July 2020 Fishing Thread

It is the heat of the summer, and this is the thread for sharing your fishing reports and pictures, and asking questions about techniques, strategies, and gear for the month of July.

Spanish mackerel are starting to show up in the Bay, while spadefish and trout seems to be the other big targets while cobia are still a prize. Whiting/sea mullet/roundhead and spot seem to be the best target for shorebound anglers, while croaker are MIA. King mackerel have been hitting on the piers in Emerald Isle, NC. The tuna kite bite is getting started in the OBX and off Virginia Beach.

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We start the move tomorrow. Hopefully we will be settled in so I can fish some next week.

I have heard rumors of really big flathead catfish available above the fall line in Richmond on jigs? Has anyone elese ever heard of this? That is intriguing.

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

I've seen nice sized flatheads all over the james in skinnier water the further you go up the james, issue is I dont know of any other way to catch one than with a bluegill.

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

In my little lake I caught 25 ls channel (?) cat on a 5/8 oz jig and pig. I don't know my catfish other than a flathead.

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

I've seen pictures of guys catching em with jigs and what looks like swimbaits on em or magnum/jumbo worms in white or pink. I myself have never done more than toss a bluegill or cut bait when catfishing.

I catch 5-8 pounders on fly so I'm sure it is possible on jigs. I've got a spot for you if you're interested

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

I was catching them earlier in the year on a bitsy bug (in june bug) w/ a gulp leech trailer. That was working well early season on the James for several different species.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

All packed and ready for a trip to Bath and Highland County with my dad this Friday. Trying the summer trout fly fishing trip we've tried the last two or three years. Hopefully no rain this time. My dad has talked for decades about how much he loves this area, how good the fishing is, and the good memories he has of past adventures.

My dad is extremely ill and may have to have a kidney removed and go on dialysis in the next few months. If we don't make it this week, I don't know that we'll ever get another chance. I really want to give him one more great memory. I appreciate any good vibes you all send our way.

If we go, I'll definitely post a report and photos.

Good luck! Please resend that email to me with the list of flies you want. I cannot find it for the life of me

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

Appreciate it! Will do.

We were able to make the trip happen. Had a great time. My dad only lasted about 3 hours due to his health but I was ready to stop by then too. I caught 4 trout, 2 wild rainbows and 2 browns, all on dry flies. Enjoyed driving around and listening to Dad reminisce about the hunting and fishing of his youth.

I'll try to post a pic later.

If you still can, take your dad fishing (or go fishing with your adult kids). I'm very thankful for the memories made today.

Assume Jackson River is on the list.

Actually no. My dad always fished the gorge of the Bullpasture in Williamsville. So that's where we're headed. Jackson is on my list one day but isn't that the river with whole Kings grant hullabaloo? I need to do research before tackling a trip there.

The section in upper Bath, North of Warm Springs, has a couple public stocked trout sections. All the Kings Grant mess that I know of is below Lake Moomaw. Look up Hidden Valley section of the Jackson.

And.....I drink.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The Jackson also flows through Hidden Valley, with public fishing as I recall and no crown grant nonsense. There are places to wade below the dam at Moomaw, but you'd likely enjoy Hidden Valley more. Haven't been over there for a while, though so not current on how the Valley section is fishing.
Best of luck to you both.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

At this time of year, Hidden valley section won't be holding much fish. The special regs section between the two stocked sections will probably have some willing trout left but it is a long walk to get to it.

Whats the best time of year to fish it? I got a gift of one day access to the private stretches below moomaw and have been waiting to go till later in the year or fall but I know very little on it and would mostly be streamer fishing.

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

I edited my comment above as I was strictly talking about the Hidden Valley section as it was last stocked at the end of May. I have never floated the lower Jackson as that is the only safe way to fish it without getting a ticket, so I don't have any good intel on it. My brother floated a section of it on Sunday and they caught about 20 between 3 of them fly fishing.

I will concur. I've floated it dozens of times, and while I was harassed once early on, I never was ticketed. My friend Chuck is the guide that got the ticket that started the court case that ended up with the crown grant deeds being upheld. The first few times I floated it with him in his river raft, we slayed trout, smallmouth and big redeyes, but in later years, we used to catch ridiculous numbers of trout on countdown Rapalas and later larger floating Rapalas, with all barbs mashed. We just couldn't fly fish from the canoe and getting out of the boat anywhere was dicey with the land owners being hyper vigilant and the deal there is you can float the river, but you can't get out, even in the river, on the crown grant properties. Problem is, it's pretty unclear which of those that claim to be really are. It's still a stupid mess all these years later. We only floated in the winter and the higher spring flows to avoid property owners and other fishermen and it was a staple of our winters when I lived in Giles. I do know that the state purchased, and I assume still owns and maintains several access points on the river for putting in and fishing around the property. I'd contact a game warden in Staunton, I don't know them anymore, but that's your best bet for guidance.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Reading through that whole fiasco a while back was interesting and stupifying. Insanely ridiculous if you ask me.

Nothing like relying on laws the King of England came up with in the 1600s to use in today's society.

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

Exactly, and especially considering this isn't even territory that remains under the former ruling country which enacted the law to begin with. I still don't know if I fully understand how a law made by a different country applies here and was upheld. I guess that will be my Wikipedia tangent this evening.

The game was rigged from the start, the case was homed by a friendly to the landowners judge and fueled by the more understandable loss of the privacy as the fishery was developed. A lot of folks were against the impoundment to begin with, and some of the concessions made to acquire the land led to the changing of the river below the dam to a cold water release designed originally to produce a destination trout fishery. Our Commonwealth's Attorney at the time, Mary Sue Terry, wimped out and didn't fight for the rest of us as she let Chuck's case be settled in the crown grant claimers favor without a whimper. This after a million dollar cooling tower was placed at the dam for the cold water release, and several parcels of land were obtained and boat ramps and parking areas bought, paid for and developed for public access. Face it, friends, Virginia is as conservative a state as there is when it comes to property, and the folks with power in that part of the state flexed their muscles on this one. The Crown Grant nonsense gives the owner ownership of the water, land under the water, fish and fowl contained in and on the river. I have always said that if someone would go duck hunting on a crown grant claim and got ticketed, that'd be the end of their claim since the federal, not the state government owns the fowl and that could get the antiquated homerism out of this case. But, there are very few places that ducks can be shot on those sections because of proximity to houses or the road, so I doubt that'll happen.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That was my conclusion too after an hour or more of reading last night. Seems to me that trying to rationalize it or understand the whole Kings grant thing is a waste of time. This comes down to the tyranny of a corrupt government. How in the hell could Chuck and the other fellow who got a ticket and was then sued in civil court for $10,000 be found at fault when they were properly licensed and were following ALL VDGIF regulations? Further, why didn't VDGIF support them during the court proceedings? Corruption, that's how.

I don't even fish there and reading this shit last night had me fighting mad.

I'm all for property rights. But how can you say you own a wild fish or fowl? How are the rights of these few landowners any different than those along any other body of water in the state?

I'm honestly surprised some good ole boy hasn't done something catastrophic to ruin that fishery semi permanently.

Fortunately, Chuck had a strong contingent of backers with deep enough pockets to keep him from eating the costs. I attended a TU fundraising event in Charlottesville that helped provide for his legal defense, but after the initial bruhaha, Sir Charles was played out and too busy to keep fighting on. My blood still boils and I got my share of shit from folks for letters I wrote to the Roanoke Times in those days. Oh well, water under the dam for me, but one of these days those old over represented antiquated bullshit laws will be dealt with as they should be, but that's for another generation to take up.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Virginia is insanely corrupt and it's why I say some pretty obnoxious and awful things about those in power and those who pay to be in power. Better yet, how can Dominion claim to own part of the bottom of the James River? Their security guards have told me that they do when I was wade fishing in the river adjacent to their land in RVA. I told the guy to go get his supervisor and the game warden and let's see who is right and wrong. The supervisor came out but they didn't call the game warden. I told both mall cops to go shove it up their ass. I've purposely not fished the Jackson because I know I'll get in an argument with one of those assholes who claim to own the river bottom. Interestingly enough, the law is the same in Colorado. Utah too and it has seen some intense battles about it as well.

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

We, now they, still go through this on the Radford arsenal float. Jim Richmond once had stopped on a hot as hell day under some shade on a steep bank at lunchtime in the arsenal. They were accosted by assault weapon weilding guards that ordered them off of the property. One of Jim's clients looked up at the woman sort of pointing her weapon at him and remarked "Everybody drop the sandwiches!!" getting a laugh from the fishermen, but not from the guards. The folks on the Jackson were nasty as they could be back then, but it's been so long ago. They would roll rocks down in the river in front of you and yell until you were out of their range. 30 years ago? Yikes, where does the time go?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks to you both. I'm going to do some desktop scouting in case we need a plan B. Appreciate the info.

Went backpacking with my dad and fished a few alpine lakes. I caught nothing, but my dad got a few trout. We cooked one on a rock.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Whisperlite stove getting the job done.

It sure did! Too dry for campfires, so we had to improvise

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Man! That's beautiful country.

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

Damn, I'm jealous all around- the fish, for dinner, the scenery. Beautiful!

Warning- Filter lost.

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

My boat had been in the water since Sunday and I neglected to give it a rinse after use. I'm currently regretting that decision the before and after are gonna be worth it though.

