By: HokieGigs on April 24, 2023, 1:20 PM | 109 comments
Weather and fishing are heating up so time for a new thread (never made one before so I hope this works). Hope everyone is getting out there. Post your reports and catches.
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.
I finally caught some fish after getting mostly skunked all winter. Weather, tides, moon all looked perfect so I took off last Thursday to fish some saltwater for the first time this year and had an epic day. First, I learned the hard way how not to launch my boat after it slowly drifted off the trailer. Thankfully the air and water (65) were warm enough that a 6 am swim didn't end my trip before it started. Made it out to my spot before sunrise but no luck on topwater. Slowly drifted until I saw a single baitfish scurry across the surface. Started working that area but still no bites on topwater. Switched to a fat boy and got absolutely thumped immediately. Thought I had the trout of my life until it came to the boat. 25" red. So I anchored up with the trolling motor. Caught 2 overslot reds on the same lure. Then switched to a soft plastic after some equipment issues and caught my biggest trout yet (22.5"). For the next hour or so I couldn't stop catching redfish. All in the 17"-19" range with a couple more over 20". Then my TM remote batteries proceeded to die which made me think the worst that the TM was fried. Swapped the batteries from a headlamp, still no power. Swapped in batteries from a flashlight, and I was back up and running. Stayed in the same spot for hours and just kept catching redfish, at least 30 total. Didn't matter what I was throwing. I was pretty exhausted by early afternoon so I decided to drift out and try to get one on the fly. Wind switched to straight east and the bite seemed to die down so no luck. I've had many mornings when the conditions seemed perfect but the fish didn't cooperate so it was nice to have it work out in my favor.
Then Saturday morning I snuck out before an afternoon wedding to the Shenandoah with a buddy who's getting into fly fishing. He caught his first native Brookie and was pumped. I caught a few small trout as well. Great day.
Hey gigs, hope you're well. Interesting report. I'd love to know the general area you were finding those fish.
My neighbor and his buddy have been fishing regularly in the Mobjack, (North and East Rivers) and also the Piankatank and areas around Gwynn's Island for a month or so. They are damn good trouters and usually find the reds when they're here as well. So far this year, they've caught a bunch of holdover stripers up to 22" off of the deeper docks, but only one trout and one red in the Mathews area. They did get 4 reds up in the Northern Neck a couple of weeks ago, but around here it's just been stripers.
My boating season is on hold for lack of a tow vehicle, hopefully to be resolved soon, and I've also decided to keep the boat here due to the exhorbitant cost of marina slips locally.
Anyway, would appreciate any info you can part with. Someone saw a video of a guy catching reds in shallow water he said was on the York and looked like Guinea Marsh.
And I'm looking for a used small to mid-sized pickup truck for under 10 grand if someone has one or sees something on the side of the road within 50 miles of Mathews.
Thanks, welcome to spring. Oh, and one of my old clients is catching lots of largemouth bass in the Chick near Toano for those who like the pursuit.
Hey fish hope you're doing well. I was fishing on the opposite side of the York from you near the pquoson area. Thanks for the Mobjack report. They have to show up soon. We're hoping to spend a weekend there like we did last summer so I'll be in touch.
A Craigslist search shows some trucks under 10k in your area if you haven't already checked there. Hope you find what you're looking for and get out on your boat soon.
Thanks Gigs. While the holdover stripers around here have been fun for my friend, he's a trout guy and wants the trout and reds to show. He reports the fish they catch as fat and full of food, with fish up to 23" coming on Super Flukes on a jig head.
As for the trucks, yeah, there are some around. What I've seen so far were too old and funky to be useful, or a bit too new to be in our price range. It'll come, and I have cast a wide net. Until then, I live vicariously.
Hell of a day. What was the wind prior to switching east?
It sounds like it might be the third straight great year for Reds on the Bay. I won't complain, I just rarely fish there any longer.
S/SW. Definitely encouraging to see so many 18" fish.
Apparently, a charter boat got into some really nice reds on topwater on the Poquoson Flats last week and our local legend, Keith Nuttall, got into big ones on those flats last March, so hopefully we'll have that influx of reds for our dock fishing. Tough to land on light tackle around all those barnacle and oyster encrusted pilings, but a problem you hope to have. I'm cool with the slots, and if it is time for a fish dinner, I prefer the 20-22" fish.
My neighbor and his bud caught two trout yesterday, their first here locally, so it is almost on!!
