January 2020 Fishing Report and Advice Thread

I am going to give the warm water discharges around the Bay a go in two weeks. Until then, post your fishing reports, discussions, and questions in this thread.

For folks looking for deals, Amazon is selling Penn Slammer reels for $180. That is about 30% off MSRP. (Use the TKP link in the upper right corner if you are going to order fishing gear from Amazon, much obliged)

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Well, I've decided not to let the stripers get the best of me and I plan to keep the boat ready for a good day and one last try. The local guides and charter guys say the fish are late moving down the Bay due to early warm temps, and if so, there should still be some fish out there to chase. Not too optimistic since I've fished after the season the last four year without raising a fish, seeing feeding birds or even another fool like me out there looking for one more crumb in the bread bag. Warm water discharges are the way to go in winter, but I don't trust my trailer to travel to the closest one to me, and while I've tried to get a few folks to take me, I've had zip for luck getting anyone interested. I really miss my old walleye fishing and even winter smallmouth and/or musky fishing on the New. Those fish can't run to Carolina when ole man winter descendeth. Sigh...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I wish I could join you. I am going to be working from Massenutten this week while the family has their winter vacation.

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

I love sharing and learning through these discussions. I didn't get to fish enough to draw any clear conclusions this year, but here are two things I feel like I learned.

1) When chumming for cobia, I spent three days on the water this year. Every single hook up came on incoming tide close to the top of the tide. I also learned that threadfins are an excellent cobia bait. Fishing a threadfin on the bottom, I'd recommend hooking it through the tail. I also recommend using 10/0 octopus hooks snelled.

2) Also, when fishing bridges near inlets for rockfish, dead low tide and the beginning of incoming is money. Fish with the tide flowing from your back to front. The fish, if there are lights, will move off the structure and are much easier to catch.

3) I still can't catch a damn puppy drum.

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

For anyone getting the winter blues...Waypoint TV just released the new seasons of Saltwater Experience and Into the Blue.

Also, Tom Rowland of Saltwater Experience has a great podcast. He shares some really great information and also brings on other guides that do the same.

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

Into the Blue would be my favorite TV show, except MsSusieCue has a crush on Captain Rodgers.

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

I have spoken before how my wife reacted when Jose, The Spanish Fly, dove in the water in his skivvies to unwind a big tarpon from a Fla. bridge piling for his client. A classic TV double take as she walked by and saw it, and then she looked at me and asked if I was recording that. I countered with something like "I used to look like that", but that didn't seem to garner the response I had hoped for. Again...sigh...
And of course, RIP Jose, a class act.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I was given a Spanish Fly shirt by Cap. Rush Maltz out of KW when I was 17, the year after he died. It doesn't even fit anymore but I will never give it up.

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

One of the best. I still watch the episodes on youtube. He was such a great fisherman and people who met him say he was easily one of the most genuine people they ever met.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

Possibly going to be going into the blue ridge next weekend with a buddy of mine now that we both have waders and appropriate gear to go trout fishing to test our luck and mostly get away from his fiances bridal shower. Any tips would be welcome both of us our very green trout anglers but can nymph to some degree.

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

Just heard from my friend Jim Richmond that the annual fly fishing/wine festival or some such is being held this weekend in Richmond at the Equestrian venue (?) or something. My old friend Chuck Kraft will be attending and holding court I'm sure. Time for Flyguy to chime in here. Going?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That would be at meadow event park just north of richmond at the kings dominion exit just down the road.

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

January 11-12 at Meadow Event Park in Doswell. I do not have a booth/table, far too expensive for the lack of return and unfortunately, the show attendance has slowly spiraled downhill the past five years. I didn't attend last year, but I heard it was really bad, although a snowstorm on Sunday kept away nearly everyone. Hopefully it gets better.

I'm sure Chuck will be there. Saw that Blane Chocklett will be doing a class. I will likely wander around for a few hours and say hello to some people. If anyone is thinking of going, please let me know and hopefully we can catch up there.

I will be tying at The Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ on 1/24-1/26 and Atlanta on 1/31-2/1.

I'll also be tying and giving saltwater presentations at the South River Expo in Waynesboro in April.

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

Thanks, flyguy. I don't even go to shows anymore, but I should at least drop in to this one to see old friends and acquaintances. Yes, Chuck and Jim will be there. Haven't seen Blane since the last time I saw him on the river on one of my last guided fly fishing trips.
If you do go and see those guys, please tell 'em Perch says hey.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If I mention your name will I get a free beer or a punch in the face?

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

Just don't tell 'em where I am. They're not young men anymore, but I wouldn't risk a punch in the face from either one of them, by the way. Most likely they'll ask why the hell I wasn't there and then tell you an unflattering story or two about the good ole days. Best bet, offer to buy them a beer and send me the tab...but be ready to duck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'll wear a helmet just in case.

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

Thanks, 'nator. I didn't know the whats or the wheres but figured anyone interested already knew. Jim said it was a really good fly show for those in that business or those enthusiasts looking for quality stuff and an edge from some of the best around.
Anyone who goes, please let us know what you thought of it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I had not checked out Field and Stream Magazine in years. This took me back to my teens and remembering when I couldn't get enough of it or any other outdoor literature.

Stripers in the Surf

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

As Mrs. Fish will attest, I dragged around hundreds of copies of Field and Stream and Outdoor life, and then In-Fisherman magazines, along with dozens of catalogues, for years and years. I would occasionally be going traveling and remember some long ago read article about a distant water I wanted to fish and I'd go digging through the boxes and stacks to refresh my memory before trying to fish there. Back when, the tv fishing shows were mostly redneck yee ha bass shows, other than Gadabout Gaddis or Franc White's coastal Carolina show The Southern Sportsman. When Flip Pallot started the Walker's Cay Chronicles and we met Jose, fishing shows took a quantum leap forward in content, variety and production value and really haven't looked back. Before these modern days, though, those magazines opened a world of fishing opportunity and knowledge, but you still had to actually learn and do it yourself without you tubery, electronics, and the like. And yes, I used to have to walk through 5 miles of knee deep snow, uphill both ways, to get to a decent tackle shop. That actually hasn't changed much, we are in a decent tackle shop desert here in bumfuck Mathews.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Has anyone heard if Shimano is taking the Teramar off the shelves? Suddenly it is very difficult to find the 8 foot XH and XXH spinners. All the big online outlets seem to be sold out/out of stock.

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

Re Life Update: signed a lease on a river front place on the Ashley river with a dock....should up my fishing opportunities if I can afford gas.

(add if applicable) /s

Your new, real-life job doesn't pay in gas?

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

I should have negotiated a 60 gallons a week into my salary. dammit

(add if applicable) /s

At least you can fish off of your dock. No gas, no trailer, no broke down boat or vehicular woes for that privilege. Wish I had one.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Tbh I'm pumped for the dock but the ramp being 5 minutes from my house is probably the bigger+ I can just drive my truck back to my house empty and have my bud pick me up from there. Saves a lot of towing miles and helps with drunk idiots hitting my trailer at the ramp which I am a magnet for.

(add if applicable) /s

All the trout and puppy drum...

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

Been looking at the Ashley, wasn't familiar with it though my momma was from Charleston and we went there sometimes. How far up or down are you on it? I know it is a tidal river, but how is your area situated for tidal change? What kind of fish are in your local water? Deep water dock?
Just curious.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Deep water should have about 12ft at low tide. I'm up far enough that I'm in brackish. With the few no wake marinas it's about a 15/20minute ride to the bay.

Fish off the dock I dont know yet the neighbor said there aren't any. I refuse to believe that I imagine plenty of drum and the occasional trout probably enough fresh water to have cats there too.

(add if applicable) /s

whatever is/isn't growing on the dock pilings will give you some clues.

Minor barnacle growth. Actually ideal because I should be able to get away with leaving my boat in the water without too much buildup for a couple days.

(add if applicable) /s

there may not be fish there all of the time, but they will be there some of the time

a little shell on the bottom never hurt anything

Fish update. There are catfish. That is it, lots of catfish.

Crabs on the other hand are apparently an endless supply averaging 10-12 keepers a night when the water gets warm.

(add if applicable) /s

Steamed crabs and fried catfish fillets ain't all bad. Wonder if any shrimp are in the neighborhood when the weather's right.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I can't eat shrimp more than 1 inch away from a toilet so that's no biggie to me

(add if applicable) /s

Man, that's a tough break. One of the top foods in the world to me. Oh well.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

what kind of cats...hardheads? blues? channel?

Mostly channels, some blue.

(add if applicable) /s

Smoked is good, no doubt, but I tire easily of smoked fish. I can vouch for fried channels for sure, though. Cats are so easy to fillet and skin, and lend themselves to all kinds of coatings. I used to just do the usual, dredge in House Autry seafood breader, dip in egg/milk wash, roll in panko and parmesan, then pan fry in olive oil. Deep fried crispy without the guilt. People also seem to love the smaller blue cats just as well, but I haven't tried them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Steamed crabs ain't too shabby though just gotta deal with the catfish getting in the pots

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

Got a new smoker. Probably just gonna smoke everything cause I can. Smoked crabs are delicious.

(add if applicable) /s

never had that!

You throw a tub of water in it tastes similar to steam but you get the smoke flavor too. Top notch with pecan chips imo.

(add if applicable) /s

I'm not a big fan of catfish but heading/skinning the little ones (10-14"), make some vertical slits in the meat on each side about 1" apart (bite-size), then season/coat and deep fry whole...works pretty good.

I just fillet and skin them like any other fish. Taste might also vary with location. I know the channels I got in the mountains were superb table fare. Never ate anything bigger than 3-4 lbs, though, and preferred the smaller fish for sure.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I absolutely love catfish and of all fish they're one I dont even second guess keeping. A good zatarans or similar batter and some Tony's seasoning and they're good to go.

(add if applicable) /s

I normally spice up my usual coating, but my wife is a bit leery of spices and heat, so I often just go with lighter seasoning. I mean, how I got hooked up with someone who doesn't like the smell of garlic (or BACON even), I'll never know, since I seldom get enough of either. I still prefer walleye to catfish, but a nice 2-3 lb channel cat is right up there in the top echelon.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Have any of you fished for trout around Elkton/Massanutten? I am debating on getting my trout license to try and get my first fish of 2020 (I don't ski so there isn't really anything to do here for me.) Hawksbill Creek in Luray was just stocked a week ago. Maybe there?

