October 2020 Fishing Thread

It is October, and that means Red Drum for coastal anglers. Post your fishing reports, questions about techniques and tackle, and photos here.

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My first report of the month:

Thursday, 10/2:
It was a pleasure to join Fish for a day in a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay (purposefully dodgy about the exact area because it can be heavily trafficked.) Fish was kind enough to focus on spot, but he managed a nice trout and several healthy puppy drum (one of which gave my shad rod a workout.) I was planning on targeted drum at Jennette's Pier on Friday and Saturday, so I focused heavily on spot, and we scaped together one heck of a mix of spot, with trash fish (more pinfish than I can ever remember seeing that far north, lizardfish, and other assorted scalawags.) With a cooler full of bait, I departed Fish's excellent company and expertise to go attempt to get on the scoreboard for #DrumTour2020.

Friday 10/3
An ideal wind and tide pattern didn't produce any drum, although the critters were thick on the end of incoming and begining of outgoing. I went through a lot of tackle on big rays and sharks. I fished from opening to about 7PM, and no drum or bottom fish targets were caught. Shortly after I left, one drum was caught.

Saturday 10/4 More east in the NE made the water even better, but once again the drum were not cooperating. From 11AM-noon, three drum were caught. I had three runs, all rays that I had to bust off. Late in the afternoon as the water continued to clean, some bluefish, spot, and smaller sea mullet were caught, but I focused exclusively on drum fishing. I left at halftime of VT Duke so I could listen on the ride home.

One other note- this was my first time using the Penn Fathom II 15 (not the casting special.) It feels wonderful casting- much easier to throw than the Squall, although it is a bigger profile than the old 525 Mag I own. The magnets were great and I only blew up once (I got a little big for my britches.)

That said, if you have a Mag or a Squall, the differences mess you up. The Fathom requires way more clicks to tighten down the drag (you barely move the Mag 525 and it goes from clicker freespool to lock down.) I needed way more thumb on the spool than I like to get a circle hook to pull tight. Also, the clicker is miserable. It was so hard to toggle that I had to switch to my strong hand.

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Don't know how long the spot run will last here, but if they're still around when next you go, we'll try to fill your cooler again. Too bad the drum didn't participate for you this time.
And it was, as always, a pleasure to spend the afternoon with you.
I'm not fishing this weekend, and just finished pulling an 8 lb butt that cooked all night and came out perfectly, so I'm gonna cue up the game for a rewatch, and 'cue up some pork.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i heard they chewed hard today, everywhere. hopefully 3rdEng found them

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

We just fished from Friday Night to mid day Saturday. Ended up going down to the point Friday night by 10 pm. My friend caught a couple of big blacktips 5-6 feet. Only saw a couple of puppy drum caught.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Thursday my client caught 25 or so stripers on fly and one puppy drum.

Friday my three clients spin fished and caught 80 fish total, including a dozen trout at 20". Best day numbers wise I've ever had guiding.

Yesterday client caught 15 fish, including five drum on spin gear.

The fishing for trout switches off if the sun comes out. I'm preferring cloudy days with this super clear water. Chartreuse jig heads with Opening Night color Saltwater Assassin 4 inch shad is the ticket.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Nice work, dialed in on the bite. Fishing more flats or docks?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Docks.

We've gotten multiple slams off of a few specific ones, but there seems to be a species of fish on every single dock we pitch that color combo jig head to.

For the fly dudes, grey or lavender over chartreuse clouser with black and pearl flash is working great in leiu of the jig head.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Next week I'll be down in Southern Shores for a week of surf fishing. A few guys in the group are already down there and having great luck with drum. Sucks to be stuck at work seeing a bunch of fish pics! Here's my buddy Boo with a 22" puppy:

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Day 1 (for me) got off to a great start when I landed a nice 23" drum right before lunch. Another guy in the group scored a keeper as well. Didn't see any more reds in the afternoon but I got a small black drum before calling it a day. Back at it again tomorrow morning!

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Nice. I heard the pup bite has been good. Is anyone getting any spots?

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

Yesterday was a fantastic day! The weather started out overcast but gradually brightened up, and the fishing was excellent. I caught a flounder and a nice 19" trout. Fish of the day, though, was a 25" trout that one of my buddies landed. In all we pulled in three keeper trout and two drum.

Unfortunately it's a bit slower today. The wind is out of the NNE now, and the surf is smaller but more churned up, so not much action. I caught a 12" trout earlier this morning but that's been it so far. Will upload some pics later, but heading back down to the beach now.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Pups have been chewing in the surf.

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

I envy all getting to wet their lines right now. Between pond maintenance and hunting season starting up along with my search for a puppy to have as a lifelong fishing and hunting partner I will most likely be very quiet on the fishing front this fall. Did manage to hit a nice private pond to fish for bass on friday evening, beautiful weather the fish were starting to head deep I picked up most on shelfs on salamanders and tube jigs while crappie fishing.

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

Spending the day tomorrow fishing at Lake Fairfax as its one of the few places I can hobble up to right now on the walker. Dont expect anything but sunfish but it should be a good day nonetheless.

Best of luck to you. Sunfish have made many a fun day for me, and as my old buddy Cecil would say, "Hope ya catch a sackfull!"

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Good luck. The toughest part accessibility wise is getting from the parking lot to the path. But, check in at the office. They do fall and spring trout stocking and may require a daily pass. I doubt they are doing it with COVID but it is worth checking.

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

It was a good challenge and the setting was great since the park was empty but nothing was even visible, let alone biting

Red eyes on an ultralight are a favorite of mine. Hope you find yourself in something similar.

Saw one two inch sunfish, a bunch of turtles and some tadpoles. Damn geese were driving everything deep.

For Richmond area TKP members- I have two Penn Squall 15s. One with some good wear, the other is lightly used. Will unload the pair for $100 total, or $40 for the well used and $70 for the less used one. If anyone is interested, let me know. If you are looking for a starter heaver/big drum casting reel, both served as excellent starter reels for me.

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

French, I'll take the $70 one off your hands for sure. I'm commuting in on 64 and around 288 to 360 these days. I have to get home to coach a little league game after work today, but can catch up with you tomorrow or friday if that suits you.

shoot me an email at french60wasp AT gmail dot com

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

Sadly, no pics...

Today was a little less windy and much less rainy, so I went back mid afternoon to spend more time exploring where I went last Saturday. Picked up a 15" red on my second cast (same wake bait) and ultimately scratched out 3 flounder and a couple trout.

However, the highlight of the day was a first for me. Saturday I had seen what I thought were good sized jacks hanging around a cut connecting maybe a square mile of oyster bars/spartina flats and the Matanzas River (ICW). So, first cast into the same cut with a my favorite slayer/trout eye setup, a really big fish exploded on the bait and took off...screaming drag. I'm figuring it's a decent jack...until it went airborne...I had a tarpon! Spent 20 minutes or so chasing it around. It had 3 really good leaps and fortunately threw the jig on the last one...there was no way I was going to get to that fish to the boat and had been thinking about how I would cut the line.

Size-wise, my reaction when I first saw it was that it went in the 50's length-wise but I think that's too long. In hindsight, probably mid 40's".

I'm jealous! Our tarpon have started to get gone already. I've only heard of a handful being jumped this past week.

On the bright side, the big reds have made their way back, in big schools. Hopefully I'll get out sunday to get my shots at them.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

the big reds have made their way back, in big schools.

Jealous...

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

great news on the reds...I know the fishery there took a beating with the red tide issues. time for y'all to be back in business

It did. No keeping the snook/trout/reds until may 31st next year (snook september 1st because of the season dates). The benefit, other than restoring the overall numbers, is that the average size of caught fish should increase with that.

I do have the luxury of going to Marco if I really want to keep any of them, but that's rare for me.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

I think we're now at 5 trout but only 1 over 19" per boat. Folks were keeping way too many big trout up here the last 2-3 years; now we'll pay the piper.

They are proposing to increase the min length for flounder, cutting the limit in half, and closing the season for 6 weeks in the fall. Another overfishing issue. I'm fine with that as I've commented many times that they aren't my favorite table fare...yes, I'm in the minority on that one.

There apparently was one hell of a bull red run up here this year in the St Johns. Not my kind of fishing but it's symptomatic of a healthy redfish fishery in the this part of the state. We've been exceeding escapement targets for awhile now.

I've only ever caught 2 flounder down here. I don't know enough about them to say whether that's due to population or area though. So cutting the season and size limits to be more strict wouldn't bother me. I wouldn't mind catching a few more.

I'm more on the conservation side when it comes to fishing anyways. I'd much rather see fish released. I understand the need for commercial fishing and keeping what you catch recreationally, but would much rather see a fish released.

I really want to get up your way and points north and do some marsh fishing for reds.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

we should do an exchange program sometime when covid/schedules get reasonable.

I would absolutely be in for that.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

Get a Gopro, then you can atleast get some of the fighting on film. Usually you can find a good waterproof one on ebay cheaper than new by a bit. I'm very envious you found and got a big one to bite!

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

Wow! Man, to have those kinds of fish around is a dream I'll likely never have come true, but love to hear about it. Well done.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Anyone else get an email from the FWC today? Looks like they passed some new regs for reef fishing in the atlantic which is interesting to say the least.