Edit: Last March for Keith, not October.
Hopefully I will be on the water in a couple of weeks to try for something more fun than shad. This was by far my worst shad season ever. The Mattaponi was a dead zone.
Congrats to Jesse on welcoming his daughter into the world!
Thanks man, haven't slept in well not sure when but been a fun week welcoming a beautiful girl into the world healthy and happy. Gonna miss fishing this spring summer as much as normal but I'll survive. Hoping to make some trips to the mobjack to see family but we will see. Gonna live vicariously through everyone here having fun fishing and enjoying such a mild start to summer!
Great news! Congratulations Jesse! Hope she looks like Sally! And hope all are well.
Thanks man! She has her face and hair, hopefully her fishing brain as well. Would be such a pity to have two women out fishing me in the future!
Beware! I have one of each. The boy was a breeze to raise. The girl....not so much!
Hoping to go buy a new Ugly Stik since my old spincast bit the dust. Haven't been fishing for a while but ready to wet a line. Anyone know of good spots around SML that don't require a boat to get to? (And the ones that do, who am I kidding)
How far is "around?" Southwest VA is loaded with tons of good fishing rivers.
Well I grew up fishing the New and Little rivers, so I know those spots. Mostly either on or just off of the lake as I now live in Hardy about 10 minutes from Bridgewater Plaza.
Went out yesterday really early with a friend and my brother-in-law on his skiff. It was misting and colder than we thought. Wind forecast was thankfully pretty accurate. My BIL randomly caught a shad on a dock light on our way out. It was just calm enough to fish topwater. I picked up a 16" trout followed by two fat 22" trout in the first 30 minutes. That was it until an overslot drum an hour later on a fluke. Then an hour later our friend caught 3 smaller drum (one slot) and that was it.
We went out assuming we'd have a short window to fish during the weather change, and once the sun came out and the wind died down the fish were nowhere to be found.
Edit: forgot to mention we got there at high tide and the water was almost over the dock at the ramp. We fished areas normally too shallow to fish/get to. Low tide when we left was normal high tide elevation.
Another good report. Was to fish Tue-Fri here around the Mid. Pen., but already looking at winds that will put the kibosh on our plans, maybe until Fri.
As for the tides, they've been very high recently, and the wind ain't helping that. We also got 4+" of rain this weekend, so there's that. Hoping to find something when we can get out.
Looking forward to a report. I have a general question on wind. I fish mostly the western bank of the bay, so an east/ northeast wind makes it nearly impossible for my little skiff to safely get out there. And I've always heard that south/west winds are best for fishing. But what about on an eastern shore like the eastern banks of the rivers in the Mobjack. Do you find that fish still bite better on a south/west wind regardless of which side of the river you're fishing?
I fish out of kayak so I generally pick my spot based on what direction the wind is blowing and fish leeward shorelines. So like you were saying fish a eastern shoreline on east wind. Although haven't fished much on east wind. North wind can definitely be good.
I never have figured it out from any kind of a boat. East wind is important for summer time pier fishing on the Outer Banks because it pushes warm water in. But, unless there is an offshore low, an east wind usually comes from post front, so while the fish may in the water, they sometimes have lockjaw.
For the Bay, to me, less wind (unless it is miserably hot) tends to mean better fishing, if only because of better comfort as the angler and the resulting improvement in confidence.
I'll admit, I'm not observant enough anymore to make a theory other than to second French's observation. I live here and am retired, so I don't fish on weekends and don't go if it isn't going to be reasonable wind and wave-wise, regardless of direction. My boat is seaworthy, but having no trolling motor inhibits my approach when dock fishing, which is my main focus. So if it's gonna blow me around from whichever direction, I stay home and watch fishin' shows on the teevee. While wind and waves can affect things like clarity and floating grasses, I can usually find somewhere on a lee shore to fish. In fresh water, certain windward shorelines attract feeding fish as bait is pushed toward the shallow water, but haven't seen that here in the inshore areas.
Wind plays a massive role, place to place. I've caught them on every type of wind in the Bay. Generally, I fish the calmer places as you noted. As with many conditions, certain anglers also prefer certain conditions. My buddy and I were going over wind the other day and he prefers a southeast wind, while I prefer a north. Mind you this is in Cape Lookout.
North wind in the Bay always seems to be double what it calls for, so that plays a massive role, in where you can fish. A west wind is good for me. East seems to kick my ass, but again, it's not a definite and I'll fish them all, so long as it isn't honkin, particularly a strong north wind.