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

South River in Grottoes perhaps?

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

It was stocked on the 27th. May check it out.

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

South River in Waynesboro is loaded.

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

Fished Sandy River Reservoir on Saturday. I could not find a quality bite. Ended up catching 3 small bass, one crappie and one shell cracker by jigging a spoon. I thought for sure I would find some bigs up in shallow(er) water, or some where but couldn't.

At one point, I had a 12" bass smash my A rig that was hanging off the side of the boat.

Winter can be strange.

I'll be at the RIchmond Fishing Expo on the 19th, I'm going to make the rounds, but I'll mostly be hanging out at the Appomattox River Company booth.

Just recognized that my wife got her Hobie at the ARC store in Hampton. Good people. We got her pedal drive stolen while camping in Maryland-left it at the boat ramp and didn't know it for a couple of hours, went back, gone-and the folks there gave her a super good deal on a new one which was a small upgrade over the original. I don't think they made a dollar off of it. Highly recommend the business and I already took them a buying customer and referred a couple more that may buy.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Hoping the forecast changes for the weekend or I wont be getting to get out and fish. 20-30 with rain even in 60 degree weather doesnt sound good

Google people or techy people I'm trying to add the VDGIF trout map to my google maps so I can view it in the maps app to use while out and about fishing and my friend has it saved in his places under my maps but no matter what I do I cant figure out how to get it there and lo and behold he cant remember either.
Just like I have the TKP food map I'm trying to add it into the google app.
https://dgif-virginia.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=44...

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

I have no idea how to do that. I did drive down to Grottoes to check out a section of South River which was stocked two days after Christmas. The water was barren. I don't think dropping $21 on a trout license is in the cards in 2020.

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

Well, there are a couple of really good trout ponds/farms near there. Guaranteed big fish that pull hard and dinner for certain. No scrambling over boulders and slippery rocks, no hours of shitty weather, and no license required. And no, not kidding. Go have some fun like a kid, and if there are kids with you, take them as an excuse to do it. It'll cost you more than the $21, but you'll have a good time and the kids will never forget it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Was it low or just no fish around? I have a friend who loves fishing the south and swears by it. Just going to be watching the weather and waiting to see but if its as windy as they are saying I may not be so inclined.

On the map I have figured some of it out just need the proper file type gonna email DGIF to see if I can get ahold of it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDojGj1wXT4
Anyone with better knowledge of the resevoirs of the shenandoah recognize this spot?

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

I am gonna guess that's the drainage out of Elkhorn Lake in Augusta County (North River).

Any good of a place to go trout fish? I'm not one to fall trap to some youtube channels success just really liked the look of the place since its in the national park as well.

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

I've never fished the drainage but typically those drainages fish well when there is adequate water. Some of them are stocked separately while others are just "stocked" via overflow from the impoundment above. I've caught a few limits of trout from Elkhorn back when I was 13-15, but I haven't been back in the 20+ years since, sadly.

I believe this lake is in the national forest, but not in the national park. If it is Shenandoah National Park being referenced, that lies to the east of I-81 in Virginia while this lake, if it is indeed Elkhorn, lies to the west of I-81.

Might be going to try that area saturday if the rain will hold off. Elkhorn and the north river look good for an attempt at taking the fiance to try out trout fishing. Easier access incase the weather flips and some stocked fish might help out with first time nymphing.

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

I walked Grand Caverns Park and Mountain View Park in Grottoes. No fish. Didn't see a single one despite being able to see most of the bottom. Good depth and flow, but almost no structure in the stream that would hold fish.

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

Huh thanks for the intel might talk to my buddy who knows that area really well if he has any insight on it.

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

Trout only hold in those spots until caught. They go quick given the locals living next to it. Some go downstream from Grand Caverns park and can be found sometimes behind the Dollar General and down near the Rt. 256 bridge. You are better off watching the daily stocking report and hitting one of the flood control lakes in the National Forest after a stocking. Vdgif seems to dump more fish in those than the small streams so some last awhile. I agree that YouTube video looks like the discharge of Elkhorn Lake.

Summary: We had intentions on only catching minnows. We went to our church retreat property (where we host soccer games, family functions and special events). The 55 acre tract of land has walking trails, sports fields and two lakes, fed by a spring and running creeks. We had a few small nets and were finding it to be a fantastic day. It was sunny and 70 degrees.

The fishing was on fire. The kids caught 20+ crawfish, minnows and a salamander. An alien looking creature that is very hard to catch once on dry land. But we managed to secure it. I also took a fishing pole with some bacon scraps as bait, in hopes of maybe landing a big cat. Boy were we in for a surprise. I had left the pole for at least 20 minutes as I was watching over the kids around the creek. We were ready to pack up and head home when I remembered the fishing pole about 100 yards away. As I approached, I noticed the rod was laying down, not fixated against the tree branches. I had Isaac, my 7 year old son pick up the tackle, and boom--the rod bent at a 45 degree angle. He found himself in a tug-of-war with what appeared to be just what the Doctor ordered--my catfish. However, as the aquatic monster neared shore, I quickly realized this was not a catfish. In fact, it was a species of fish that I recognized only from books--and that was the elusive bowfin fish. In all my years of fishing, I have never caught one, nor seen one in the wild. I measured the fish and it weighed over 5 lbs with a length of 28". It was a blast!

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

Flyguy will be jealous!

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

Love 'em. Hell of a fun fish

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

what my southern Illinois born dad called a "grinnel" and what my cajun friends call a "choupique".

Yeah, I spoke to a # of my angler friends here in TX, and they too have multiple names for this fish. Grinnel is the most popular "alternative" name I heard for the bowfin. They have a super strong bite, once peaking into its mouth, I was careful to handle the hook and the fish. It really chomped down on the rapala scale, sounding like the crunching of gravel. This fish has a strong head shake and thrashes when pulled. Loads of fun. My largest freshwater fish to date, and a completely new species to us. Felt like we won the lottery!

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

I've caught a few. They'll totally mess up a balsa plug.

An unwelcome addition to pretty much every bass trip I've taken to Florida. They eat those giant golden shiners just like a big bass, but they were more numerous than the bass in Okeechobee and the canals around it when I was there. I wish when I was there they were actually more elusive.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

How is it as table fare?

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

When I was young, we ate pretty much all fish we could catch on hook and line...but grinnell? Nope. Not sure why, but it my daddy said chunk 'em back, that's all we needed to know.
I'd be surprised if the Cajuns didn't have a go to recipe for them, though. They can make most anything taste good.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

they definitely eat the roe

the best of the trash fish I had down there was garfish. they'll skin it, steam it off the bones, and then flake it up and make a deep fried croquette ("gar ball"). no reason not to do the same with choupique. it's just a royal pain in the ass to deal with.

Had carp made the same way once. Pressure cooked off the bones, dissolving the smaller ones, then made into a croquette and fried in lard. Gosh-a-mighty, that was good grunts. I was a kid and caught big carp by dropping treble hooks into their mouths as they came up to breathe, at the bridge by the spillway from Stumpy Lake in Chesapeake. I sold them to some folks living nearby for something like 25 cents a pound, which we guessed at. When I asked the lady what she did with them since we never ate them, she told me to come by the next day around lunch and she'd show me, which I did. Where and when it was, I couldn't go into their house, but she brought a "fish cake" out to me and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I tried to explain to my mom and dad how delicious it was, but dad nixed it on the too many bones to fool with reason. Mom had no interest, so it faded. I've said it here before, a good cook/chef can make almost any reasonable food taste great, and still believe it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Fry it and put some tartar sauce on it and most anything tastes good

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

Amazon is running a sale on Fenwick HMG spinning rods. I use the 70M-FS as an all around inshore (trout-redfish-flounder) rod and the 69ML-FS is a great specialty rod for speckled trout on plastics. Everyone has their favorite brand but I think it's the best rod for the money out there (I own 2 of each)...nice full cork handle and edit: Sea-Guide Alien model XSS reel seat (I thought it was a Fuji TVS, it isn't)...Fenwick warranty. On sale, you can have one in hand for about $95.

I swear getting footwear that fits is a pain, finally get my new wading boots in and they feel too tight with wool socks on. Reading online looks like next size up is a solid bet and just put a gel insole in to help tighten up in the summer months. Anyone had similar issues or advice on wading boots fit for someone new to this world?

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

I usually went with a size bigger than my standard shoe size. The link you had sent me showed a chart with recommendations for a shoe size bigger for the boot.

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

Yeah I guess my shoe size aint exactly what I thought it was gonna try the next one up and see if they had half sizes I would be better off but I'll get by. If everything works out I'd going to try and get out saturday for a dry run with the new waders and boots and try a little brookie fishing.

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

Super sale on Temple Fork Big Fish Rods!

Musky Shop

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

man that 7' would be a great casting set up with my Saltist.....I don't need one, I don't need one, I don't need one.

(add if applicable) /s

lol

spend the money on some dock lights

You will definitely know if there are fish in the river if you get dock lights

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Do they make 12v powered ones for salt. Found some on amazon but they don't have zinc anodes. Might still give it a try.

My property doesn't have electricity run to the dock, the neighbor (shared dock) does but asking them to run my lights might be a bit much. I do have quite a few 28 series deep cycles laying around though that I could repurpose.

(add if applicable) /s

When ive looked into them the 12v ones are an option but you'll need loads of batteries and a large panel if you don't have land power anywhere on the dock if you go with a 120v option you'll use alot less energy and save a pretty penny as well

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

Looks more for freshwater, if you want something to be more of a permanent fixture going with a flood light just off the water is probably a better bet anything underwater in any salt is going to be a short lived item. Now depending on how brackish the water off his dock is could help though.

