2022-2023 Winter Fishing Thread

Got kinda tired of posting in the November thread. Fishing activity has slowed down enough to general winter thread.

Anyone get any cool new toys for christmas? Catching anything?

Really just need a distraction to keep me from selling my boat immediately. Fixed the suspension, bunks failed, did the 100hr service, water in the lower unit and the woodruff key is literally welded to the drive shaft - I've hammered, it heated it, cut it in half with a dremmel and it still hasn't come free. I'm currently carving it out little at a time so the new one can fit in

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

No toys for me. But my son got his first pole. He's 4, so nothing fancy. A little ugly stik kids pole. My dad is looking forward to getting him out some. My in-laws have some ponds with small bass. And we have tons of access to bluegills and red eye. So, we should have him hooked in no time.

that's how you do it! in a couple years, get him a short flyrod and tie on a yellow popper...let him see the fish hit. THAT will absolutely get him hooked

Update. I was convinced I was just dremmeling a new hole for the new woodruf key. Got it kinda close, decided to put my tools away and have a beer about it. As I was putting my hammer and punch away said might as well give it one last good whack.

This is all that was left of the key.

(add if applicable) /s

you are ahead of me on taking down the tree...I'm thinking Sun/Mon.

I am undecorating the trees tomorrow. Hubby will take them out to the curb for Monday's trash pickup.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Glad it came out. I used a dremel to get mine out. Ground it out, then pinched it with needle nose and pulled the rest out. Looked similar to yours.

Drum fishing has apparently been good at the Cape. "football fields of 15-25 pounders" being found in the ocean. I'm going down the 1st through the 3rd.

Fishing related presents were paid for by myself, $1400 in chicken hackle from Ewing arrived the other day. Luckily, it's a business write-off for Pretty Fly Designs.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Ordered a rain jacket from JandH on November 15. Still hasn't shown up. The guy at JandH says it will ship directly from Grudens. Not a peep. No confirmation number. I am looking at cancelling now a month later.

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

Cancel and buy a Helly Hanson. It's what I'm rocking these days and bought everyone in my family one for Christmas. Sportsman's Warehouse has several for sale on their website.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

GF demanded we go to the beach so she could thaw out from her Michigan Christmas. I obliged. We rode all over the Cape for 50 plus miles on Monday. Saw one small school of blues. Lots of people fishing Shark Island for the slot drum. We tried with no luck. Didn't see one caught either. A buddy said Albies were 12 miles out. I declined to go that far despite it being slicked out. My bilge pump wasn't running correctly so I stayed within eye sight of land. We ran up and down the beach looking for bait and bull reds. Found the bait and about 100 dolphins, which played all around us for a solid 45 minutes. No drum or other predators. I ended up poling around a mud flat that I had a good report on, looking for schooled up reds. Zilch. Yesterday we got on the water for 2 hours and caught some small blues at the jetty. Back to RVA today. Not a bad kick off weather wise to the 2023 fishing season.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Hadn't gotten around to posting but here's my best trout from fall/winter season 27.75". Was just messing around casting to an area I've only caught puppy drum and the zman was dead sticked on the bottom for a few seconds and reeled into weight and big headshakes. Fish was pretty sluggish and the hook pulled right before I got the net under it. Pretty silly way to get a big one when I had been grinding the rest of the fall to get on a big one and had mediocre results.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Pretty work 3rd! Heard a mutual friend of ours has been finding a handful of upper 20 inchers on mirrolures in the Rapp. Sadly, I am a dummy when it comes to evil TROTs.

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

Thanks French! It was good to come with a big one after a less than stellar fall. He's a really good fisherman. It's a lot of figuring out staging areas and just being out there a ton til you find the spot and bite. It'd be a lot easier if I lived closer to spots

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Wednesday morning I got in my truck, hooked up to the box trailer and drove from Richmond to Denver. Sitting in an Airbnb in Silverthorne right now. Local fly shop just asked me to come guide for them in Mexico in March. $3000 a week and gotta sleep in a hammock. I'm tempted. Planning on traveling around for a month or two and snowboarding, selling earrings and maybe fly fish a bit. Man I miss it out here.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

That sounds like a pretty cool gig. What would you be guiding for in Mexico?