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, anglers using hook-and-line with natural baits to target reef fish like snapper or grouper from a vessel in Atlantic state waters will be required to use non-stainless-steel, non-offset circle hooks north of 28 degrees north latitude (near Melbourne) and non-stainless-steel hooks south of 28 degrees north latitude.

These changes are consistent with requirements in Atlantic federal waters that recently took effect. Non-stainless-steel, non-offset circle hooks are already required when fishing for reef fish in Gulf state waters and have been a successful tool in minimizing the number of fish that do not survive release.

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

There was a Commission Meeting this week, but I haven't been following along...I know there were some inshore proposals

Huh I'll be interesting to see if they have changed anything for gulf coast regs for the drum, snook and trout or not since I'll be down on north captiva next spring.

I still remember the first time my grand dad and I picked up a pack of circle hooks for salwater fishing it was a real game changer and happy to see some serious implementation to try and help the fishery.

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

Fortunate to be able to spend the morning with our very own flyguy today, and fish his most excellent Hewes in the Mobjack area. We had a beautiful morning, but high skies and low tide made things less than ideal. Still, we managed some dock fish, flyguy got a slam with a trout, red and striper, but I was stuck on little spike trout. They were plentiful and aggressive, laying waste to my Gulp, so I tried one of flyguy's saltwater assassin grubs and had to admit that the fish liked them. I had one really solid fish on Gulp for a short bit, definitely fish of the day, but it pulled off pretty quickly and left me pissed. Probably a red, most likely a slot fish judging from the weight, and I'm still kicking myself.
His Hewes is really a nice ride, and all the cool things such a boat needs with trim tabs and an electric jack plate for shallow running. Can't say enough about the boat, and appreciated his hospitality.
Anyway, he's off guiding over Rappahannock way, so hopefully he's enjoying the calming wind and evening bite. Dude definitely has some cool flies tied up, but it was mostly plastics on jig heads this morning.

Edit: And by the way, a pro tip here. If you hire a guide, treat them with respect, take care of their equipment, and listen to their advice. If not, I can assure you, your ears will be burning for many years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for all of the compliments on the boat Tom. I'm just happy there were no issues with it!

Great to get out on the water with the mayor of Mathews County. I always enjoy fishing with folks that enjoy the simple life, and I mean that in the most positive way. We will do it again, when I don't have to guide in the afternoon. More time to shit talk bad clients haha!

Wind kicked up harsh out of the west around 4 p.m. It got gnarly in the Rapp. We dodged it and hit a lot of docks. 25 fish or so, mostly stripers, all on lavender and chartreuse. Guiding the next four days in a row, will keep the updates coming.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Again, thanks for the ride. While I am not going to give up on my Gulp obsession, your plastics definitely saved me a few bucks yesterday. I need to be more open to new stuff, but I always wonder what Gulp would have caught when I'm out of it or not using it. If money were truly no object, I'd use Gulp until they quit making it, but I can't deny those grubs of yours did work.
Now, about that motor filter....

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yep, I need to check in on that....

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Visited Little Creek on Tuesday. It is still low and the notice said they were lowering it another 5 feet. I did not fish just looking.

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 馃帲

Not sure if you other fishing degenerates saw this but I am jealous. World record in our back yard. This probably was posted earlier this year but darn that must have been a rush to reel that monster in.

World record

Trolling eels (usually drifting, actually) near Cape Charles is probably the best way to get a really big winter striper (errrr, rockfish in Bay-ese) and I've done it several times. Biggest fish aboard was about 48 pounds and I forget how long it measured, but I personally never got one over maybe 36" or so. I lost my ride for that fishing, however, and my boat just isn't quite enough for the 17-20 mile run over open winter water, especially in the unpredictable Chesapeake. There are some big fish over there that time of year and many of them come down the coast and curl up into that area for chow, shedding a bunch of sea lice when you catch them. Fishing for just a few strikes when it's cold as hell, but when it's productive, it's fun for sure. More than once we had our only bite within a half hour of having to head back home, and more than once we merely drowned our eels without a bite.
We need one of our TKP brethren to win the lottery and get a big boat! Anyone interested in that fishery is welcome to pick what shreds of knowledge I have about the deal. Pretty simple, really.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I winced at "trolling eels." More like adrift with eels under a float. And that fishing, in the winter, can be miserable.

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

World record you say??? Yes, it's a rush to land one. #notsohumblebrag

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-w2CFQjBe6/

I want to break that peacock bass record. As French noted, winter fishing is miserable and I am not a fan of the big boats. I'll be puking all day.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

If you come down this way to work on that peacock bass record, you better let me know!! I've never caught one and am dying to!

Warning- Filter lost.

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

I don't think I'd get the record in Florida but there are some small ones there. I'll let you know!

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Hell of a fish, eeling can be boring as hell as french said though unless youre on a decent school. Personally caught one 50 incher doing so on medium heavy gear which was more stressful than fun truth be told.
That said everytime I read a IGFA article the whole metric thing throws me off for a second when I saw 124 cm I didnt notice the cm's and damn near fell out my chair.

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

For any of you who live in or care about the Chesapeake Bay and it's watershed, I would like to recommend you sign up for the free Chesapeake Bay Journal. Go to bayjournal.com, it is truly free, and covers everything from brook trout to speckled trout and their habitats. Yes, it is a conservation focused publication and not focused on fishing, but it is informative and a decent read at 45-50 pages. I've learned a lot from it about various pertinent subjects as I learn more about the Bay, but it is chock full of interesting articles even for folks not in the watershed.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you for sharing

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Honestly had no idea it was free thanks for the info!

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

Usually get sent the e-digest but had no idea the print was free.
Thank you for the heads up!

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

Very unproductive day on the flats today... Saw a ton of fish, but couldn't get them to commit- snook or reds.

Unfortunately, I had a red following my new favorite fly, and just as he was about to put his nose on it, a blacktip shark that I estimate to have been 5+ foot, slammed him and sliced him in half. Blood everywhere, I decided the right thing to do was find a different spot and not subject any more fish to that fate, even though watching nature in action is pretty cool.

Never happened. Everywhere I went today I saw sharks cruising the grass and mud flats. Ended up catching one crevalle jack about 10 inches long and called it a day.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

Good on you for backing off on the fish with the sharks around. I did the same last summer on a school of bull drum. Decided to just watch them bust bait and survive the surrounding jaws beneath them. It sucked not being able to cast to them but was cool just to watch Nature do her thing

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

It was a rough decision since I only get out so often, but it was the right choice. I felt awful watching that red get chewed. I felt almost personally responsible for it. But nature will be nature I guess.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

Fished hard with a fly only client on Friday. Good sun, but the fish wouldn't cooperate in Mobjack. We ended with a few spike trout. Client was a super nice guy and I was frustrated they wouldn't play for him.

Saturday had a repeat client and his two mid 20 year old son's. He decided not to fly cast this time with the crowd on the boat. These guys were as green as could be and were troopers in the constant downpour. I randomly checked the VT-UNC score here and there but was happier to make $$$ than to watch, despite being soaked to the bone. Lavender and Chartreuse yet again, they landed 30 total in Mobjack. I'll do as my shrink says and pat myself on the back for only getting frustrated once at the the three of them tossing literally every 3rd cast over a dock piling and snagging it. It was a lot of back and forth unhooking my jigs out of wood. More fish could have been caught. Fish, that same stretch of docks was the ticket. If you get out again, fish them.

Today, I had a new client with his girlfriend and 20 year old son. We were on the water at 7 am and I was extra prepared for the rain. It only drizzled thankfully. She kicked off the day with the trout of the year, 23" on the lavender jig. They did very well throughout the day, catching close to 50 trout, stripers and reds. I think the main client was annoyed we weren't catching a lot of keeper fish, but that's something I really have no control over. They took home two keeper trout but I had her let the giant female go. I thought it was a great day numbers wise, especially with her huge trout and 7 reds to hand for the group. Nice guy and family so I'll give them that despite his fish size disappointment.

Off the next 4 days. I might go to NC for 48 hours in that span and see if I can get an Albie or two and a redfish on the flats. Starting Friday, I've got 7 straight trips. A bit daunting to say the least but I'm happy to make the $$$. The 3 hour round trip daily commute to the Bay is starting to wear on me. I guess that makes it more like a real job....

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Surprised you got yesterday in. We ended up with 2-1/2" of rain out of that mess and it never really stopped all day yesterday, but it never really poured most of the day. Yeah, the trip from RVA to here isn't exactly a run to the corner and back. Nice trout!!!!! I haven't come close to that yet this year.
Thanks for the head's up on those docks. I like their location and definitely need some new stuff to look at.
And as for the dock pilings and casts, I can assure you that I am as good or better than most when it comes to casting jigs, but as you'll recall, we had to go pull a few of my shots off of the dock as well. I can't imagine having a boat load of greenies trying to do that all day. Good to have a trolling motor for such things. My days on the New included a lot of break offs due to moving water and just oars for propulsion, so I do envy you that convenience.
Thanks for the report.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Featherslinger and I went out early Saturday to fish some dock lights. We met up at 2:30 and were on the water around 4. We picked up a few small trout and stripers on the fly on the first couple lights and slinger had a couple top water blow-ups but they wouldn't hook on. Went to the next lights and after a few casts I picked up my biggest red on a fly - 24". It hit as soon as my fly hit the water and wrapped around a piling but thankfully got him to the boat. We had our slam before 5:30. We picked up some pinfish, blues, a keeper trout and slinger caught a teens red. In hindsight we should have either stayed where we were or headed home. But we went across the river to some grass flats and it was dead. Not a fish in sight. Drifted a few hundred yards and I snagged a gill net. That explained it. The fish don't even stand a chance. We fished the same spot at the same time last October and there was also a net. Just lucky (for his boat, not the net) that we didn't run over it with the motor. At the very least can they not mark them better? Two small flags hundreds of yards apart isn't remotely adequate on a choppy day. So we headed back across to some flats and picked up a houndfish. Went back in a creek and got stuck for half an hour or so until the tide came up. After that we called it a day. Slinger caught a small red off a dock on the way in to salvage the last couple hours. Then we had the pleasure of listening to the game on the way home.....we probably should have kept fishing.