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

Don't know nothin' about such things, except a bunch of folks around here have those green light things that are under the water. I have caught fish from around them and my friends in Horn Harbor said a bunch of people there have them and they catch fish most of the year 'round off of them. Have also caught fish from the flood lights like you mentioned, but he'd have to run the electricity to the dock for that. Not sure how the green lights are set up, but the ones I saw were likely hard wired as well. Obvious problem with the battery idea is that the lights work best when left on every night, or at least several in a row, in order to achieve maximum attraction (I've been told), so that could present a problem.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah gotta make it a pattern for the baitfish/fish. The point is there are options out there that could work with battery and one of them should be good in saltwater. Having fish to catch year round is a big plus without any effort.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

When you headed out for your jigging trip? That's tomorrow, right?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It should have been except 7' waves at 7 seconds :( rescheduled for the 25th

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Either way youd want to hardwire a light I would think you could pipe power for underwater stuff inside conduit Id still run UF wire for safety reasons and just set up whatever lights on a photocell and youll never need a switch and every day at dark theyll come on with no timer or other device needed. If the dock has no power it would lend itself to a small solar panel and a battery setup to avoid needing to pull power to the dock. Both options have lots of pros and cons and cost is really the same in the long bit.

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

Yeah I already have a solar charging box that's run game cameras in the past not sure if it will be able to keep up with a light. But my plan was to run battery to a photocell switch to the light. The docks like a good quarter mile so I'm definitely not going to be walking down every night to hook up the battery.

(add if applicable) /s

Well if running the light every night all night is more of an issue you could wire it up so its only on for the first 5 or so hours of the night to keep from burning out the battery too quickly. Also when doing the calculations on how big a battery you need just double and get that size so you never fully drain it for the days where it doesnt charge very much due to clouds and all. Set it up so the photocell is kind of like a sensor and simply triggers the timer and you could save some money not running it all night.

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

Put the new fuel hose on my boat engine today. Took about all 5 minutes. If I had determined that was the issue when I was down in New Orleans, I could have fished one more day there.... sigh. Not sure when there will be a test run.

Also went to check the lower unit oil as last time I drained it there was a bit of water in it. Since it was 35 degres outside, a little bit dripped out and that was it. It's close to the consistency of ketchup. I'll wait till it warms again to recheck.

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

Fortunately youre in VA and never mind the seasons but 70 degree weather is always just around the corner!

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

70 degree weather is always just around the corner!

This is what scares me for 10, 20, 30 years down the road. I'd rather have it cold all winter long. I'd like to get some snowboarding in. Regardless, I'll probably do some work on the boat tomorrow.

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

This is what scares me for 10, 20, 3

Hey fly I get where you are coming from. My family moved to Richmond in 1969 and I have not seen a white Christmas since. I think one year we might have had slush. LMAO. A good friend of mine was raised in Lakeside and tells me that in the way back they would ice skate every year on Staples Mill pond. Man I have never seen that. We should head to the great white north for ice fishing (drinking) and snowmobiles.

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

love Bob and Doug

Supposed to be near 60 tomorrow here, so I'm venturing out for a really late season try to find schooling stripers. Nobody else will be fishing, probably with good reason, and my last several after season tries have been total busts, but, but, but, I just gotta give it one mo' go. There are reasons to stay inshore and fish creeks for holding trout and dock stripers, but I just want to roll the dice and hope for that elusive gannet diving fest that happens once in a while nowadays. Afterward, some oysters and hushpuppies and a Landshark or two at the Hole in the Wall at Gwynn's Island, and I'll bow to the winter masters and winterize and cover the boat. Wish me luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'd remind you but you know what the saying is about too nice of weather for fishing but still best of luck if anything it'll be a nice day on the water regardless

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

Yep, and I don't trust a good forecast either. Mostly cloudy, wind 10-15 ain't all good this time of year, but the wind is from the south, so there's that. Gonna be 36 in the ayem, so we're going to start a little late for comfort's sake. Plan is to run for a couple of hours out towards the Cut Channel and see if we can spot any schooling activity, then maybe hit rockpiles on the way back in. Mainly, like you said, a last day on the Bay for a while and not just sitting around waiting for the next Hokie BBall game.
Report, good or bad, to come.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

There's a reason I live south of I-10...36 is 20 degrees below my cut off and the wind is at my high extreme. I'd meet you at the restaurant. Be safe and good luck.

Yeah, not my favorite thing to do, and now a wrench in the works as my partner in crime called this morning and backed out. He's been gone duck hunting and had to go to the airport to see his son off last evening and I think he's just too pooped to participate. This brings up a dilemma. I don't like being out this time of year by my little ole lonesome, at least out on the main Bay. Nobody else will be out and while I have a radio and cell and navigation aids and all, one stupid move or an unseen rogue wave could put things into the danger zone. I'm gonna have another cuppa and see how I feel as the day warms. I don't mind fishing alone, done it all my life, but there are times...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Me too. And I've done enough dumb things that I have no business being alive...including going overboard, while underway, by myself, in the middle of nowhere.

The Florida Boating Advisory Council member hopes you stay(ed) home.

But if you don't, wear a ******* pfd

dave, I'd hate to tell you of the stupid things I've done in boats of all sizes, and like you, probably have no business still stalking this mortal coil. Today won't be one of them. Now, waves are up to 2', which means they'll likely be more, and next week promises to be warm as well, so I think I'll forego the pleasure today and hope for calmer stuff early next week. You're right, of course, about the pfd, but what's the sport in that. Like almost everyone out there, I'd have them stored in the locker with only the throwable to grab for and yeah, I certainly know better.
As for general safety, though, my boat is big enough and well made enough to do the waves ok, it's just the prospect of a wet slow slogging ride through rising seas that makes me limit my fishing to 1-2' seas and hoping for those 1 footers so I can run and jig without discomfort. What does give me pause is when the water temps are in the 40s. Ours is back up to 49 on this side of the Bay right now, but that's not swimmin' temp.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I go out all the time by myself, so I'm not claiming sainthood. Cold water just adds amps up issues by an order of magnitude.

Hopefully good weather to come.

Unfortunately, while the warmer temps this fall have kept the hope of schooling stripers alive later than usual, there is no other saltwater fishing here that I can do, at least in my boat, until spring, so that good weather better hurry up. I'm actually torn between waiting another week in hopes of getting out one more time or using the warm temps on land to clean up and winterize the boat and motor instead. Now, I have to manufacture a good excuse for slipping out for oysters and a couple of Land Sharks without Mrs. Fish catching on. That part of today's plan shouldn't have to suffer for my wimp-out.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

A thread or sub thread on all the dumb things we've done the water would great fishing offseason reading. The 'going overboard' mention has me sitting on a cliff hanger.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Opening that thread would be one huge can of worms which would be fitting in a fishing thread as it would attract alot of eyes.

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

I can see it now: 'Nator opens it with a legal disclaimer suggesting all things here below are an embellishment and may or may not be true, and then begins with 'there may be a body below the surface somewhere near marker 9, but it's not my fault. Here's what really happened...' To which Ifish replies, 'ha! I've got one like, but yeah, it was totally intentional. He advertised my walleye spot.'

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Walleye spot? What walleye spot? Get my drift?

Besides, I think flyguy would probably end up taking the cake, as it were. And likely just from this past season alone.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Lord knows what has happened to whoever sold him his boat

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

Helicopter mechanic for the Army. I'd be concerned too, considering everything breaking on it, how well does he take care of the helicopters?

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

There is your mistake right there - NEVER buy from a mechanic if they have it for more than a year. They have already fixed everything that can be fixed, and if they are selling, it's because they know what they are holding together with duct tape because it is too expensive to fix right.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

LOL, ain't that the truth. FlyGuy is could write a book on his adventures alone - boats, blondes, and beer, the semi-true tales of a Fly Guide. Then he wouldn't have to guide others anymore.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

More than a few successful guides have found that writing can be a lucrative way to make the money you are hard pressed to make just guiding, no matter how good you are. Writing's difficult to do well, but it can be done, especially for a targeted audience like fisherfolks.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

You guys are making me blush and also making my day. Thank you. Believe it or not, I'm in the process of writing all of my stories out to put in a book, Tales from the Bed of a Pickup Truck. Several friends and family members have asked me to do so over the years and I should probably do it before I forget them all, which is starting to happen. I'm also taking an online class on making money on ebooks, so I'd like to get it up on there in the next few months, along with my book on throwing the best wedding receptions and parties, which I'm also writing. My best friend says to me all of the time, "this shit only happens to you..." when I pass along a story, whether it's fishing, social or just life in general. This Shit Only Happens to Me sounds like a great book title possibility as well.

Some chapter ideas I've got....

1. The stabbing and why there is a hole in my back
2. The night I pretended to be a bear and it worked really, really well
3. That time I was the lead suspect for the Richmond police in a huge bar fight on Easter Sunday at a restaurant I still have never been to.
4. The difference between doctors in America and foreign countries: A case study on armpit cysts
5. What might happen if you're a white man and go camping on a Native American reservation
6. Walking girls home in a bear-infested community isn't the best idea
7. Don't play with Rapalas on carpets
8. Rabies vaccination needles are really, really long
9. Don't hook up with a girl who has a twin
10. Chevy Chase likes baked beans
11. Columbia, SC... how to lose your best friend in a suitcase
12. Why I'm not invited to a wealthy friend's Christmas party anymore but the rest of my family still is
13. The chapter I want to write but can't about that night in Nashville
14. My friends call me The Stray Cat
15. A fifth of Jim Beam and Stinespring's offense: How to get kicked out of Lane Stadium by a booster named Frank
16. Big Al's, where they try to frame you for a crime
17. You can tailgate for anything, including a wedding
18. Tell your boss to suck your d*ck. The results are somewhat predictable
19. Your pickup truck can do more than it thinks it can. You just have to know how to fucking drive.
20. TOTS and their Rails: Why this bar and that drink have been the cause of, and solution to, all of my life's problems.

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

Yikes. Don't need to read more to know that you are our best chance for a TKP fishing thread Author of the Year award.
Having also been one to try my hand at writing, I will offer this advice. Make sure you give your product to someone you really, really trust to critique and edit the stories before settling on the final draft. Vanity publishing can really be a trap, and I know e publishing takes a lot of that risk away, but people won't always tell you the truth about how ugly your baby really is, especially if they care for you, so look for the tough critic and take their suggestions to heart. And make it a job of work. Quality bullshit and stream of conciousness can make for a great story, but don't always carry enough heft to lift an entire book into a page turner. Judging from your list above, and I have no doubt there are more gems to add, a compilation for your friends' amusement would still be a great thing to spend your time on and I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy reading it myself, but I'd love to see your smiling face on a hardback cover in the library.

Edit: As someone who is never, ever without a book and who reads 1-3 books a week, I'd be happy to give you an unbiased opinion just for the fun of reading about your travails. And a beer or two, of course.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i'll post a photo of the jacket that saved me...stupidity and carelessness got me in trouble an sheer luck bailed me out...I have no business being here. but i did limit out, lol

Tell her you are going to the Y work out!

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

the Y work out

Mrs. Fish would be directly involved, I presume.

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

Ha. Now that would REALLY raise suspicions. Nah, I'm gonna bide my time and live to fight another day. Did takeout Beach Bum's BBQ and skinny onion rings instead and a cheap lite at home.
I'm going fishing next week, though, I'm committed for sure. Regardless. I'm going. I swear.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Beach Bum's BBQ and skinny onion rings

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

The fly shop that I go to not frequently enough is having Enrico Puglisi as a guest on Tuesday night this coming week. Free cigars and beer and he's teaching a few "new" fly patterns and introducing a new product apparently.

Guess who has to be at home with the kids so the Mrs. can go to work.....

It's been FAR too long since I last dropped a line in the water. Reading y'all's posts has been keeping me somewhat sane.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

Put your kids in their jammies, swear them to secrecy and bribe them well, then take them along. Cigars, beer and fish hooks...what could possibly go wrong? Break 'em in early or as my old buddy Chuck would tell me..."You gotta get your priorities straight!" This just moments after quitting a job he'd had for 7 years with no notice and no job to fall back on because they wouldn't give him a couple of days off to go wood duck hunting.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Oh she told me to take the kids, but my children (7, 5, and 19months) are definitely not social-event-friendly yet.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

Nah, ya just leave 'em in the car. Lock up and make sure you leave the windows cracked. I mean, really, what could go wrong? I guess you could give the older kids a shot of whiskey to quieten them down, maybe an ounce or two of warm beer for the little one. No prob, they'll sleep while you play. Time tested country way to solve your dilemma.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Hey Fish, Jim Richmond says hey. Went to the VA show today and I've never seen that many people at it before. Excellent turnout. Saw a bunch of old friends and made some more contacts. If you're interested in fly fishing there are some solid classes there and many of us guides are wandering around just shooting the shit. I'll be there again tomorrow.

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

Hey back at you and Jim. Glad the show is popping and that you enjoyed your day. Wish I lived closer, but I'm a homebody these days.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Fished around for a bit above scottsville yesterday after finally being able to escape the home construction for a day and after so long it felt damn good to get out and fish for the first time in months. Overall weather, water level was fine, we threw the kitchen sink and the entire house and only fooled one smallmouth, one bream, and a creek chub but it felt too good to just sit around the house. Got the everything to eat on small tube jigs I had one smallmouth play with the tube for a good while before he fell to my mini tube. Tried spinnerbaits slow rolled, crankbaits suspended and stalled out in eddies, tubes in every imaginable spot, ned rigged craws worms jelly worms, pig jigs, swimbaits in all color blade combos even flukes and a dinger or two but they just werent that interested. My new waders and simms boots kicked ass the felt soles made wandering the rocks a piece of cake.

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

Glad to hear about your waders working well. Nice to have good gear and confidence in it. As for the fish, maybe you tried too much of too much and not enough of the only thing I'd have been throwing...the little tube, all day, only in eddy water. You did the main thing right, though. You got out!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I threw the two inch tubes all day never taking them off or changing from them just had an extra rod I messed around with while I let the tubes drift in the eddies. With the slight stain I thought the suspended crank or a slow roll spinner mightve gotten them up especially with water temps being way up for a couple of days before hand. Water temps were around 48-50 all day and in a few good creek mouths even warmer and stained a bit but still clear enough where the tube shouldve done better but oh well theres always next time. Honestly really liked the felt soles for the slick snot covered rocks due to all the algae and slime in the rivers in the fall and winter. The orvis encounter waders I picked up for $100 are super simple and nice and breathable I thought I'd be a sweat bucket in them yesterday but actually stayed cool all day.

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

So you say you cast the tube into the eddy, put the rod down and then cast other baits? I had a client with a head injury (from falling off of a charter boat in NC and drowning, being brought back, and spending 3 months in a Dare County hospital) who did that a few times. We finally had to cut the hook off his tube while he was distracted and he still got them hung up. I know you didn't ask for advice, and I'm far to quick to offer it anyway, I know, but that's not a good strategy, in my opinion.
As for spinnerbaits, again, while any given day could prove me wrong, the water is still in winter mode and usually the propensity to chase baits goes so far down in winter that it is probably a waste of time. While absolutes are difficult to defend, we found that water needed to be around 55 and warming before we did any good with them, and usually found that if you didn't get bit on them in a half hour or so of serious use, they weren't worth the time. Suspenders could work, due to their ability to still work when ever so slowly presented, but the small tube fished dead on the bottom with extremely slow twitches and constant attention to the usually extremely light bite which sometimes can only be seen in line twitch but not felt, well, that's what I'd have done. If I'd have had two rods, there would have been a Mizmo teaser on one, and a teaser Mizmo on the other. Two different colors, darker colors in stained water, but I would likely not have used anything else. I'd have also used some Smelly Jelly or some such attractant to boost my chances, and yes, I have proven to myself, at least, that scent matters in the winter, at least. Just my approach, but I refined it after 36 years of focus on river smallmouth in cold water.
I readily admit that my focus can be my undoing on any given day, but it has served me well more often, and I'd put my tube against any bait at all in the winter, with the possible exception of a mad tom fished on the bottom of a big eddy, but that's sorta what the tube is doing, and among the baits tubes evoke.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My new favorite tube is the Snagler Tackle Company mizmo mimic tube and its a kick ass little tube. Theyve got a copper watermelon combo I love for stained waters and now in clear or very lightly stained their PBJ one does the trick. Water was up a little bit so fished a 3/8 ounce to get to the bottom and the way I've learned to tube fish in the spring and fall is chuck the tube up river of your target and let it drift and in between checking it and giving it a light twitch throw another bait if its worth it but yesterday I kept the tube rod in hand for most of the time occasionally trying something else if I had dredged the tube through a hole a bunch. We brought a thermometer with us yesterday to check how certains spots temps were compared to others and we hit a few creek mouths where water was close to 55 in a few instances but the fish still werent bothered. We found a few bream at most creek mouths but they werent even interested which tells ya all you need to know. On the sticks thing we caught quite a few log fish fishing tubes and ned rigs slowly but managed to only lose 2 baits all day. Its alot easier to retrieve baits stuck in an eddy in a canoe than a raft sometimes and being we werent fishing the shallows we werent getting stuck in moving water to limit the snags to still water and every now and then the sticks put up a nice fight.

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

OK. I disagree with your larnin' here, but you're gonna do what you're gonna do. Absolutely wrong way to fish a tube in cold, high or stained water, again, in my opinion. Summertime, that'll catch fish, though I'd never put the rod down and if you were my client, you wouldn't either, at least in my boat. In those conditions, you case an eddy, and start at the top, casting toward the bank and working it back through the deep water to the boat sitting parallel with the bank. Then move the cast a little downstream, rinse and repeat as you move down the eddy. Never put the rod down, never let the line be slack. Never. The fish will hit on the drop more often than not, so the small twitches and lifts trigger the strike, not the slack drift. Keep moving down the hole to the bottom, and if you've fished it to your satisfaction, move on. If not, or if you got hit and missed the strike, another way to go is to fish the eddy inside out. You put your boat on the land side of the eddy and do the same casting in reverse, current toward bank, again, starting at one end and working to the other. Your best bet is the deepest and largest eddies, but that doesn't always work out to be true, depending on the bottom in the eddy. Also, sometimes when muskies are in the eddy also, smaller fish are more than wary of swift movement. This is why my raft was so effective in cold, high and/or stained water when lesser craft weren't. I could hold or anchor with relative ease, lift anchor and move up, down, into or out of the holes in order to properly cover the hole and present the baits. My big raft floated fully loaded with three anglers in 3-4" of water, so while the six foot width limited me a little, canoes and kayaks had nothin' on me, not to mention the capacity and comfort for the anglers. Me, though, I just rowed the damn thing.

As for water temps, that's not the only factor in the bite. Fish are slow to acclimate, and after their blood has been cold for a while, they don't just automatically go nuts on a warming trend until everything else starts to happen as well. Like increased bait activity, sunlight, trends and spring rain freshenings that trigger their spawning prep, leading to feeding more actively.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Well in some sense I do the same just I tend to let it hit bottom and sit for a little before hopping it along but I get what youre aiming at. While this old dogs still young he will try to absorb info and adjust if we go back out later this spring I'll deploy a different tac and see how it fares. On the water temps thing we had been waiting to get a good three day warmup hoping it might cause a few more than 0 fish to wake up and I guess to that degree we were right just hoped for more than 1 fish but it was still a good day to get out. One thing we noticed that caught our eyes was the amount of small fry and minnows in the eddies and pools. What is or has spawned this time of year to have small fry in the river now aside from possibly sculpin? I know for a fact they werent bass or bream so unless there is enough pike what else could they be possibly?

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

Good question. I got nada.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

One thing not mentioned in all the blather I blathered above is that you were winter fishing for smallmouth. We used to consider it a successful day if we caught anything, but usually figured we'd be fishing for three to maybe eight bites on a typical winter day. We would target eddies with rock first, and sometimes that was the pattern. Tight to the rocks where smallies might be encouraged to look for maybe a stupid crawfish or something crawling from under a sun heated rock would be our first go to. Secondly, we'd also check wood filled eddies for sorta the same reason. Most days, if it happened at all, it was from rock eddies, but somedays, wood was the pattern. Still, you did catch a smallmouth, and as good as we were, and as well equipped as we were boat-wise, some days we didn't even get one bite, much less catch a fish. When we did, though, the preponderance of fish we caught were big fish, some days producing multiple fish 20"+ when we hit it right.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yup a day fishing is a day well spent sure beats a good day at work as well. Kinda like my trout fishing mentality as long as I get one bite in a day I'll be okay since I know nothing of the sport I'm happy just to have a fish acknowledge my fly. The guy I was with sunday is a brain surgeon of a fisherman so the fact I bested his tally tells me its alot more luck in the winter and some days its just fishing instead of catching.