(add if applicable) /s

Fished the Rapp today, mostly because I / my clients haven't done diddly squat in Fish's back yard and Jack's trout has me dreaming. Indeed the trout are there. My 14 and 16 year old clients hooked at least 40 plus fish today on jigs and landed around 30. A 20" trout came off boatside. 21" striper landed. Also hooked in the mouth a cow nose ray and leadered it. That was a first. Back at it again tomorrow and then south tomorrow night to Morehead City for several days.

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

Need a little help here fellas, my pops has started trying to trout fish and has been losing some bigger trout around dock pilings so he wants to upgrade from his medium light setup. He doesn't want to break the bank and I can't for the life of me find past discussions on what's a good 100$ reel and 100$ rod to pair with say 10 pound mono specifically for trout fishing with cranks which are his favorite bait. If I can find a deal on the at Croix mojo bass I'm gonna get him one of them as I love the sensitivity of them but I couldn't remember the name of the Fenwick today people love.

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

Fenwick hmg inshore- real nice. Hokiegigs has one. As far as a reel pair for explicitly trout, I'd go with a 2500. Personally I love the shimano nasci. I have the 2500,3000, and 4000. I don't have anything negative to say about any of them

Thanks I couldn't recall the Fenwick name and which model people liked. I was thinking I'd grab that in medium weight and either a 2500 or a 3000 series depending on how they felt on the rod. Dunno if I'd go with a bg after my last debacle I may grab him a Shimano and see how they feel weight wise. Depending on the reel I'll either go 10 or 12 pound mono he wants lighter but enough to horse a fish from a dock so I think 10 will work though I prefer 12.

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

I will admit again to being the outlier here, but I use 6 lb test pretty much exclusively for dock fishing unless and until the reds start being a "problem", but even then, I wouldn't go more than 8. I like the castability and love the feel of the 6. Yes, you do have to horse a bigger fish away from the pilings sometimes, but believe me when I tell you that even 12 isn't enough if you get a decent red to bite up under the shade of a dock and he gets around a piling. They get there faster than you can react to the bite, set the hook and begin the fight. I used to lose one or two out of three when the bigger fish were around the docks. The 6 is plenty when fighting fish over grass beds, with improved distance from the light line, and when the reds were in the shallows on the banks of those beds, I never broke a fish off, not once, using 6 and got bit more often than my companions.
Now bear in mind that I'm talking about fishing Gulp on a jig head or rigged weedless on a worm hook, not a $10-15 surface lure. I'd definitely go bigger for topwater, but again, probably not more than 8. As for braid and leader, I tried a 20 lb leader one day after a frustrating number of cut off baits on the docks. Didn't do me much good as I didn't get as many bites and still had fish break me off on the pilings. The weight of a 22" red, coupled with the tension of the rod made for an easy off for the fish just by touching the barnacles and oysters on the piling. As for trout, I don't recall having any real problems landing them on 6, even around pilings, since they are more easily turned and led out of the dock area. Yeah, I'll likely lose a couple more heads due to hangups than I would with heavier line or get cut off by a rowdy striper once in a blue moon, but I'm willing to sacrifice that eventuality for the belief (right or wrong) that I'm going to get bit more. I use inexpensive (but not "cheap") green colored mono. I do carry one rod with 8, but use it seldom and even then usually because I want a different lure like a topwater or suspending jerkbait available. Also, admittedly, I don't land many cow nose rays with 6, but mostly because I don't want to spend more than a minute or so messing with them and don't mind breaking them off quickly so I can get back to fishing. Just me, though, and I know I'm in a very small minority on this issue.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm a shimano guy.. I can tell you the nasci has very expensive feel to it. The 2500 would definitely be the better bet for the application you're talking about. I strictly use mine for mirrolures. My 3000 is almost always rigged with a popping cork on a MF croix mojo inshore. The 4000 I use on a heavy shimano 6' Clarus for cobia.

A 4000 sized shimano for cobia? Living dangerously my friend!

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

sorry for the blur on the rod, but I think you can read it. they now have the "inshore" series as well, which offers additional options in what I think is the same rod.

I'd do this reel or maybe the nasci (I don't have one but the reviews are good).

you can always tie a heavier mono leader to lighter mono...like a 20 lb leader to 8 lb

Thanks for the tips everyone, Greentop as typical was out of stock of most stuff I was looking for almost bagged buying anything till I found a St. Croix triumph series medium 7 foot rod for 90$ and paired it with a Nasci for $99 and now pops has a solid setup and even wants me to rig him up some green lights on the dock for the next project. Dunno why but greentop had only 3-4 HMG's and they were all casting and MH. That said they were out of flukes and all of the other smallmouth baits I needed stock on.

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

I've really enjoyed my Fuego so far Dave. Nice and lightweight, smooth drag and great price point.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I have 6 now. They've quickly taken over as my favorite 'cheap' reel, way out preform the price point

(add if applicable) /s

same, I've been very impressed. why that drag isn't on the BG is beyond me.

the technology you get at that price point is unparalleled, imo

Haha that's awesome, they feel great. Definitely fit perfectly for light tackle artificial only inshore stuff.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Went out super early this morning with my dad- got on a few dink sized trout and striper on my way out to where hokiegigs and I caught the giant trout. After weeding through what felt like hundreds of houndfish, I caught another gator just under 23".

Went out chumming for cobia with eels- didn't get anything but a small shark in almost 3 hours. Not many other boats around. The ones that were looked like they were having the same luck we did

I cant get imgur to work right so here's the link: Picture here

For the first time in God knows how long, I had the (newly improved) yak out for 6 long, hot hours today in a spot I've always wanted to try but didn't have the time to because its 4 miles away from thebclosest launch. Only only that I was able to get there- I wasn't paddling!! I got a huge deep cycle battery for Father's day and put a PWM between it and the motor. Holy shit what a godsend.

Grabbed the above linked snook on the fly and then started throwing finger mullet around that I had netted before launch. Grabbed 4 more snook, a bonnethead shark, and a submarine sized crevalle on those, then went back to fly and grabbed another few snook before I ran out of fresh water to drink. Y'all, I know its hot everywhere, but it's 98 and humid here and the winds were around 0 while I was out. Satan's under-carriage ain't that warm and humid.....

Next time, it's a pure fly trip to the beach side of Big Hickory pass for tarpon and snook. Should've done that today, but testing out the PWM and battery life, I wanted to be somewhere that was at least somewhat familiar.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

In for another 3rdgen epic trout slaying story

He's got one.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Still in the unpacking phase, but we are now residents of Mechanicsville.

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

Same here!

Welcome to the neighborhood! Do you have any first plans for fishing trip?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Not sure yet. Hoping to meet up with Fish next week at some point. Would love to get some cobia fishing in this week, but I have some tripping points on Wednesday and Thursday even if I had an offer to go.

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

Welcome home, and to closer proximity. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Well I struck out in the mobjack this weekend. Did however have a solid trip below scottsville on the james friday along with the population of New Jersey. Landed 28 fish overall and more than half were over the 14 inch threshold and looked solid and healthy which was largely encouraging. A couple in the 17 inch and 18 inch range were enough to give me some hope going forward that the James could some day recover.
That said went to the East river following the James river trip and fished hard friday evening and saturday evening both high tides incoming at dusk but me thinks the full moon mightve kept them from eating too much. Couldnt buy a fish in my neck of the woods and I threw everything but the kitchen sink. Gulp got me one bite atleast but the shrimp and culry tail were unproductive and swimbaits drew nothing and after that the skitterwalks and mirrorlures drew no takes. Gonna have to start venturing out further it seems to find fish as the ones who used to inhabit the area I wade fish seem to have not come around this year. Even tried soaking bunker for a mess of crabs and could only manage 4 tasty morsels. Was wondering why the crabbers left the east river so abruptly and now I think I know why.

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

That's awesome about Scottsville. I want to take my kayak out that way in the near future to try and get on some fish myself.

Nice! Where did you put in the james? And does anyone know if the howardsville put in is still open? It used to be in dispute years ago.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

DWR still lists Howardsville as a public boat ramp site on their website.
BTW, When the heck did the department change its name from DGIF?

Thanks for the update and that's a good question.
I hadn't noticed that either... Hopefully there's no more drama around it, it used to be one of my favorite floats, and am itching to do it again.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Dont know why my mom works for DGIF and she mentioned they were looking to freshen things up dunno why they thought a name change would do that.

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

yup the howardsville ramp is still open I havent floated that trip in a few years. Its very popular with the big rock island to jump from and tubers these days but still a good trip to fish. I prefer below scottsville as more rapids to keep people spread out and not as many jet boats etc. Anything below hardware I tend to avoid as it gets flat and alot of power boats from there on.

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

Yeah, we would be pretty much done fishing by the time we got to the tubers. All the good stuff was above that section anyway, so we were just paddling to get out by that point. Huh, don't recall ever seeing a jet boat out there. That must be a new thing, hope they're not too thick, and thanks for confirming on the ramp.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

The last few years we would see tons of free swimming crabs. Not this year (cough more cobia.)

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

You guys need to get after the cobia then I couldnt even find a peeler amongst all of our oyster pots in 2 days which typically I can get 1 in every other pot as they love using them to peel in. Theyre a peeler magnet and we have a dozen or so beds so typically I can get 4-5 every time I check them. That said I called my local crabber to see if I could get some this weekend and she was looking for $65 for a dozen live #2s which I almost choked when she said that. Figured hell I can catch a dozen with 4 pots on a 2 day soak and now I see why she wanted that much for em.