Your best bet is to document it and write down the conditions each time you go out. It will take a season, but you'll be able to pattern it out.
Strickly FW but wind from the west fish bite the best. Wind from the east fish bite the least. This is true 100 fold. Several times we had the fish figured out on practice day then the wind changed and came from the east. Come tournament day(s) ......no clue.
Just got back from Cape Lookout. Speaking of wind above, it was BLOWIN. Gusts over 50 on Sunday. Saturday was the only nice day but I had a wedding to attend (somewhere in the mid to upper 40s for me since college) and Saturday night's thunderstorms scared the shit out of me. They were some of the most intense I've ever seen. The big maple tree next to my camper had a serious lean going on. Monday and Tuesday continued to blow. Didn't end up fishing at all, but had a blast down there. I am so ready to get out on the flats and fish this summer.
Friday night had an interesting moment with the lady friend. We met Kevin O'Leary, Mr Wonderful, from Shark Tank at a fancy DC party. She was wearing the feather earrings and I actually pitched him Pretty Fly Designs. He seemed genuinely impressed. It was a cool conversation and maybe I'll see him on the show, as he suggested.
Got a few guided trips around Virginia in May and it looks like I'm headed to Blacksburg for graduation. Hopefully get to fish down that way.
Thank you everyone for the great wind discussion. I learned a new word: leeward.
What weather app/site have you found to be most accurate? Wunderground seems to be the best I've found. Windy is a close second. If the two contradict each other, always go with the windiest forecast. I've also started checking the NOAA stations for real time conditions. Helpful to check before leaving the house in case the forecast was way off.
I look at the NOAA site for what it's doing on land and then compare to WindAlert and Navionics. Navionics is the best $15 a year you can spend for fishing in the salt.
I use MyRadar for live tracking of storms and where they are headed. When I'm on the water, I'm checking My Radar and WindAlert hourly.
not fish related but Windy is my go-to in tropical events; and fwiw, NOAA seems to be rapidly improving its surge prediction models
I use windy
Fished the Mobjack area this morning. Wind was supposed to be calm, ha. We fished some of the usual spots, my friend caught a ray early on, whoopee. I then got my first saltwater bite of the year and landed a really sassy 21.5" male spec on a fluke. Got three more bites, two misses and a drop off. My friend had a couple of bites and a follow up and brought a 10" spec to the boat to tag, but it popped off. We went early and quit early, but at least I got a decent pull to start the season.
That's a heck of a first bite. Glad you got out. Thanks for the report.
Steady improvement, if two mornings is a measure. Today, got my first red, 19.5", and also got a 17. My partner got a smaller one, and we likely encountered a couple more not hooked. For those in the East River know, we got two of the reds off of the "Crazy Lady's Dock", along with a couple of stripers. I got a striper also, a bait sized foul hooked spot, two foul hooked little croaker and hooke a big ray in the wing, got it off kilter and to the boat and was able to actually get my bait back. Often, we just break them off and call it cost of biz, unless it's a 10 dollar Mirrodine that is, but if they're stuck near the wing tip, you can mitigate their power and shape and get them up. Anyway, no trout, Gulp came through, beautiful morning and the fish bit early. Sunup shut 'em down.
Thanks for the intel. Glad to see there are some fish around there this spring.
I was out yesterday morning as well in the poquoson area. Caught 2 shad on dock lights and a few stripers up to 18". Broke off another one but pretty sure I tied a bad knot. Couldn't get a bite on topwater. Earliest I've ever been out there and wind was light. Seemed like perfect conditions but nope. Fished for a few hours and wound up with one 24" red on a popping cork and a 17" and a 28" on a slayer. The overslot was in a big school in shallow water which was awesome to see.
It was my first solo trip with my dog. He wouldn't sit still. Way too excited anytime I casted something out. Not sure who was more exhausted on the way home but only one of us got to sleep.
Also not sure if anyone else was out or heard about the search and rescue near the York Friday night into Saturday for a sunken boat. Thankfully the person was accounted for and was not on the boat after all but just a reminder to be careful out there. It was definitely sobering seeing the flashing lights on the water in the dark and the helicopter sweeping the area all morning.
I remember well returning one early evening to a boat ramp after fishing the Hampton tunnel for flounder. As we approached, we saw an overturned boat, looked like a bass boat, a couple hundred yards from the ramp. The boat seemed stationary, probably the anchor fell out and held it still. Red and blue lights lit the ramp area, so we knew the authorities were aware. Turns out, a bunch of guys went out on a windy day in a bass boat. Six guys, two life vests, two drowned.