Nice red! I have yet to fish docks this fall but know they are loaded.

Hope you took a sharp knife to that net. Last time I got caught in one, I cut the hell out of it with my filet knife and also freed a bunch of undersize fish in it that we still alive. They are poorly marked and kill everything that gets caught in them. Incredible waste.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Thanks! It was great to see the fly rod bent all the way over and actually get to use the reel (if you can't tell I haven't caught many big fish on an 8wt). And unfortunately we didn't have the arsenal do do any damage to the net. We'll pack heavier next time.
Speaking of 8 wts, I might be in the market for a new one. I know you've mentioned Colton rods before. And the Aetos has been discussed on here before as well. I'm between the following 3:
-Colton Tradewinds XS
-TFO BVK
-Fenwick Aetos
All 3 are currently on sale at different places. I'm assuming I can't go wrong with any of them. Just looking for a fast action rod that won't break the bank. Any and all opinions are welcome.

That is a beautiful fish dude.

On the 8 wt section- the TFO Axiom 2X was my favorite factory rod that I test-casted recently. I ended up going with a handmade rod from Forgotten Coast Outfitters in the Apalachicola. It's made on a fast action Clutch blank, and Clutch sells that rod for over $800. FC sells it for $400 plus shipping.

I liked the BVK, but it seemed a bit heavy on the swing to me, and I couldn't pick up alot of line with it- stripping all the way in to recast just isnt practical sometimes. I've definitely heard good things about the Aetos, but none were here in stock for me to try. The biggest thing is to try with your line of choice though.

Warning- Filter lost.

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

Love the Colton Tradewinds. He seems to always have them on sale.

The Aetos is a great rod for the price.

I've always heard serious mixed reviews on the BVK. Apparently it is brittle and can break easily. Cast one once and it was fine. Wasn't blown away by it.

Loop Q is another rod that is awesome and great bang for the buck. Love mine!

Echo Ion XL is an absolute fantastic saltwater rod. Casts as well as my higher end stuff. They always have great gear and great customer service.

If you order through the links I used, you'll get free shipping and seven day return policy on the fly rods if you don't like it.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

I will always abck the colton tradewinds, wait till theyre on sale as they can be and youll get the best bang for the buck. Also will always back the Ion XL that was my first higher level fly rod and its a great value buy.

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

Gigs forgot to mention that red was caught on the surface in 12' of water.. which I found very peculiar. Tons of blues around which was annoying. No size to any striper which contradicted everything I'd heard- on to dreaming about the next trip

In daylight that'd be a little abnormal but with the dock lights the bait can be higher in the water column which leads the reds up. I have only fished them a couple times but I haven't gotten anything bigger than 17-18" striper yet.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

reds hit topwater, no problem.

Some decent deals on Penn and Abu Garcia stuff for Prime day, saw the Penn Squals at 20% off as well.

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

I saw that with the Squalls. A new Squall II is coming out that looks almost identical to the Fathom IIs, so I imagine the Squalls will have some deep discounts soon.

And, did you see the Squall priced at $149? I swear that was the price when I bought mine, so I didn't think it was on sale.

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

They were selling it for list price but for prime members it was a 20% off at checkout, stupid and annoying but its their way.

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

FYI, Red Drum Tackle in Frisco has a boat load of Squall 12 and 15s in stock and is selling them for $99. They are also selling the 12 on a combo with a 12' Heavy (4-12oz) Penn Battalion spooled up and ready to go for $199. I don't think you'll find a better price anywhere. I went in to get a guide replaced on another rod and walked out with a replaced guide and a new rod/reel... lol

Just to echo on a good deal alert, American legacy fishing has stradic ci4s for 169 until they're gone

gave it the college try today (hit my 5 best spots north of town) with little to show for it...5 undersized reds and 4 undersized trout...8 on plastic (see pic) and 1 on a gulp

we need cooler weather and 2 weeks with no rain

ready for halloween

Love those colors!

Warning- Filter lost.

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

Now thats what I call going to the pumpkin patch!

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

Forgot to post here. Had a barn burner of a day Saturday. Smoked a 26" Red on a yo zuri top water on my little ML trout rod gave me a work out. Got into 10 or so trout and reds for the next hour or two before the wind picked up. Everything else was on zman paddlerz + Texas Eye. My buddy stuck a nice 20" trout. Bite is picking up quick in SC.

Here's a short I released: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGLKNRjDgfTB6UScG0hnwAClSB649C9o9HtP2I0/

and a slot that I did not: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGNPBQSjgaBdVbOFCSXlux1nvZcb-idPTc2OMY0/

(add if applicable) /s

which yo-zuri topwater?

3d Topknock Pencil in mullet.

Side note on those. I don't usually throw topwater on a ML but only had 2 rods that day. The walk the dog action on them is not great but they catch a ton of fish, not sure if the action was due to the ML or not.

(add if applicable) /s

Topknock Pencil is as easy to work as any TW I've ever used.

I actually like a little more bend throwing a topwater both for a smoother retrieve and having a little more forgiveness in allowing the fish to set the hook.

Snuck in a 2.5 day trip to Cape Lookout. Got down there Tuesday at 2 p.m. There was a report of redfish on the flats and on my 1st cast I hooked one, it spit the fly on the run. Picked up, cast again and hooked up on a smaller fish. Measured out at 24". The first was probably 27". Tried poling for them at high tide in some flooded grass but saw none. Two other flats boats out there as well, one was my good friend. They caught six in the grass between them. I guess I was just in the wrong spot.

Wednesday morning I got out early. North wind is perfect for albies. Searched for an hour and found some random pods busting. Finally get lined up right with the drift and wind and my fly line had wrapped up in the prop. I laid on top of my poling platform and had the motor trimmed up and after 10 minutes got it unwrapped. Back to the drift, no bites. Fish were clearly eating snot bait, time to downsize flies. I noticed all of the boats running into the hook and determined 3 of them to be guides. Followed suit and there were 15 boats in the hook, all casting to pods of busting albies. Ended up hooking 7 and catching 5. A local waterman decided to bring his nets out and proceeded to place them right in between all of the boats fishing. Unbelievable. The bite died and I decided to check the outside before going back after redfish on the falling tide. Headed out to the shoals past shark island and it was absolute carnage. Birds all across the horizon with another 25 boats fishing. I hooked up another two albies, broke one off and landed another. The fish were in gin clear water, 3 feet deep. I could sight cast to them. It was awesome! Landed some blues as the bite died and headed back inside. Saw 20 reds on the flats, including 10 in one school. Blew multiple shots and screwed the pooch on two eats. They were picky but I botched it. Dock light fishing was slow that night, two small trout and one red landed.

Yesterday the shoals were loaded again. Albies were super picky, I only got one but missed more shots. Hooked two birds which cost me some serious time unhooking them. Thousands and thousands of blues, many 2-5 pounds. I spent some time trying to catch cast flies at sharks on the back side of shark island. They wouldn't play. Spent some time walking around on shark island after the fishing died and met a nice family cooking hot dogs on a grill on the beach. They had been fishing in the hook the day before. I taught their 12 year old how to cast a fly rod and left him with some flies. The dad said he would book a trip soon. I packed up ready to go in and hit the road back to VA but my client canceled for today. Stuck around another 4 hours looking for reds. Saw 6 and they were incredibly spooky and wouldn't play. More albies in the hook as the sun set but they wouldn't stay up long enough to get good shots. Only one I had, my line was a huge knot.

The only downside to the trip... I cannot stand the trolling boats and the king mackerel boats. How goddamn lazy do you have to be to troll through schools of working birds and fish? It puts them down for everyone. This is just insanity. Pick up a rod and learn to cast, like everyone else out there. A spin rod, with a spoon. It's not hard. The king mackerel offshore CC's think it's ok to just blow through the groups of boats working the fish and birds at 25 mph. I hope the captain that runs the Carolina Kings boat runs aground next time they cross the shoals. Why is it so difficult to go around everyone else clearly fishing schools of albies and blues? Might add 45 seconds to your trip. Fuck that guy.

Overall good trip. My boat performed admirably inside and out in the open water. The fishing down there can be world class.

Casting at sharks: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGZ7_NxDrsI/

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

conservation-related...today is a very good day

For the last several years I've been privileged to be working on a 5 way agreement between four state agencies (FL) and one federal agency to facilitate reduction of ag runoff into the estuaries of southeast and southwest FL. The primary objective is to improve water quality and reduce incidence and extent of the red tides and similar algae blooms some of you are too familiar with.