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

Went fishing Friday morning, got on a solid topwater bite with no big fish but solid class in 18-20" range. Landed 4 and lost 2. Had some awesome eats close to the boat. Starting to get in the groove of not reacting to seeing the topwater striker and waiting to set the hook. Saturday morning, it was slow. Very few blowups, small window where I had blowups. This fish missed it at least three times. I paused the topwater after every missed strike and then twitched again and finally got a 25" trout to commit and able to get her to the boat after a ton of big headshakes up top. This fish must have spawned out because it was a lot thinner. A dink striper was caught soon after and that was it. Amazed to catch another citation.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

beautiful fish!

since you are getting out all the time and I'm not; one of these days, grab one of those small egg-style wake baits and see if trout will hit it. I know reds will.

I've had a buddy get one on a whopper plopper. I will give it a shot. It would be a nice change of pace from walking the dog.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Walking the dog while sitting in a kayak is a bit of an odd retrieve cant lie I prefer doing it standing to give you a little leverage. That said kudos on the killer work you had better have bought a few lottery tickets this week and maybe take some time off work to go after some more citations while youre still on fire!

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

I'm always standing for it. Put the stakeout pole in the ground, stand up and start bombing topwaters all over the flat. Way too busy at work to take time off unfortunately. I'll be at it again next weekend.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

offshore anglers, mann's 1 minus, hunchback...something of that ilk...

Will check those out. Making an order for more skitter v so will snag one of those.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

order a pack of 3/0 and a pack of 2/0 VMC in line hooks for your Skitter V...3/0 for the belly, 2/0 for the tail

if too pricey, just get 2/0

it will be harder for fish to throw the hook

I remember you talking about that in a thread a while ago. Did you have a similar hookup ratio to trebles?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

No issues yet at all but in fairness, limited sample size

If you want to stick with trebles, go to a short shank, wider gap hook, especially on the belly hook

I'll look into it. The stock hooks are on it now. I have some owner stinger trebles, not sure if they are short shank wide gap, that I should probably switch them out to.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

for the skitter, don't worry about length but if hooked fish aren't getting to the boat, probably need a wider gap. there are several brands

The lost fish were more on poor hook sets this time. I'll keep gathering data on it tho.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

New TV show idea 193736, mythbusters but solely focused on fishing. A show debunking or confirming popular fishing myths.

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

I'll be happy to co-host.

Dave will be our mason jar and kiddie pool bait tester
Flyguy is for boat and boat trailer myths
French will be our rod and reel specialist
Fish will be our fly fishing mythbuster
What else are we missing?

I'll volunteer to do any pyro and electrical stuff.

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

I love it

Heuplek for boat detailing and trying to catch unicorn fish

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Man I did all that detailing to my boat this weekend and had a fender slip while my boat was tied to my dock. Gelcoat repair guide coming soon.

(add if applicable) /s

geez...

By the time the show has a few episodes it will be the true cover all for watersports. French could also do extensive play by play of epic fish fights kinda like Ozzyman on youtube.
Something to base it off of, one of my all time favorites.

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

Like Madden calling Super Mario

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

I got some Mustad KVD wide gap trebles for my bigger hardbaits. Any other recommendations. Also why can't they just put decent hardware on them to begin with.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

you are fishing/catching more than me right now; I should be listening to you

conditions for fishing here aren't the best this week but the back is much, much better and I may just go out for the hell of it

I'm learning best I can through people. Also have started a mirrolure collection so I will be figuring out the trebles sometime. Hope the back holds up. I was sweating through my buff at 6 am with no breeze. Can't imagine Florida.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Good news, Dave. Hope you do get out and jerk some lip. 90 degrees at 10 this morning makes me want to do exactly nothing but read. And eat.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I always wondered how a jitterbug would fare

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

They work well. I use them and Arbogast buzzplugs in the salt frequently.

(add if applicable) /s

Always had one or two, black and green, in my box a long time ago, but never caught a fish on one. Didn't fish them right, have confidence, not very schooled in fishing, whatever. Heard a lot more later, including using them at night on the New River for big smallmouth. I never considered them for the salt, but why not?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Congrats on the toad.

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

In the FWIW dept., yesterday at Wm's Wharf on the East River of the Mobjack Bay of the Chesapeake Bay, I met a family who'd caught a bunch of small, but just eating sized spot. Maybe 25 or so, with a smattering of whiting and one croaker. In 8 years here, this is novel to say the least. Then, today at the Put In Creek boat ramp, I spoke with a guy and his wife in a cool flats skiff replete with trout lures. They were out early but only caught two dink trout. Also caught a ray and a whiting, but actually had a sea turtle, a big one both declared, take a bait. He fought it to the boat and they took pictures and cut the line. Never heard of such.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Former State Director in FL had that happen when he was out fishing in the Gulf. His young son caught one.

When I was a kid I once found a seahorse in an eel pot way up the east river took a photo then released it back out and couldnt believe it.
That said I'm wondering if the trout simply arent up in the East this year as I cant find any in the actual river this year.

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

There have been at least a few trout caught from the Wharf by the bait fishermen, and some out at the mouth of the East. I haven't even fished the docks in the East that I usually hit, getting too hot by the time I've tried the North docks I usually do well on. I do believe you're right to some extent, though, as most of the catches I'm hearing about are coming from the Ware and the Rapp while most of the boaters I speak to at the local Put In Creek ramp report little action despite a fair amount of pressure out there in the usual places. I do expect fishing to improve in the early fall, just because it so often does, but we also know that some people are catching fish and just not talking about it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I don't Know who may know, but my neighbor told me that up on the rapp at port royal you can find snakeheads in nearby creeks.. any truth to this anyone knows? I'd like to give it a try as it's only 45 min from my house

Yes, from following rappahanock river fishing facebook page. There's multiple guys posting in there about Snakeheads.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

It's loaded. If you keep them, make sure its a snek and not a bowfin.

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

I've heard they're good eats.. but I'm just interested in the top water explosions on the fly!

Yeah, I might be going this weekend. The topwater explosions should be awesome.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

It's not exactly easy. It used to be. 5 years ago I would crush them in Aquia Creek. The fish have gotten much smarter. Plus there's so many bow hunters out there that they are very wary. I fished in my kayak and it is difficult to say the least dealing with lilly pads, particularly as the tide falls. You want flies that push and move a lot of water and make some noise, like a popper or Dahlberg Diver.

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

Yeah I've got some jumbo double barrels. Will also bring my inshore spin gear with a hollow frog

They love Chatterbaits too

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

I caught a redfish, finally. Three in fact. They are the best fish, period.

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

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

Nice! Hopefully I'll get on a few next week.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

very nice!

Nice! I'm jealous!!!

Warning- Filter lost.

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

Finally kicked the skunk on the mobjack this morning, got up at 5 am and fished till 11 and managed the dink of all dink stripers I thought I had a clump of grass till I took it out the water. Maybe was 6 inches, got lots of little bites from others but they're too small to get my 2/0 swimbait hook. Hoped that the topwater bite might be on but no takes again looks like I need to venture out further to find a bigger fish.

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

Stupid hot out there today also. Fewest boats I've seen at the ramp in a few weeks, I guess nobody's doing all that well. River water heated up an awful lot in a quick time, I noticed, after staying cool much longer than normal. Don't know what the fish think of all that. My neighbor has been out a fair amount and not doing well at all in the East. He's often catching fish somewhere, though. Maybe the Ware, dunno.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It's been a while since I've been south of Blacksburg in July. Damn, does it get this hot every year? I thought I was gonna die unpacking the car today...

Nope, we're all sweltering and that includes the NRV. It's too damn hot to go fishing, for me, and I'm glad I'm not still pulling oars on the New in this mess.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I don't blame you. Way too hot to get me interested in fishing. Maybe 30 minutes at sun up, then forget about it, and if I had to drive to a fishing spot, forget about it totally.

Also, where'd all the rain go? Typical, too much then not enough.

turkey, we're dry as a bone here in Mathews. Got a tenth from Fay. Part of my problem is age and medicine, coupled with the tiresome launching and recovering the boat by myself, and while my boat has a bimini, it is difficult to put on and off (two man job) and doesn't fold out of the way when down. It lays on the motor, which doesn't work. Can't even jump in the water to cool off anymore since the heat has caused the stinging nettles to bloom in the rivers here at the Mobjack.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It was hotter than hell yesterday I wade fished for a bit but the rivers way too warm to make it worth it and comfortable to do so. No wind and warm water dont make for a fun time. Managed no bites and beginning to think the water is just way way to warm for anything to be up in the east atleast on the tide cycle in the day right now. That said I still have yet to see a single jelly fish, I waded for a few hours saturday evening and didnt see a one, maybe the waters even too hot for them oddly enough.

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

No jellies, huh? My Gwynn's Island friend Jack got plum fired up by them on an ill advised swim there off of the beach near him mid-week and a guy I know was skiing in the East a few days ago and got popped several times himself, prompting his group to suspend their trip out. Guess you got the right tide, or maybe they weren't everywhere like I thought but only here or there. I'll admit, I don't know the usual trends, jellyfish wise, but have mainly heard the stories. I've seen them from year to year, but never enough to really pay much attention to them, not being a skier anymore, not wading anymore, not swimming anymore...sigh, darn I do feel old.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Still saw alot of people out tubing and skiing so either they dont care or it might not be too bad. Dont get me wrong the East can fill up with jellies but so far I have yet to see any atleast up as far as our place yet but my luck next week it'll be full up with em. Its nice to be able to wade in shorts not long pants.