Also, remember three times while rowing the New River that we were looking for drowning victims at the direction of the lawmen at the put in, and also remember floating by the scene of a recent drowning on the river where the fisherman just stepped into deep water and never resurfaced. The unsettling thing was, 5 minutes after the ambulance left, a couple of vehicles arrived and the fishermen waded out right where the guy died. They were unaware of the tragedy and it was eerie for us to see how unaffected the river was.
The water is a cool place to be, and those of us who get out a lot can get a bit too comfortable with being there, but it doesn't care one whit about us...that's left for us to do.
Took the boat out to get comfortable in at the new ramp/creek...being able to go from driveway to launched in less than 5 minutes it's great.
In other news I've broken a rod tip and missing and eye guide. They no longer make the procyon the way I like it if anyone has any (preferably) cork (must) split grip rods they like I'm in need of a medium, MH, and a ML. Steering towards fenwick hmg inshore simply because I love their freshwater rods.
Fenwick fan here. My rods are a few years old now but the Elite has a little faster action and more backbone than the corresponding HMG (e.g., 7'-medium-fast); but you pay for it. I like the HMG for Gulp and topwaters and the Elite for my Slayers. But overall, HMG is the best value in its class, IMO.
St Croix Triumph (which I don't think comes in split grip) will flick a really light bait a couple paces further than the corresponding HMG but if you hook a red around cover on it, my $ is on the fish.
Kinda wondering what you'll use the ML for...school trout? summertime little Zman offerings?
I use the ML for early spring and dead of summer small bait presentation like ned rigs or weightless flukes up in the grass places I don't need to muscle a fish i find they load a bit better than a medium so i can cast it more accurately/further. I don't do it that often but I like to have a rod for it if I need it it will be the last rod I buy need a medium and MH much more than that rod.
I have a hard time spending more than $150 per rod I put much more money into my reels but I feel like generally there's not much gain in a $200 rod vs a $120 rod
Huge fan of the Fenwick elite tech. The 7' medium is easily the best rod I've ever had. I don't have any nice rods to compare it to or any words to add about action or power, I just know it's awesome. I've been trying to find an excuse to buy an HMG.
I have 2 of those elite tech mediums (7') and 2 HMGs (med 7') in the rod holders every time I leave the ramp. I have 2 HMG 6'9" MLs for when the trout are schooling in the fall.
Picked up 2 of the St Croix Triumphs (7'M) on a crazy sale French gave a heads up on maybe a couple years ago. I've been slow to warm up to them (very different feel than what I'm used to) but they do cast a weedless fluke pretty well.
I just haven't gotten out much in the last year to give them a fair shake. Storms ruined the fall/early winter fishing, been playing more golf, and now I don't know if I have my motor issue resolved. All my time the last few weeks has been spent trying to sell a mess of a family property for my 95 year old mother. Should have that in the rearview mirror soon and can give the motor more attention.
I picked up the elite tech when you posted a deal on here a while back. Wish I would have picked up a couple more at that price.
Thanks for the triumph info. I'm a big st. croix fan. Have a few of their older fly rods. Their nicer spinning rods are just so expensive.
Hope you get your boat fixed.
I love the old Triumphs. But,the new ones don't feel as sturdy and don't seem to load as well. That is why I held onto my old 7 foot 8-12lb rated spinner. I thought about selling it for around $40 (I bought around 2009 for $80), but it just hurt too much. The only bummer, I feel like the 7 foots are a little tricky to flip under docks for pups.
I think I have the previous version of whatever is out now and you tipped us on the sale when they did the changeover.
I feel like the 7 foots are a little tricky to flip under docks for pups.
And this is a great reminder. I have two older Falcon rods that are Med-Fast-6' 6" that I bought specifically for fishing under docks...which if the weather holds, I'll be doing this Thur for the first time in almost a decade. No, it's not my boat; but I really, really want to catch a snook and there will at least be a chance.
I use a 19 year old med heavy Lamiglas Certified Pro rod (6'6 and 4 power in their system), 15 lb braid and 20 lb leader, and if the pup is in the slot, it's still a crapshoot to get it out from under while avoiding the pilings. I was reluctant to go braid and hated the idea of 20 lb leader, even fluorescent is still heavy. I learned last year, though, that if you want to do better than 1 in 3 landed, it takes all of that and even then, barnacles and oysters can cut braid or leader if enough power is in play...the calling card of even smallish reds.