Ultimately the target of this particular project is to retain excess runoff and store it temporarily on up to 250,000 acres (39 square miles) of fallow citrus groves and pasture lands. In some cases the storage areas will look like ponds or small reservoirs. But in most cases the storage will be in the form of restoration of shallow temporary wetlands in pasture/grasslands/cypress domes. My clients, the fed and state wildlife agencies, are also looking to maximize the wildlife values at the storage/retention sites; and (the biggest sticking point) participating landowners have sought assurances that someday they would have the option of reclaiming their ag operations (most...perhaps all...will not), without additional obligations re: federal and state imperiled species.

Several times, we've had "first and goal at the one yard line", only to have a key player hesitate, forcing us to restart.
But today, the feds (the last hurdle) signed the first agreement for an individual landowner.

It takes time to see tangible results on the ground and in the water; but it is a huge first step. We have overcome an enormous amount of distrust among the players to get where we are. Now if everyone will just behave...lol

[photo from SFWMD pub]

That's great new Dave! Awesome to be a part of something like. Glad you could finally get it done.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Before we ate dinner, the second agreement came in signed. We should have been where we are 3+ years ago but today is better than never.

At the risk of droning on too much, I saw a GREAT show the other night and ANYONE with even a slight conservation interest should watch it. It's on Netflix I think and it is called "Kiss the Ground". I was familiar with several aspects of what was presented but had not seen them assembled like that (the ND demo farm is genius). Afterward, I turned to my wife and said, "I wish it was 30 years ago, I know exactly what I'd be doing for my career".

My message to anyone at any level with agricultural connections...and the Congress...is that as a matter of policy and practice all future agricultural subsidies should be limited not just to carbon neutral ag practices, but carbon "sinks". It is technically feasible, and cost effective (especially given the alternative), and makes manageable a lot of seemingly irresolvable landscape level problems. Legislatively, it would be no different than the big conservation provisions in the 80's farm bills and since (CRP, WRP, etc).

Wanna make a really big difference from air quality, to water quality, to wildlife, to reliable food sources? It's all there for someone to run with. Hopefully smarter people than me already are.

THANK YOU DAVE!!!! This is so good to hear.

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Late season Sierra fly fishing trip summary. A buddy and I got into Sequoia National Park on the middle fork of the Kaweah as soon as it reopened due to the fires. We backpacked in for 4 days. There was still a lot of residual smoke but not a lot of people. Landed a lot of small to medium size native rainbows with a 3/4 weight setup using elk hair caddis primarily. The weather and water was spectacular. Its a very low water season which isolates a lot of decent sized fish to reachable pools.

You can see the smoky haze in the sky while my buddy fishes a nice honey hole.

"Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.鈥 -Einstein

I got the wild hair Thursday evening. I finished my fifth day in a row of 7 hours plus of laptop time and made the executive decision to run south for Friday. I got in the car at 3:00AM and rolled into the OBX around 6:05.

Unfortunately, Oceans East and TWs didn't have any cob mullet. I got the biggest fresh finger mullet I could find at Ocean's East and headed to the pier. The conditions were light SW wind and hot, with the front coming through mid-afternoon, making me think the afternoon bite would be tits, and I could take care of bait while fishing the finger mullet in the less than ideal morning conditions.

I couldn't have been more wrong. With only four drum rigs out, a nice grandfather from the Yadkin River area who I have fished with many times before hooked up on his second cast. Spot head. A second angler hooked up on a freshly snagged bunker, chunked. The grandfather got a second one, as the did first guy. I finally started catching some spot and sea mullet (very small sea mullet) and started using them as a bait. Two got crushed but didn't pull tight, and I only got three southern rays.

Word got out, and by 11:00AM it was crowded. The bite, however, died, including for bait. I ended up with five spot, 10 sea mullets, and one bluefish. Some cloud cover started to move in, and everyone was waiting in slow motion for the wind to flip from SW to NE.

Around 3:00PM, the wind turned, and when it did, it went right to about 30 kts,with vicious rain. It was miserable, and the fish didn't turn on with the change. I fished three hours in awful conditions, and knowing I had to drive in the rain and had not any sleep, I packed it up at 6PM.

I should have stuck it out. Between 6-9PM, another 9 fish were landed, which makes sense given which tide they showed up on in the AM.

If I get my film review done quickly enough on Sunday, I will head back on Monday for the day.

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

Shows to go ya, fishin's hard! A lot of people I know think fishing is just a cooler of beer and a couple of guys lazing around not really caring if the fish bite or not.
I envy you your passion, and your stamina. I was young once myself, but it's getting harder and harder to remember!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My passion outweighed my stamina. A big reason I packed up is that I started to have really bad spasms in the lower right side of my back, where my hamstring ends. The spasms eased up, but I have a knot the size of a golf ball there now that hurts like hell.

Drum fishing is about 3 things 1) Having the right equipment 2) Having the right bait 3) Understanding the right time to be there. I am getting close on 1, but I am nowhere close to the guys who get close to triple digits in a season. 2 is what I work hardest at, and for extended trips I am successful. But, the one day runs, especially with the double whammy of Jennette's not opening until 7 and my best time for success being sunrise, that is just tough. 3 is pretty easy once you spend enough time observing.

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

I got the wild hair right after I bought that reel from you (thanks again btw!) but haven't had the window of opportunity to get back down yet. I finally decided to take a long weekend and head down Friday after work and stay through Monday next weekend. Hoping the trout bite stays strong so I can get into them at least one morning sound-side.

I've always had my best luck in the surf on incoming high-tide but the sunrise/sunset tides are going to be low when I'm down. Any tips for outgoing tides other than looking for a break in the bar if I can't cast over it?

I am not the best of surf guys, so I will defer to 3rd Eng, but close to high tide during a low light period has been the key to big drum.

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

lol, that's what I figured. Guess it'll be some midnight-2am fishing for me. Better buy some energy drinks on my way down.

I'm still a newb in the drum game. I have the right equipment, cast is mediocre but fishable if there is a big run of fish. For the point, you want a sustained wind direction so that your 8 ounce is washing down the beach. If your sinker isn't washing down the beach, it doesn't seem to be as good of bite. Sunrise/sunset are good bets. I've been there for bites during cloudy conditions all day and when it was sunny. SW wind is best late in the season for the point.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Didn't get to fish, but had the kids at the beach for a few hours this morning and saw a handful of snook, but a BUNCH of juvie pompano. Probably palm-sized, maybe a bit bigger, but as my daughter said- "cute little guys!". Maybe it's time for beach pomps on the fly...

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

Paging FlyGuy- any experience fly fishing for pompano?

Or anyone else too

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

Since nobody has replied, I'll chime in. They seem partial to sand fleas in the curl of the shore break, so it seems to me that they're easily reachable, and it would follow that any nymph that could come close would do the trick. I'd trim the fly up to be short and fat and keep to neutral colors like gray, brown or very light olive, while matching the size of the fly to the size of the fish you're seeing. Best of luck!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That was my thought- natural colors on the bottom. And now that I've read different things all night, it sounds like just about anything on the bottom works. Bright colors, natural colors, clousers, crabs... anything really

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

I've caught them on bloodworms and fishbites as well. I figure they'll eat anything they encounter in that roiled up water, including crabs and small minnows. I'm sure once you find them, you can refine your offerings as you figure them out. Matching the size will likely matter most in the end, especially if they're going to hit anything you throw.
Keep us informed.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I will. I just ordered a bunch of size 4 and 6 hooks to start tying on for them (and bonefish, because the Mrs. says Thanksgiving in the Keys isn't out of the question. Woot woot!) .

Probably will start with clousers and some shrimp patterns. Stay tuned.

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

Wow. Thanksgiving in the keys would be killer, especially this year. Best we've managed is Columbus Day in Deltaville. Nice little getaway, but...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We're looking at it. I've got the full week off and she has over 100hrs of PTO to use, so we figured Thanksgiving would be a good time to get away, but didn't want to go out of state. So it's either the Keys, or Crystal Springs/Homosassa.

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

Big ones have hit gotcha plugs. I have caught two or three that way on the pier, although I can't remember the color. But a minnow/silverside looking pattern may work in clear water.

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

I've only caught a couple of bigger ones, and they were twice the size of any I'd caught in the close up waves. I believe if they're in the curl, they're probably keying on the sand fleas. I caught the big ones on crab fishbites last summer/fall down at Topsail. Those fish were near the first sand bar and not in the close shore break like the littler ones I used to catch. I have watched the smaller ones feeding a few times down at Hatteras, and it's really cool. They come in all the way with the break, then they swim on their side in the skinny water as it recedes, catching the sand fleas as they seek to burrow back into the sand. As kids, we'd underhand our bottom rigs baited with bloodworms right into the curl and we'd get them as the wave receded. Fun, but they were a bit small for eating. We tried them a couple of times, but the family agreed that we didn't care for them. A bit oily and fishy for us as kids, and even mom and dad weren't hot for them, so we just caught them for fun when nothing else was biting or we were tired of catching spot.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It sounds like if it's not a natural color, pink is the most popular, with chartreuse being second.