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

Yep, during my drive around yesterday I saw several folks out tubing and thought about the jelly thing, but hopefully your area won't fill up with them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Looks like I'm playing the odds with getting caught this week fishing the ponds in Hilton Head. Due to Covid, "ALL ponds closed to fishing", per Sea Pines management. So given that I'd be fishing on the sly anyway, I didn't buy a SC license. I wonder what my max fine is for fly fishing the pond behind our rental? Honestly, I don't really care. More than likely, I'll get a "hey, due to Covid, you can't fish, please stop", and I'll stop, no harm done.

I'll post pics of any fish I catch after I get home.

How is that closed to covid. Sounds moronic. Hope you slay em man

Like a lot of closures, it is moronic. The way I see it, I'll be more socially distanced by a pond at 5 am than at any other time or place this week. Screw it, I'm fishing.

Thanks for the well wishes. I feel like I have a decent chance at a pb largemouth, but I'll admit that the bar is pretty low (4 lbs.). Fingers crossed!

There may be reasons of which you are not aware for them to close the ponds. Lose the 'tude and go ahead and fish, but be prepared to back off if asked and it sounds like you'll be jake. Fish really early and quit when it gets hot, then slip out at dusk and smack them again. Probably won't be seen or bothered with if you don't make a show of your efforts. Also likely to not ruffle feathers if you mea culpa shamefully if busted and promise to be a good boy. Got my PB crappie, 2lbs7oz, from Penn Park golf course pond in 'hooville one December day before they ran us out of there. Also, remember that big bass feed at night also. Get a black popping bug and gurgle it around some after dark. I've also caught them at night on big black or purple worms, fished Texas rigged on the bottom. Good luck!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Get a black popping bug and gurgle it around some after dark.

In the SC low country this strategy is a surefire way to catch gators out of the local ponds.

(add if applicable) /s

I'd like to avoid that lol

Is estimate they're in about 60% of the ponds on the island.

It's fun at first...then you realize what you're dealing with. I've only hooked into a small one I never saw he was easy to deal with. The lagoon on my parents property has 1 or 2 gators in it at any given time. They will book it after any topwater bait I throw, I immediately stop fishing when I see them now. I only really have one spot to fish from and they come and sit right in front of it after I catch the first fish, so I usually stop after one. They're 8ft and 6ft and I'm no expert gator wrangler.

Definitely something to keep an eye on though. In the touristy areas, idiots feed them and they'll get dangerously close. For the most part they do leave you alone but someone gets bit almost every year on that island from doing something dumb.

(add if applicable) /s

I agree. Even just this week, in less than 3 full days, we've seen almost a dozen already.

Hell, we stopped in Hardeeville to get supplies, and some dude was fishing the pond in the Walmart parking lot. Had his 3 year old with him and a gator I'd estimate at 6-7', was chasing in his bait every time he'd reel in. Gator came to about 20' of the bank right in front of him.

My cousin wants me to show him surf fishing basics tonight, and other than a few minutes of fly fishing the pond by the house, I'm probably going to focus on beer, swimming, and golf. Way too damn hot for me to care about fishing that much.

Yeah, incredibly hot down here. Charleston had a 111 degree heat index yesterday, I'm sure Hilton Head was similar. I tried to go out and fish Sunday morning but I guess it was too hot for the bait too because I couldn't find any.

(add if applicable) /s

Gave my cousin a brief tutorial on surf fishing, how to tie his own bottom rigs, what baits to try, where to cast, how to read the surf, etc. First three casts, two small whiting and an Atlantic stingray. He was excited and I was glad I was an observer/coach and not wasting my time and money. But I'm glad he enjoyed it and I'm happy to have passed on some of the little I've learned in the last few years.

Hey, a bite's a bite, rite?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I mean an 8ft gator on the fly would be a hell of a fight. Let me know when you go to release it, I want to film.

(add if applicable) /s

Release = cut the damn line with the gator still in the water

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Yep. And I'd probably be cutting backing and buying new Rio fly line lol.

Yeah if you hook one that big I'd imagine you get spooled haha

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Ummm, kinda like a cow nose ray here in terms of desirability, but a whole lot more trouble if you want your bait back. But really, just kidding.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks! I had found several references to needing a license but admittedly didn't dig into the regs myself. Perhaps the references I found were to the permit from the resort and the uninitiated mistakenly called it a license.

Either way, thank you!

No clue about the resort. Good luck!

I see lots of videos of people catching reds and trout in the ponds and lagoons. Do bass live in same ponds as those species? Or are some of the lagoons brackish and different ones are fresh, with different species in each?

Any tips for fly selection for the reds and trout? I'm hoping they all live together and a top water fly of some sort will target everything but I have no clue.

if there are reds and trout, they aren't freshwater and what I said earlier doesn't count

I wish I had a better report. I got the call on Saturday to join the owner of Bowed Up Lures and the owner of Etheridge's seafood on a cobia sight fishing trip out of Little Creek on Sunday morning. It took an hour and a half to get from Mechanicsville to Little Creek, which was refreshing. We had perfect conditions, or so we thought.

Water was so calm that we laid in beanbag chairs comfortably on the ride from Little Creek to Plantation Flats (around 17 miles). We started seeing fish quickly, although fishing from the bow I had a more difficult time seeing the fish than the guys in the tower. The fish were all single swimmers and were not cooperative. We got a 36 incher on the second spot, and that was it for the day. Our tower angler hooked a nice keeper (mid 40 incher) but he popped off pretty quickly. I got three shots at nice fish. Two would have kept. Both followed, but didn't eat. I also couldn't intice a little rat off the bow.

For whatever reason, most of the fish we saw were deep in the water column and you couldn't see them until they were close enough to the boat to spook (lots of boat traffic may have had a hand in that.) Once the tide flipped to incoming, the fish vanished. I think we may have made less than a half dozen casts after noon. I also got sick after lunch (no dizziness, so I think something just didn't agree with me in my ham sandwich.) While it was brutally hot the second we got on land, it was comfortable out on the water, but it zapped me quicker than I have been accustomed. I was really tired when I got home.

Intel sweep showed that all the folks fishing in the general vicinity where we were had tough days. Although, when I got back I got a call indicating that there was good fishing by Maryland anglers fishing around the mouth of the Potomac. If you are looking for good fishing, that would probably be the location to go for the next couple of weeks.

The drive home proved eventful. I stopped at a Burger King in Lightfoot on the way home, and ended up waiting over an hour between the line and the window. I sat at the window for over 30 minutes, until the manager came to the window and apologized (saying they had an "altercation" between staff.) Somehow I ordered a whopped combo, and ended up with an impossible whopper and a strawberrry milkshake. So, choose your fast food options accordingly.

Wonderful hosts, wonderful weather. But, the fish took the day off.

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

So you are in Mville!

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

yes

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

Have an overnight float trip scheduled for this coming weekend on the lower rapidan then the Rappahannock. My buddy and his friend have caught some nice fish in the Rapidan on this trip before. Any insight would be appreciated. My smallmouth experience is limited to wading the upper Potomac near Point of Rocks once a summer when I lived near dc and bank/wade fishing the New when in school all on spin tackle. Not much experience floating or fly fishing. I'd like to fly fish some and in previous threads dead drifting bugs/poppers in low-light and shade spots works well? Add a large nymph or small streamer below?
For spin tackle I have top water plugs, worms, tubes, grubs and a variety of other soft plastics. I've always had luck on motor oil worms/grubs in eddies and deep pools. Any insight on these locations or other general tactics is appreciated. Slightly worried about how hot and dry it's been so I'm sure it'll rain a ton the end of this week and we'll get washed out.

There's plenty to learn from in our previous fishing threads, but there are so many of them I know wading through them is likely not worth it. I'll chime in a bit, but won't go into my usual ten page treatise. First of all, the popping bug thing is real and worth the effort if you have the right conditions. Dead drift in the shade line, don't mess with the drift except to mend once to keep the drift right. NO DROPPERS. You are looking for the apex smallies eating those dead cicadas. They want them dead, you have to make them look dead. Don't neglect skinny water, even in riffles, if there is shade. Big fish can hide in little water, and I had my best luck in less than 4 feet of water, though the fish will come up for a nicely drifted bug.
Chuck's specially rigged sinking worm is my choice for spinning, but a small tube, colored for the clarity you encounter, would be #2, fished in the eddies, holes and around ledges and rocks, on the bottom and with short hops like a crawfish would make. Colors should be green pumpkin or brown in clear water, with darker tubes in more colored water, same for the worms. If the water isn't blown out but is up and colored, concentrate on the eddies where they'll be resting from the current, along with most of the bait, and just use tubes. I like the smallish ones on a quarter oz jighead. See Mizmo Teaser tubes for reference. In the past, I've given many the worm trick, and truth be told I've lost track of to whom I've explained it, so if you'd like to get the skinny on it and haven't already, email me at newriverangler at the hotmail dot com and I'll fill you in. Good luck and please report.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Also, remember when floating that you are not just dealing with a moving river anymore, but a moving boat as well. That helps with the dead drifting thing, but makes the tubing a bit tougher. Fish ahead of the drift, and if the bait gets much behind the boat, bring it in and go again. I find little action comes of dragging a bait straight downriver behind the boat. Try to quarter it down ahead of the drift for the cast. If you have boat control, try to keep things as slow as possible in the drift, maybe taking turns at the paddle or oars in order to more efficiently fish the likely spots. Boat control is the key to a more successful float fishing trip, and was how I was able to make a living at it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Really appreciate all the info! Do I need a cicada-specific pattern? Or will a popping bug/popper work? Or even a hopper?
I'm going to search through the old threads as well. Sent you an email. Hope to have a good report by this time next week.