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Perm, Bones, Tarpon and Snook. I've got an important conflict right during that week though. We shall see.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Going bonefishing in a couple months. Any tips for a creek and stream fly fisherman of questionable quality?

Jealous. Where are you going?

Take a casting lesson practicing with an 8 weight. Practice, practice, practice, on grass with appropriate leader and bonefish fly with the hook cut off. Cast at targets, in some wind and lead "the fish." You're going to want to put the fly a few feet in front of the bone. Distance isn't everything but accuracy is. If you can learn to double haul, that will help as well.

Once the fly lands, get the rod tip in the water. I'm not kidding, stick the top few inches in the water on the retrieve. Finally, you must strip set. Clear the line and let er rip. Then be careful while reeling in as those fish will quickly peel line off and you've got to let go of the reel handle.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Andros.

Awesome tips. I'm trying to get my head around the strip set and tip in the water! looking forward to it and cast practicing. Getting the rod set up this week so I have a month to practice with that set up.

What rod are you getting? And line? Line is key.

Pretty sure they eat big flies there.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Just a follow up on accuracy with a fly rod... much like shooting, aim small, miss small. You need to pick out a very specific target to cast to when leading the bonefish, or anything else for that matter. Say, a sea shell, or divot on the bottom. Anything small and specific, not a general area. Your goal is to put that fly on a dinner plate, 1-3 feet in front of the fish, maybe ever so slightly past him by a foot. How the fish react to your accurate presentation will determine if they are spooky or not and if you need to go lighter on the fly or lead them by a larger distance.

I teach my clients to turn and look at their back cast. This is crucial, and many people do not follow my advice. I've been fly casting / fishing for 28 years and I still often turn to watch my back cast. This does two things, one, it makes me rotate my body more for putting more torso into the cast and secondly, I can see exactly when the loop unrolls to make sure I don't have any tailing loops. With regards to seeing a specific target if I'm turning to face backwards, I will watch the line unroll and then look forward a split second before making my forward cast and aim at my small target. It takes some practice but it is very effective at placing the fly where you want, and thus, catching more fish.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

I heard that tip. I also heard you should practice casting at the tip of something linear, not necessarily into a hoop, to train yourself to lead the fish, and hit a smaller target. Backcast is going to be big with the long casts...

I ordered a Redington 8wt with Rio bonefish line and leaders.

Yes, you should practice casting to lead the fish, whether you can visualize a hoop in the water or not.

The back cast is big with every single cast. Fly casting is as much casting backwards as it is forwards. Your forward cast and back cast have to match. You can't accurately throw 30-40 feet of line forward if you can't cast it backward as well.

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

I mean I'll cover while you're out for like half of that for a week or two, total expert in all things.

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

definition of a fishing guide in the lower Laguna Madre: "anyone with a boat"

I will gladly let you take my place dealing with psycho baby mama at my kids birthday lol

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Ah no I meant covering as in I'll guide for ya while you do that, nice try though!

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

Haha I know. I don't do any guide trips in the winter anyways. Much appreciate the offer!

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Trolling motor question. So I bought a 55-lb motorguide last year. The 3-blade prop isn't a uniform shape so at higher speeds the motor really vibrates. It's been like this since I pulled it out of the box. I quickly determined the shaft wasn't bent and it's the prop that's the issue so I wasn't too worried about it. I'm finally getting around to making a warranty claim and motorguide says I have to take it to a service center that's an hour away. (FYI you get 30 days "out in the field" before you then have to bring all warranty claims to a service center/dealer.) Or I can ship it there. Either of which I'm confident will cost more in gas or shipping than me buying a new prop. So, should I stick with the 3-blade or go with 2? Mostly fish the flats/inshore around VA/NC. Not sure if anyone has an opinion on this but figured I'd ask.