Today's Mobjack Bay report: Fished 4 hours in the East and North rivers. At the becoming famous "Crazy Lady" dock, I got 4 reds. 17, 17.5, and two 18.5s. Kept one and tagged and released the others. Then got a 13.5" trout, also tagged and released. Later, towards the mouth of the East, I got a 19.5" trout that went in the cooler for my fishing buddy, and then hooked a couple of really big rays. My buddy had a tougher day. He didn't land a fish, had a big ray on and then, wonder of wonder, he hooked into a big fish. Thinking it was a ray, he almost broke it off, our usual routine, but it got on top and we thought we saw a forked tail. Hmmmmm, anyway, after a lot of work, he got it close to the boat and it was a 10-12 lb bluefish. Haven't seen one that big in decades, myself. It fought like big blues do, and broke off at the boat, but we got a good look. Cooooool. Have caught several blues around here, but nothing bigger than maybe 3 lbs.
We were on at 6, off at 10, and caught most of the fish early on. No other docks we tried had anything on them. I got the reds on 4" Gulp swimming mullet, white body, chartreuse tail, on a 1/4 oz big eye jig head. He got the blue to hit a pearl super fluke on same head. Not bad for 4 hours out, but other than CL's dock, it was kinda dead out there, with an unforcasted wind that made for uncomfortable fishing. To be honest, if you didn't know the water here, I'd say you'd not have had a good morning, but things are looking up and to now have caught several reds this early, it bodes well for summer. Low tide, end of deep docks and up under the shade is where they'll be, and I suspect all of the local rivers will be holding them as the water warms even more. It was 71 degrees at York Spit, so we're on our way. Now, I need a pickup truck to haul the boat so I don't have to rely on my neighbor, though fishing with him has really helped me out for larger trout in particular.
In closing, I'll relay probably the best advice I have for folks wanting to up their game and improve success...GET FRIENDLY WITH SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT TO DO! Nothing in my fishing life has been more important to getting to the next level than fishing with folks better than me and learning, learning, learning. I can fish, I can sometimes come up with a trick or bait I sorta discovered for what I was doing, but I am no innovator. Fish with innovators if you can. I am a shameless imitator, though, and that's been a huge factor between avid fisherman with average or decent results, and catching bigger fish where I had been catching average fish.
I will probably be selling my Ram 2001. Soon. It's beat up but runs well.
newriverangler at hotmail will get me. Fill me in on mileage and what you might want for it. I'm looking hard and will consider anything not held together with baling wire and duct tape.
I like the star seagis Medium and medium heavy I have. Waterloo salinity 7' Medium if you need a mirrolure rod.
I've looked at the Star seagis, loved that rod, I know its a step down but BPS has the Star Stellar Lites on sale for $60 right now and that might be too good for me to pass up
Great rods. I have a 7' MH as my Snook rod. Love it!
Yeah I think I'll end up getting a M and MH in that rod and maybe just try to repair one of my broken ones that'll save some $$ for now.
I picked up the 7' medium last year on sale and it's solid but not my favorite. It just feels a little dead/stiff. No issue fighting or landing fish, just casting. I quickly realized it wasn't going to throw topwater but then flukes and soft plastics don't seem to load quite right either. Might just be me but for $60 I guess it does what it's supposed to.
The medium is definitely of the stiffer side but that's what I got used to working the jig so struggle when I tried to use a medium light HMG. Definitely lacks casting distance. Haven't tried the medium light for stellar lite or seagis
Used the stellar lite before the seagis definitely a solid rod.
Greentop had the Stellar Lites on sale a week or so ago. I wonder if Star Rods is discontinuing the line?
I swear by the st croix triumphs, budget friendly, and killer warranty. Bass x series for the split cork if that's critical but personally I've gotten used to the solid cork. The Shimano GLF I got from french however has become a favorite of mine for saltwater applications. It's got a very stiff back bone and a decent tip for a budget rod.
The glf quickly made it to the top of my list. Read the guide inserts are fragile but otherwise that's now what I'm eyeing I gave a problem committing to a rod maybe I get one of everything.