You'll find a characteristicaly lengthy email from me, Gigs.
As for the cicada, I will say that any medium to small-large popper should be a good thing, but I always made my own. I liked a low profile, non popping style bug, that was longer than some, with a short tail to mimic the tucked in wings of a dead cicada. Cream on the bottom with segments, and a sort of olive green on the back like most of the cidadas. I'd look for something in a muted green color, legs are ok, black will also work. I was pretty particular and I think any good popper will work, but I'd really avoid colors that don't work with a dead cicada, and just don't try to work them up with the popper. Flyguy brought up an interesting point of giving it a chug or two at the end of the dead drift when you'd have to recast the bug anyway, and I can't find fault with that at all. No, I wouldn't go with a hopper. You need to make them think cicada as best you can, and evocative of a cicada is as good as imitation in my book, so try your best to find something like that.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Final word here, if the cicada thing isn't around or the fish aren't big, go with a chartreuse Sneaky Pete style bug, again, medium sized just a little bigger than a bream bug, with black hackles and you'll have a great time.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Hope there is enough water on your trip. I did that trip several times and when the water is low you will drag on rocks a lot once you hit the Rapp.

Hearing that a good fall puppy drum option from the shoreline is Fort Monroe. Thoughts?

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

I would say yes, and right now would be too. Drum are on fire from Lynnhaven up through the York... heard there is a giant net all the way around mobjack preventing any and all worthwhile gamefish from entering 馃槀

Hopped out to the York after work with my ex-boss who has since retired. Had a awesome evening getting soaked by waves rolling in from the NE "5-6mph" winds... more like 10-15.. plus we were in his 18' alumacraft bass boat. I never realized how poorly those boats handle chop. Made me realize just how nice my little pro skiff handles it. We did get on a nice redfish bite, though. I was really focusing on trophy trout. None to be had.

Define a nice redfish bite? Curious to see what sizes you were seeing about. Also you couldnt be more on it about the alumacraft boats theyre handy but rough as crap in any weather what model skiff do you run?

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

Got on a couple spots that held upper teens reds. With a couple slots. He had been in the same vicinity last weekend and caught 14 Redfish all between 19"-24".

His boat is nice, and it's great to fish out of... but it's not great with rolling whitecaps coming out of the NE.

My boat is a Mako Pro 16 Skiff. Handles chop pretty well with the advanced inverted v Hull. Doesn't cut through big rollers like a V but it also doesn't slam terribly like a flat bottom... best thing is, it runs really skinny. I've had 3 people on it in less than 8" of water and had to get out and pull it because I couldn't get enough of the trolling motor submerged to propel us. Not the best construction overall on the boat but I got an incredible deal on it that I couldn't pass up. Overall I like it for most of the fishing I do.

For me, one 14 inch puppy drum would be a blitz.

They are my white whale. If someone wants to invite me to pursue one of these mythic creatures, I will share tales of football that shall pass on the legacy of our elders.

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

Reds seem to be my bugaboo this year too. Went today and managed to find three. Great news, first of the year and all that, but the ugly side is that they were 6, 9 and 11" long. Not my finest hour this whole darned year!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Deal Alert- Stradic C14's are being replaced, and several online retailers have them for 15% off.

https://www.americanlegacyfishing.com/2016-shimano-stradic-ci4-spinning-...

It sounds like a new version of the Saragosa will be out in October, so expect the current model to be discounted soon. As soon as I see a Saragosa 6000 under $220, I am buying.

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

To piggy back looks like PENN are entering the low profile baitcasting game.

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

I saw that. Would be intriguing for bridge fishing areas where the current renders a drop net useless

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

They look nice but they're pricey I think I saw them starting at $220 somewhere. I'd imagine they would serve a certain purpose depending on the sizes they put out.

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

It's a wonder it took them this long to make one. Specs look good. Give it a year and see if people have issues with them.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

To add to my meager report, I will also say that the East and North rivers had a whole bunch of jellyfish in them. 'Nator better stay back up in his creek if he's wading. They were all over, big ones too.
Also, saw some spanish mackerel cutting up really early in the mouth of the East, but it was lone fish, it looked like, and I couldn't get a cast in on any of them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

After a hectic couple weeks at work, took a couple days off. Got out Thursday and Saturday. Went on a guided kayak trip Thursday, was able to get a slot red on my skitter v. Lots of bait action but couldn't get them to commit more on top. Looking back needed to use the popping cork that day. Built off that knowledge on Saturday, got 3 low slot pups this time on popping cork and gulp shrimp. Got a 2' shark on topwater, lost a topwater to a bigger shark and had a mystery hookup on top that came unglued. Figuring out a bit of a pattern and what to look for.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Legit work!

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

I almost forgot how hard pups pull. So much fun.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Shark on topwater? Thats a hell of a catch any way you cut it.

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

Yep, about a 2' shark. The other one was bigger and pulled more drag before I broke off. Need inline hooks for that. Don't want to mess with a shark and trebles in the yak.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Pretty work man!!!

First, HUGE shoutout to Fish for all his advice. Floated the Rapidan on Saturday and the Rappahannock on Sunday. Water was low but very navigable on the Rapidan. Even lower and less navigable just after the confluence and other parts downstream. I learned it's not fun carrying a canoe over rocks. And it was brutally hot. Water was clear so we saw lots of fish, including some big ones and definitely spooked more than a few. But the fish complied. Caught 20 or so on Saturday with the biggest being 16" and another 10 yesterday. Did get a nice 20.5" yesterday. I hooked onto a smaller fish and (thankfully) it popped the hook so my worm skirted across the surface after it released and got absolutely slammed by the big one. Pretty cool to see. Right place, right time I guess. Overall it was a great trip even with sweating in a hammock all night and getting destroyed by mosquitos. First time trying to upload a photo so hope this works...

Dang, that's one of them rare Horse smallmouth, right?
JK, That's a TOAD!

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

Pretty work! Beautiful fish man. Glad you had a great trip

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Nicely done! Glad to have been of some help. Great looking summer bass.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I warned you about those rocks. Glad to see it all still worked out for you. My soon to be son in law did a weekend canoe trip on the SF Shenandoah last weekend so I need to get a report from him to see if they were dragging too.

The new might be the only place you wont be dragging on rocks right now in virginia. This is the one time of year it can be brutal but at the same time well worth the effort.

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

Thanks for the heads up. Any lower and it would have been miserable. There were multiple runs we just barely floated through without getting stuck and countless more we did get stuck. The worst was definitely the confluence which is also where we camped. Had to drag/carry the canoes with all our stuff a few hundred feet from the main channel (which was already not deep enough) over to the bank and then find the least worst path down in the morning. It was a rough way to end one day and start the next. Hope your future son in law had some luck.

That is a spectacular smallmouth. My compliments.

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

Man, I've missed you guys. Took a bit over a week off from all things "connected" other than work stuff.

Tried to fish yesterday but someone had unplugged my battery charger, so there was no kayak yesterday. Yeah, could've paddled, but with the winds yesterday it would've been hell. So I walked the beach with the 9wt in hand and saw one snook. And he was not even remotely interested. This morning, same. One snook, of decent size, but absolutely no interest in eating. Somewhat expected though, as it's mid-July and they're only focused on their annual sexy time right now more than anything. Another week or two and they'll get super hungry again (kind of like us guys going to the fridge...)

Tarpon and shark reports have been strong from the passes to the backcountry though. So maybe I'll get to try those this weekend depending on the weather...

Warning- Filter lost.

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

No report from me, but my neighbor went out before sunrise today in the North River and Pepper Creek here in the Mobjack. Caught one small striper around a dock. Water temps in the river were a whopping 87.9 degrees. One step dinner, hook the fish, tire it out, and wait a couple of more minutes for it to steam, rustle up some cole slaw and hushpuppies and your meal awaits. Yikes!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

You forgot the secret, throw old bay in the water and viola youll have steamed blue crabs just pick em out. No kidding though we arent putting our dog in the creek right now as its too warm he wants nothing to do with getting in the water.

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

Quick afternoon chumming trip before thunderstorms ran us off the water. Got a solid 43" cobia in the boat early and that was our only bite. Released for someone else to enjoy.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Nice Snook on that hat, sir...

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

My buddy loves that company. Snook are an intriguing species especially with Back2VT reports.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

When I was a younger single man, I had Snook fishing addiction. I would work, surf, and Snook fish, that was about it. My old haunt was Sebastian Inlet (Brevard County - Indian River County line). Snook fishing there is dominantly a nocturnal activity - hence why it was healthier to be hooked on it as a single man.
I would always take a single beer with me in the cooler (driving A1A home in the middle of the night) - it would either be a celebratory or a beer to cry over. Results were about 50-50. And a slot or overslot redfish, a nice size black drum or sheephead, a good run from a 30# Jack, or the rare Kingfish/Cobia from the jetty were worthy of celebration!

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

I've heard that about snook being a night time target. Were you live baiting or throwing lures?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Mostly live baiting. The start of every trip was to a few drive accessible docks on the Indian River to either throw the cast net for bait (pinfish, pigfish (they grunt!), finger mullet, or mojarras (these work really well, but die quickly in the bubbler cooler)) or catch some hand size croakers (Snook Candy!!). Get them settled in the home made bubble cooler and off to the inlet. If bait didn't cooperate, stop at Whitey's and get some large size live shrimp.
South jetty is less crowded and I always liked it better. You have to get out on the rocks, so good shoes and balance are required. Prepare to cover some shoreline.
Sliding sinker rig with #3, #4 or #5 circle hooks - sized to the bait. Always made plenty of ready made rigs - you will loose MANY at the inlet. You had to constantly change sinker weights as the current in the inlet changed or if you decided to fish the ocean sides. Outgoing and slack tides only.
The few times I caught snook on artificials at Sebastian Inlet was when the ocean side of the South jetty would explode with acres (seriously!) of snook popping bait. Everyone limited out when this happened. It was insane! Granted that only happened a few times, but was really cool.