On the baitfish I did some research into it but all I can figure is it might be some form of a small baitfish shad or shiner type fish unless there are more pickerel than I realize that high in the james I'm stumped unless theyre creek chub spawn.

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

RE Fish fry

What you are seeing are last year's hatch. Everything living in a river does its best to find the very best locations that offer protection from the current at all river levels. It's one of the things I look for when winter fishing smallmouth.

It's the main thing for winter smallmouth. They ain't in the current unless there's a current break that allows them to rest comfortably with as little energy expenditure as possible, like a big rock or a good ledge.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Glad the boots worked out well. That is one hell of a rack you have in the front of that canoe

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

Yeah I wear a 9.5 typically so the size 11 fit alot better than the 10s and they soles gripped really well made a few sticky situations easier to manage.
Found the rack sitting on a rock in the middle of some rapids, I'm starting to figure them out thats 6 in the last 3 years fishing the winter months and all nice sized. Its sad kind of that all the deer mounts on my wall I've only actually gotten two of them hunting and the rest all fishing.

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

Nah, that's another good reason to spend more time fishing in the winter.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

People get too wrapped up about temperature.

You can still catch bass this time of the year on reaction style baits. But, it is still winter. In fact, it's the dead of winter. While these warm-ups can result in some bite windows, fish, and nature, still operate on photo-period. They aren't going to move much, right now because sudden warm-ups can also result in sudden cool downs, trapping fish in cold shallow water.

Me and three others struggled to get bit on Briery on Sunday. I found 52 degree water in some places from storm run off. 6 or 7 weeks from now, that would have been dynamite. Right now, not so much.

As we start the waning half of winter, the bite will improve, but I think winter is just getting started and the number of good days to fish here in the Commonwealth will be few and far between as we typically experience the coldest part of winter from mid-January on into most of February. The end of February is when the magic starts happening.

I've flat out wrecked both smallmouth and largemouth in late February in mid to high 40s on crankbaits and chatterbait.

Right now, I'm two weeks away from the start of kayak tournament season. Hopefully I'll be fishing Lake Seminole in flip-flops, but I doubt it. I bet we get epic cold and snow east of the Mississippi during that time.

Appreciate the insight! I'm not a bass fisherman at all but is nice to understand it a little better.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Yeah, I've had some good days on cranks in Feb and March. We'd often try them out if the tube bite didn't produce that time of year, but I had more days they didn't care for the cranks than days they did. Had some good catches on fire tiger cranks one year in late Feb, I recall, but wasn't able to recreate the bite in subsequent years. This was all in the New River, and all for smallmouth, with the occasional spotted bass and even less occasional largemouth, depending on the stretch. Some big largemouth there at Whitethorne, but I never got one.
Had a friend who once said that all baits were reaction baits. The fish decided when he saw it to "eat it, fight it, fuck it or ignore it", all reactions of one sort or another.
Either way, this time of year, it used to be jig n pig, then changing to tubes for us, and that seemed to be the most productive use of our time out there freezing our asses off and dunking the rod to get the ice out of the guides.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Last year we took an early trip on the upper James and we destroyed the smallmouth by absolutely burning firetiger rattletraps, we caught a front the temps went up a few days before and the river went up a few inches and stained a little. Nothing else worked so we tried spinners then the rattletraps and man is it fun when they go after them hard and heavy. Caught something like 16 fish that day but all were really good hits and bigger fish.

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

Cold water cranking generally works best when said crank has a very tight, fast wobble.

The SK red eye shad as been an early staple of mine. The Rapala DT 6 and Bandit 300 are my other two cold water favorites.

The Spro Fat John and Little John are my two favorite square bills.

As the weather warms, I'll start changing to cranks with a wider wobble, like the SK 6xd.

The Bandit and DT 6 stay on a rod for smallmouth all the way through May, particularly when the water visibility is reduced.

The lipless firetiger craw pattern is our go to though when the water is stained I love the rapala shad raps in whichever size matches the baitfish size around later in the year its a bigger model and early its a small model. Its a good way to get alot of fish even in stained water.

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

Oh, and any bass caught in January is a good bass.

I just watched some dope catch a 40 pound cobia on a 4500 size reel down in the Keys from earlier this week. I am salty as hell. Damn you winter fish.

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

I'd have been happy to snag an oyster today. Met 3rdGen, battery, while not dead, was too weak to start the boat. Luckily, we engineered a pretty slick jump from my van to the boat on the ramp, and off we went. We tried a lot of stuff, creeks off of the Piankatank for trout, an oyster bed, a few docks, but other than one bite that 3rd got on a Mirrolure, we didn't do Jack shit. That hit happened before he could even close his bail, and that was that. Pretty water today, clear and dead, but calm enough to run full speed all over the river and Bay. We went out about halfway across looking for feeding fish or birds, to no avail. Did see some cool birds that will have me looking at the bird book later, but not what we were hoping to see. Tried a reef...nada. We gave it the old college try and 3rd checked in now and then on TKP to see what was happening with Fu, but it ended up being a long boat ride on a chilly but tolerable January day. We did see some cool boats up the creeks, for what that's worth.
Will admit that I had no clue what to do, really, for local winter trout fishing, and in the absence of birds or breaking fish, no clue as to whether any stripers were still around on this side of the bay. Temps in the bigger water were 49+, and 52+ in the creeks. Filled up the Scout and washed 'er down and will winterize it soon and slink into hibernation. Thank goodness for the BBall team's progress, and a bunch of good books.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Glad to hear you got out even if the fish wouldn't cooperate I love how clear the mobjack gets in winter it's a shame the fish aren't active when it's that way. Can't imagine the rockfish are anywhere in and around the bay they should be clear of the tunnel by now but you never know I guess.

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

We weren't in the Mobjack, but in the Piankatank up Wilton and Moore's creeks, also went to Gwynn's Island Reef, fished the rockpile near Stingray Point, went out halfway across the Bay. Green Top has reported big fish on eels at Cape Charles and our charter guy told us he expected schoolies to still be moving for a couple more weeks. Also, saw some pictures of big trout and some stripers from a creek off the Rapp from recently, so we had hopes. Couldn't prove you wrong about the stripers now, though. It was about getting out one last time, but...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Ahh makes more sense, you can definitely get some very large late season fish off cape charles this time of year till they up and leave we have had some brilliant days in early January on eels but looking for birds has never been a big thing this late. If it wasnt for the wind today wouldve been a good day to get out again but theyre talking really high winds here.

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

Tons of fish, including lots over 40 inches, were diving on gannets Monday and Tuesday at the mouth of the Potomac. The pictures from Walleye Pete and others are pretty spectacular. The word got out... heard there were 100 boats out on Wednesday and the bite died. This front should push them out.

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

Well, we never got up that far and almost the only gannets we saw were sitting on the calm waters. Oh well, it's always better somewhere else. I'm done for the year.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Done for 2020???

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

OK, the season, then. And even then, just with taking my boat out or going out around here anywhere that doesn't include a warm water discharge or other serious attractor factor. Also not likely to travel far enough south to put me back on fish, or all the way back to the mountains to get after winter walleye.
One reason I don't haul my boat places farther than a few miles is reading your travel travails. Well, that and the fact that my trailer has "issues" that are still not solved for the long haul. I worry about my axle and hubs next, but money is tight enough for me to have to live with that a little longer. Then, all those rusting u bolts have me worried about a trip too far to get home quick. But, I do have new springs and my lights work. I'll quit while I'm ahead and see what spring brings. Right now, with 32 degrees and gusts up to near 30, I'm cuddling up with my sweet thang (and my wife, too), binging on my favorites, politics and Amazon and Netflix and reading my mystery novels.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Tangent here - but what mystery novels do you like? I read a ton (my mother and grandmother were librarians) and there are some that have some ties to fishing/outdoors that I really like:

John Sanford - The Virgil Flowers Series
CJ Box - Joe Pickett Series
Paul Doiron - Mike Bowditch Series
William Kent Krueger - The Cork O'Connor Series

And my favorite, but sadly the author is no longer with us - The Stoney Calhoun Series by William Tapply. Tapply has also written a few books on fly fishing as well,

Just wanted to share a few that I have really enjoyed as I am always looking for a new read/series.

Thanks for the list. Sanford and Box for sure, have read them all. Love Sandford's Lucas Davenport stuff also.
Randy Wayne White and his Doc Ford. Craig Johnson and his Longmire series, Michael Connelly and his Harry Bosch series come quickly to mind. I also read Lee Child and his Jack Reacher. I'll occasionally reread Laurence Sanders and Raymond Chandler, or even Robert B Parker and his Spencer stuff. Also read Steven Hunter and Harlan Coben. There are so many but my mind is drawing a blank for more.
Haven't read Doiron, Krueger or Calhoun, but will definitely check them out. I have gotten old enough, and read so much of this stuff that I am now able to go back and reread my favorite authors without losing interest, but I'm always looking for something new, as well.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Unfortunately (fortunately?) many of the ones you list I love too - Longmire, Bosch, Jack Reacher, and I read absolutely everything Harlan Coben writes (btw, have you everyone should watch his Netflix shows, Safe, The Five, and coming soon The Stranger).

I haven't read RBP's Spencer series, but I love the Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series (Appaloosa, the first one, was made into a movie which some might remember).

I'll check into all the others, and I have already added some Hunter books to the holds at the library, so I appreciate the suggestions!

Yeah, well me too. I just signed up for Netflix and am just trying to decide what to watch so I appreciate the suggestions.
I'll say this about Parker...he's basic. His characters speak sparsely and never seem to change. Not as cool as so many, but still, a staple of the genre.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Book report so far. Went to the library after this thread and got a Doiron (Bad Little Falls), a WK Kreuger (Purgatory Ridge) and grabbed up a Robert Crais I read years ago to balance it all just in case. Didn't love Doiron, truth be told. Bowditch seemed immature as a lawman, and I just never warmed up to him. Also felt like Doiron is good, but needs some more seasoning himself, as a writer at least. Didn't hate the book, read it all, enjoyed the story, just not on my A list. Amateur criticism, my taste is pretty narrow. I did think it better than average.
Kreuger, however, is really good and I look forward to reading more of him. I will be getting a Tappley as soon as I finish the Crais and slide back to the house of free books. Anyway, just wanted to thank you for the introductions and appreciate having new stuff to read.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I would agree with that on Doiron. They get better as they go along, but I usually try to find else before I read him. Bowditch is no Joe Pickett.