If you're looking for a really cheap rod, I have a shimano scimitar 7' medium and couldn't be happier. I bought it for $39 last summer (or the summer before) to replace a rod that had broken on a trip to the outer banks and was pleasantly surprised. Absolutely would buy again. It's kind of snappy but has a surprising amount of backbone.
are the GLF and Talavera blanks the same, with the difference being the split grip v. solid cork?
I had to replace the end guide once already which is definitely inline with things I've read online but the rod has fantastic action and a backbone that can horse a nice red easy.
yeah see I'm not afraid to throw new guide inserts in which is why i'm not shying away I've heard its really sensitive but really powerful.
Plan now is to pick one of those up and give it a quick run before I go through the rest of my rods and figure out what I'm keep and what I'm moving on from.
GLF got here this week haven't done anything but mess around with it in the pond in the back yard love it so far perfect amount of whip and sensitivity for throwing small shrimp/swimbaits. As long as the backbone is good this is a solid rod for the $
more expensive but there are still a couple of the previous Teramars (7' M x-fast) lurking around...might fit what you or others want
I ended up getting an 8 foot GLF to use as a bonito rod for my Florida trip next spring.
plan to be pitching artificials around docks in the Edgewater area on Thur morning...goal is a snook. water should be fairly clear with an hour or so of lower light. I can bring 4 rods...so what baits should I rig up on the 4?
Wish I knew more about snook, but I'm thinking that the salty super fluke on a big eyed jig head would work, but I sure don't know what you are dealing with. Gulp mullet or shrimp on a jig head is another generic suggestion. That's two I'd rig without knowing anything more, but they could be ineffective there, and I've no earthly clue of what else to toss.
Best of luck, give us the report!
the biggest differences from my home turf are water color...and the presence of snook. So I'm just going to pretend I'm fishing for trout and reds; but just go with lighter colors.
If I got in the car right now I'd have a silver glitter paddletail, a Houdini (dark green back over white belly) paddletail, and a DOA shrimp (white over glitter)...all 3 rigged weedless. The 4th rod would have a topwater on a quick clip so I can easily switch to suspending hard baits...mirrolure or subwalk.
I don't own a light colored fluke, and this time of year small stuff is better...but that could change before Thursday.
General rule of thumb for me in water clarity and baits is that if the water is colored, use dark lures, and if the water is clear, lighter and more natural colored baits are better. We use Baby Bass colored flukes, as well as white and white with chartreuse tail, and aren't afraid to put scent on them. Anything that hits minnows will hit a fluke, and with the size mouth on a snook, I don't see a super fluke being too big for them, since I catch little dink trout on them more often than big ones. Main thing is where they are feeding in the column, for me. Low and slow on the bottom for reds, up in the column with more motion for trout. Wish we had snook to play with, but that's the breaks.
Plan for breakoffs and fish wrapping you around mangroves and docks with barnacles.
Rule of thumb for Indian River Snook/Reds: Reds when hooked head to open water and go deep; Snook go straight into structure and do what seems to be as many wraps as possible.
I use a higher strength braid with my drag much tighter for this type of fishing.
Snook gill plates are razor sharp and larger ones know how to turn your leader to their gills to sheer it off (and make sure you respect that plate if you catch one - it'll shred you).
I prefer freelined live baiting around these structures. Snook fishing is more successful with live bait. If the water level is < 2 ft, I hook the bait in the ass, if deeper, in the lip/through the nose (bait dependent). Live shrimp work - and a lot of shrimping goes on in the Edgewater area when they run. But, my go to live baits for snook are croaker and mojarras. Mojarras die faster and need a lot of oxygen. Mullet and Pinfish are OK and are more hardy, but don't get the hits that croaker and mojarras get.
Good luck, I hope you score.
Edit: Rig some rods for baits and others for artificial.
Flourocarbon leaders are a must.
Sounds like a solid lineup to me. Lighter color definitely would be better. I'm partial to purple in the opening night/truth color combo.
The Houdini and pinfish swimbaits netted me a nice share of snook all the time. I would love to try the new zman shrimp out it's worked wonders for the flounder and trout here. They have a fried chicken color that would be a good clear water bait weightless or ned rigged
Quick report for today. Fished around Gwynn's Island and the Piankatank this morning. Started off with buddy catching a couple of small rockfish. I then got a 27" rock, good fight. Buddy caught a couple more and I hooked a skate. Almost the highlight of the trip. Ended up with buddy getting maybe a half dozen rock. We found no trout, and no reds. I belly hooked a couple of spot that were smaller than the fluke, and a white perch. Back near the ramp, we floated one of my old flounder drifts and picked up an early flattie, 15.5, tagged and released.
Awesome news on the flounder. I heard they were in Lynnhaven, but had not heard of any flounder up there. But, water is up to 64 at Hampton Roads. Summer fishing is knocking on the door.
27" striper under a dock is a very rare find these days!
Yeah, right? My buddy caught a half dozen shorts, and that was the only over 20 amongst the half dozen we got. Not, however, on a dock. Came from bridge pilings. Last year, however, my buddy got a 44 and a 40" striper off of docks on the Piankatank. He also got some 30" reds from various docks. He's lived here for a long time and never got a 30" fish off of docks until last year when he got 10. We're talking some nice fish on our light tackle, and the 44 and 40 came on the same day and far outclassed his net, but they both ran to open water and enabled them to get the head in the net and get it in. The 27" is my biggest inshore rockfish in 11 years of local fishing.
Wow. That is wild. Hopefully the big ones have figured out how to hide from the gill nets by staging up under docks.
And don't get me started on gill nets. We bitch regularly about them, but what you gonna do? With fisheries management centered more on commercial interests than survival and the thriving of an important fishery, not so damned much.
Sounds like North Carolina is starting to realize the species they always took for granted are taking a big hit, but still and all, the restrictions fall on the recreational fishermen. Yeah, I know there are enough of us to dent a population, and I know that catch and release doesn't save all the fish released, but a gill net is indiscriminate by design. To even entertain the notion that it is acceptable to essentially vacuum a whole run and live with the inevitability that "by catch" isn't harming all species including protected ones like Atlantic sturgeon and stripers is disingenuous at best, a blatant disregard for the intent of the goals of restoration at face value.
Damn, I'm as greedy as the next bastard, in general, but c'mon man!
Whiffed in Edgewater. Fished docks, back creeks, oyster bars, and mangrove shorelines. Puffers chewed up a few plastics and some small ladyfish gave us a few bumps; we hooked nothing. Otherwise, we saw a couple of sea turtles and a handful of dolphins. Water looked good; weather is heating up quick.
One useful note that most of you probably already knew, but I did not...weedless rigged plastics (like with a weighted Owner twist lock) don't skip (back under docks) for crap
We used to use unweighted Gulp jerk shad on a 4 or 5/0 worm hook. Rigged Texas style and skin hooked when in heavy weeds, the weight of the bait is plenty for the cast, and the slim profile made for a bit easier skipping. Of course, we weren't fishing for snook, but for reds.
yeah, I think the weight is the issue. if it hits first, the lure just bites into the water
I've been skipping gulp and plastic tails on a jig head up under docks for years with no issues
Yep, me too. I can skip 'em better with no weight, but mainly we used that rig when fishing super shallow shorelines where the weeds were prolific and the fish in a foot or less of water. No weight under docks isn't gonna get those reds on the bottom in 5-9' so I definitely use jig heads, usually 1/4 oz unless there's too much wind or current when 3/8 seems to work better.
Went to pack up the boat for a quick trip tomorrow. Fixed the insert on my broken rod to find out that 3 of the eyes are broken....soooo 1 glf ordered. Also found out that my tire had hair. On closer inspection it wasn't hair. It was the radials blowing out of the tire.
I really enjoy this hobby.
Yep. It's ALWAYS somethin'.
All for a few measly flounder
Well, at least you can eat, right? On the other hand, think of all the fish one could buy for all the money we've put into our habit!
Its the thrill of the hunt.
Yeah, but I sure wish it was a cheap thrill.
You're turning into me.... And I'm not sure I would recommend that.
Buy the highest rated load range trailer tires you can.
My trailer issues recently remind me of your struggles. Idk how I got a full on blow out in less than 1 mile of driving.
When wheels start flying off on the highway, you'll be at my upper echelon.
I still need to replace my trailer fender from the last blow out.
Fished South Holston Lake on Mother's Day with my Mom, my niece, and my oldest nephew. We got in 3 hours before rain and a couple of copperheads made things a bit too uncomfortable, but we got a lot of bites and landed four carp. My niece once again won the day with two. She doesn't have the knowledge yet (tying knots, knowing rigging and gear, and situational knowledge) but she is incredible as a 13 year old fighting big fish on light tackle. Patient, calm, changes direction... all the things I wasn't. She got the biggest fish, 29 inches on 10lb spinning tackle, and that girl was big mad.
I am heading to Buckroe as soon as there is a weather window.