Going to try and tie one or two of the patterns I've found so far when the kids go to bed tonight. Might post pictures if I like them enough

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

They eat sand flea flies in the surf. I've never caught one but always wanted to do it. There are a lot of sand flea flies out there. I've tied a few, not too difficult to do.

I'd throw it on an intermediate line so it cuts through the waves.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Just got some rio directcore flats pro with the clear intermediate tip.

Have to try my hand at tying some sand fleas. Gotta find a pattern I like and think I could do, first

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

That is my new favorite line. Throw an unweighted weedless bulkhead deceiver on it into the mangroves. You are going to crush snook

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

I hope so. I plan on hitting goodland my next time out on the yak to see what the redfish situation is there, but also return to the area known as Hell's Gate to find a trophy snook.

Hopefully my new rod will be in by that time too...

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

What did you order?

The names you mentioned don't mean anything to me but I'm sure I'll need to get the hell out of VA this winter to go fishing somewhere

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

A Forgotten Coast Ronin. Made in Appalachicola on a Clutch rods blank. The guy said he had 2 ahead of mine and that was 2 weeks ago, so fingers crossed.

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

Interesting. Never heard of them. Haven't thrown a Clutch either. Let me know how you like it

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

I hadn't either, but they came highly recommended from a group of folks I reached out to. The one guy offered to let me throw his, but we live too far apart.

I wanted something with a faster action and a good ass to it so I could pick up alot of line if needed, and the finalists (in my book) were the Axiom 2 x (beautiful casting, but backordered almost 6 months), the lamson standard seat (super soft presentation), and this one. The Lamson won in price ($199 on sierra.com), the TFO won the warranty (which TFO is known for), but the Ronin won out on recommendations and the fact that it supports a small business.

Multiple folks said that if I don't like it once I get to throw it, they'll buy it off of me full price, so there's another plus. I'm pretty excited about it. I'll definitely keep you informed. The guy is a pleasure to talk to.

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

IfishVTIam I'm hearing good things in the East. Drum and specks. Any updates on your side?

804

Well, I've been out of the game for more than a week. We had a mini-vacay all the way over to Deltaville and a funky cabin at Cross Rip campground. Over there, between extreme lethargy and relaxation and shrimp and crab cakes and Landshark, well, I managed two baby flounder and a dink lizard in my 15 minutes of casting plastics from their dock.
Back now, but with vehicle issues. Those 16 year old vehicles will get after ya, and while the Buick is awaiting a new dashboard instrument panel, we're down to one vehicle and my wife has places she needs to go. We have meals on wheels, as well, and I never fish on weekends. Is that enough excuses?

Pathetic excuses aside, I plan to fish tomorrow morning and also planned to reach out to my trout guy neighbor to see wha's been up while I've been gone. I'll let you know his take if I can within the bounds, but will definitely give a report on my trip tomorrow.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Great, thanks! I'm hoping to get out there this weekend myself. Sounds like peelers have been the best bait.

804

I'll be tossing Gulp and maybe one of flyguy's assassins, but peelers are always a good bait option in the Mobjack area, it seems. I also want to try the MR I got to see if I can find a big trout. We'll see.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

More details coming, but I got on the board tonight and finally got the skunk off my Century

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

Super drum, French! Looks like all that work paid off. Looking for a mini version this morning.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

In line at the pier to get in. This 7AM open is for the birds

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

My morning was uneventful. Two 15'' reds on first dock, no more. One 13'' trout, a small croaker and a white perch. Foggy and damp, fish just weren't into it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Kudos for getting some to bite in those conditions though

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

Yeah, but I was really hoping the low light and no wind would get something moving, but they just weren't happening. 'Slinger's report of the trout and reds being hot in the East gave me hope, but alas. Got a bite on first cast, then a red on second and fifth casts, I thought it was on, for sure. Oh well, at least I got out and felt a tug. Did break off a red on a piling, but it was probably about the same size as the others. I was surprised not to catch any stripers, and only the one small trout. I did miss a couple of bites on a popping cork with a gulp jerk shad, but really never got going.

Edit: I did go up the North to my usual go to docks, but that's where I got the trout, a white perch and a dink croaker, but it wasn't worth the trip. I also fished a drop off and some open water over grass, but to no avail at all. I've heard better reports from the Piankatank, though. A friend has caught some nice drum up to 26'', several decent trout, and even some stripers on topwater. I think I'm done with the Mobjack for a bit, unless I hear another glowing report.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That's pretty wild that you had those bites that early and then almost nothing to speak of. Those are the most frustrating days, aren't they?

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Yep, frustrating for sure. Seems like as the tide came in, the fish just quit. When I started out it was low tide, when I quit, it was higher than normal. It's been a strange year here, though. My go to docks have been less productive than usual, and my open water spots have been so dead I can't seem to maintain my interest.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We've had a weird year here as well (at least I have). I didn't see as many big snook on the beach this year as past years, caught a ton of smaller ones there though, and caught the bigger ones in back bays, backwater bridges and the river mouth in July, which is super out of the ordinary for breeders. And then the reds showed up almost a month early and the tarpon were hungry but in short spurts (I still haven't landed one of those suckers..)

Just a weird year all around, including in the fish world I guess.

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

After finishing the film review on Sunday, I grabbed an evening nap and then jumped in the car to Nags Head. Jennettes is opening at 7 now, which gave me an hour window to scour the tackle shops for cob mullets. Everything was gone. I went to Jennettes hoping I could catch bait or bum some. That was also slim pickings. I spent most of the morning bait fishing with great looking conditions, but nothing ever bit. Through a lot of hard work, I jigged up a bluefish and bummed a second one. I caught two spot and a pinfish. No drum were caught depsite a ton of people fishing. Most left around lunch time. I stuck it out in the rain until 3:00PM, after snapping my bait rod trying to dead stick a small sting ray. The only things biting were puppy drum, on bottom rigs using fresh shrimp. I saw at least 20 nice (20-25 inch) class fish caught, with some even coming out near the end.

I went to Ocean's East to find a new bait rod. As I settled on a Teramar, Rob Alderman (Fish Militia, OBX Angler TV Show, and a local kayak guide) informed me they had 1600 pounds of cob mullet coming to the shop. I decided to wait until the bait arrived. When they showed up, I got about $40 of cobs, stopped by KFC for some food, and headed back to the pier.

When I got back, the drum fishing all stars (the guys who, if they are there, you need to stay) were there. I also bummed three fresh spot heads from a couple at the fish cleaning station. We started fishing again. Around 6:00PM, one rod goes off, then a second. Soon, it is a steady fish of one to two fish pretty much hooked up all the time.

But, it wasn't happening for me. For whatever reason, guys with their line 3 feet from mine were getting their third fish, and I didn't have a run. I moved from south corner to north corner, even though more fish were coming from the south. I went away from the cob mullet heads, even though that was producing for everything else, and changed to a spot head. Right after I threw, Ricky (one of the close group of drum guys) said "that's the hole, French." The cast was around 7:45. At that point at least 30 had been caught.

Within about two minutes, my line slacked out. I tightened up and didn't feel anything. It slacked again and I felt a bump. I reeled and got the circle hook to stick. A couple minutes later, I put this one on the deck.

I didn't get a measurement... I am 6'0, so I am guessing it was a low 40 (40-44 inch fish.) I got the photo and put her back.

This was my first ever drum on the Century Surf Machine Max I won in a Hatteras Jack's facebook contest a few years ago. It was also my first fish on the new Penn Fathom II I got for Christmas last year. I was also using an albright for my shock to main line connection, and was very pleased with the performance.

I had some line chaffe, so I retied and got back in. Almost immediately I had another run. It didn't feel right though, and shortly after my line went slack. I packed up (they were closing at 9 anyway, so I didn't want to rush the retie.) I headed to the Marriott Town Suites and got settled in. I should have been more adventurous. A couple guys went up to Avalon, and despite the damaged short end, continued to catch fish until 3AM.

I got to the pier for the 7AM opening again this morning, and there were fewer people. I had good bait and felt confident. And it played out well- five early morning fish on the last half on incoming, two by Lee S. Unfortunately, I got sharked three times (including a big garbo that got close enough to see before he bit off.) The bite died at 10AM. I stuck it out until 2:00PM. Nothing was happening. I bet they had a big run this evening.

The bottom fishing was atrocious. I prefer to use spot heads over cobs, but couldn't come close to catching enough bait. Nothing worked- hand tied bottom rigs with bloodworm fishbites, shrimp fishbites, sibikis, gotchas. It was like pulling teeth on Monday and was even tougher today. The cobs from Ocean's East saved the trip bait-wise. I wish I had them early. I wouldn't have burned so much energy.

So, since I finished the film review, I have slept seven hours. I am going to crash hard tonight.

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

Big ups French! Well deserved!!!

Damn, nice fish!!!

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

Glad you got it done French! Love the long write up. Ricky is great guy. He's buddies with the guy I stay with in Hatteras. Chatted with him a good bit last fall. Weird about the bait situation. I'd honestly think about vacuum sealing extra cobs and freezing them for next trip.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

One of your other sources from a different board (one of your trout fishing info hook ups in the Rapp area) said the spot are still being caught up there.