I've loved the trolling motor so far. It runs all day and the GPS is a game changer. And it's refreshing to call a customer service number and talk to real humans. But I can't understand why they won't just send me a new prop when the one from the factory is defective. Anyway, hope someone is catching fish because I sure haven't been.

I bought one of those higher thrust aftermarket props for my Minn Kota 55. It might have a little more thrust, but it definitely has a little more vibration.

I don't understand why they won't at least send you a shipping label..." Hey this guy has a scam where he buys really expensive trolling motors from us and then he trades the props...HE TRADES THE PROPS!"

I'd at least confirm the shipping cost to see if it is in fact cost-ineffective to return.

Exactly!! I'm not trying to scam them for a new motor. It's not an expensive part. But it's also not expensive enough to keep fighting it. I'll just buy a new prop.
100 miles round trip (I'm sure twice because they likely wouldn't look at it while I waited there) or risk having it damaged while being shipped and then being without a motor for a while altogether isn't worth it.

Let me see what I can do.

Turns out i can do something email me your info and I'll get you a new prop maybr even 2 sent.

Heuple(dot)kevin(at)gmail(dot)com

(add if applicable) /s

Not sure what type of sorcery you're involved in but just sent you an email. Thanks!!

Should be hooked up now. Hopefully he gets it sent out this week. Their factory shipping can take some time though

(add if applicable) /s

Thanks!! No rush. I won't be doing any fishing until I finish fixing/installing/re-wiring some stuff.

Is it MK? If so, there's your answer as to why they wont send you a new one. Their customer service is absolute dog shit

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Daveinop whats your email address? Going to down to Amelia Island second week of march

Can't spell DBU without Bud

(contact made)

Anyone else going to the Fishing Expo this year in Doswell? I am not really in need of any gear (more trying to sell extra stuff), but I like listening to the sessions and running into folks I know.

Trying to get motivated to wet a line. Honestly, I have been a little blah since Ocean City when it comes to fishing prospects.

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

I'll probably run up there but don't know when. Lord knows I don't need any gear. I have been on the downlow myself this past year about fishing. The only trip I made was last August was to Canada. Maybe I'll post some pics sometime. I hope the G Man will be there. He gives the most interesting and hilarious talks.

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

Might swing by to see if there are any deals but last thing I need is more gear. Hard to pass by when its right down the road so we shall see. If they had a sale on trolling motors I'd be there

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

It was really crowded, and there wasn't much to get excited about deal-wise. We were in and out in 45 minutes. But, the promoters made bank. Big crowds and more vendors, much bigger than I have seen there before.

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

Ended up not going as my source of free tickets fell through and I looked up the vendor list and none of the people I was wanting to see were there so I bailed. Drove by and saw it was packed saturday so thats a good thing for those who showed up. Like seeing them finally using the venue to its fullest.

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

It was really crowded

No it was not and i was there Saturday afternoon. No vendors outside but I did buy some artwork.

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

One week down in Colorado. First four days was in a nice warm condo with the gf. Last four have been sleeping in my box trailer. Temps at wake up have been 22, 20, -2 and this morning 10. That's INSIDE. I figured out the perfect blanket combo and am sleeping soundly and plenty warm. Have been on A Basin shredding three days. Tying earrings the rest. Would have fly fished the Blue but the weather has been below freezing last four days. Steamboat next week, then Aspen, then Jackson Hole, then Salt Lake / Park City, then back to Aspen. We'll see how long I can make this trip last.

I love it out here.

Been posting a few photos on my IG, @siessel4

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Asking for a friend, anyone know any places who sell minnows/stock ponds? Gonna need a decent amount but not sure who locally in the central VA area sells deliveries. Does anyone know if southern states still sells?

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

Perry Minnow Farm in Suffolk might be an option. Contact info on the web.

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

Surprised they still have all of their fingers...