If you like Krueger, be sure to read his stand alone ones - Ordinary Grace and This Tender Land. The former is probably one of my favorites over the past few years.

Haha I'm just messing with you on the 2020.

Yes, trailering my boat so far is a giant pain in the ass with all of the problems I have. Clearly it drives me crazy. However, I can't be a "veteran of the unbelievable" if I didn't go. I have been in VA since I got back from New Orleans in November and I'm going absolutely batshit crazy. Ready to move. Luckily the next two upcoming weekends will be travel and be for fly fishing and then mid February I'm likely headed to Florida for awhile. It will return my sanity from the cabin fever and hopefully not add to the insanity of boat repairs. Like everything in life, it's a trade off

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

We need to sit down, have a beer and invent a roll back for boats to eliminate the need for trailers on smaller boats. Kinda like a roll back for getting dumpsters but with a winch instead. With the engineering folks on here and enough MacGyvers we could have you a solution to get rid of trailers for boats under 23 feet probably.

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

Get it so you can then go to the train station and get the train to haul the boat for you, drive down and pick it up, use it, then reverse.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm thinking either that or go with a lift for Marina's to help avoid putting trailers in the salt but I'd prefer a roll back

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

Bought a 200 series Tranx today. I'll probably buy a new flipping rod for it, and if the Hobie Worlds do end up in Brazil for peacock bass, it will be my go to reel.

Sweet gig ya got there VTHS.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Where in Brazil would they be? Seems a tough place to fish if you didnt have even a clue on how to fish it.

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

Bass in river, much the same.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Many river systems in the Amazon Basin have peacocks.

I'm guessing the Hobie stuff would be at a resort or some place nice? Sounds like a blast, watching river monsters was enough to make me hesitant to go explore the amazon but it is one massive river with alot of unknowns

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

I think you can catch them at Disney World or whatever that thing is down Florida way. Plenty of canals down there have peacock bass in them, from what I've read.
Going to Brazil takes it to the next level, though, with truly big tackle busting bruisers in a setting that should be awe inspiring. What a great trip, hope you get to make it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Who is going to the RVA show this week end at the fairgrounds?

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

I have thought about going since the weather will be bad, but the weather being bad is also a detriment with the two hour drive.

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

I'll be there from noon tomorrow until close on Sunday, working at the Appomattox River Comoany display.

Come holler at me if you're around .

Not a January bass, but...

I was trying to remember when/if I'd ever caught a fish on a mid-incoming tide. Then this guy hit a gulp at the boat right before I headed in. Tides and wind were wrong (conditions have been "wrong" for about the last month) but after Ifish's post yesterday, it was just too nice (mid-70's and sunny) not to take the boat out and explore another creek. Otherwise, it was just me, a large flock of tree swallows circling overhead and a juvi loggerhead turtle.

Thanks, was starting to wonder what them fishy things looked like. What kind of gulp, if you don't mind me axin'.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

3" shrimp, "natural"; 1/4 oz DOA jig head, red w/ gold eye

For anybody up north or around Atlanta, I'll be at the Fly Fishing Show in Edison NJ next weekend and the Atlanta show the following weekend. You can't cram more fly fishermen into one place than either of these spots. Come check it out.

Also, trim motor no longer working on my boat. Hopefully it is just low fluid. Add it to the list....

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

Do you go to the outdoor show at the Dulles Expo Center in Northern VA?

Huh - just looked and they may not have that anymore.

Years and years ago I went but haven't heard of that in quite some time.

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

Haven't seen it advertised in a long time

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

I went ice fishing up in Minnesota yesterday. This was my first time ice fishing but I went with a guy that knew what he was doing. We were spearing for pike and also had other lines out. Ended up catching one smaller pike, a large crappie and a bunch of sunfish. Highly recommend drinking beer ice fishing for anyone that hasn't done it before. Spear fishing out of a dark house was a lot of fun if you can get that in there as well.

804

How many beers were involved! What lake did you fish? Did you use decoys to drsw the pike in?

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

Only 6 beers involved for this trip which I am assuming is on the lower side for ice fishing. We used a teaser and a live sucker fish for decoys. This was on Green Lake just north of St. Paul. I was planning to make the trip to Isle and fish Mille Lacs but my plans changed.

804

I've been to MSP several times in winter...no. In fact, if it's below 55 degrees (F), probably still no.

If I lived there, I'd certainly do it. I wouldn't, however, go there to do it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Ended up driving down to the Richmond Expo today. Some deals that I spotted (all at the Green Top booth)

$89 for Penn SSV 6500 and 6500LLs
$129 for Penn Clash 2000-5000 size
$89 for TFO BiG Fish Rod (the Larry Dahlberg two piece- that was hard to pass up.)

I left with a bag of jerky and now going to look at condos.

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

Hey Fish or anybody Do you a guide on the New named Ken Trail?

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

I don't know him, but have heard good things about his company, Rock On Charters. Of course, this is all friends of friends, but I haven't heard anything bad.

He was on an episode of MuskyHunter last weekend while fishing the New near Radford - Muskies on the Fringe Preview

thanks Beaver

Thanks Beaver!

He was on an episode of MuskyHunter

That's what he said.... LMAO

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

I don't know him. A lot has changed since I left going on 8 years ago, but I do believe I have heard of Rock On, just don't remember for sure when or in what context. I could certainly ask my New buddies what they know.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Haven't met him but met one of the guides that works with him, can't remember the name. He was friendly and shared some knowledge that didn't seem like bullshit, which is hard for many fishing guides.

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

Ken's a friend of mine. Great dude. He would be top of my list of area guides.

RVA Expo Report.

Was there 11:30-2
Did not seem like there was as many vendors as in the past
Went to see Tim Horton. The only education i received was how to buy his lures. Bring back The G-Man!
Bought a cheeseburger, some floating creature baits and shaky heads, All over priced.
I got the hell out before I bought a Vexus 2080!

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

Well it is off season.

Ray Stevens馃槉

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

Caught my first fish of 2020. Somehow I caught a 8 inch white perch on a 10 inch BKD. That was it before the wind chased us off the Bay.

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

8 inch white perch on a 10 inch BKD.

It's called snagging馃槀

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

hooked it in the mouth. I still don't know how

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

He might have been taking a wack at it. I have caught bluegill and small bass on 6" jerk baits.

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

Breams eyes are notoriously bigger than their stomach

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

Not a bad deal at all. I'm holding out for a Triumph Surf spinning rod 9 or 10 foot for surf fishing for casting lures all day to go with a Diawa BG3500

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

Also, if any of you have lower Shenandoah Valley pointers, I have a soon to be 8 year old nephew who suddenly is interested in fishing. With the rivers being out initially (he is a bit hyperactive so I want to bring him along slowly), any pointers for fishing the area. Is the trout fishing in Clearbrook and Wilkins Lake's around Winchester worth getting a trout license? And, is Lake Frederick pretty dependable for bluegills?

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

In the lower Shenandoah, live madtoms used to be smallmouth crack. But I haven't fished that section, in many years.

Still are smallmouth crack. I fish it at least once a summer. We had great numbers and a few decent fish, but we weren't very serious about trophy fishing.

I grew up fishing for trout in those two lakes. While it's not my favorite as an adult, I prefer river fishing for freshwater and I've really started to love the salt/surf fishing game, I can't think of a better place to take a kid trout fishing. I have caught dozens of dozens of limits of trout out of there, mainly as a teenager. Clearbrook is somewhat more peaceful and natural of a setting but both are stocked well. I could write a short novel on how to go about getting it done at either lake, but I'll just answer your question for now...yes I'd say it's worth it. Kids would have a blast.

When I was a kid, Lake Frederick was extremely dependable for catching something. As long as trophy fish weren't the goal, bluegill, largemouth, and channel cats were usually readily available. It's been 25 years, so not sure how it is now.

Let me know if more details about the two trout lakes would be helpful. My dad took photos of Winchester when it was drained one time so I know the locations for all the springs and structure. I'd be happy to elaborate if the info is useful.

Clearbrook is far and away the closest to his home. I would assume the standby for stocked trout in ponds (white power bait eggs carolina rigged) would be the power move (at least that was my go to when the flow was too high at White Top Laurel so I had to fish Beartree, and then later when I fished Lake Fairfax and Greenbelt around DC.) I was good at fishing those mountain streams for trout but this little guy isn't ready for that stuff.

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

Clearbrook is far and away the closest to his home. I would assume the standby for stocked trout in ponds (white power bait eggs carolina rigged) would be the power move (at least that was my go to when the flow was too high at White Top Laurel so I had to fish Beartree, and then later when I fished Lake Fairfax and Greenbelt around DC.) I was good at fishing those mountain streams for trout but this little guy isn't ready for that stuff.

Does Clearbrook hold fish for awhile after stocking?

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

Yes, the Carolina rigged power bait is a go to. Although I had good luck with yellow, chartreuse, pink, and orange, more so than white. The Berkeley "pinched crawler" is another good option. I also used Mepps Aglia, Rooster Tail (all black with black blade), Super Dupers, and Kastmasters. Don't be afraid to go up a size or two to get better casting distance.

Another trick, which is going to sound strange, is to get one of those large wooden orange bobbers with the screw in eyes on both ends. Use about 3-6' of fluoro leader (it is easier with a longer rod, I use a 7'-6" for this) and a size 8 bait holder hook. Put on a single meal worm and cast out as far as possible. I've caught a limit in 15 minutes using this technique.

Both lakes have a defined inlet and outlet, Winchester more so than Clearbrook. If you go to the inlet and fish it like a stream you can do well. My go to here is a clear, clip on bobber about 18" above a size 8 bait holder using a single kernel of sweet corn with a 1-2" piece of nightcrawler. Try to dead drift it with no drag, and strike on any pause in the bobber.

Honestly, I think Winchester holds trout a lot longer into the summer than Clearbrook due to all the springs. Winchester is only about 15 minutes from Clearbrook via 81, so starting around June 1st, if I wanted to catch a trout I'd fish Winchester. There's a fishing "pier" on one side, and as you look straight ahead from the end of it, cast about 45掳 to the right and about 25-35 yards out. There's a good spring there that has held trout into August in years past.