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

Yeah that sounds right. Assuming you are talking about Keith?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Brian

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

Sorry, Bryan

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

Can confirm spot are still being caught in the area. Wonder if you could salt them down for preservation, then maybe freeze them? I know fresh is best, but we used to salt our fresh mullet filets down to keep them from mushing out on us, and it worked reasonably well. This was well before vacuum packing was an option, but just wondering if anyone has messed with the idea.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I've seen people salt them. I think it's a good idea. French seems to use the heads the majority of the time.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Seems like keeping the fish whole would keep the juicy stuff contiguous longer, halving the fish just before using. I can see a discussion evolving regarding the best way to achieve enough salting to maximize preservation.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have not talked with Ricky much before, but that little bit of encouragement seemed to help me get my head out of my ass.

It was an all star lineup- Arch and Pat Bracher, Ricky, Lee Scarbourough, Jake, Greg. There were a lot of fish being caught.

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

Yep, that is all star group. Not sure I know Greg might know the face. Was travis not out there?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Pretty sure Travis was on the beach up north.

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

That's what I was getting from pictures but wasn't sure how he was splitting time.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

nice...that's a solid block of cheese!

Guiding the past three days... fishing in the Bay is tapering off a bit it seems. Still finding some stripers on docks and a few trout here and there but it hasn't been as good as the weeks prior. It looks like the fish are starting to move off of the docks. Finding them on points and drop offs. I'm guiding the next four days in a row, then, potentially no more trips for the season, save for maybe a few at Cape Lookout. I could use more.

The albie fishing at Cape Lookout is supposedly some of the best ever the past few days. My buddy caught a few albies from the beach. I wish I was down there.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

I have reports that the fish are still around the docks, just not the usual haunts, and often not as close to the structure as usual, but still oriented to the structure. Also, oyster beds are giving up some fish. My neighbor has been steadily doing well, but usually fishes from 6-9 in the am, then knocks off.
I'm heading out again this morning into the dense fog bank and hoping for a better day than Tuesday. Will report.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

What is the strategy to get fish off oyster beds? There's a huge bed about 50yards from my favorite grass/mud flat, and I swear there has to be fish there. But can never seem to get anything to give my flies (baitfish or crustacean varieties) any attention off of the oysters.

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

I have no strategy, per se. The bed I get all the willies from has only given up a handful of other fish, one a nice 2-3lb bluefish, a couple of croaker, and a 21" flounder, but I was getting them vertically jigging Gulp. I think the relative depth, almost 6' at mean low tide, helps it to hold more fish than those with less water covering them. The shallower beds have vexed me as well, but my neighbor seems to like to run a Super Fluke or a Mirrolure over them for trout. The 21'' flounder my buddy got on the willy reef was lying between oyster humps, probably on a sand "hole" in the oysters, vertical jigging gulp as well.
Incidentally, my neighbor was out with his fishing buddy yesterday and they had a really good day on the trout. They caught and tagged 6, at 15-18+", and also kept 5 fish, 19-22". All from the Piankatank. Those guys are trouters for sure.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

your clear water, low tidal amplitude world that still has oyster bars is foreign to me; so grasping at straws...

is this a situation where the predators on the bar itself are mostly sheepshead or black drum? so perhaps a small crab imitation?

for reds up here, the prime habitat target is a drop off immediately adjacent to an oyster bar. reds are often cruising the edge (+/- a foot) looking to ambush anything coming off the bar. if there is loose shell/sparse oysters in the drop off, all the better... I'll bounce the bait right in the shell. in the winter when reds go into fiddler mode, that little bucktail jig I like is deadly

in Galveston Bay, the deeper open water oyster reefs hold a lot of trout...no mystery there...your favorite garden variety plastic or plug

Well, the oyster bars in the Chesapeake system around here are pretty much a thing of the past, but what we do have are man made oyster reefs designed to stimulate natural growth and help keep the oyster population going. I believe, as you said, that predators cruise the edges as the tide pushes bait off the oysters, but the sea bass just stick close on the structure. While sheepshead are around in the system, I've not heard of any coming off of oyster reefs, nor black drum, but I wouldn't have necessarily heard anyway.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We certainly do have small tides most of the time, which makes it interesting on the flats i fish because you typically go from 6" at the shallower to 3 feet at the deepest. Rarely more, so incoming and high tide is about the only time I can get to them.

I've thrown crab and shrimp flies all over the oysters, but maybe I'm not hitting the tops of them like I should. That could very well be, and would make sense. The reds that I've caught near my best spot (which is mangrove islands separated by roughly 20 feet with shallow grass/oyster mixed bottom) have come what I figured was "open" water around 25 feet off of the mixed bottom. So maybe I'm either not letting my fly get deep enough or I'm fishing too shallow normally.

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

I don't know your kind of water, but I'd not think reds and trout would be lying in the oysters. We have enough water over our reefs for fish to cruise over them, and in that case, almost anything in the water would be visible to them, though they'd likely be oriented toward feeding down or chasing baitfish across the reef.
Damn, though. All this talk has made me crave a plate full of oysters. Best hie my old arse to the fish monger this morning...my game day fare just took a hard turn.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I was supposed to get down there but work got in the way. Will be down there for halloween weekend. Hope to get on a few albies.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Great looking fish French, happy to see your tenacity and hard work pay off! Pulling that big girl up must have felt incredibly rewarding.

Cheers!

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

thanks! and I guess I should focus more on twitchbaits, lol.

I did know 2 guys (one now deceased, one moved to Mobile) who were a decade+ ahead of Davis chasing big trout on artificials in the Palm Valley and Guana areas (both of which were mentioned) but they kept it to themselves. As I've mentioned it here, Jax was a notorious live bait fishery forever, and for a healthy majority it still is.

Wholeheartedly agree with him about the tide cycles, i.e., forget the middle 2 hours of outgoing and incoming in NEFL. The way you work around that here is to run a few miles upstream or downstream to move the tidal clock forward or backward to get the conditions you want to fish. Palm Valley is the mid point between the SJR driven tides and the St Aug driven tides, hence a little relief from the current. I should probably spend more time there...

I'd give them a shot for sure. They can definitely get the big trout to bite.

I think the live bait thing I think correlates to those big tides. Tougher to present baits well in big tides. Hope you can find some gators to play.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

the part of the podcast where he says he can't get into the repetitive cast/retrieve of plastics along a grass line but loves working a twitchbait in deeper water around big structure...that's me in reverse, lol!

and the part about using a baitcasting rig...also me in reverse

Yeah that was kinda confusing. He said he doesn't have enough patience to work a soft plastic which usually its talked about having patience to work a mirrolure. Although you can work mirrolures fast in warmer water.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I enjoyed the podcast because I'm familiar with the places he fishes. I don't fish all of them...I have no interest in fishing the areas of the SJR he targets...aesthetics are important to me. But I could visualize everything he said.

The surf info also confirmed what I've suspected for awhile and I could identify with some of that Texas discussion as well.

Thanks again for posting the link!

Yep, it's easier to engage with the podcast when it's about areas you fished. Hope you can build off the stuff they said about surf zone. You're welcome! It's a great podcast. I think Chris Bush said he's going to get into tactics more this season along with all the story telling.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Had a good morning today. Really put in a last of the season effort to find another keeper flounder in my usual spot, but caught three reds, 13-15" and four trout. One spike, two were 17-1/2" and one was a big fat 20" fish, my best of the year. Nine drifts, 7 fish, but no flounders. Hit an oyster reef for some childish fun, playing with the biggest concentration of black sea bass I've ever found or heard of. Topping out at 9", though, so I let them destroy one Gulp, caught maybe 8, lost a bunch. They bite hard and fight hard, but 9".
Up the Piankatank I went, tons of boats. Most docks were being fished, just got fished, or were about to get fished. I did manage a 14" trout casting to a big ball of bait I saw on my screen, but headed back toward the launch. I decided to stop at a long dock I haven't fished in years and lucked into a mother lode of 12-15" reds. Voracious. I lost one on a piling right away, caught 7 and had three or four pull off. Last one I caught had 6" of mono sticking out of his craw, looked suspiciously like mine. Like I say, voracious.
The day was made even better when I ran into one of my old clients, my favorite one, actually, whom I've seen only once in 8 years. We got to catch up a little.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Hell of a day!

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

Nice work! And a heck of a trout! That last red really makes you wonder how quick fish are to forget they've just been hooked. I guess when they're hungry they're hungry.

It is the second dock red I've caught this year with line coming out of his throat. Bait swallowed completely out of sight. I'm sure the first one I caught wasn't my doing, but today, I'd say it was probable. Both of them got the line trimmed as much as possible, of course. Also, there were a bunch of fish in a relatively small space, so competition may have driven the fish to chomp again. After all, he got away with it once, right?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Pretty work! Tank is definitely crowded. Now that it's fall everyone wants to be a trout fisherman. Need the stripers to become more of a focus.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Sounds like a great day!

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So I never heard back from Lamiglas via email or phone...I don't know if that is a function of Covid or not...but reasons aside, I'm moving on.

Unless you live near a dealer that carries their stuff and will back up the product, there are too many others right now that build a good product AND that do a good job backing their product to give Lamiglas a serious look.

Just my $.02.

That's disappointing to hear that. You aren't wrong in your assessment and I hate that they've fallen to that level, Covid or not. Like I said, it's been over 8 years since I've dealt with them, so a lot could have changed in their culture and as such a small company, relatively speaking, perhaps the wrong people have left or something. Oh well, I'd bet the tackle shop owner who sells a defective Lamiglas would also have trouble with them if they treat you that way. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

There are so many tackle shortages out there. You can't find a way to get Berkley Pro Spec Chrome or Sufix Tritanium right now, either around Richmond or down at the beach.

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

I have a full spool of 16 lb berkley pro spec at my house if you need some.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Green Top had some 20lb when I went in on Friday. I got two spools.

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

Went out this morning despite the awful forecast. Got a little rain, mostly just threatening clouds and some wind late. Ran back and forth from the sand flats just shy of the pass and the mud flats. Picked up a grand total of 8 snook, which in total might have measured 55 inches馃槀. Smallest snook I've ever seen, I swear.. Picked up a tiny barracuda over some mud on a crab fly of all things.

Found mullet all over the place, but only saw a handful of reds with them and couldnt get them to chew to save my life. My guess is the weather has them just searching for a place to lay low for a few days.

The life is there on the flats though. Saw a ton of rays and sharks to go along with a really diverse mixture of bait.

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Buddy of mine went out to The Cell (well known Cheapeake Bay reef) this past Thursday and said big drum were biting around the edges. They got several nice bluefish and used strips of blue on jigs to hook the drum, but they weren't geared up enough and never managed to land one. They saw a few caught along with some slot drum. I need a bigger boat.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Never heard of this place but could have run to it this past week with the flat water

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

Flyguy, if you haven't heard of The Cell, you ain't up on the Bay, man. Everybody and their brother knows about The Cell. Now, it is on the Eastern Shore side of the Bay, and for sure, the 17 (minimum) mile run across to it doesn't lend itself to smaller boats like ours, even in flat water, given that the Bay is well known for getting way up in a big hurry. I've gone over in bigger boats many times and had the water go from flat to 2-3' waves during the day's fishing, and a friend once went over with his wife and some friends, taking 45 minutes to run over there, then taking 3-1/2 hours to get back, in the dark. The water around the cell is 45-50' deep and nearby, the Baltimore Channel gets way deeper than that. It isn't a place for skiffs, though they'll sometimes run out from the Eastern Shore and I did see a jet ski dude out there once, in his wetsuit, drifting eels for big stripers in December. I will admit that I've been tempted to make the run, especially this time of year when the bluefish are almost always present and drum are caught annually, with stripers usually hanging around the structure as well. It is always the uncertainty of the wind/waves that backs me off. I can likely do it safely on a good day, but my open boat isn't fun when I have to run many miles at severely reduced speeds, taking spray in my face and gritting my teeth. The Cell is also a well known tautog fishery, with spadefish hanging around as well. I once saw a guy arrow a 10lb spade there on a day that we saw spades near the surface most of the day.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Flyguy, if you haven't heard of The Cell, you ain't up on the Bay, man.

There wouldn't be any fish left for the rest of y'all to catch if knew of all the spots.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Jokes aside, The Cell is an interesting structure. Worth a google look. Radical structure in proximity to deep water makes for intriguing possibilities.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That's a great nutshell on The Cell. The area around buoy 42 has definitely been good for flounder in the past, but I've not been over there in more than 3 years now...lost my rides. We would drag flounder rigs, with the requisite jewelry and spinners, baited with strips of fresh croaker. Some folks got a cobia now and then doing that, and more of us got good red drum doing that, but flounder and sharks seemed to be the predominant catch.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I just got an email from VSSA that Virginia is being asked to reduce cobia catches by 42% for 2021 and beyond. Looks like a vote will occur December 8th. One per person or two per boat and prohibit gaffing??

Man, I wish they would invoke strict rules like this on Omega Protein in terms of keeping too many fish.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Yep. Season is being shortened too. This is because MRIP changed the fishing effort variable formula, and they used to to recalculate 2018-2020 three year average. Despite 2020 being down, 2018-2019 bumped us way up, hence the cuts. It is total smoke and mirrors, but I am about done fighting the fight because a bunch of the charter guys pushed for it (and a couple pushed for the gaff rule, because screw guys on a pier who have one chance to land a fish of a lifetime.)

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

Guided every day this past week. It was good overall but surprisingly slow yesterday pre front. One client did catch an 18 inch flounder on the Rapp under a dock. Biggest I've ever had caught in VA. Fish are definitely moving off of docks.

Clients canceled for today due to weather. I was fine by that as my outboard has been acting up and seemingly not getting fuel. Today I spent an hour replacing the strainer filter. Once removed, I tried to blow air through the old one and it was difficult. Hopefully resolves the issue. If anyone owns a Yamaha, this small part will eventually go bad. It has on each of mine, 60 hp and 115 hp.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

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

Made the trip down for the week today, but got a late start because after doing the film review I didn't have much stomach for getting soaked. I carried my Century out, but wanted to get bait. I managed my three bluefish limit on metal and with no spot bite I just tried to find the albies. I saw one caught, but never got one to eat. Try again tomorrow.

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

Heard a drum was caught right after I left. Whoops.

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

Ok trout fanatics- the Mrs. and I have decided that when the Rona is over, we're going to make a few trips. Tennessee/N. Georgia and Wyoming are 2 places on the target list, and I've been given the OK to get a fly setup for trout. I don't want to break the bank, since it will be used sparingly (unless I'm screwing around with panfish at our property in Labelle), but also don't want to skimp and break the damn thing my first venture out.

Recommendations?

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

How big of trout are we talking? Tfo makes a couple rods that can be good multipurpose without breaking the bank. I've got a couple 4/5 wt bugging tfo combos that work for trout to bream and bass that I like. The reels are basically glorified line holders unless you plan on going for bigger trout.

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

Probably small to medium I'm guessing. My plan is to take the setup and a little gear with us when we travel, find a small stream or public accessible pond, and sneak out for an hour or two in the mornings, or take it when we go on hikes. Just something to get some fishing in, mostly.

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

Get a four piece rod to make it easier for travel. For your uses, I would probably look at a 4 weight.

Definitely suggest the 4 piece makes it way easier to pack in and out. Not knowing a price range this is a good starter deal. They also have a 7'-6" one that might be better if you plan on doing alot of tight quarters brookie stuff.
https://www.amazon.com/Redington-Fishing-Crosswater-Outfit-9-Foot/dp/B07...

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

$250ish was what I was thinking about being the price range for rod/reel, so that's pretty sweet. My first flats rod was a Redington and I loved it, so that's a very tempting item.

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

Oh, no doubt. I use 4-piece even for my main setup (and my new flats rod is also going to be 4-piece).

I don't now much about the lower weights- is a 4wt a good "all-around" for dry and wet flies?

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

yes 4 -5 wt for medium to larger bodies of water. Many people use 2 -3 wt for the many small trout streams on the east coast. I mostly fish a 3 wt, 7.5 footer because all the streams near me are small.

My first (and still my favorite) fly rod is a 9' 5wt that a family friend gave me. I've used it for everything from small brook trout to stripers. I borrowed my brother's 3 wt in college and that was money for dry fly fishing for brookies. But once I got a 7'-6" 4 wt, the 5 wt and 3 wt mostly stay in the closet. The 4 is perfect for stream fishing with dries, nymphs, and small streamers. I like to be able to switch between all 3 if needed. It's tough to have a true "all-around" rod but unless I'm fishing a large river (5 wt) or exclusively dries on a small stream (3 wt), I'm fishing the 4 wt.
Not sure if anyone has opinions on ll bean rods, but I've had the streamlight ultra 7'-6" 4 wt for a few years and I love it. I've beat the hell out of it and it's still in great shape. Plus, ll bean has 20% off certain times of the year (should be coming up soon). So you can get an entire outfit: rod, reel, and line on sale for $175. The reel is surprisingly nice, not that you'll need to use it much. The line, not so much. You can also get just the rod for cheaper.

Slinger and I went out early yesterday morning with the hopes of fishing some bridge/dock lights and maybe venturing out to a flat. Got to the ramp a little after 4 and we were obviously the only ones there given the forecast. The wind was howling and water was up over some of the docks and into the parking lot. We wisely decided to try a more shielded area. Got to the second ramp and the only other vehicle was 2 kayakers. We stayed very close to shore and fished some dock lights while getting blown around. I got a pair of small stripers, biggest was 19", and slinger caught some pups. Then after the sun came up we ventured out to behind an island with some trees. We were protected from the wind and slinger picked up a couple more drum and I got a dink trout. No keepers but we got our slam and got back to the ramp safely so it was a win in our book. Picked up some much needed warm breakfast and were home by 10. My wife was disappointed I was home so early since she was looking forward to a relaxing morning alone. So I guess I'll just have to go fishing again. Also we definitely learned our lesson trying to fish a northeast wind. Never again.
We saw one other boat out fishing in the dark. And they came hauling in from the bay yelling how bad it was. Then they proceeded to head back out there or at least in that direction. They seemed fairly intoxicated so really hoping they made it out ok.

I took my niece and nephew for a day of drum fishing, and couldn't drum fish. Repairs to the roof on the end closed it off. Instead, we filled the cooler with spot and sea mullet. The kids also released a legal/closed season flounder, several trout, several blowtoads, and some other assorted critters.