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Anyone on here ever wired an NMEA network on your boat? So your trolling motor and fish finder (or other devices) can communicate.

Do these devices use a network cable to communicate or simply hard wired harness?

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

A network cable. It needs an NMEA starter kit (cable with some connectors) connected to the lowrance to "make" the network. And then an additional cable specific to the trolling motor connects to the network allowing the 2 devices to communicate. At least that's how I understand it as someone who struggles with electrical stuff.

Anybody know if the Musky and Pike are biting on the New River yet?

Haven't been this winter, but the musky should be biting if you can get good water conditions. No pike in there that I'm aware of. Look for deeper holes with slack pockets of water. In the past I've had good luck with jakes, bulldogs, super ciscos/shad raps, etc. Just know you're fishing for a bite or two per outing and be ready to take advantage when you do. Be careful on the water and pay attention to the generation schedule.

I fish off my pontoon boat, so the generation schedule isn't as big a factor to me.

Pontoon boat in the New?? That's certainly something I haven't seen, that limits you to like right below the damn and maybe part of whitethorne?

(add if applicable) /s

Also above Claytor.

Oh yeah that makes sense, I clearly didn't spend much time up there lol.

(add if applicable) /s

No problem, I keep my boat at a friends on the lake. It takes about a half hour or so to run the 10 miles or so upstream to get more of the "River" than "Lake".

Have spent more hours after the walleye in Claytor and above than I'd care to admit. If you get a good day, go. Musky will bite all year, but not all day. Cover ground and hope for the best. I have caught several early season muskies in the deep hole upstream and adjacent to Doc Brown's place with jig and minnow when fishing for the walleye, and they should be there now, along with some catfish, including some jumbo sized flatheads. Walleye are moving upriver for their prespawn positioning and will be moving through the area there above Hiwasee as we speak. Cranks and suspending jerkbaits are the ticket in current, jig and minnow in holes. Troll around the railroad trestle there below Hiwasee if nothing else. Go slow and fish the middle of the water column. In a pontoon boat, though, I'd go up as far as you can and fish the jerkbaits close to the guard rail on Bud Foster's side of the lake on down to the trestle or do the minnow/jig at Doc Brown's. Walleye are all over the lake, and creek mouths and the bridge abutments are good places to try. These fish will bite all year if you are willing to stay after them until the dam discharges move the water. At least, unless the lake is muddy as hell with spring rains or iced up in a cold spell.

But, that's just me.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Great to see you back on here!!

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

HEY FISH!!!

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

Welcome back, we've missed you.

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

Thanks to all. I've been keeping up with the fishing thread, just lurking. Once in a while, a few beers gets me in the mood for sharing...if I have something worth sharing that I didn't beat to death years ago. This past summer here on the East River and the Mobjack Bay, I essentially parked my boat and went with my neighbor Paul and a friend from RVA, one of my most favorite of my old clients. My boat left my yard four times all year. First time, I got about a half mile out and the engine quit. Water in the gas was the culprit, but I got off light for only $175, so it was lesson learned that I shoulda learned decades ago. Fill the damn tank, stupid. Make sure the fuel is treated enough, stupid. Thank goodness for Tow US.
When I did get out, we usually found fish. The trout weren't as numerous as usual, but the size was bigger, and the reds, when you found them, were good sized as well. Folks were catching them up to 30" in the spots I usually fish. I didn't get there, but had decent numbers and size all along.
I didn't get to fish with my TKP friends much this summer, something I hope to correct going forward. We have had a ton going on in the Fish family, and to be honest, I have slowed down a bit in my 67th year of fishing. Not jaded, exactly, and not in the mind numbing (to me) position of not caring how many or how big the fish were, but most definitely feeling my 73 years. I don't want to try to revive my passion by doing what many of my old friends have done when it's a "been there, done that" situation. Fly fishing. For guppies, for redeyes, for freakin' marlin and sailfish, anything to rekindle the fire by making it harder. Nah, I'll leave that to the purists and fly guys of the world.
See ya 'round.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays