be sweet. Definitely would attract schools of reds to your boat haha

Fair enough, I guess if you were doing a fish name it would be better for a trout or flounder but you definitely focus on the reds

Sweet Pea?

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

Fly Guy

I name all my vehicles in the feminine form, so it's already FlyGirl in my head. That said, from your stories, I feel like it should be The Knotty Girl.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Heading back to the Bay today. Skunks and lots of lost jigheads.

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

Headed. Bass Kandy Delights stock just went up due to how many I lost on those rocks.

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

Well, today was interesting to say the least. We get reports of fish to the south and decide to head there for the day. 45 minute drive from Morehead. All geared up, ready to go, dead low tide, gin clear water, sun and light breeze from the west. PERFECT conditions for winter red fish. We haul ass and get to the flat, which borders Camp Lejeune. There are signs all over warning of military bombing practce. I've fished this area four times before and talked to dozens of others who have and no one has ever said anything about being in a bad zone for the bombing. I've always been told that the shooting takes place on the base camp and you can hear it from the water, which I previously had. No big deal. Military planes and choppers doing touch and goes all day.

Anyways, we immediately find fish within 20 minutes. Bunch of pairs of 18-20 inch reds, but they won't eat and are spooky as hell. We drift around for 2 hours casting to them and fishy looking areas, but no dice. Finally we drift onto an oyster bar when I mention to Natalia, let's eat lunch. It's high noon. She doesn't hear me because this air plane is flying overhead of us and around the area. She does mention something about hearing other people out here, but we're the only boat out there. I don't hear any voices, I have shit hearing and this plane is buzzing around like a giant house fly. It is yellow, with very difficult to see numbers on the sides, but a civilian plane. It's not loud, but it's annoying enough to have to talk louder and breaks my concentration. (One reason I refuse to fish near VB is I despise the constant aircraft noise.) I realize the plane has probably been there for 15 minutes. Anyways, we eat lunch for 15-20 minutes and then back to fishing and this guy won't fly anywhere else. He is circling us close, circling us from afar, flying away and then flying back, but always comes back over us. Kind of weird, but I figure it's some yahoo logging hours and watching me fly fish. I've had plenty of people over the years ask at various points if they can sit and watch me fly cast and fish. I openly ask if its something about being near the camp, Natalia says no way, her bf has never said anything about having problems fishing here around the bomb area, despite all of the signs, most of which are faded and in disrepair. Natalia again mentions hearing voices. "They are in your head, no one else is out here except this asshole in the plane, who is probably trying to tell us something!"

Another 20 minutes goes by and I'm flat out annoyed and getting cranky at this point. He's going back and forth. I wave up to him, shrug at him, stick my arms like "what do you want?" I can see the pilot but he does nothing. I tell Natalia it has to be something about the base. She decides to text her BF Luke, who is on a fishing boat in Alaska. He says it is likely something to do with shooting at the base, but they would have had boats blocking the area and the lights flashing at the guard tower. I can see the guard tower from our spot. I don't see lights flashing, but I see a boat with people wearing bright orange. I also see a smaller boat with two people wearing all black trying to snake its way through the marsh towards us, I figure, but it's shallow as shit even on the rising tide. I'm in my flats boat and had gotten stuck multiple times already this am. The boat turns around in maybe a minute. Plane is still circling. We continue looking for redfish for another five minutes. The plane leaves. FINALLY!!! Then I hear the voices. It's from the loud speaker on the guard tower 500 yards away and I can hear it clearly. "We cannot commence if there are boats in the area." Something else came from the speaker but I'm already asking Natalia if she heard it too. "Yes, it specifically said something about 'boats in the area.'" I look over and there's this local skiff with a pound net set up coming towards us through the creeks. Again, the loud speakers, something about boats in the area. Then the loudest fucking siren I have ever heard in my life. It's LOUD and we are 500 yards away. "Well, they are DEFINITELY trying to tell us something now." The siren stops and the local pulls up within 20 yards. "Time to go, now!" He yells. At this point I realize the plane had been circling us to tell us something important. My VHF radio was sitting at my desk at home and my cell phone was off, not that anyone around Camp Lejuene had my number anyways.

We reel up and I snake my way back to the ICW. The local fisherman is gone, so is the white boat with the black jacket guys, but the other boat is anchored right there with two people wearing the orange jackets. It's a man and a woman in a weird gray boat with no numbering or letters.

"So uh, did I cause a national emergency?"

No, they responded. "We've been trying to get your attention with the plane and reach you over the radio. We were supposed to start bombing near this area over an hour ago."

"Wow, I'm really sorry, I forgot my radio and just thought the airplane was some idiot. Your flashing lights weren't on and I had no idea something was going on until we heard the loudspeaker say something about boats in the area."

"It's fine, we're just in big trouble because it's our job to clear the area and they have been talking to us on the loudspeaker about you for an hour but we couldn't get to you. They are pissed. You were on the edge of the dangerous area, if you could go a little east, you'll be fine. We will be done by 4 p.m."

"Sure thing, sorry for any trouble. If I may offer a bit of advice... park the plane and save yourself the jet fuel for it. We couldn't hear anything due to it's noise but if you had simply given commands to us over the loudspeakers we would have definitely heard it without the plane."

I was a bit shaken, thinking I may get busted for having a new to me boat not even registered in my name but everything was cool. Natalia and I headed east and found a small creek to explore, laughing about the absurdity of it all. The shooting and bombing commenced, nothing crazy but smoke plumes a few miles away in the distance and ratta tat tat of what sounded like a very large machine gun was much closer. The yellow plane came back and was flying long laps around the area, but much higher this time. The redfish school hadn't put us in danger, but probably too close for some Army generals comfort. Helicopters started doing touch and goes and as Natalia and I are watching some 20" long trout spook and ignore our offerings, two of them loaded with crew holding guns did a close fly by and slowed as they peeled around us. I can see the light reflecting off of the pilots' helmet masks. I wave, but no one on board either Black Hawk (just an assumption) returns the gesture. No doubt they were swinging by to check us out. The helos returned to the tree line and appeared to land, never returning. Guess they were impressed with my double haul...

We shot back to the original spot after the shooting ceased and the orange vests were gone. Tide was too high and couldn't find the fish. Oh well, it was quite the day and left me much to ponder. I wonder how much money I had personally caused the US military to waste on lost time, air plane fuel, etc. just for my redfish addiction? How often does this happen here where fishermen are out enjoying the day and have to go in at risk of getting blown up? What was being said about me by the helo guys and all of the trigger men waiting to shoot their rounds and bombs? Would Trump get word of this and suggest building a wall around this epic redfish flat?

The jokes are piling up in my head.

-The fish aren't spooky, they were shell shocked.
-My new boat is bombdiggity.
-Cast a bomber fly.
-That spot is the bomb.
-Bombs over blue crabs.
-All Fly on the Western Front.

Tomorrow we play around the Cape away from the explosives before I head home early afternoon. Hopefully day three finally puts some slime in the new rig.

And if you're ever in the area, be sure to call some guy named "Blackburn" and get the scoop on the local fireworks schedule...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BstU2DWBvPD/

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Well that's an interesting deal. I fish a lot around Parris Island, I never venture too close assuming something like this may happen. The restricted area according to Navionics is pretty close to the bank and probably not boatable most times but I'm not trying to run into a situation similar to yours.

(add if applicable) /s

Well, that's quite the saga. Closest I've come to similar reactions is on the Radford Arsenal float. I've had several encounters with workers there warning me off the burning grounds, and once got held upriver for an hour and a half for their purposes, making us perilously close to pulling out after dark.
My friend and fellow guide, Jim Richmond, was with clients once and they stopped at lunchtime on a tree lined bank in the middle of the Arsenal. They were accosted by three armed guards and ordered to stop eating and get the devil off the property or face arrest and prosecution. Jim said the guards were aggressive and obviously pissed off and it seemed like a tense moment, though no action was taken once they "dropped the sandwiches" and loaded up and left. Once had a client who got caught short and needed a serious moment on shore to relieve himself, but it ended up that he was so afraid of getting arrested that he tensed up and couldn't complete his task, leading to several hours of pain and discomfort until he was so discommoded he decided it was worth the risk, but it ruined his day and made his buddy and I pretty uncomfortable as well.
I do understand that if you are in danger from military activities, you should be informed and run off, but eating a sandwich or taking a dump shouldn't get you in trouble with twenty year old guards armed with automatic weapons just for a quick stop, especially when there was no danger involved.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Talked to some friends in PA on smallmouth around the Susquehanna and they mentioned the Juanita river which is a sizable long tributary for the Susquehanna with good fishing so we may add that to the list while in PA this summer

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

I assume you mean the Juniata? I mention it earlier in the thread. It's a big trib that hits the Susq. at Duncannon right at Johnny's campground.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yup I didnt realize I was saying it incorrectly, DOH. Were gonna look into specific trips to do on that river it looks really good.

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

Is anyone else going to be at the Richmond Fishing Expo Saturday?