Made it to Blacksburg for graduation last week. Fished the upper New Wednesday on a float I used to guide for SmittyVT. Action was a little slow at first, but picked up as evening fell. I had a decent day, and missed a lot of fish due to user error. Ended up boating one smallmouth just shy of 18" and another just shy of 19". The 19" fish I literally dreamed up in a scenario in my head and it happened exactly like I thought it would. I tied my Bank Walker pattern in a specific color and size and fished it on a sink tip line around a boulder field at the end of the float. Bam. The big girl absolutely slammed it at dusk. That might be my favorite smallmouth out of the New, ever. Thanks Mike for the report. We gotta get on the water soon!
The smaller of the two:
Thursday morning I hiked Cascades and fished above the falls. Now that is some wild water that hasn't seen many anglers. Dry fly action was good. New favorite technique is to swing big wet flies for brookies. For whatever reason, they cannot seem to resist a big Western Coachman twitched across their faces. I hammered them, even sight casting fish with the wet fly that were actively working in feeding lanes.
I miss Blacksburg.
Not too many make the extra climb to fish above the falls at the Cascades, but it can, indeed, be rewarding. I only went up there a couple of times, but I used Chuck Kraft's CK Special in green, gray and yellow and caught brookies and a couple of decent rainbows as well. I guess they got stocked at some point, but brookies still ruled when I was fishing the Cascades.
Yellow seems to be a really good color on that stream. Someone definitely had to stock the bows, but they definitely have been naturally reproducing for many years now. Gorgeous fish. I've only caught them in the lower sections. It's a great little stream!
Yeah, Chuck's original CK was yellow. We had some green Irish wool that inspired that color, and gray is just sometimes a good color when nothing else is working. I generally started with that yellow, though. Not imitative of anything, but evocative of a whole lot of stuff, including caddis casings, that fly was a testament to a really good fisherman, and he came up with it in his teens, if I recall correctly. RIP, Charles.
Lots of action here in southern NC... From Topsail to Wrightsville beach, people are catching large kings and Spanish. Some very large Reds are being caught in small creek around here as well (my boss bumped into one on Thursday evening and said at first glance he thought it was an alligator... he said it was the biggest one he'd ever seen).
Kindly send some of 'em north, wouldja?
Heading down to Emerald Isle in mid June for a week. Anyone have any insight? How is fishing different from the nags head/Oregon inlet area? Will definitely be surf fishing when on the beach and making a few inshore trips as well. Would be nice to find some trout and reds.
Flyguy will you be guiding down there?
Also, tackle warehouse currently has 15% off everything (with a bunch of brand exclusions) but fenwick rods are included. The elite inshore 7' is already on sale for $150 so with the discount it's down to $127.
Hoping to get out this pm if the wind dies a bit as forcast. Wind and waves have been awful around here and the fish aren't liking it much either, from the very few reports I'm getting. Gonna stick close to home, still no towing vehicle so I'm going with my neighbor if we can get the wind to cooperate.
For those of you who like to fish for sheepshead, a spearfisherman down at the CBBTunnel just shot a new record. I've already forgotten for certain, but the pounds were 17.4. Guy said it took two days to get it weighed and certified and that it had weight a bit over 19 lbs when he weighed it the day of the catch.
Not my species to pursue, though they, like tautog and spadefish, are around and intriguing. Guess I need to make a few new friends to sponge off of for the wheres and how tos, but not too likely to go after them otherwise. I'll try to find where I read about it and amend the size if I recalled incorrectly.
Edit: World record and the weight was correct. Reported in Roanoke Times today.
That's a damn big Sheepie. Here's the one I caught one fly that was estimated by a local commercial fisherman to be 14-15 pounds. Never actually weighed it as I released it. I'll claim it as the unofficial world record on fly till someone shows me a bigger one.
And after all, it was spearfishing. Still, big ass sheep. I'll buy the weight loss down to an eyepopping 17.4, after two days, but 19 lbs is absurdly huge for the species.
You definitely can at least lay claim to a monster on the fly, no doubt.
First post as a club member. Not freeloading any longer after a ton of years. Part of the reason I disappeared for a few years, just couldn't justify the expense then.
Anyway, there ya go. Edit for spelling.
First cobia run was a bust. Heavy fog, cold and dingy water. It was tough even catching threadfins to use as bait. Fished from 5AM-11:15AM and with the Memorial Day crowd filing on to the pier, packed it in.