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

Sebastian inlet still has the reputation for breaking hearts. I've heard many, many stories of monsters being lost there, but also many stories of great triumph. That's one thing the east coast has more of than the west coast- giant snook. We have the numbers advantage here, but the east coast has the size advantage by a good bit. Sebastian is definitely a bucket-lister for snook addicts (this guy included)- much like the Keys for flats permit fishermen or Boca Grande for tarpon folks.

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You should also hit jupiter inlet in summer also. The snook numbers there are higher than sebastian. Theres a state park on the south side w a few fishable walls. North side is private property. A boat w someone who knows it is best. Channel isnt managed well, so gotta be careful going into the ocean there.
At sebastian, ive seen guys catch 40" snook, workin them to a net on the north jetty when a 1000# jewfish appears and inhales the snook. Nothing like a vw bug size fish taking ur pb snook...
The current at sebastian at peak flow is no joke, if theres a 4 ft ground swell, the standing wave can be 6 to 8 ft, from experience, that's not fun going out thru or back in over, seen a few disasters.
The indian river around that area is a real interesting fishery. Camp at either the state park or long point, if ur gonna camp that area.

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

Definitely reminds me of my younger days growing up in the area around Va. Beach. I would head to Hatteras every weekend for surfing and fishing, often not sleeping at least the first night. As time went by, the ladies started to crimp that some, but I kept up the surfing and fishing until Uncle Sam sent me over the ocean, kind of breaking the cycle. Good days, though. I remember going to the shower once in Germany after being in the Army for a year and a half and one of the guys joking about my tan line. I hadn't had my shirt off in the sun since before basic training. Skinny as a rail, brown as a nut and physically hard as a rock...Ahhhh the good ole days.

Edit: We called that beer "one for the ditch" in the day.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

head to Hatteras every weekend

Ditto. My brother and I did this through high school from 1976 through 1978. We went to Bayside High School. Lived near Little Creek Amphib Base gate 4.
OBX back then was legit empty. Loved it.

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

I lived in Great Bridge '58-'68 and it was Sandbridge and Hatteras for surfing and fishing, and Va. Beach for partying. Except when we made it down to the Peppermint in Nags Head for dancing and unsuccessful attempts at the ladies.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

You know you are dialed in when the after work run pays off.

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

Thanks French, gotta love when a hunch pays off.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Nice Cobia!

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So taking my boys deep sea fishing next week in OBX. What is a proper amount to tip the crew? Was thinking $100? It's a half-day trip. Thanks.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Standard 15 to 20% tip just like a restaurant. Good luck and hope you make some memories with your boys.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

20% of the cost of the charter. The mates work for the tips and will be putting in a long day of hard labor (scrubbing down the boat, rigging, etc.)

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

I agree with all posts, and it is a good thing to give credit when it's due, but also fair to not recognize less than satisfactory service. If you have a great time and feel like the mate did a little more than their necessary part to facilitate that, a little extra is definitely warranted. A slack mate usually doesn't last long on a professional fishing boat, but I've heard a few tales. I think you ding them if it's egregious. I know everyone has a bad day, but if it ruins your good day, or even just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, I think a fair assessment is your best mitigation. French is correct, those guys have to work their butts off, half or full day trip, keeping the boat ready for action, but their interaction with you is the thing that should be their most important task. Vice versa, don't be a butthead, drink too much or complain about things nobody can control, right?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

20%. If you pull a citation, maybe throw him a bit more if you're feeling giddy.

thx all

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Went out sight fishing Saturday. Caught one 54" cobia and 20 mackerel in the 17"-20" class. Saw probably 20-30 cobia throughout the day, some spooked, some weren't eating, and one or two got unhooked. Also saw a pod of 20-30 big red drum and put a perfect cast of a bucktail on them but they didn't hit.

804

That's a really busy trip. U saw a lot of life. Those mackeral are perfect size! 54", thats a beast! Enjoyed the post, thnx for sharing.

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

Really weird that the drum didn't eat usually they are hungry regardless compared to the cobia. Pretty work!

Can't spell DBU without Bud

based on the video I saw, the school was getting run over a bunch and they were very skittish.

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

Ahh that makes more sense

Can't spell DBU without Bud

It may not have been the same school, but they were skittish for Austin because another boat kept running over the school Saturday and at least two other boats were fishing them. The time we ran into them, they were skittish until we changed to gold spoons.

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

Sounds like a solid day. Wondering, though, you said sight fishing, but how about the mackerel?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I assume he was pulling trolling spoons running from area to area for sight casting

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

If they're as thick as they are here he very well could have just sight casted spanish. I ran into thousands of them while looking for tarpon last weekend. Could have thrown a hook out and reeled it back and got hit. They were busting out of the water everywhere with some small blues mixed in.

As for tarpon. Still batting 0 while watching my guide buddy put clients on tarpon from 60-160lbs 5 days in a row in southern SC...I have managed nice 30+ inch reds every time I've gone for tarpon though.

(add if applicable) /s

We got a few last year and several bite offs bottom jigging around the docks for reds and trout, but I've never found them out in the Bay, at least not yet, except for trolling. We used to get them on the piers and occasionally in the surf on those lipstick gotcha plugs when the schools would cruise through. I really dislike trolling and won't if I don't have to, so it would be fun to run into enough of them to cast to. I'm no fan of them on the table, except by detour through a smoker, but most folks I know seem to favor them and they're fun to catch on light tackle vs dragging a planer on a stick.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm on that bus batting 0. Went for snook monday through wednesday this week and didn't get a single one, and actually only saw ONE. Tarpon were rolling in HUGE numbers off the beach though, so this morning I took tarpon gear- didn't see a single one and saw a ton of snook... I swear to God these fish are doing this crap on purpose.

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Yeah, as mentioned above I was sight fishing for cobia and trolling for mackerel. You could see the mackerel hitting bait fish at the surface though so we knew where to target them and would sometimes pickup the trolling setup or put it out depending on what we saw so we could be more agile when pursuing the cobia.

The drum have been getting hit hard. If you lookup fin finder charters on Facebook (not who I was with) then they have been getting into them thick in the lower bay lately.

804

Yep. Captain Tippett has been finding them and putting big numbers on the deck. I have seen schools like that twice- once in the Bay and once in July at the end of Avalon Pier. It is an amazing sight.

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

Thanks, tidal. I figured you were, but hoped your weren't, if that makes sense.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Had a solid weekend on the water. Trout fished Saturday morning, caught 3 on topwater and a rat red. Biggest was 21.75". Great eat and fight. Lots of life with mullet working should have had more bites but couldn't figure out what they wanted. Sunday, went snakehead fishing for the first time. We had some follows early then I had two blowups that I screwed up. We found a fry ball and my buddy sightcasted a 31" snakehead. Got to see the eat and everything. Pretty awesome.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

you've been consistently catching some really nice trout (by any regional standard) and doing it on topwaters from a kayak. savor those moments!

Thanks Dave! It's been a breakout year for sure. I will savor them especially when you never know about a winter freeze to take away some of the trout.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Dialed In!

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

Thanks French! Definitely gives me motivaton to get up early when I know I've got a good chance of getting on them.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

So how'd the snakehead taste?

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

My buddy had it with his girlfriend's family for dinner last night. So I didn't get to taste it but he said it was very good.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Great catches brother!

Stud trout! Nice!!

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Survived wedding 2.0 saturday so now I can get back to focusing on fishing again. Going to try and find some fish on the mobjack this weekend if the water doesnt boil them all alive this week and then in 2 weeks time off to the New for my yearly pilgrimage. I have heard very little on the fishing on the new this year anyone have anything to report on how its been so far?

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

Hi guys and gals. I have not been out at all. I had surgery in May and it kicked my ass.
I did go down to Toana Friday to pick up a lower receiver for an AR and stopped by Hookers Bait to see what was going at Little Creek Res. He said that they put 50,000 walleyes in the year before last. This year they stocked stripers and herring.. He also told me that there was a problem with the dam and they had to draw it down 15 feet..

My friend sent me this. He never gives up any info (asshole) so I don't have a clue where they got these big Reds. Maybe I will get back out this fall. Its too dam hot now anyway.

No musky or walleye for me this year; of course, that trip isn't happening. Its ok I made Club 50 last August. Who am I kidding! I am ticked about this year!

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

Nice pics. Sorry about your annual trip and hope you recover soon.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Got out Saturday morning super early with hopes to find more trophy trout in the spots where I've been having success this year (28",26",23" and hokiegigs 20"). I was trying a few different topwaters from 5:00AM to around 7:00AM had two nice blowups but no hookups. I then trolled slowly around the shallows until about 8:00AM when I found the JACKPOT of nice reds. The tide was starting to move back in with a light west wind. I caught numerous 20"+ slots with one fish just over slot and a couple under slot. I left by 10:30 feeling pretty sore from fighting so many reds. It was an awesome morning. Probably the hottest redfish bite I've ever been on.