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

I am now, thanks for sharing.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

If you go to the Bowed Up Lures booth, ask if French is around. I will be there for a little while on Saturday, but I also need to meet up with my brother for lunch. Billy is going to have flutter jigs, cobia bucktails, spanish mackerel spoons, and other cool Bowed Up stuff at below store prices. And, he got to get hit by Vince Hall every day for years.

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

I am officially obsessed with figuring out this light tackle jigging for winter rockfish deal.

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

I know its hard, but anyone have any tips on winter New River smallmouth? Got a couple new reels I am dying to try out. Thanks in advance!

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

Deep slow eddies and pools. They sometimes eat musky flies. You're more likely to stick a walleye though and the New has some big walleyes.

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The walleye bite has always intrigued me but never actually taken the time to fish for them.

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

Come to think of it, I remember reading an article years ago talking about Blane Chocklett fishing flats for smallmouth in mid winter on warmer days. The fish would get up on them in the sun to warm up. I recall him using a crayfish imitation and very slow retrieve.

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I was getting ready to comment here on the same thing. Not sure when we will see those warm days though, unfortunately.

Yeah, looking at the past flows and the upcoming forecast, winter fishing on the New continues to be a pretty bleak prospect for the '18-'19 season. I've been dying to chase some musky but conditions have sucked and next few weeks doesn't look much better. Hopefully we can get some decent sunny skies matched with some fishable water before spring hits.

BTW I gotta get back to you on those believers - been tied up last few weeks.

Rock on charters has been catching them in the James and New despite the flows, at least from what I can tell in their pics.

VGDIF just shocked a 50" musky yesterday at Whitethorn.

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

I caught big smallmouth every year in the winter when I lived there. We fished from about 10 am until three or four pm to catch the warmest part of the day. We usually didn't fish if the water temps were below 36. We did, indeed, fish the deepest, slowest eddies we could, with jig 'n pig in the early years, tubes in the latter years. We found that on sunny days, rocks were the key, usually, with the sun's heat warming them enough for crawfish to move a little. Sometimes, they were in micro pockets around the rocks, but the water had to be very slow or better yet, almost still. Once in a blue moon, we'd find them on wood. Early days, we only caught big fish in winter, but by the time I moved on, we had been getting smaller fish mixed in with the bigguns. Had more than a few citations doing this, and several multi-citation outings, and muskies would often be in the same holes, and would hit the same jigs or tubes if they were feeding. The water doesn't need to be clear, either.
As for the walleye, they're above the lake, and can be found in current breaks adjacent to moving water, like between ledges or on the edges of the eddies. Suspending jerkbaits were the bait of choice for those walleye. SLOW, SLOW, SLOW. If you think you're fishing too slow, slow down. People have already been catching them in the Austinville area, and I've seen some nice pictures of them. Some are being caught at Foster Falls and that bite will just increase as they move to spawn. If you fish enough of the river with those jerkbaits, you'll likely encounter muskies. I have had a client hook six and land three in a day while walleye fishing above the lake, but it was in early March.
Same goes for the smallmouth, slow, slow, slow. They seldom chase anything in cold water, so while you can still get an occasional bass with a jerkbait, and muskies will hit them almost anytime, the bottom crawling jig or tube is pretty much the best bet.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

And as if that wasn't long winded enough, let me add this. While boat control is always the issue for fishing from a moving craft on a moving river, it is especially important in winter. Canoes and kayaks need not apply, really, for many reasons including safety, and I didn't float for smallmouth in the winter, having more of an interest in the walleye. We did our winter smallmouth fishing from a jet boat with a powerful bow mount trolling motor. Obviously, you don't want to get wet in the winter, and it was nice to be able to bag the day when ready if things got too inclement. After a while, your fingers and toes can be unusable and the ice in the guides can get annoying, and the wind...
Another addendum, consider using Smelly Jelly or some similar product to add scent and attraction in tough conditions. We found that it did, indeed, help. Since you often are fishing for 3 to 8 bites, total, for the day, you need every edge you can get.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I got this in an email too. This is great!

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

Going to hit the private pond for stocked pickerel and largemouths today hopefully the sun will come out. Just need work to go by a little quicker.

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

Almost 30 fish in an hour at last light yesterday. No pickerel all bass but got into em thick around hard bottoms on flukes and jerk baits down deep and very slow

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

That's impressive for mid January

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

I was with a bass fishing pro who knew how to find em then we stirred em up with long jerk baits and then it was on they were very sluggish as expected when ice is on the water but it was still fun

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

Anyone have any good guide recommendations in the tampa area for tarpon trips around may? Also looking at the possibility of going of shore into the gulf for grouper in may why were down there if anyone knows any good guides in that area.

Edit: Also if anyone with fly knowledge can help out well be fishing for snook and whatever else is around while down there would my 8 wt sage be fine for most stuff or should I work on fixing up my old 10 wt?

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

Can't comment on anything but the fly fishing. I've used both 8 and 10 for snook. I'd use the 10 if I was confident in targeting bigger fish. The 8 would obviously allow the smaller fish to put up a better fight.

You won't be making terribly long casts or using huge flies, so the 8 is a decent option. The fish like to cruise right next to the beach. I had the most success in low light at dawn and dusk. Try small white and silver minnow patterns. Look up Norm Zeiglers crystal schminnow for a fly example. It's fun fishing, sight casting to fish right on the beach. But it can be challenging to avoid spooking fish. Good luck!

Sweet I'll probably end up caving and buying a reel and new line for my 10 wt the old reel is just about junk. Been reading up on snook never caught one but can't wait to try. Thanks for the advice I'll look into those minnows to see what I can find

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

buying a reel and new line for my 10 wt

Allen Kraken

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

It took everything I had to not buy one from Green top this weekend with the 20% deal on them and a gift card roasting a hole in my pocket I was so close

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

I don't know about Tampa but Sarasota Bay has some good fishing, albeit lots of pressure. Boat is needed. There is a fly shop somewhere down there near Sarasota that has a guide service run out of it. I'm sure they would be able to point you in the right direction fo Tarpon, snook, reds and the like. I think it is called CB's.

I've fished for lots of snook around Sarasota. Anna Maria Island specifically. You can catch them off of the beaches early in the morning or late in the evening. Do not get too close to the water, or they will spook. Stand back and cast into the water 10-15 feet and strip in and they will likely hit the fly in the wash. Small, white or natural colored Clousers with bead chain eyes or other minnow imitations will work. Norm's Crystal Minnow, as noted earlier, is a good one. If you don't get snook, lots of other fish around as well, particularly lady fish, and they fight well.

Sarasota Bay has some good fishing, albeit lots of pressure. Boat is needed. There is a fly shop somewhere down there near Sarasota that has a guide service run out of it. I'm sure they would be able to point you in the right direction fo Tarpon, snook, reds and the like. I think it is called CB's.

Take your 8, the ten is overkill. You'll want to fish with 30 pound flouro as the tippet. The snooks gill plate is super sharp and can cut the tippet easily.

Your other option for catching them is dock lights at night. These fish can be easily caught at times, but I've found them to be generally super spooky. Small, realistic shrimp and minnow patterns are the way to go. My grandmother's condo has 6 lights on the water in Sarasota and it is LOADED with snook. Hundreds of them. They won't touch anything besides a one inch long super realistic Albie Candy fly however. Too many people casting lures and bigger stuff at them all night long and they have gotten wise. I expect this to be common. It was the exact same scenario when I night fished in Stuart, Florida. They didn't want anything over an inch long.

If you need flies, you know where to find me.

Realistic shrimp fly to give you some ideas:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BheqcnbH3N7/

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Sweet I'll shoot that fly shop a email on guides around there I'm not looking to tackle a tarpon on the fly my girlfriend's dad wants to go one day while we are there to try and get in on the migration in May.
I'll get my 8 wt primed then and maybe even bring a spare bit of line in case anything happens will my floating red drum line work alright in the surf?
Edit: Did some snooping and looks like were right under Naples actually heres a link to where we will be we have access to the whole islands surf and behind the island and we have kayaks for going into the mangroves all around the sound side. Heres a link to the island
https://goo.gl/maps/C9oRceXddsB2

I will probably get a small assortment of flies from you once I know what I'm gonna wanna bring like the stuff mentioned above which looked really good.

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

Sarasota is over 100 miles north of Naples...unless you are going to spend time there, I'd search Naples and Marco Island for guides if you are at Keewaydin...though surf fishing techniques should be the same.

if you want a local update, hit me up a couple weeks before you leave and I'll make some calls again.

edit: reasonable chance I'll be in Naples for a day this spring...if the govt ever re-opens.

If you find the urge to go south, Whitney's Bait and Tackle on Sanibel Island is an awesome shop, and I believe they book charters too. I don't know much else about down there.

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

I second Whitney's. Awesome shop and helpful people. I got tired of failing with the fly rod for snook one trip and they hooked me up with traditional gear to fling bait. The dozens of fish of many varieties we caught, while small, definitely saved the trip.

What other species did you get into with the bait? I've only fished down there once and that was in the keys so I'm trying to prepare for whatever I can get into to keep me fishing.