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

I've been saying what this guy has said for a long time. Daiwa prioritized bearings because there is only so far you can advance gearing. They realized that bearings were more important and pushed magseal down their whole line which made very viable reels at reasonable prices. Everyone else will catch up but imo Daiwa is well ahead of the curve right now.

(add if applicable) /s

My niece caught 21 bluefish, a lizardfish, and a Spanish today. I got bit in the hand by a cormorant that decided to fly into my drum line. All the bluefish you wanted today though. I got my limit in about seven minutes this morning.

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

Little crisco and a skillet and some breaded and the bluefish would be killer. Getting the next generation into the outdoors is what it's all about glad you got to get her out and on some fish!

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

Those smaller bluefish are delicious when kept cold and cleaned well. For those who don't care for their oiliness, a four hour soak in buttermilk firms them up and sweetens the filet nicely. I make my own buttermilk soak from one cup 1/2&1/2 with one tablespoon of lemon juice, and even fish I don't usually care for are back on my menu since I started doing that.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Never heard of the buttermilk soak as I like the oiliness as long as it isnt too much. Wonder if that would work on other game as well.

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

i soak all of my seafood in buttermilk in prep for frying

i also use it instead of whole milk in cornbread

edit: maybe i'll keep a bluefish one of these days...maybe

First I ever heard of it was for striper mcnuggets from a Hokie buddy in South Carolina. I don't use it often, but I would for bluefish. I also use it on speckled trout, when I keep one. We always approved of the flavor of trout, but the flesh was sorta mushy to us, which doesn't suit our palate. The buttermilk firms up the flesh and doesn't harm the natural flavor of the fish. It also seems to leach out the blood and for me, actually enhances the flavor. I'd probably only keep bluefish to smoke, I love them that way. There are plenty of other fish to fry.
Of course, I wouldn't do the soak if I weren't frying the fish.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Mushy texture of a trout is definitely a drawback tablefare wise to me as well. I love them to much kill them unless they choke a lure.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

The soak definitely firms up the flesh. Mrs. Fish is really picky about her fish, and even she was happy with the results. I've only kept a couple so far this fall, but will likely eat a couple more before it's all over.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I've heard of duck and goose, as well as venison soaked in buttermilk. Never tried it myself.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I couldnt bring myself to brine or buttermilk a deer unless it had been run hard by dogs and had too much bad juices in the meat. All this talk of food is killing me since I'm quarantined at home with no sense of smell or taste at the moment.

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

ugh...get better fast!

Finally passed a test in life and it was the one apparently you're not supposed to pass. Thanks guys gonna deer hunt my way through since the warmer weather is passing it seems was hoping it might stick around long enough to get one days trip on the james but looks like the cold snap should make sitting in my climber worth while.

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

Actually, I have to take it back about the venison. I was reminded of some most excellent "Texas" style venison steaks we had at a friend's that were soaked in buttermilk laced with Texas Pete, then double breaded and deep fried. Served with gravy and I recall sopping it up with a biscuit and damn near licking my plate.
Sorry to hear about your quarantine. Hope you get well quickly.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Sounds like a good way to do it actually might have to try with the next batch of venison through here. Issue with venison is all the family come out of the woodworks to get some and it never seems to last long. Not a bad thing I suppose since I wouldn't wanna waste it when I can't taste it. Thanks fish hope y'all can find some oysters atleast they don't need any soaking to taste good!

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

I know what you mean about the venison being a popular mooch. I haven't had venison but once since I left the mountains 8 years ago, and it was a nice tenderloin given to me by a guy who used to sell seafood on the street here in Mathews. He doesn't sell on the street anymore, and was, in fact, busted for selling venison along with his seafood. He didn't offer to sell it to me, just gifted it to me when I bought three bushels of oysters from him which I came to suspect he gathered at night in either someone else's rented grounds or maybe even from prohibited harvest waters. Assholes abound!

As for oysters, they are right there with shrimp, flounder, redfish, croaker, grouper...and many more that need no soaking for us to enjoy. For us, it is the strong, oily fishy flavor we seek to mitigate, or with trout and crappie, the mushiness of the flesh we seek to firm up.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Can vouch for venison

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

I've had wild hog soaked in buttermilk. Absolutely delicious.

*Nothing over 80ish pounds though

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Yesterday was about my niece and my dad. My niece didn't know how to cast a spinning rod at 1:00pm. By 6:00pm she had caught 21 bluefish, a lizardfish, and a keeper spanish mackerel with no help other than me unhooking her fish. Dad was able to sit on the pier and catch a mixed bag, and he had a blast watching his granddaughter wear out the bluefish.

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

Hi all -

I hope you all have been finding great success on the water - I haven't been posting as much as I am on my computer 24/7 for work and am making myself put it down as much as possible. I'm happy to still have my job, but I am working harder than ever.

Anywho - I came across this deal (TFO NXT 8/9wt combo for $99 Link) and wanted your advice

Would this be a decent rod to throw bugs to smallmouth bass on the New? I am a decent with a fly rod in my hand, and would like something a step up from the absolute junk I am currently using ($50 all in combos from cabelas is what I currently have in 5 & 8wt). My wife gets bored on slow summer floats on the New and takes the oars, so I thought this might be a good thing to have come late July and August.

Thanks again and hope all of you are doing well!

8/9 wt is a bit on the heavy side for smallmouth but it could work as long as you werent planning on throwing too small of stuff. Personally I like my 6wt for the smallmouth on the New and James but I'd differ to flyguy on if the 8/9 would be too heavy. I have used a 7wt once for smallmouth and it was fine so maybe snagging that deal would be a good idea.

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

That was my worry too. I usually throw a #4 Boogle Bug and it is a chore on a crappy 5wt. The #6 BB is easier to cast, but I think the #4 gets eaten more. Once I get a whole lot better (and my wife gets better at rowing), I will hit up FlyGuy for some cicada bugs. I buy BoogleBug seconds for about $2 each, so not a big deal to just break off a poor cast.

I was planning on getting a decent 7wt (like a TFO Professional, SC mojo bass, or a reddington path) , a cheap reel and good line - but for $99 I thought I might ask you all for your opinion.

I got an allen alpha 3 on a echo ion xl that's a 6wt I started on love that setup still with some rio redfish 6 at line on it that kicks ass chucking cicada bugs. I upgraded to my current setup of my colton trade winds 6wt and absolutely love it. Colton have regular sales and their rods are lifetime covered and they're well worth the money. Got mine for $160 and don't regret shelling the extra cash. I've used a variety of reels on it my old Sage, then a reddington behemoth, and now a allen kraken and loved them all. I would however avoid the rio small mouth line it's expensive and I didn't like it nearly as much as the rio redfish line they make.

Also my advice is get flyguy to tie you half a dozen cicada bugs and they'll last you a long time he makes them like a mack truck and they can get beat up and the fish won't mind. I bought a bunch from him a few years ago and still have 3-4 in solid shape.

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

however avoid the rio small mouth line it's expensive and I didn't like it nearly as much as the rio redfish line they make.

Bingo. The Rio smallmouth line is awful. Terrible taper. There's just something about the Redfish taper that is the perfect floating line for bass and salt.

Also my advice is get flyguy to tie you half a dozen cicada bugs and they'll last you a long time he makes them like a mack truck and they can get beat up and the fish won't mind. I bought a bunch from him a few years ago and still have 3-4 in solid shape

Thanks for the compliments Jesse. Glad those flies are still working well! Cicada poppers and Gurglers are all you need for topwater smallmouth.

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like a TFO Professional, SC mojo bass, or a reddington path

The only one of these I would consider is the Mojo Bass. These are moderate action. You're going to want a faster action rod, trust me.

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Would it work... yea. Is it ideal? Definitely not. That's a beginner level moderate action rod. 8/9 is far too heavy IMO. If a rod labels itself as two weights, 8/9, 4/5, 5/6, etc. I immediately walk away from it. It's a beginner rod.

7 weight is what you want. I fish a 6 for most of my smallmouth but the 7 is a better rod for the New with bigger water, bigger flies, bigger fish. The 7 is such a perfect all around size. Can legitimately go after LMB, SMB, bigger trout with streamers and saltwater fish it.

If you want to get a kick ass beginner rod, get a Echo Ion XL. As always, Colton Tradewinds in 7 is a fantastic casting rod.

Also take a look at the Fenwick Aetos

All of them are under $200. Want a solid, inexpensive reel? Allen is good.

If you are fishing $50 Cabela's combo junk, take the next step and get a legit rod. I have a Cabela's combo rod and it is the biggest piece of shit ever. Pair your new rod with a Rio Redfish line and you're going to be blown away at the difference it makes on the water. Quality lines = better fishing experience.

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Quality lines = better fishing experience.

This 100%.

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I appreciate all the info! I'm going to follow your advice and buy once and not regret it later. FlyGuy, next time you are getting ready to make some cicadas feel free to mention it on here and I'll buy some!

I'm also planning on making it to the VA fly fishing festival (if it still happens) so if you are there and have a booth I'll stop by and buy some stuff as a thank you for the advice!

You're quite welcome. I can make them this fall / winter as my schedule is starting to get light.

I no longer do booths at the VA Fly Fishing Festival. Generally, I do go and walk around all day Saturday. Would be happy to meet up!

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