Those were real nice slots! Pretty work. Did get them on topwater or something else?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I had put the topwater away once the sun had really come out- I swapped out to a weedless setup on a weighted swim at hook with both slayer sst's (green mullet color) and the new Cajun lures mad minna v2 in slam shad color. It was my first time fishing the Cajun and I was super impressed by the tail action for the profile of the bait

Gotcha, I don't have a go to once the topwater bite shuts down. So still in experimenting in that department.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Personally I love anything natural color with a hint of chartreuse and some silver flash on a light jig head to retrieve whatever way possible. It all depends what you like though my dad personally loves twitch baits like mirrolures and doesnt like soft plastics so its all what youre comfortable with.

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

It's fine when I'm in deeper water more than 5 feet but on grass flats, I've gotten some bites on mirrolures on flats but don't have a ton of confidence. I've tried the slick lure weightless but haven't had success with it.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I know what you mean. I've been trying to avoid popping corks but I find myself using them as a search bait at times... I really want to build more confidence with the 27MR but I feel like it stays too high in the water column. I've gotten the most success and confidence with the weedless weighted swimbait hooks with smaller profile plastics. I like the more natural colors in clear water (or clear with pepper flakes) versus something flashy with chartreuse in dirty (or with a redfish Magic spinner or belly blade jig head)

Yeah I might need to use them some. A few of the trout guys use MR27 a lot, let it sink for a couple seconds then straight retrieve with twitches mixed in. It does sink even slower than the 17. It all depends on how high the grass is where you are fishing too. I have some DOA swimbaits that have more mass than the Zman ones that I might try. I really want to get some confidence with the Slick lure cause you can bomb them. Are you just straight retrieving or twitch twitch pause?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

i don't fish with them much but you can also bomb a weedless spoon and there isn't a whole lot of special technique in the retrieve...so useful from a kayak.

Yep, I just don't hear much about trout hitting them. You always hear it when talk to redfish tournament guys. They throw topwater, gold spoon and popping cork.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I'm thinking of modifying some 27mr baits with lead tape. Will post updates

A guide I talked to in NC does that as well. Basically turns it into a 28. Which I think they are eventually coming out with.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

28MR with the skin series pilchard- white feather rear treble = gator wrecker

Yep, I got a few of those. Need to get some fish on them. I'm sure this fall it will see action

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I'm trying to slowly get away from using the cork unless I'm in a completely new area as I feel the bigger fish have seen enough of em and they catch but i wonder how much they spook. I also prefer to keep pressure on the line enough to feel a bite so I like to avoid corks and bobbers and such. I've never tried the swimbait hooks weightless with soft plastics I typically use a jig head that may be something to try next time out to see if it has any effect. Do you use swimbaits or more stick baits with a weightless swim hooks?

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

That year the slot reds invaded the Mobjack and environs, I caught reds off of most of the decent docks, but it was tough to get them out of the pilings. Used Gulp swimming mullet and got bitten routinely. Then, we found them in super super super (that's one super for each of the prop sleeves I ruined trying to get into and out of) shallow water right up against the bank. No way to use a weight, so we used 5 and 6" Gulp Jerk Shad on a 4/0 weightless offset worm hook. We skin hooked the point for near total weedlessness and fished the bait way up high in what water there was. We never caught a trout doing that, but I think it's because they weren't there that year. Since, I have caught a couple of smaller trout using that set up, but other baits seem to work better for me.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I've always heard a big fluke weightless is great for drum but trout are a different fish. Would need the water temps to drop before any fish is going that shallow in the east right now. Going to bring my smallmouth hook box this weekend and mayeb try a trout trick weedless or a longer swimbait to try this out if I can get into some cooler water.

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

Since I first moved here, I have met and talked with several people for whom the super fluke was their go to bait for big trout. I will assume that they were fishing them like most folks seem to here, on a jig head. We used the fluke for many years on the New before everybody and their uncle threw them and the fish wised up. We always fished them weightless on the worm hook. Gulp is very heavy, casts like a dream on light line, and will sink if you let it, and that redfish year it was August before we really got onto that super shallow water bite, and the water was plenty warm. We saw a lot of other fishermen that year, but nobody was doing what we were and it was fun to have it all to ourselves. But again, no trout.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

And of course your sister and I declined because it was a bit too early (for me obviously) and I was gone the previous weekend. Extra sleep was nice but catching tons of reds would have been alright too. I swear you always catch way more fish without me. Had we gone I'm sure you and I would have been outfished anyway...

I was pretty envious too, but it's my own fault. No way can I make those casts from my recliner, though.
I envy everyone's energy and drive as well. I'll just continue to live vicariously through those getting out there for a bit longer, hoping for cooler weather, but if I knew I had a real shot at those reds closer to home, I'd bestir me old bones for sure.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Kayak fishing question incoming. My significant other bought be a fishing kayak for my birthday. What recommendations do you fine folks have regarding life vest/preservers that both work and allow for casting/maneuverability. I have typically been a bank/pier fisherman, so this will be my first foray into fishing from a kayak.
What other gear recommendations do y'all have that make fishing in a kayak more enjoyable?

My wife has one of those gas powered water sensitive vests for her kayaking. A bit expensive, but she loves the skinny profile and light weight. Don't have the brand off hand, but there are a bunch of them. After inspecting hers and trying it on, it sure seemed like it would do what you are asking for.
She hasn't dumped in it, so we haven't had to recharge it, but I bought an extra cartridge when we got the vest. Don't know if rain would cause the vest to inflate, but I guess I'd get one if I wanted to kayak and fish.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Re: inflatables, I know FL only considers them to meet the on board vessel requirement while it is being worn.

If he goes that route, I'd stick a cheap "Mae West" in the hold and wear the inflatable for comfort. If for some reason he takes it off and gets checked, there is still a life jacket that likely meets the requirements.

That said, I have 2 of them and have changed out the cartridges a couple of times. Our LE agents and the state guys have all used them for years.

Great and super comfortable- but beware if you put them in a small compartment and they get wet... speaking from experience on that one unfortunately

Couple of small improvements are easy. Getting a longer handle landing net is a must short handle or wading nets are awkward from the angle of being in a kayak. The big one can be a good paddle, a nice carbon fiber one can make a long day of paddling a bit easier on the neck and shoulders and some of them even have a line grabber to help free lures as well. What kayak did you happen to get? Curious on the room you have but one thing you need to learn is restraint when taking gear for a trip and always try and wittle the tackle to what you know youll need.
Depending on the deck room adding SeaDek to the dek can be a nice improvement for standing traction and comfort overall and can help reduce glare off a glossy hull etc for eye strain.

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

Its the Lifetime Yukon 116. Still waiting for it to get delivered, so I haven't even seen it. It was very much an unexpected gift. Of course this week seems like nothing but thunderstorms, but I'm hoping to be able to get it out and test it within the next week or two.

A paddling lifejacket allows maneuverability. I have an NRS chinook. It's on the pricey side (100 bucks). Very comfy and I have a friend who had his 5 years and fishes often and shows little wear and tear.

An anchor trolley is probably my number 1 thing to put on the kayak. It allows you to anchor off the front or the back. If you fish shallow water a lot, a stakeout pole is a game changer. A quality paddle like nator mentioned is definitely a good investment. I have a mount that holds my phone so I can take pictures of my fish. https://www.austinkayak.com/RAM-Universal-Cell-Phone-Holder-with-Flat-Su...

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I like the look of that NRS chinook; that is pretty much what I was looking for.
Thank you for the other suggestions as well.

Yep, it's basically the standard for a good paddling jacket.
You're welcome, I dove into kayak fishing game hard with quarantine. Being able to anchor easily make the fishing experience a lot more enjoyable and able to fish you targeted area more effectively. Let me know if you have anymore questions on setting it up. A rod holder is good accessory to get as well.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I got a NRS Vapor PFD from REI Outlet and while it may not be a dedicated fishing vest it has worked well for me because it does have pockets to hold some things. It also isn't to bulky or restricting.

I have an auto-inflatable. Dont remember the brand though. But ita small enough that I can wear it at all times and barely notice it, even throwing a fly off the yak.

Definitely get a decent kayak crate. SO. MUCH. STORAGE!!

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

Stop Pebble Mine. This comment is as political as it gets, so I'm sorry but not sorry. The current administration is about to completely fuck the largest salmon fishery in the world, to let a foreign mining company make money off of American soil. I'll leave it at that because if I share my thoughts any further, I'll risk getting banned. If anyone would like to sign the petition to Save Bristol Bay, it is much appreciated. Information on this situation is widely available online.

Petition to sign here to tell the EPA to stop Pebble Mine

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

Something, something, extremism in defense of fishery....I'll go sign it now, thanks for the link.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you

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

Signed as well. Try to save the last frontier.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Some background on the area...
http://www.savebristolbay.org/thefacts

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Thank you for sharing

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

Was in Valdez, Alaska last week and did some salmon fishing with some buddies. One of my good friends lives up there thanks to the Air Force and so had been planning on visiting for about a year. Mainly went to hike and visit but it happened that we came during salmon season. Didn't do any charter fishing, just some off the shore. Doesn't seem like the fish wanted to bite all that much and also seems like the way that people generally fish for salmon off the shore is with a snag line. My buddies did this while I attempted to actually catch them with lures and bait. At the end of a couple days of fishing they got 21 with the snag and I didn't get a single with bait or a lure lol. They did not seem at all interested in biting at all. Lots of schools right offshore. They got a fair amount of both dog salmon and pinks. Alaska is gorgeous!