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

Mainly just small species of nongamefish. Stuff easily caught with small, fresh dead shrimp on a pompano rig. Galftopsail catfish. Hardhead catfish. Whiting/Kingfish. Also pompano were being caught at times (not by me). Small permit. Bonnethead sharks. That's about all we were catching or saw being caught. Tons of other species apparently around, just not yet within my experience or ability to catch. Good luck!

You're a long way from Tampa then and that's a good thing. Many fewer people fishing down that way. The docklight and beach surf fishing still applies the same, early a.m. on the beach (sunrise) and night around the docks. Since you have access to mangroves via kayaks, you should be fishing the mangroves the last few hours of incoming, the high tide and falling. White streamers will work well on the snook. 30 pound flouro tippet is a must, and the big ones may still break you off. I fished Flamingo three years ago and had never snook fished in my life, but throwing streamers up into the mangroves on a falling tide and we whacked 'em on fly, despite the water being coffee brown.

Your redfish line will work perfectly for all aspects. I wouldn't expect to use a sinking line there.

I do not know of any fly shops in Naples, but I'd bet there's one down there.

The Tamiami trail would be another great option for you. Just drive along it, pull over to what looks good and fish in the canals. The saltier areas closer to Naples have snook and baby tarpon, the closer you get to Miami the more peacock bass, chichlids and the like you will find. It's really cool and super easy access fishing that can be exceptional, just watch your back cast and keep an eye out for gators. Even the best fly reel won't put the brakes on a car going 60. You can guess why the gators may not be a positive experience in your life, though they do eat topwater flies and lures. Lots of info online on fishing Tamiami trail.

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Thanks for the info as always I'll check into the shops around there sorry bout the location mix up I had been told it was near Tampa and assumed they know what they we're saying, whoops. I would love to fish the mangroves so I'll hit those up during the day according to the tides. Will the baby tarpon hit flies honestly if I could catch a wee one on a fly I'd be a little kid on the inside.

We will look into that place my one concern is Gators and snakes I hate a snake. We might go inland for a shot at a peacock bass but we really wanna get some snook and whatever else is in the salty water anything that can fight is fun we aren't picky whatever will eat is what we will chase.

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

Sure thing, glad to help!

Yes, baby tarpon are a blast on fly and will readily take them. Need a super sharp hook. Their mouths are like concrete. If you hook one and they jump, you have to drop the rod tip, called "bowing to the king." If you don't they shake like crazy in the air and the tension on the line will throw the hook. When they re-enter the water, you need to get the rod back up and put pressure back on them.

I never saw any snakes down there last time I was down there.

Peacock Bass will eat any flies a largemouth will eat. I think you can drive all the way across the state on Tamiami trail in an hour and a half. I spent a whole day driving it and stopping and fishing. The gators never were an issue and I never saw a snake.

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Damn now im gonna get my hopes up to try and find a baby tarpon for my 8 wt. Glad I got a reel with drag on it if I need it the guy im going with was there and said there were huge snook all around the place so maybe I can get lucky with the right fly. Thats a good tip on the tarpon jumping never thought of it that way I'll give it a go that might help from shaking so many when they go up.

I have almost zero flies for saltwater at the moment if you were going to be fishing a solid 5-6 days in a row in a place out the way how many flies would you recommend? I was thinking 4 of each pattern I figured on using the most so I had something to work with for the week and if I run out I'll have loads of spin stuff so I can go with that. Dunno what to expect here only trick is we wont be making but one trip back to mainland during the week so if I run low I'll only get one trip to restock for the last few days of action.

So far was thinking fly wise
4 shrimp imitation
4 crystal schminnows

and maybe 8-12 clousers a few different sizes and colors, heck I can semi tie a clouser so maybe I'll tie a few as well for fun to see how they last.

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

Here's what I would do if I were you....

Tie your own Clousers, Bucktail Deceivers and Crystal Schminnows. You only need 4 each, a dozen or so, total. If you want, I'll even do a video on how to tie them, put it on Youtube and post the links here so you can learn how to tie them. They are all super easy, universally productive patterns for any fish, anywhere. Clousers work everywhere in the salt, as does a Deceiver. A black Deceiver is ridiculously effective on largemouth bass too. A yellow and red Deceiver with a weed guard is an excellent pickerel fly. Crystal Schminnows, a saltwater snook fly, when weighted a bit, absolutely crushes smallmouth bass. Materials for all of these might cost you $40 from Greentop and that will get you dozens of flies in various colors and hook sizes. I can tell you what materials to get. I know you're busy with your house, but I bet you can tie three flies in an hour, minimum. Four nights at an hour each night and you're set for the Naples trip with a dozen flies (at least) unless you really like casting in the mangrove trees and lose them all in one day. You can send me pics of what you tie and I'll give you critiques and tips on how to improve. If you follow my video instructions, you won't need it though. I've had requests for basic fly tying videos from my ex-gfs and some clients for awhile now, so this will give me a head start on that as well.

If you're going to buy flies from me, (which I really appreciate!), buy something a little more "technical," i.e. a Tarpon Toad, or my Bangarang (snook and tarpon eat them) or EP Minnows or any of these more advanced flies I tie. That way, I'm not charging you for something I can do with my eyes closed and you learn simple, classic patterns that will work everywhere, in any situation. If you catch fish on my flies, I benefit from photos of you catching fish on my personally developed, more advanced patterns and if you catch fish on your flies, you get pics of fish you catch on flies you tied, which is the absolute best feeling in fly fishing in my opinion.

If you wanted to get 16-20 flies from me for down there, I'd suggest:

4 Tarpon Toads
4 EP Everglades Minnows
4 Hang Times
2 M4s
2 Keel Shrimp
2 Water bottle shrimp
1 Gurgler
1 Popper

Let me know your thoughts. I just want you to get the most out of the tying and fishing experience and the most bang for your buck. Happy to do less or more of my patterns.

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Youre a lifesaver man, if you do the videos I'll definitely use them to get better on the clouser, deciever, and schminnow. my last attempt at the clouser the front of the head I had issues getting that trimmed correctly. Ill find a photo of it to add in here but the videos would be super helpful, I'll dig through my materials to see what I have I've got some bucktail still etc but if you have materials youd reccomend I'm all years I've got some stuff through a gift box last year.

That fly box sounds pretty good to me I'd probably get 2 more of whichever shrimp fly youd reccomend for sight casting in mangroves but the list looks good to me to keep me after smaller tarpon and whatever else lurks the mangroves. I've still got the bangarangs so I'll bring them with me to give them a go as well theyre awesome to fish with just scared to lose em.

Heres my latest attempt at a clouser probably used to much thread in some areas which led to the massive head on it.

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

Sure thing. That fly does look good, except for the head as you noted. One mistake beginners make is tying in too much material and using too many thread wraps. I'd use a little less bucktail and there's a few tricks I do to making the head smaller, while using less wraps. It is best explained in a video, so I'll see if I can put one together today or tomorrow.

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Sounds good I'm sure it just takes time to learn whats really needed I didnt want to use to little thread and have it fall apart while fishing it. Is there any kind of glue to dip the head in to keep it together longer or is that stuff unnecessary? Watched fishing videos all last night Ill be making soft plastics and maybe tie some flies this weekend.

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

It doesn't take long to learn to tie well if you learn to do it the right way, which I'll show you in the video.

I do lots of Instagram live videos in the evening when I am tying. Not sure if you ever look at those but I can teach you a lot on there as well.

This glue I use on 95% of the flies I tie. And I use it on multiple steps. It really helps make them last longer. $4 at the grocery store or CVS

http://www.krazyglue.com/product/details/all-purpose-krazy-glue-brush-on...

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Sweet was wondering if I needed the expensive glue stuff glad to know I'm good luckily I can swing by greentop after work to grab anything I need for the weekend

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

I am pretty much over it being this cold.

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

I'm fine with it. Too many projects to do inside, too many hundreds of flies to tie and the daffodils do not need to be sprouting in mid January.

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Saw a picture of the dock I left out of last week, and there is an inch of ice. Ugh.

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

With all the news today, I'm considering putting my Optimax in the transfer portal and see if I can get like a Soph transfer to replace my Super Senior.

At what point is a re-power worth the cost?

(add if applicable) /s

All depends on if that's a dependable version of that motor or not. Frankly, unless you are guiding, anything with a boat is never really truly "worth the cost." It's just spending money to have fun on the water.

Yamaha dealers cycle their new outboards in every August, so you can get a 2019 4 stroke outboard in August for a bit cheaper when the 2020s arrive.

Ebay can also be your friend for used but it can also be a risk.

I personally find upgrading to a 4 stroke to be worth it because of how quiet they are, but that's just me. Some guys love the smell of a 2 stroker, as do I, but I'll trade the smell for the lack of noise. The only way I was buying a two stroke motor boat was to replace the outboard.

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I've always had two strokes and I love how easy they are to work on (no idea how to maintain a 4 stroke) but the noise factor is what's getting to me. Sitting a few feet away from a 135 2 stroke is significantly different than all the <50s I've run in the past. I can't hear shit going on in my boat when I'm running. The optimax runs....okay. It hates any variance in power or conditions. It'll die in idle quite a bit but once it warms up it goes.

I'm about to have my truck paid off, might just flip a pro xs or yammy on the back end of those payments and pretend it didn't happen.