Good luck.

Never fished those lakes, but have fished lakes like them. The below advice sounds solid. I'd only add that I've also had luck with nightcrawlers fished deep, and also with 1-1/2" countdown Rapalas, and I usually did best with the rainbow trout colored ones. Let 'em sink, then jerk/twitch them back. Fish will hit on the rest between jerks.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

This is great advice. The largest trout I've ever seen pulled out of the Winchester lake (about a 26" rainbow) was caught on a large Jitterbug. Some dude showed up about sunrise, no tackle box or other gear besides a net, and started winging this big frog colored Jitterbug across the lake. He must have cast 300 times with no hits. Then out of nowhere this huge trout attacks his lure. I was watching him and actually saw and heard it. I don't think I've seen bass top water strikes bigger than this. He landed the fish, carefully unhooked it without removing from the water, and released it. Then he left. I was kinda shell shocked to be honest.

Trout make a living on bugs, but are really into higher protein if they can get it without expending inordinate energy. They eat minnows and fry and young of the year if they can, and definitely will eat a nightcrawler if they see it. I caught a decent brown trout out of Mossy Creek once on a popping bug, so maybe outside the box is the way to go sometimes, but countdown Raps aren't nearly as outside the box as a damn jitterbug! Cool

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My family in vermont had a whole bunch of pond browns that they fed daily and those suckers would hit any surface bug, popper, you name it they had eyes up all the time

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

We used to fish nightcrawlers above a split shot and then take a hypodermic needle and pump some air into the worm. This let it float up above the bottom and was dynamite for trout that held deep. It seemed to always outfish trout bait and was usually responsible for bigger than average fish.

We have a municipal impoundment that's about 200 acres in size that is stocked annually with trout. The water is cool enough (it sits at about 3100' in elevation) that the trout hold over well and can get huge. We troll for them with small rapalas and floating cranks when they are up top feeding on hatches in the early spring. We've also trolled super slow with a dry fly and caught them off the top. Easy fishing as you just try to watch for fish breaking and swing your spread through them. Caught several 24"+ fish doing this. Havent tried it much in the last few years but you guys have my ears perked up.

Oh yeah, definitely forgot that trick. Some people always looked at us weird when they saw the dirty needle in the tackle box.

I picked up Aberdeen number 8 hooks, Carolina rigs, and the floating white power bait eggs for trout for the kid. If I take him, I like to use millworms myself. I got floats for him to use with corn or regular power bait.

I also got him three rooster tails for trout, and then two jitterbugs and three tiny torpedos for him to play motorboat with during the summer. I got stuff for Ned Rigs too, but I don't know how patient he will be.

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

I find this guy's humor great. You can skip thru like the like I do.

Its not a jerk bait its a crank.

He has an entire series.

You Betcha

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

I love this guys videos solely because of the midwest references and Busch Light.

(add if applicable) /s

Ahhh, Busch Light. The Champipple of shitty beers!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I can't tell but I hope you aren't damning the holiest of holy water!

Fred Sanford doesn't lie, so I wasn't talking about Champipple so much as just trying to figure out a way to disparage Busch Light and Fred's fave just popped into my mind.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Lol I was referring to Busch Light as the holiest of holy water. But it's all good, to each their own.

Yes, I know. I was just yankin' your chain a little and wondered if anyone else remembered Fred's favorite drink, but I realize Fred was before much of TKP's time. For those who might wonder, he preferred Champagne mixed with Ripple and called it Champipple. I'd prefer that to Busch Light, myself.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Looking for skiff recommendations....moving to Seaford, VA in May. Going to be inshore fishing 90% of the time. There are a lot of Carolina's out there but I would like to hear what other ideas/recommendations people on here have! Saw a Solo Skiff for sale in NC as well......those are pretty neat if I do say so myself.

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

Hayaari marine makes a H-skiff that is nice based out of florida. That all said Mako makes some nice ones but if youre really nice I know a certain fly guide who might give you a skiff and a trailer if you ask nicely.

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

LMAO!

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

As long as he casts some sort of spell to make it un-cursed.

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

He might even pay you to take it if you happen to be standing there the next time it breaks down.

My experience in my friend's Mako (15') is that it's hard to get the bow up so you might take some spray over the front on occasion. On the plus the Proskiff is a very efficient and stable hull and if you aren't trying to run a road course with it you can probably get used to the cat hull turns. I'd definitely opt for at least the 17 though.

Something to consider...retired guys like me have more flexibility on when we fish than those with real jobs. If you have limitations on when you can fish, you may want to consider a little more boat than initially seems necessary so you have more flexibility about where you can go when you have the opportunity. A larger hull in a flat(ish)-bottom boat will also mitigate some of the issues running in a chop and likely not draw substantially more water.

Understandable for sure. I am extremely lucky at my age to be living on the water with a friend of mine, so I think I will be able to fish more than I ever have before. I really appreciate the advice!

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

It all depends on what you budget is. Inshore fishing as inside of an inlet or going out in the bay? A modified V or V hull is going to be a lot better running in chop than a flat bottom skiff. Depends on how many people you are taking or just yourself

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Not sure what budget is at the moment, just looking for some ideas. Mainly going to be fishing Poquoson Flats, creeks around the area, and taking it up to NNK some. If the Bay is calm I am willing to take it out there.....and two people is what I am looking for!

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

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

That is pretty darn cool. In between the Solo Skiff and an actual skiff. Where in Florida are these available?

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

I think fort Lauderdale area if I remember right with a motor they were priced between 4-5k with a trailer when I last asked for a quote. Also could look at a gheenoe as well

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

Gotcha, there's plenty of options then. Main thing I would look for is having a trolling motor, power pole and making sure it can get skinny on the flats. I'd go along the lines of what Hokieflyguy has a flats skiff just hope you have less problems haha. Hewes redfisher, maverick, hells bay have these shallow water poling skiffs. You can get away with a carolina skiff too. The other option would be getting a bay boat which drafts closer to 12-15" but can run in chop. This would be most beneficial if you wanted to fish the CBBT more or did open water striper fishing.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I also wonder how much of a flats boat is needed here. I agree with the trolling motor and ability to fish reasonably shallow water, but it sure is nice to be able to do both. I don't know Seaford well enough to speculate on how much flats water is there to fish productively. But I've said it before, there is no perfect boat for the bay. You need two minimum, three preferably. Get what you think you'll use the most, then make friends.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Poquoson Flats was producing some gator trout last year, but I am willing to start out in the flats/inshore with a smaller boat because that is more my prot茅g茅. As always thanks for your input.

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

Florida, has a number of manufacturers and budget-wise, you can spend a little or a lot and make it as high tech or low tech as you want.

Here are a couple...

http://www.ankonaboats.com/

https://www.stumpnockerboats.com/boat-models.html

Some turn up their nose at the stumpknocker name but its a workhorse boat and shallow draft...state fisheries guys have used them as work boats for years.

Tavernier is another in the Ankona/Salt Marsh family. Interesting, panga-ish hull

http://www.tavernierskiffcompany.com/

Those look like some nice flats boats. So many options out there.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I'm contemplating buying an Ankona skiff (unsure which model yet) really hard but the Mrs. will not be thrilled if a buy a boat that doesnt fit the children....

Anyone with ideas on a 6 person boat that floats in less than 8"? (Totally sarcastic, I know they dont exist)

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

Pontoon boat it is!

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

I always wonder about websites like that... it says it has the capacity for 11, which is awesome in a boat that says a 4" draft, but how many of them folks are gonna be comfortable?

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

About 5 people can sit down in seats. Your 6 person requirement is tough on smaller boats but I think something along the lines of this is what will get you the closest to what you want.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

that Mako cat hull mentioned earlier might actually work well for you in SWFL. That big Bass Pro in Ft Myers probably carries them...maybe take one out for a test drive. You could totally use it nearshore as well.

I think that's the way she's leaning. I'm not very experienced in the nearshore stuff, but it sounds more and more like I'm gonna be learning...

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

We have an old shoal cat we used to use the cat hull on a skiff is nice but gotta get used to wide turns the hull is different

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

you aren't dealing with nearly the current we have so a trolling motor on that rig in your inside waters should do fine

i also see they've recently tweaked the hull design so whatever they were doing before, they probably do a little better now.

Find a reef or live bottom, bounce bucktails, metal jigs or bait to bottom, drift a live bait behind the boat. You will be able to figure it out.

I can't remember exactly where you are at in Florida but doing a charter with Captain Jason Stock https://captainjasonstock.com/about/ would decrease the learning curve. He seems to do well on blackfin, AJs, kings, permit.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I live in ft myers and work on Marco island. I'd be fishing marco area though. One of the owners at my condo building owns at another place that has docks as a part of their deed, and his boat is too big for the slips they have there (must be nice), so he said I can use his slip for a fraction of what it would cost to keep it somewhere else.

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

STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

(unrelated to thread)
Back2VT - I'd like to connect via email, phone, etc. or something if that's alright. I got a guide to take me around Marco earlier this month when I was down there. We got into snook, specks, and jacks. I'll be back in March and would appreciate any advice you could provide.

804

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STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

I've fished there many times- what types of places can you find the trout? Way out before it drops off? Closer to shore?

How shallow are these flats? Not knocking the flats boat idea, and my boat isn't close to a flats boat but I can fish pretty much anywhere inshore I want to around here. The trolling motor would be most helpful to me, and before I got wise to how to approach it, I did blow out a couple of prop sleeves getting in too close on the wrong tide when the redfish were on shorelines in less than a foot of water, then getting the prop caught in some oyster cages that were not properly marked. As for last year and gator trout, they were showing up in a lot of places around here as well and we don't have anything I'd actually think of as classic "flats" so much as grass beds, and even there, it seemed to me we found our trout in 3' or more. Not being much of a trout angler, I didn't get anything over 19.5", I don't presume to give advice on your situation, but a lot of the trout here were caught by trolling, many by fishing docks, and many by just drifting on wind and tide across the grass beds. Truth be told, when the reds were on the shorelines that one year (ONE! out of 8 for me here), the smarter move would have been to anchor up the boat and get my sorry old ass out of the boat and wade the super skinny, but I finally figured out to cast 5-6" Gulp Jerk Shad on six lb test with unweighted hooks. They cast so far that I could keep the boat floating fine while casting into the reeds. And it never was the boat that was the problem, it was boat control and being smart enough to raise the motor enough to protect the prop.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Agree with you on the boat control. A good trolling motor is a must for sure. I think its just my young stupid self really wanting a skiff/boat that is easier to handle to take it different places......