I was at Navajo Lake once while camping and fishing the San Juan in New Mexico. Same deal there, folks were snagging kokanee salmon as they spawned by the dam in the tens of thousands. Not one person even tried, all agreed it would do no good, they don't bite when they spawn, then, apparently, they die. I met a fellow camper who'd snagged several and he fixed me one on his grill with his "special" blend of seasonings. I know why they do it, the fish was orange and wonderfully delicious, best salmon I've had since some smoked salmon at a bar in The Dalles, Oregon, back in the mid '70s. The fish were not big, but they were absolutely gorgeous in their spawning colors. As a result of the spawn above the dam, the river below had a lot of salmon eggs working downstream and that year, anything with red on it got bitten by the trout in the San Juan several miles down river.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah same deal up there. Spawning and not biting anything. They were delicious. Pretty hard to tell the difference between dog and pink when cooking. We cooked up a filet of each and both were great. Really pretty fish.

My friend had a similar experience in Alaska with snagging them and not actually using lures. They also went halibut fishing. Seemed like a pretty cool trip.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

first cast was the only fish, but back in the saddle!

got up late and needed to be there at first light. tried two different topwaters and 3 different "wake" baits.

LOTS of blowups but nothing really to show for it. I didn't try a prop bait and probably should have.

the lure in the photo is the yo-zuri topknock pencil. also tried the inshore pencil and had lady fish blasting it into the air. it sits almost vertical at rest and has less walk the dog action than the topknock. probably does need the treble belly hook (I had in-lines on everything. had one good hit on the inshore surface minnow and I like its action. doesn't push a wake but runs maybe 4 or 5 inches under the surface. the small H2O xpress saltwater wake bait runs deeper still (maybe a foot?)...casts good and has nice action.

only disappointment was strike pro's hunchback. it does what it is advertised to do...lots of action and pushes water...but I'd argue almost too much. more like a bass bait to me. I think there are probably times when reds will hit it, but I don't think that would be very often.

Glad to see you back at it, dave. Good luck with the rest of the season.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

gracias. made a point of not staying out too long but the back held up fine.

Glad to see you back Dave! I will always recommend the skitter v if you are looking at topwater options.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I have never fished one, but on your recommendation, I ordered one and it arrived a couple of days ago. It is a beautiful bait and I look forward to giving it a go. Your results will give me confidence to give it a try every time I get out early enough. Thanks.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

One fish is better than no fish, and fishing is better than working! Good to see you back on the water!!

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It's July and I have to pull the boat out for a potential hurricane. What is going on. Probably not going to get any fishing done pre hurricane. A seperate system getting pushed out looks like its gonna drop thunderstorms Saturday, Nearshore forecast on Sunday is already showing 7s so that sounds like a disaster. Probably get some more work done on the boat while I have it out of the water.

(add if applicable) /s

Was gonna try and smallie fish this weekend but we got a washout last night and the rest of the weekend looks shot so I'll be trying to shore fish on the mobjack inbetween storms it looks like. Not surprised to see a hurricane 2020 has been that kind of a year.

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

Yeah I mean i guess I was fishing bulls bay with that first tropical storm off the coast 2 months ago just crazy how early these storms are pulling in this year, I have a feeling it's gonna be a long September.

(add if applicable) /s

Everyone on the coast stay safe.

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

Well, I have a bottom fishing report from the East River. Talked with some boaters who caught a bunch of spot, some croaker (small mediums) and a few whiting on bottom rigs drifting at the mouth of the East short of the Mobjack Bay. Used squid and fishbites.
Talked with a couple I've met now a couple of times fishing from Williams Wharf also in the East just across from 'nator's mom's place. They also had several small spot, a few whiting and a decent sized croaker. Caught them all on red wigglers, for goodness sake. While we were talking, the man caught a tiny redfish, maybe 6-7" long, again, on a stupid red worm, no less. He said he'd caught a few of them but all were dinks. One, he thought might go 13". Jellies in the water there, and I do notice a lessening of the weekenders on the water, but attribute that to storm predictions and the oppressive heat.
Wish I had a glowing report, but I'm still not bestirring myself to go get them. I will reach out to my friend Jim Richmond to see what's happening on the New these days. I'll admit, even with the usual lure of Hokie football, I don't wish my summertime away, but this year I'm almost at that point. I'm pretty sure my boat doesn't recognize me anymore, and I don't think I've fished this little in maybe 35-40 years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Had enough work around the river place prepping for the storm I didnt fish that much this weekend. Managed a few blowups on topwater late friday evening but the storms kept me landlocked the rest of the weekend. Had one large tree sized limb fall out of one of the trees so had my day occupied cleaning that up and fixing some smaller electrical things. Definitely not too many people out this weekend as have been the last few though. Did see one poor soul in a 26-29 foot CC getting towed back into the wharf yesterday, looked too big of a boat to be Flyguy. Tides are very extreme right now and will probably be getting very wacky today and tomorrow with the full moon as well as storm surge. I still havent thrown a bottom rig in virginia this year might try it next time I'm around to see if the croaker have wandered up into the east at all.

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

It will be interesting to see what happens after the blow, but I'd doubt the croaker will now magically appear. Set your sights on a fried spot and roundhead dinner, though, and your bottom rigs should provide that, at least. There are a few croaker around, but not like normal years. Some folks have found a few more in a place or two, but most have been very small. I've managed two or three this year, all on Gulp around the docks, but never more than one a day. I've seen maybe a half dozen eating sized croakers caught from the Wharf and that's checking with the fishermen there several times a week.
If the storm sends us big wind, you'd best not put up the chain saw. Those big trees at your place might be shedding another big limb or two.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Got on the water around 6 yesterday morning. There was a rainbow over the water from a passing shower and that was the highlight of the day. It was so humid I felt like I was pedaling through water and air. Caught 2 puppy (emphasis on the puppy) drum and one shark. Talked to another kayaker and he caught one nice striper, a baby speck and a turtle. So I think it was just one of those days. Covered a lot of water and didn't see any fish. Not even the usual houndfish around in the flats. I'll blame in on the weather so I can feel better about my general ineptitude in the salt.

OK, I promised to check the New River news from my friend Jim Richmond's perspective, and after a long conversation with him, I'll do so.
First things first: This year's 17 yr cicada hatch. Didn't help things a bit due to high water during the hatch. He said they had a few spots here and there on a few trips that the activity let to fish, but it was essentially a bust.
Secondly, so far, the dog day cicadas are not making an impact as of yet. Still to be determined as to the year's effect with the best of that bite still in front of us.
As of right now, the river is up and down, went from 3500 fps to over 10,000 a time or two in the last couple of days drawing down the lake for the expected rain from the 'cane, so the river's not in the best of shapes for fishing right now.
More disturbingly, for me, is his overall take on the quality of the smallmouth bass fishery in the New River these days. He said the number of boats and fishermen, he specifically mentioned a kayak behind every rock, ledge and tree, and more fishermen that he's ever seen on the river. Consequently, catches have drastically declined, and he's seeing far fewer fish swimming around as well. He has backed clients off of more productive baits hoping to lower release mortality and is considering retirement soon. While I had noticed and reacted to the same thing 8 years ago that hastened my own retirement, I am paying attention when an old timer hard core guide like Jim is getting fed up.
Our take is shared, some New River outfitters have overpublicized the resource and greedily enrichened themselves from the resultant publicity to the detriment of the resource in general.
Glad I got out in time.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That really sucks. While access to resources is a good thing, it can certainly bring up some issues in the long run. I used to love floating the river because there weren't a lot of people that put in the time and energy to coordinate a put in and take out and fight the shoals the whole way. Now with the prevalence of jet boats and especially kayaks, there are no remote areas of water anymore it seems like. Reminds me a bit of hunting back in the early 90's as a kid before anyone had an atv. Now it's hard to find a place in the woods where someone hasn't stopped and made a pile of aluminum on a trail that goes around a gate. Not sure what the answer is.

I don't know if there is an answer. Just more people, the internet, social media kinda inevitable.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Exactly why I get really irritated at a bunch of the local saltwater YouTube channels.. they draw a ton of attention and sometimes it ruins a fishery. Rudee, lynnhaven, and the Elizabeth are all so overfished and packed it's almost pointless to fish them.

Yeah that's while it's cool to do that stuff and get your name out there. You blow up your spots. VA beach would probably be like regardless tho. Too many people not enough water.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Sadly, I guess I agree. Probably nothing to be done. The New was drawing increasing attention long before the social media crap started, but yes, the internet and the increasing sophistication of today's anglers as compared to earlier times when experts kept their secrets close and you had to learn things the hard way as opposed to utubery and facebookery and the like has changed the game. I guess all will get used to only catching a fish occasionally, and enjoying the beauty of the river which is timeless, but for those of us who know what it should be, it is a cryin' shame.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Personally I cant think of any suggestion to limit the amount of people, in the end the state makes alot of dough from recreational sporting like fishing and hunting licenses so the last thing theyll do it put in restrictions limiting keeping of the smallmouth or largemouth. The main thing I gripe with todays anglers isnt the fact that they all now have the boats to hit the remote stuff, its the technology. Growing up I used to watch the big pro bass tournaments but these days with 4 or 5 freaking gps units, side scan and all the sonar technology theres no skill to it they just read the maps and gizmos and the fish have literally no where to hide with this new tech.
Having floated rivers all my life I've always said most of the anglers miss most of the good spots they just dont see or know are there but with all the technology out there its super easy to find those areas now with minimal effort. I hate to sound like a crotchety old man but it ruins the sporting side of it and the satisfaction to discovering a secret spot that holds fish. The other issue is the sheer number of people and the size resource but aside from a plague or second coming of the spanish inquisition or a mass exodus to mars I see no way to reduce that number.

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