(add if applicable) /s

Everything Ifish says below is true. You can easily learn the maintenance on a four stroke. It's not hard. Youtube is your friend. If you regularly change the engine oil /filter and lower unit oil once a year, the fuel line strainers and filters every three years, the impeller (easily done) every three years, you will be fine. I also run salt away through my outboard very time I use it in saltwater. Those engines will run up to 4,000 hours. You're not going to need to be working on it a lot if you do the typical maintenance.

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

Add me to the fans of 4 strokes. Have my first one, a 115 Yamaha (2005) that I bought with my Scout (2006) six years ago. It had only 59 hours on it and while the boat had been neglected, once I got all the crap out of the gas which clogged up the motor necessitating a tear down to clean a couple of internal screens, it has been a dream. Quiet as hell compared to the smoky 2 strokey thing, and I don't get the love for the smell, it's particulate pollution after all. The 4 stroke also adds the dimension of lower pollution and greater fuel economy which I really appreciate in my less than lucrative retirement situation. I see no reason that someone who has reasonable mechanical chops can't learn most of what needs to be done regularly to keep it in shape. You seem to have that going for you, and there are so many out there these days that anything you can't do, there are plenty who can. Routine maintenance isn't much different, even with the injectors and all. The basics are still the same, I've changed the lower unit lube, oil and plugs myself, but I wouldn't tackle an impeller or water pump, for example, mainly because of my almost total ineptitude with all things mechanical. There's not a whole lot else to be done routinely, and if you go ahead and get a new one, you'll likely not have to do anything more than routine for many years. They aren't silent, but even with my hearing problems I can hear conversation with the motor running hard. I've heard that they don't "get out of the hole" as quickly, but it ain't a race unless you're in a bass tournament, and I don't really notice the issue. Every single person I know of with a 4 stroke yammy is more than happy with it. I know I'd have another one in a skinny New York minute.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Quiet as hell compared to the smoky 2 strokey thing, and I don't get the love for the smell, it's particulate pollution after all. The 4 stroke also adds the dimension of lower pollution and greater fuel economy which I really appreciate in my less than lucrative retirement situation.

Totally correct on the pollution aspect of both engines. I don't know why, I just like the smell of it and I know others that do too. It isn't worth the noise though.

Even more so, I LOVE the smell of my Stihl chainsaw. Combine a few hours of cutting firewood and smelling like two stroke motor oil and saw dust and I couldn't feel manlier. Maybe TMI, but 5 years ago I took my girlfriend at the time to my cousin's house for a mid afternoon party and he was complaining about a tree in his yard. I had my saw with me and got it out, cut the tree down and sawed it up so the kids could throw the pieces over the fence. It wasn't a big tree, but big enough that after 20 minutes of cutting I smelled like two stroke smoke and sawdust. My girlfriend walks up to me, tells me how hot it was watching me use a chainsaw and kisses me. Then she says "holy shit! You smell amazing!" and whispers in my ear that we should go have a quickie in the bathroom. I had to unfortunately decline due to there being about a dozen kids running all around the house, but it had her fired up. Ah, love and memories... and two stroke smoke and sawdust.

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What brand bar oil were you using? There may be some interest in trying to replicate your scenario for unspecified reasons. I'm asking for a friend.

LOL, I'm pretty sure it's just some off brand 90 weight with a faded label. It's definitely not the Stihl one.

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

Naw, I get the evocations involved with that smell. Having heated with wood for almost 40 years of my life, I am well aware of the scent, though I didn't know it was a chick magnet as well. Wasn't for me, I guess, but whatever works for whomever it works for. I don't mind the smell, per se. Sometimes on the Bay, I can smell a 2 stroke upwind a half mile from me, and I might envy the boat, but not the motor. When I moved from the mountains, I downsized in a massive way, and I sold a few things I wish I hadn't. #1 was my Stihl. Sometimes, no matter where ya live, you just need a chain saw.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays


I've heard that they don't "get out of the hole" as quickly

my 145 Scout/50 yammy was a dog when I bought it. Balancing the weight and going down a tad on the pitch now gets it on a plane quite nicely. happy to trade a mph for a better hole shot. i may still add some self-leveling trim tabs...it wants to porpoise a little more than it should

I've heard that they don't "get out of the hole" as quickly

The four stroke weight to HP ratio is higher than the 2 stroke. This is why the above is true. The 4 stroke is heavier and its all on the transom. But the reliability and quietness improvements are worth it. Like Fish says: or most of us its not a race to the fishin' hole...

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

Yup, and that was part of the re-balancing act. The Yamaha 50 is 40+ pounds heavier than 2 strokes outfitted for the boat when it was originally built. So I took out one of the 2 portable fuel tanks under the back deck, centered the other, and moved the cranking battery forward to underneath the CC. Also added a trolling motor and battery on the nose.

DFI 2 strokes typically run cleaner than your traditional two stroke and get as good if not better fuel economy than 4 strokes. Really what I'd be gaining is an engine that I can take care of better than what my Optimax was and a quieter ride. Plus the opportunity to throw a jack plate on and hydraulic controls.

(add if applicable) /s

My Hewes has a jack plate. Man oh man is it awesome.

Also, after six years of selling boats and hearing lots of issues, IMHO these are the order of dependability:

Yamaha
Suzuki
Mercury
Honda

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Yeah that's the order you'll see 99% of the time. I've actually really enjoyed this Merc. Yamaha's in the 150 range are pretty hard to find new. I have a friend that just got strapped up with a Zuke...he loves it but he can't find anyone that will work on them.

Right now really still leaning towards a Merc Pro XS or a Yamaha if I can find one. Will get a Suzuki if I can find a local mechanic that works on one though....this all also depend on price.

(add if applicable) /s

Yamaha VMax's are really nice and I would recommend. A certain TKP fisherman has a nice boat with one on it.

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Flyguy is on to something. ;) Given I only used it all of 15 times last year, I could probably be talked into selling it if anyone is interested. She's a fun boat (2017 Ranger RP 190 w/ 115 yamaha sho, 80lb Riptide with iPilot, and a couple of fish finders).

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Say it isn't so, mscmfa. That boat is a great boat. Now, if you were to sell it, what ya got in mind for the next one?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Realistically, I probably won't sell her, she's too nice and will be paid off soon enough. But the thought of downsizing and getting something small and light that I can jet up the James on, keeps running through my mind. A 15 min drive to the river is so much easier to make time for vs the hour plus to go anywhere else around here.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

how does it handle a chop?

I'll answer, but you should keep this in mind - my last 'boat' was a canoe, and I'm by no means a savvy boater at this point. Actually, Flyguy has taken her out, and I'd trust his input more than mine given his broader experience.

My feedback matches some of the reviews you'll find online (see below), though I'd emphasize the backing off in 2' chop (it's aluminum so it's super light and flat out moves, I hit 48mph last time I went out, but a fiberglass boat is going ride a lot smoother in the same chop if that's your frame of reference).

Review:
"what we couldn't show you on film is that the RP 190 is comfortable in a one-foot chop, and handles two-foot boat wakes with no problem as long as you ease back on the throttles a bit. The bow has some V to it but the bottom is fairly flat aft so the boat does feel like it slides a bit in sharp turns, though it benefits from 1.5" strakes and never feels squirrely or worrisome. An advantage this design delivers is increased stability, and the boat does better than most of its size when waves hit on the beam. The ride's surprisingly quiet, too, thanks to the fact that Ranger blows foam into all the belowdecks voids."

Hokie fan | W&M grad

how does it handle a chop?

Well, my response to that would be to ask, how big of chop are you referring to?

Lots of folks immediately say, "well, 3 feet" or something along those lines and they really don't know how big 3 feet of chop is. (I know you do.) I prefer to measure it in what I call 'wind over open water.' So, let's say the chop created by whatever the wind is blowing, say 10 knots, without any land impeding it for a mile. This gives one a better sense because most people in their heads who have been on the water, if they were paying attention to conditions, can remember or visualize what those conditions are like.

I took Scott's boat out on a guide trip on the Bay in mid November and it was gnarly weather. Blowing 15-20 knots and raining most of the time. The boat ran perfect in protected waters, where we had little chop, under a foot. I'd say the wind was hitting us at half it's speed due to the land and trees protection. Once I tried to get it out in open wind, with it blowing in that 15-20 range, it was uncomfortable and not efficient at heading directly into the wind, which is not surprising at all. Just about any boat short of my buddy's 25 Contender would have been a rough ride.

It's a modified V-hull so its not going to handle anything over 15 knots with grace or comfort. It definitely was more comfortable and capable than the flat hull Carolina Skiff I had for years. When we had to run a mile back to cover to get out from under heavier rain, the boat did great in a lee on the back side of the island with the wind. It was protected and probably half of the wind speed hitting us from the port. Only reason I had to slow down was because I couldn't see with the heavy rain pelting my face.

I could own this boat and it would be a fishing machine for lakes and inshore saltwater on days under 15 knot wind. Client and I caught 40 plus stripers in that shit weather. Get wind much higher than that and you better have protection from it. Then again, if it's blowing 15, I'm rarely ever going fishing in that weather any ways and I think most people would agree with me there.

Wouldn't surprise me if it ran 48 mph tops with one person and that engine and flat bottom on plane. That VMAX SHO is the absolute quietest outboard I've ever heard. It's a very well set up boat, the I-pilot trolling motor is $$$$$$$. It held us off of a dock in perfect position in that wind for an hour while my client caught fish after fish. I didn't use the electronics at all. I can see the power pole being useful. Personally, I won't put one on my Hewes. To me, the I-pilot can serve a similar purpose.

Hopefully that answers your question in a long winded and roundabout way.

Also, after brokering boats for six years and dealing with lots of idiots, I found my self often wanting to respond with this great quote...

You don't know shit about chop...

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

Having seen that boat and fished from it a couple of times, all on electric motor only lakes, I concur with your assessment of the boat. It's a really nice boat, but not built for the Bay if it's kicked up at all. The trolling motor is da bomb for certain. Concur on the power pole thing, but it might be handier in shallow water flats fishing where a trolling motor might not be indicated. Good fishing platform, and great motor, though I've never heard it run. Seems like a great inshore boat for the Carolinas or Florida, and a perfect lake boat.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So I'm a semi-retired, fair-weather, inshore saltwater type...biggest issue is wind blowing opposite the tide on a long straight stretch of ICW...so standing waves. If wind speed is 10-15, I don't go unless catching fish in backwater areas is all but certain. I like to stand on the nose of my boat and pinpoint cast the shoreline and oyster bars. Where I get caught is going out in the morning calm and then getting beat up for several miles at a time coming home.

I owned a 16' jon with a 40hp for years and years, and back in the day, my office had 19' extra wide jon w/ a 90 hp we used for field work in the Galveston Bay complex. I also ran that boat in the lower Laguna Madre a couple times.

My 145 Scout is light years better than the 16' jon it replaced, but the upgraded aluminum hulled bay boats like the ones in this discussion are new to me. Never even knew they were out there.

I suspect that Scout is going to run through the chop better, while you'll enjoy a better fishing platform from a boat like mine. One thing I get frustrated with from time to time on mine is that being an aluminum boat, it's light, and she gets pushed around a lot in the wind. The trolling motor helps tremendously with that now, but I can definitely see the draw of fiberglass.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

So a quick search reveals the Scout 145 Sportfish, which I would assume is the exact model of yours. It has a deeper V-hull than Scott's boat, for sure. Yours will cut those waves much better. What you don't have is another 4 feet of length that he has, which will be incredibly useful in rougher water.

If you are dealing with wind against tide and standing waves, Scott's boat is not the vessel for you.

You mentioned trim tabs... yes that will help and would be an improvement at minimal cost, however it isn't going to fully cure your issues. I think you need more length, say a 16 or 17 foot deep V bay boat or flats boat and I would stick to Fiberglass. The aluminum hulled boats seem to have a flatter bottom unless you get one of those walleye dual console boats for fishing up north. They won't be as comfortable standing on the bow casting. A 17 bay boat with trim tabs would be a world of a difference. I don't know if you are looking to upgrade and if you are what budget you are working with, but I can suggest some options based on what you may look for. I do not recommend buying new, sorry Scott. I can also run values for you on any used boat that would cost you otherwise.

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i'm happy where i am...and i'm always looking to improve.

when i'm really into something, that's pretty much my MO

Sounds good!

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

Finally buying a CF paddle for my kayak ever since getting my nucanoe my old paddles arent long enough so its time to get a 9' paddle and looking around found a good deal on crooked creek angler paddle. Bending branches paddles look so nice but the price is a bit wonky.

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

What do you mean by CF?

I've never been able to understand the benefits of one of those expensive paddles. It's not going to make you a better kayaker or angler in my opinion. Hasn't for me.

I always buy the $50-$80 ones and use them. Your paddle is going to get beat up, scratched, nicked etc. May as well not worry about the price on it.

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

Carbon fiber, theyve got some higher priced crooked creek ones on sale for 70$ which aint bad my biggest thing is I need a long one since my yak is 42" wide now and I'm higher up

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

Gotcha, well Carbon Fiber is probably lighter than the aluminum ones I use, though I like the aluminum ones because I can split it in half to through in the bed of the pickup truck.

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

Yup thats why im getting a two piece one not the 300$ single piece ones. cant fathom spending that on a paddle. hell at that point buy a hobie or pedal predator.

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

Anyone here have any experience with ARK rods, or have any thoughts on them?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Never heard of them dunnow where to buy one in this part of the world, they look good for the price range in skimming the web on info on them but personally I never stray from St Croix any more these days I just wait till they're on sale at greentop to get em every few years

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

Finally after years and years of searching found myself a lightweight baitcasting combo cannot wait to get out and panfish and river fish with it. Really wish they'd make it left handed though

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

Looks nice, hope it works well for you. I know I've said it before, but I'll reiterate that if you stop worrying about transferring the rig after the cast and use it enough, you'll soon wonder why you ever cared. Trust me, and most of the baitcasting world on this. It really doesn't take long to become second nature and it just feels right.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I can get used to switching hands after a cast but I'm dominantly right handed so baitcasters feel weird worked the other way but I can survive

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

I get it, but almost all of us are dominant right handed as well. Like I said, you get used to it and in the end, I found it great for feeling the jig bite to be using the left hand for the retrieve. You'll get it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm with you on the left handed reel 'Nator. I started with a right handed one b/c everyone said to, but they're all wrong + don't listen to them. :)

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Oh ye of little faith! I've watched women and children as young as six years old do it. I feel certain you could do it as well, but if you fight it, perhaps it's just not in your wheelhouse. I've known a ton of fishermen in my time and without exception, all of them who used a baitcaster did it, too, even lefties. But hey, I guess you guys could be the exception that proves the rule. I watched Governor Tim Kaine fishing from a canoe with his spinning reel upside down, and his outfitter said he always has and catches fish that way, so I guess you guys aren't the only wierdos on the water! But hey, I didn't drink my first cup of coffee or play my first round of golf until I was in my 40s so maybe you'll come around one of these days.

Edit: Wasn't playing politics, here, no disrespect to the Honorable Kaine. I was just taken aback and the cameras were rolling, so I took it up with his outfitter about the visuals and how they'd play with the fishing public.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I watched Governor Tim Kaine fishing from a canoe with his spinning reel upside down

This piece of information could be used against him in politics.

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

Probably was, by the Russkies anyway. But that, exactly, was my point to his outfitter. I even went so far as to contact an aide, but he was less than reassuring that it mattered enough to approach his boss. I tried.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I will never understand this. It feels literally the opposite of right. That being said I still use both right and right left hand retrieve but I can tell you that'd I'd much rather have my more coordinated hand working the bait than trying to get cadence correct with my inept left hand.

(add if applicable) /s

I tried fishing left handed with a spinning rig one day and I was a disaster. Just didn't feel right. But for whatever reason, I not only have no problem working the baitcaster with the left hand, but can't imagine not doing it that way. My guess is that how you learn to do it is how it is the most comfortable. I have tons of experience and observation on the issue, but no real rationale to go with it. I'd love to hear from a pro on the matter. Some of it is how you hold the reel, I think. Baitcaster reel is on top, with the rod bearing the weight rather than the guides, and I wonder if that has something to do with the reason, but I know for me, after almost 50 years of doing it the "right" way, I wouldn't be able to do it comfortably any other way.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I found the one I was looking for. A 46 inch rockfish destroyed the drag washers in my Lews MCL Speed Spool in southern Maryland today. I was using a 10 inch green sparkle BKD on a 2 ounce jighead.

https://instagram.com/p/BtJGzinA-Rp/

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

Awesome!

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

wow!

What a P.I.G!

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

Yes sir well done!

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

Totally correct on the pollution aspect of both engines. I don't know why, I just like the smell of it and I know others that do too. It isn't worth the noise though.

Means you'e going fishing!

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

God bless a spring fed pond nothing like it to help get through the cold months. Put 37 in the boat in two hours today all on the bottom and very slow eats on variety of plastics and jerk baits even got the salamander going for a few bigger fish

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

That is such a cool lateral line on this fish

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

Thanks! The pond is man made and we've stocked it with Florida tiger bass and we've found them to be far more aggressive and schooling which makes for some fun times if you find em podded up. That and the colors are neat as well we're trying to work on culling them back a bit actually since they've gotten skinny the last few years.

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

Where did you get the Florida strain to stock it with and can you bring some up to RVA for me?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

It was about 15 years ago and it was a fish stocker recommended by VDGIF so check their lists they were awesome and helpful as well. We got DGIF to come shock it after we damned it up when it was empty and full let DGIF do a full lookover to give us a portfolio of what to stock up and then they did a follow up to do a look back to see how the stocking went so I can only recommend dgif helping out made our decisions alot easier.

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

culling is a good plan

i suspect you already know this...closed freshwater system should support a roughly fixed standing crop of fish in terms of pounds/acre. if you want bigger fish, either reduce numbers or add nutrients...or both.

Over/Under for how long until that turns into a block of cheese?

which one?