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

This take I get. If you aren't dedicated to the salt and are willing to travel with boat and trailer (warning: flyguy has a word for you), perhaps that skiff will be just what you want. Carolina skiffs, as well as many larger skiffs, can get out in the bigger water, but you might get wet and lose a filling or two, but you should be able to take them out in reasonable water/wind/waves. No different than the boat I have, but I cannot add a trolling motor, and wouldn't trailer my old trailer much more than 20 miles round trip. If I could afford a new trailer, I could probably afford a new boat altogether, but that ain't happening until Social Security is tripled for anyone born in September of 1950. Somehow, I'm not holding my breath. If I had it to do over again, though, I think a 19-21' Carolina Skiff, a 115 4 stroke Yammy and a powerful bow mount trolling motor would be my choice. I'm currently stuck with a 2006 Scout Dorado with the 115. Kinda a betwixt and between compromise with the ol' lady, but no matter what I had, I'd likely want more. The only boats I've ever been totally satisfied with were a 1957 Lone Star aluminum runabout I used for my lake boat, and inshore boat here on the Bay for a short time, and my Moravia Willy II I guided from on the New, and that really was the only perfect boat I've ever owned.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah it's not like the florida keys where those are mainly found. I think bay boat is most practical/versatile but that can up the budget some I'd think.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Agreed... especially with the York Channel right off the edge of the flats providing some tasty sight casting opportunities for cobia early in the season.

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

Used to own a Carolina Skiff. They are simple, tough boats, but you will lose out on knee cartilage.

My Hewes Redfisher 18 is a flats boat that thinks it is a bay boat and perfect for the Bay.

Tidewater 1900 are what my friends have and they work well and won't break the bank. Great boat on the Bay. The old Sea Pro 1900 is the same hull.

Makos are not bad boats but personally I think it's a bad layout. Stumpknockers look cool but too narrow for me. Before you buy, walk around on it. If it isn't comfortable or you can't get around easily, I'd pass until you find what you really want.

You're going to want a good trolling motor for fishing docks. I've had my problems with Minn Kota customer service, but they probably have the best one out there with the Ipilot.

Do not buy a boat through POP Yachts, my former employer. Way overpriced.

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

I stopped at the Gheenoe facility in Titusville on my way back from Vero today. Got a quote on a small customized 13...regular back seat; false floor and coffin box in the middle, low casting deck in front. It's going to be difficult not to order it.

They are awesome. Sold my 13 to a client. It's a fishing machine but I needed more boat. Don't let go of the tiller when underway

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

Should I buy one? This is what I was running from at the RVA Expo.

Vexus 1980

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

Lol I've been refreshing the last thread for like two weeks just thinking everyone was just not fishing... lol

What a tub!

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

Hell of a catch there! Teach em young and the memories will last a lifetime.

I wonder if her record holds up since she had her dad's help? 'Tis indeed, though, a hog.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Gearing up and making final preparations for Hobie BOS Lake Seminole next week.
Paired the new Tranx with a Loomis E6X 894C

Going to be the new flipping/punching rod but I think it will also be used to throw my big swimjigs as well. I really believe swimjigs and chatterbaits need to be thrown on big, heavy, fast action rods, at least out of a kayak.

Can a "red bass" count as a January bass?

Windy but warm this a.m. Two bites, 2 fish.

But they were nice slot fish; 26.75 (top) and 24.75 (bottom).

That's my favorite winter jig (I discussed last year) on the fish in the net. I actually tied that particular one a few years ago.

Sorry no. But good on yo!

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

rats

Yeah, that should definitely count.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

OK, guys and gals. I am a well known Luddite and anti techie, but I find my self having to contemplate buying a new laptop pc. Our old one is, well, old. Maybe 14 years old or more. HP Pavilion g7 and we've gotten our use of it, but it won't do Windows 10, a ton of keys have no paint on them and a couple of keys just don't work any more.
What I am asking is this. Anyone here have knowledge of this kind of purchase? We use our computer daily, but for little more than email, google and tkp. Don't need a lot of storage, wifi here is slow as molassas and unreliable at best, so we don't need bells and whistles or much more than basic stuff. I see a lot of $2-300 pcs at Walmart and Best Buy, and we liked our HP enough to buy another, just don't want to get burned and end up having to buy another in a couple of years. We can't afford more than we need, but don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish, so I thought I'd ask you guys.
Thanks for your thoughts and appreciate any advice.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Chromebooks are a nice medium for simple stuff and reliable use Asus makes a nice lower priced one as well I'll try and add some links tomorrow to help ya out

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

What we want is something along the lines of what we have. Full sized laptop. Don't need 2 in 1, and while touch screen would be helpful, it isn't mandatory. Our 17.5" screen is a desirable size, and we don't want to use a mouse.

Thanks for any and all input. I think we'll be going to Best Buy next week, but I hate to go totally unprepared and uninformed.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So I searched off what you're looking for and found 3 suggestions two are around 400-500 but solid bang for the buck and would last a long while with current internals on the market. All are 17 inch screens, hp, good internals, and the last ones touch screen. I'll look around some more tomorrow as well but those seem to be the best I can find for that size with decent specs

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-17-3-laptop-amd-ryzen-7-16gb-memory-amd-...

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-17-3-laptop-amd-a9-series-8gb-memory-amd...

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-17-3-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i3-8...

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

I tagged along with some friends to do a little cat fishing this morning. The boat owner had caught some nice ones (30-40 pounders) earlier in the week. We found plenty of fish, but the biggest was only around 30 inches. The pattern was the same- find a drop off, drop baits, get 2-3 bites, then it would quit and we would move to another spot. The two biggest fish were caught back to back off one of the Wilson Bridge pilings. Most of the fish were caught about a mile south. Bait was gizzard shad. We also used cut carp but didn't get any bites.

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

Well today I decided that the BB team and wrestling teams are not all that. So I pulled down all my rods / reels from the above head rack and starting prepping for spring. Good times ahead. I run down to the lake a few times a day trying to catch a January bass on a suspending jerk bait.
Zeros so far!

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

Looking for advice on a cobia rod that doesn't break the bank. I'm thinking of a MH ~7' boat rod to pair with a 6500 Slammer I already have. I've looked at the Carnage II, but would prefer something closer to $100.

Also selling a 2004 Angler 220 Center Console if anybody is interested.
Craigslist posting

804

Fishing from a boat or a pier?

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

Boat

804

So, if you are planning on using a tower and sight casting bucktails, some factory builds include

Shimano Teramar (8 ft XH or XXH) $149
Shimano TLS80MHBBL Tallus Blue Water Spinning Rod (8ft) $179
Jigging World Nexus JW-NX761S-MH $149
Temple Fork Outfitters Tactical Inshore Mag H or Mag XH 8 footers TAC ISS 806-1 or TAC ISS 807-1 $219

I use a Vega Interceptor, but it was a custom build for someone else and I bought it from the builder. A ton of guys use Rainshadow 1089 blanks too.

If you prefer to throw live eels, most of the charter boat guys use 7 foot 15-30 pound class Teramars, Tidemasters, or even the Shakespere Tiger Lite rods. The softer tip is a must to keep your eel on and still get distance.

Penn Clash is about to be replaced with Clash 2's. You can get 5000 or 6000 style Clashes pretty cheap right now ($140ish if you look around.) Dealers are trying to sell the last of their stock. You can't go wrong with a Daiwa Saltist 4500 spinning reel, or a Saragosa 6000. I love my Clash, except for the very heavy pressure required to close the bail.

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

Thanks for the recommendations. I will most likely be tossing eels but would like the ability to cast out heavy lures as well which is why I was leaning more towards a 7 MH. Do you think there is a good compromise in there or is it worth committing to one for now and then trying to save up to get another rig later?

804

For eels, get the 7 foot H (15-30lb rating) Teramar. It will be $119 or $129. I have caught 60 pounders on the same rod using eels. That is the best value. The only issue is that it is hard to throw 2 1/2 and 3oz bucktails with it

Several of the guides who know clients will be rough on equipment use the Tiger Lite rods as their eel rods. But, I believe Shakespere changed them and I don't know if the new ones as as good quality as past years.

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

If you stick with 2oz bucktails, the 7 foot Teramar 15-30 would probably be ok. I wouldn't go any lighter though. I know some guys who use the Mojo Inshore 7'6 Heavy as well for eels.

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

Back to VA from The Fly Fishing Show in Edison NJ. Largest fly show in the world, it was INSANE. I could have been a tourist and spent all three days wandering around and also spent 10 grand easily. Saw several friends from all over the country and met many more. Made some really, really good contacts. Didn't sell as many flies as I would have liked, but I did jack my prices up and did alright. Got tons of compliments. There were 50-60 other tiers there and I was the bottom of the totem pole in terms of talent yet had several of them come over to give compliments, shoot the shit, talk fly design and just hang out. It was very, very cool.

Highlights include drinking and becoming quick friends with Kevin Arculo who is giving me tons of advice on making money in the industry... Pat Cohen, greatest deer hair tier in the world, recommending his clients come talk to me about fly design... Chatting with Bob Popovics about streamer design (also he sells his flies for $60 plus).... Running into Andy Mill, former US Olympic Skier and best tarpon fly fisherman in the world, and talking about our fishing trip in Aspen and our mutual friend Sean Groover who passed away a few years ago.... getting sushi with trout expert Tim Flagler and being asked to commercial tie for two shops in Louisiana because they were so impressed with my redfish flies.

Also, NJ stereotypes are 100% real. I am so glad I do not live there.

Atlanta on Friday and Saturday for the show there. If you are into fly fishing, it is well worth attending.

Finally, thank you for the boat trash talking above in the thread, I needed a good laugh.

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

I typed it before and I'll type it again: You need to write a book on your exploits...

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

Thank you. Working on it

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