Beautiful fish + congrats again!! What was the estimate, 45 lbs?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I didn't get a girth measurement so I think any estimate on the weight would be woefully inaccurate. It was the biggest I have caught, and by far the biggest fish I have caught on traditional freshwater tackle.

The tackle issue is a tricky one. You absolutely have to feel the jig bouncing bottom, so having a light rod and a low profile baitcaster are huge pluses. I am not eager to go to a saltwater jigging rod or something bigger like a Tranx or a Lexa.

The 13 Fishing Omen Black rod (7 foot, MH, XF action) performed really well. The reel (a Lews Speed Spool MCL) did not. The drag would seize as the fish would make a run. I am shocked I didn't lose it, but fortunately the fish was lethargic enough that it didn't make any long runs. I backed way off the drag and it still struggled to let the spool spin without clacking loudly.

I think, if you are going to try the light tackle jigging for big fish, look at a heavy action freshwater rod that you would use for plastic worm type fishing. But, for the reel, get the best drag system you can find at your price point. This was a lesson learned for me.

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

I understand your reluctance to guesstimate on the weight, but I do think it'd go at least 45. I looked at some pics I had of eeling fish in the 40s, and that fish looked as big as any I saw, a few of which I saw caught. I don't remember being as impressed with the bodies of those fish, but it's been three or four years. While it could easily weigh a few pounds more, I doubt seriously if it would be much less.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If I had to guess, I would say anywhere from 37 to 47 pounds. It was really wide. However, it may have been the lightest big fish I have ever lifted. I am not sure if their bone structure is lighter than cobia or drum, but it felt like a feather lifting it.

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

Adrenalin?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Caught one with a similar size and shape that weighed almost 50 so I'd guess a bit over 40 is a safe bet

I'm also surprised to see you had bad issues with the lews drag I've never had a single issue with lews love them to death. Next time I'd try a uglystick style rod for jiging with a sensitive tip for feel but a heavy rear to work a bug fish. My friend got a mojo bass St Croix that's 7 feet for frogging the Lilly pads in the spring and summer it has a great sensative tip and can pull a horse out of a tarpit

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

Interesting suggestion. I've fished with very few ugly sticks, but sensitive is not a word that comes to mind. Soft in the tip, for sure, but you can't feel diddly it's so soft. Strong, though, I'll readily give you. Good catfish rods, good sturgeon rods, and maybe good for this application since French said the bite was just a big pull, but I'd have to see something different to call them sensitive for feel.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Here is another look at it via video. I can't get enough.

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

Anyone have any good gloves for fishing to recommend I'm trying to find good gloves for fly casting alot to help with line burn etc.

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

Buff Finger Guards.

They work pretty well, but eventually they get worn out and slip off. Not bad at $9 for a 3 pack though

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

I got a few after seeing them in shop the other day but I'm gonna look around for fingerless gloves to help with my hand rubbing raw some days when I cast alot found them getting rawer easily

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

I decided to draw down my 2 acre pond this weekend in anticipation of some upgrades. I can draw it down enough to expose approximately 70% of the bottom while still leaving a decent size 4' pool to maintain the fis populations. I've done this in the past for minor maintenance and seems to work well.

My plan is to get a machine in there to remove some accumulated muck in the shallow flats. I'll also work on some cover and would like to get some trees planted around the perimeter for shade. The main reason for the drawdown is to install some aeration to help water quality, algae blooms etc. the previous owners didn't do much if any maintenance and it gets pretty sloppy in the summer. Probably biting off more than I wanna chew but I'm tired of the mess. Hopefully everything goes well and I can get some good use out of it this spring and summer. Should allow the kids to fish much easier. I'll try to post some pics and updates.

2 acres is really nice as a private pond. Sounds like you'll upgrade it significantly. I'll admit, I've always wished I had something just like that. Time and money spent will surely be worth it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It's nice and I'm not gonna lie it put me over top on purchasing the property. I used to fish it as a kid and it always had a good population of bass and bluegill. I've added a few channel cats for the kids and did some work the last few years - built a nice dock and installed a low orrifice at the standpipe to allow water to drain from deeper at full pool. It needs some work though as it turns into a forest of lily pads in the summer and shallow open areas are muck magnets. I love fishing slop but you take for granted chucking a crank bait and reeling.

That's awesome. I too have always wanted a private bass pond. Luckily I was able to grow up next to neighbors that had them.

I've always liked the look of cypress trees around ponds and caught big fish under them too.

Good luck with the maintenance, and I don't recommend putting lilly pads in. My best friends and I put a few in one of their ponds and four years later the damn thing was completely covered.

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

See my comment above - previous owners put a few lilllies in decades ago and now it gets over 50% coverage late summer. All that decomposing matter over the years has added a ton of nutrients and stratified the water. I'm not a biologist but I know I need to get some nutrients out and oxygenate the water. That's my goal anyway.

I was leaning heavily towards cypress trees. One bank had 4 large willows when I moved in 4 years ago and I'm down to one - not a big fan as they break out in wind and snow. I would really like to heel up some mounds in the shallow flats and plant some cypress at the water line. It would give me shade, allow me to pile up some muck without removing and would provide some good fish habitat. Still researching a bit but I'm leaning to this and some along the bank.

Cypress trees are great we have a 5 acre pond with Lilly pads everywhere but we've found digging out areas to around 6 ish feet can keep the Lilly pads from smothering things. We used Cypress trees in corners to help add structure on the edge and we've found they also help in the Lilly pads as well but there's only so much you can do I've contemplated trying the underwater rakes and scythes to cut them back.
One word of caution on Cypress trees is beavers the furry little shits love them so be prepared to get some pelts if you plant them or find a trapper if you start seeing teeth marks in your trees for some reason Cypress is a thing they love, I'd guess the thinner bark it attractive to them all I know is beavers suck

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

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

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

Used to be in the good ole days a pelt was worth the trouble of killing, skinning, fleshing and hooping. Not so these days. Finding someone to trap them is a good way to rid yourself of them without having to dispose of the carcass, but I have heard two folks tell me they ate beaver in the last year, and found them delicious. No details, these were out West and at game dinners with other tasty critters like moose and elk, but they were both surprised at the richness of the beaver and recommended it. Personally, I hate killing anything I'm not going to eat, though I make exceptions for nuisance creatures like yellowjackets, bald faced hornets and groundhogs. I have eaten groundhog in a stew and it was indistinguishable from the beef also in it, but it damn near takes a chainsaw to get through the hide and I got over it fast the two years I killed 23 hogs in our farmhouse garden.
But if you're gonna shoot beavers, try to get them on land. It's a mess having a 20+lb stinkin' floater to deal with if they die in the water, or get back into their den before succumbing. G'luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That's pretty interesting about groundhogs. I've heard beaver tail is delicious. We used to shoot the beavers in my best friend's pond. They came back every year and would gnaw down the trees everywhere on that side of the property. Indeed it is a pain in the ass dealing with a bloated, floating beaver carcass in a pond. Getting them into the paddle boats we had was awful. The biggest one we shot was huge. I don't know how heavy it was, but my best friend had to be close to his current height of 5'7 at the time and he held the tail of it with both arms at his chin and the front legs on the thing were down to his ankles. Quick search showed that beavers over 55 pounds are not uncommon. I would guess it was up there. I took a picture of him holding it but who knows where it is.

Interestingly enough, this wiki article on beavers says no other animals, besides humans, so drastically changes the environment it lives in.

The only animals I don't mind killing are mice, ants and flies in my house and yellow jackets. Fuck yellow jackets. Everything else I try to let be so long as it isn't causing some major disturbance.

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

Yeah, I forgot about mice. But even there, I'll trap 'em, not poison indiscriminately. I have had more damage to equipment, vehicles and even the ruination of a boat motor caused by those damn things than any other pest, although the groundhogs and a certain crop I used to dabble in (hey, it's been decades, ok?) might come close.
The size of a full grown beaver can surprise those who don't see much of them, and the damage they can cause is undeniable. A neighbor in Giles had to get help with a family of them that got out of control, finally felling a small tree onto his porch roof. Though their industriousness and propensity for inconvenient engineering often causes problems, I still like and have great respect for them. And their lodges make for some damn fine crappie fishing in the spring.
I even hooked a beaver on a fly rod once in Nelson County while fishing a trout stream. It slapped water and swam around in the pool I was fishing for maybe 20 minutes until it swam into my retrieve and got a CK Special nymph stuck in its fur. Needless to say, I took the hint, lost the fly, and moved on. The boldest beaver I ever met, bar none. Usually, they abscond when we folkses are around.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm with ya not killing just to kill but a beaver is a different thing we trapped on our farm with a series of four ponds and last year bagged a whopping 50 of the furry demons. That trapper loves us and we let him have it all for free cause we used to shoot em and still do but it takes alot of time and having someone help out has saved us alot in keeping them from washing a pond out. Had one get to emergency levels and I have to shovel mud out of the pipe by hand they had packed it so tight.

O ly thing on trapping is don't do it if you have dogs around that go near the water don't wanna have a pet get into one that can be a bad mess

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

I've been told a beaver will attack a swimming dog, but not sure if that's an old wives tail or not.

We shot 'em because if we didn't they would cut down every tree around the pond. They do indeed pack a drain pipe full of sticks and mud.

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

The size of a full grown beaver can surprise those who don't see much of them

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

In Patagonia Chile, they have a species of bamboo that blooms every 25 years. With the seeds and blooms, the mice go crazy, eating them all summer long and then reproducing at an incredible rate. The local fishing guides call it the "25 year mouse hatch." When I went there in 2012 and fished, I was one year after the summer of the "hatch." The fish were still crushing mouse flies. I commented that it must be incredible fishing all summer long and just amazing to see. The guy who ran the lodge shook his head and said hell no, you don't want to be here. The mice reproduce so much that they are everywhere. They chew up the wiring in every vehicle and building. He said you could see them running through the fields and it looked like water was moving through the grass. Apparently once they run out of seeds to eat, they start eating each other and live stock. He told me they would eat the feet off of sheep, goats and cows and eventually those animals would die. Sounds like a horror movie if you ask me. But damn if the fishing a summer later with mouse flies wasn't incredible. The big trout would just crush a well skated pattern. I gotta get back down there.

I too hooked a beaver on fly in my best friends pond back in high school. Stripping a streamer and I guess it just swam against him. The beaver went up to the surface and slapped his tail and I knew I was hooked. Probably a five minute fight before he came unbuttoned, I was unimpressed with the fight. Thought it would have been better!

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

We have trapped them here but it is much more funner to shoot them.

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

Late night perusing the internets and planning a trip to Flamingo in early April and stumbled across some info on Hells Bay. Oh man, I am going fishing there. Has anyone been fishing in the Everglades? I've fished Flamingo on the outside.

http://sportsmansadventures.com/node/75

Also an article on fishing Hell's Bay as well.

https://www.hatchmag.com/articles/awakening-glades/7712374

EDIT: I'm going to bring my 12 gauge. Generally, snakes do not bother me but if this thing tried to get in the boat....

https://www.alloutdoor.com/2017/02/06/giant-17-foot-python-killed-angler...

Jesse, this is close to where you will be but gives you a taste of what it's like. I've got the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show this weekend so I'll get going on your fly order in early February.

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

Thanks man no rush on the flies I'm still working on sorting my gear out had my boss offer me his orvis 12 weight with a hydros reel on it for tarpon and I'm awfully tempted.

I'd definitely bring a duck gun or at least a 357 if you're going into hells bay

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

I think a 12 is overkill in my opinion. I don't think you'll need it fishing around the Everglades. More along the lines of looking for the huge migrating fish in June. The only time I ever actively targeted Tarpon with a guide, he used a 10 weight and overloaded it with a 10 or 11 weight line.

If I'm you, I take an 8 and 10 and you're going to use the 8 most of the time.

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

Only Scout I've ever been in was IFish's. I do know they are solid boats and I would own one. (For reference, you couldn't pay me to be own a Trophy, Sea Fox or Sea Hunt.) You've got more experience with Scout than I do so I don't know how well that 90 will push that boat, but unless you want to be a speed demon, it doesn't really matter much anyways. The way I look at it, these boat manufacturers aren't going to put an engine on a boat that grossly underperforms. My 17 foot Carolina Skiff had an F60 on it and probably maxed at just over 30 mph. A 115 on this Scout would definitely make that boat move quick. You can't go wrong with a Yamaha four stroke unless you have a 2003-2005 F225.

I will say that the BUC Valu came back very favorable for what they are asking.

$19,376-$20,876 Average condition for a Florida boat, not including the trailer. This would also be average hours, but the ad doesn't say how many hours. I've been told average hours is anywhere from 40 to 90 a year. I usually say 50. Florida boats generally value lower than northern boats because they have more time sitting in the sun and more hours on them. BUC Valu distinguishes this.

You should definitely compare it to ABOS and NADA, but ABOS costs $$$ and I no longer have access. NADA is free. All of the values can fluctuate greatly, I've found BUC to be the most reliable. Ironically, it lowball valued my Hewes compared to ABOS and NADA.

If you make an offer, make a lowball offer to anchor your position and go from there. Have your max number in mind you're willing to pay and aim to agree lower than that. At some point in the offer process, use a very specific offer number, like the first number referenced in the valuation above, $19,376. Trust me, it works, I negotiated 400 plus deals.

Beware that you are likely paying a bit more for it since it is at a broker / dealer. If it's brokered, you may be able to find the original owner on a craigslist ad. Going around the broker isn't exactly a nice thing to do to a broker, but damn if it didn't happen to me more times than I can count and knowing enough brokers and how big of jerks they can be, especially the owner of the company I used to work for, I don't feel particularly bad for any of them. I'm so glad to be out of that game, except for negotiating. I really enjoyed that.

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

thanks! outboard has 67 hours and the Scout website has the performance sheet for that hull/motor. Good to know it isn't ridiculously priced.

67 is nothing. Good luck!

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

Thanks for the advice as always I was just gonna use my 7-9 wt sage reel and get a spare spool for some 10 weight line to use my good reel with my 10 weight if target smaller tarpon. My boss just got back from Cuba going after tarpon and bonefish all week the envy was real he caught a few big tarpon on his 10 and 12.

Only gripe is my 10 weight is a 9 foot two piece so carrying it along is a pain I may go shop some garage sales to try and find a decent ten weight that's a four piece so I can carry it with me on my pack

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

Watchoo shootin'? If they ain't in the boat, why shootem? And if they is, you cain't shootem.
Also, check the regs. Carrying a pistol isn't universally smiled upon, even in the deep south.
And speaking of the old slim one, my wife and dog encountered a big brown water snake last a few days ago here in Mathews on the Middle School nature trail. Sunning on a pile of leaves, didn't move, dog didn't notice it. I was impressed.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Giant pythons that are bad for the environment and you can get a reward for.

I'd probably keep my 12 gauge, unloaded, under my seat out there.

I do enjoy snakes when they don't surprise me. They are very interesting creatures

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

If you go and you want to know for sure, I can check. I work with the leadership of FWC on a routine basis...

I appreciate it, will let you know!

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

Yeah, I'm with you on the pythons. You'd be doing a good thing, even though the truth is, it will be impossible to eradicate them down there now. Like coyotes here, they have a good thing going, and they will survive.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have an Uber fear of snakes so if it looks at me I'm ready together go swinging with a axe or run. Pythons are invasive and I think they still have a bounty on em so could be interesting but if I see one I'm going anywhere but there.

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

Pythons aren't likely to be aggressive toward you, I don't think. Cottonmouths have a reputation for aggression, though, and have definitely been known to try to board a boat, or fall into one. I am wary of them for sure, but like flyguy says, if snakes don't surprise me, I like seeing them. They are fascinating creatures, indeed.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have an Uber fear of snakes

Oh boy every time someone says this it reminds me of the guy that came to get my cable working at my new house. Big guy talked to me about the military, hunting, all this stuff he liked to do. Then came the time to trace down the issue with the coax coming into the house.

He went out to my crawl space and came running back inside. "Man I'm gonna cancel this job, there's a snake down there and my boss said as long as I got a picture of it I can cancel" At this point I was like a week or so without internet and cable and wasn't having that.

I asked him to see the picture, he shows me this picture and its shitty but I can make out the tail of a snake. I tell him I'll go ahead and try to get it out of the crawl space so he can continue. I get down there and in the doorway there's an 8" black racer. I kinda laugh and say "this the worm you're talking about" thinking that surely there was a larger snake further in there. Nope, that's the one.

I tried to catch it but those things are fast and he ended up kinda in the foundation pillar. Guy says he's leaving and he'll be back in a week. I help him around enough to explain how that snake is not going to hurt him, like physically would have trouble hurting him. After another 10 or so minutes I told him I'd crawl under there while he did his work. So I spent a mid summer Carolina day under my crawl space watching a snake while snap chatting this guy asking me every 5-10 seconds if it was moving.

(add if applicable) /s

We had a 5-1/2' black snake that lived in the house loose with us, as a pet, for a couple of years. We were tasked with finding it, usually under the couch, and moving it upstairs to our room whenever we had company coming. The snake was docile and enjoyed sitting with us while we watched TV and petted it. It really liked us to stroke its head and it looked like it was watching with us. Every couple of months, we'd let him go in the attic for a week or so and he often found a mouse to eat, which seemed to keep him healthy. Finally, one day the snake got on the dining room table which mom had all set for Sunday dinner after church. It knocked a couple of plates off the table and they broke, which pissed mom off enough that we had to let it go. It hung around near the house for a couple of months, then finally moved on. It was a cool pet, and my father used to tell folks that it kept away the mice and rats...and company.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I don't mind snakes, think they're pretty cool....doubt I'd keep one hanging around in my house though. After seeing what my parents little 8lb dog did to a 4ft black snake, I can't imagine it would last with my lab in there anyways.

(add if applicable) /s

We had a little chihuahua named Jose at the time. He had no interest in the snake, and vice versa. Each was too large for the other to mess with, I think. I remember him jumping over the snake, which we never named for some reason, more than once. I also recall sitting on the couch with the snake coiled in my lap with my brother beside me and Jose curled up between us as we watched TV. Jose went about 4-5lbs and while he could have likely killed the snake easily, it just didn't seem to occur to him. The snake was extraordinarily chill, though, and it may have added to the harmony. We kept other snakes on and off through the years, but never loose in the house. None of them enjoyed handling like that one did, either. It actually liked it and relaxed in our laps. Thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure every dog I've owned since I left home would kill the snake in a skinny minute. Even the little dogs. And our collie/husky mix killed several, even while on leash. He'd bite them in half and shake blood all over whoever was walking him.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That is fucking awesome

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

Dunnow why but they just gimme the jeebees I used to be an electrical apprentice I hated crawlspace work with a passion. I had a super led headlamp and portable lamp I would light her up like Christmas before I'd get going under a house

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

Once on the Jackson River in Highland County, I was crawling on a cow path around a briar thicket to sneak up on a big pool with some really big hatchery escapee rainbow trout. As I was crawling on hands and knees, I rounded a curve and came face to face with a really big black snake coming the other way on the path. We met almost nose to nose and I'm not sure which of us was the most startled. We both levitated and freaked, I jumped up and scared the trout, the snake disappeared in a second, but that was one of the few times snakes have bothered me.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

snuck out for an hour this pm with the next round of bad/cold weather coming tonite. totally the wrong tide (mid-incoming). picked up a small flounder

but it was good to get the boat out before the wind kicks back up

If the lake isn't froze over I may try to hit Rural Retreat this Sunday for some musky. I know this cold front is going to plummet the water temps, but with highs in the low 40's Friday climbing to the mid 50's Sunday there may be some hope. I haven't been able to get out all winter and at this point I'm near desperation. I wonder if someone in Wythe county could verify what the ice conditions are Friday afternoon? Do any of you guys live out that way or know another way to check? I'd hate to make the 2 hour drive and not be able to fish, though I guess I could always drive on up and hit the New.

Please let us know how you do! Eager to see if someone else can pull something out of there since I was unsuccessful

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

I'll be sure and post a report if everything works out. I'll also try and do some contour mapping while I'm there and will share that if I can work it out. The current Navionics contours are 5' intervals and I question their accuracy given that they're likely simply overlaid from the VDGIF map.

Edit - just checked the SonarChart data online for Navionics and it appears that someone has uploaded some detailed contours. You can view them here by zooming in on the lake and opening up the SonarChart option by clicking the lower left icon. This may come in handy for some of you guys on other small bodies of water that don't have detailed data available, as the data is shared by individual users.

I know a guy who lives in rural retreat. I can ask him to check if he's around and has time.

That would be wonderful if it's not a big hassle. An idea of what it looks like Friday afternoon would be great.

I am said guy. If I can, I'll slip over that way Friday afternoon. I need to make a trip to town at some point this weekend. So, if I can fit it that day, will let you know how things are.

Had to go the other direction today. Can tell you that it dropped an inch or so of snow through the course of the day and has hovered around 32 all day. Ground has been frozen for two weeks.

Thanks for the info. I believe I'll punt to next weekend. Warm temperatures next week and some warm rain should make for no ice and better fishing.

Hey guys I'm looking at this- modest boat to go along with my flats boat. If you would like to contribute to my fund I'll be setting up a go fund me later. Thank you.

Thing is bad to the bone but considering it'd cost upwards of 11k to fill up the 3500 gallon tank and it burns 100 gallons an hour I'm going to need a large piggy bank.

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You'll fish alone. None of us peons need apply. Be nice to know somebody who knows somebody though.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Shit if I could afford a boat like that everyone's invited. I like to share my experiences and fishing time.

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Yeah, I feel the same way. I am too limited in how many can fish my boat, and it is a source of annoyance to me. Unfortunately, though, even if I won one in a lottery I couldn't afford the gas to get out of the marina. Nice to dream, anyway.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I don't know, she looks to have the usual parts.

We had that exact boat years ago without the cabin it was fantastic to learn to drive boats with but unfortunately the wiring and usual parts started failing us alot so we sold it almost 8 years ago still miss it

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

This thread makes me want to get a multi-boat trip together with folks.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'm all in for that.

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I bet for the right idea we could drum up French, iFish, 3rdGen and possibly Flyguy for something in the VA/NC area if you can make it out this way.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'm down

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

Drum up

Don't know if that pun was on purpose but I like it. I'm down to go.

*smiling* - I love puns.

Okay, so whoever is interested, email me at smcfaden via gmail. I'll wait a day or two, and then send out an email to the group, and we can gameplan from there. If I already have your email, you're presumed interested and I'll add you upfront.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Well, if it's not too far, count me and my boat in. If it's too far for my iffy trailer, I'll show if there's a space available.
Sorry to hear your Little Creek thing didn't work out. Some nuts are just tougher than others to crack, right?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I picked up a Daiwa Tatula 200HD baitcasting reel at Tochterman's (a cool little tackle shop in Baltimore) earlier this week. It is a little bigger and has a little more oomph with only 1 oz difference in weight. More importantly, the drag does not appear to be complete crap.

Hopefully I can get on the water on Sunday morning. It will be my last shot for 2 weeks.

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

Congrats, those Tatula's are nice + cast really well. Slightly surprised you didn't end up with a Curado though! :)

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I still have two or three of those Curados still hanging around somewhere in my "stuff". Good reels, though like many freshwater reels, not built for the salt life. But, with proper care and maintenance, they are aptly suited for the light tackle approach, and mine have caught stripers and trout, even a pretty big red back in the days before I geared up some for coastal fishing. One of my buddies used them extensively in the salt, but I doubt his maintenance attention and it seemed like he was buying a new one every two years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Have one of those and one SV great reels, durable too/

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Gotta get some before/after pictures uploaded. My wiring is all done. Hydro Turf came in today....final project I had slotted for this boat until re-power.

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Won my bowl pool this year and the money is burning a hole in my pocket.

Thinking about picking up a St. Croix Musky Mojo (7'6" H) and a Daiwa Tatula 200. Thinking about a Daiwa Lexa 300 as well, but I don't think I will really need that much of a reel. I'm just using this for bigger topwaters (WP 190s), glide and swim baits, and bigger paddletails (Keitech 6.8s and Westin hypoteezes (6-8" long). So I guess this is somewhat of a two birds one stone set up, with muskies in mind but no reason a big smallie wouldn't eat any of those.

I just really want something I can throw all afternoon and not get worn out.

Anyone have any experience with these? I know a few guides on the James use the Mojos for muskies and seem to really like them.

Mojo is a good rod. I'd still go with a minimum of a 300. I would hate the thought of trying to set a hook on a musky with a H rod and only 12lb of drag.

(add if applicable) /s

I just got the Tatula HD 200. I haven't fished it yet, but the drag felt nice!

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

I have a Diawa Lexa 300 and could not be happier with the reel. I bought it after a friend kept going on and on about the one he owned for a year. It is not too heavy to use for bass though it wouldn't exactly be ideal. It pulls big bait extremely well but also casts lighter baits with ease. I opted for the power handle and I like it for working the bigger baits, especially when it's cold out. Plenty of drag power and I really haven't seen a drawback in a season of use. It's the only "low profile" musky reel I own, and it has surpassed by Calcutta 400b as my favorite reel for big toothy fish.

As for rods, Shimano used to have a Compre rod with a split grip - I bought one several years ago. Price was right and had no issues with it. Shimano also used to have a lifetime no questions asked warranty that I understand they've done away with, so not sure it's as attractive of an option as before. Haven't heard any bad things about the Musky Mojo rods, so you may be on the right track. As you know, it's hard to find a rod that will cast all baits in the spectrum of 1/2 - 6 ounces. I like something with a little flex in the tip so it doesn't feel like I'm fishing with a broomstick. It's tough to find a good balance, but some extra length helps.

I really appreciate all the input!

I'm gonna keep an eye on them and bargain hunt since I have the time, but I think the Lexa 300 is a good idea, thanks 04Hokie. Do you have the Lexa 300 WN or HD?

I have the HS-P. I wanted the faster gear ratio given that my other setups were low geared conventional setups. Unfortunately I haven't put it through the ringers I'd like to, but what fish I've caught it's handled. 22lbs of drag and the power handle helps. It surprised me how well it handled bigger baits. The reviews all seem pretty positive but like anything it appears a few people have a few issues. For the sub $200 price point i think it's an excellent reel and I'd definitely buy again.

Edit: I also wanted the higher ratio to fish swim baits (huds) and umbrella rigs for bass, and it fits that role fairly well.

Thanks again, 04.

I think you have convinced me - gonna wait till the next % off ebay code and make a move.

I am a believer that 7.1:1 is a minimum for me - I can always slow down, but you can only go so fast. Upgrading to a 8.3:1 on my basic topwater setup was a huge game changer.

Snuck out to little creek reservoir with the family today, trying to get lucky with the warmer weather, but nada, not even close to a bite. Found everything I was looking for - warmer water with bait fish pushed up in the shallows, and larger fish hanging out in the deeper water nearby, but no luck.

An absolutely gorgeous day on the water regardless; however, I might give the James a try tomorrow.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Unless you have hand grenades or some c4 you'll be chasing a skunk less you like catfish

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