Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Creature report! Creature report!

So last week I headed down to Virginia to fish some of my buddy Paul's water. He has been telling me to come down down for a while, so I finally invited myself down.

I was excited for this trip. Not a giddy like a child before Christmas, or a grown man about to get on a ferry to Block Island, but excited none the less. I heard a lot of good things about the water down there, and since I have resurrected my love for freshwater species, I thought this would be a great way to learn more, especially some structure that I don't fish or don't feel I am very good at. Plus I wanted to see what these snake heads were all about.

Day 1:

We hit Spot A with the hopes of finding snakeheads and largemouth. The sun was just popping and overcast. The perfect combination for an extended top water bite. In theory at least. Paul had a snakehead chase his frog, and i kept on casting with nothing to show. We move over to a creek channel and there were hickory shad everywhere. Hickory shad took over the area I think the LMB wanted to be staged in at the current tide. Then It started raining. Then it started thundering. Then it looked like a funnel cloud. Then we got off the water. If the bumpers didn't start, we might have found them in some other spots once the tide brought in more water. 
3 lb 2oz lil Barky eater

And I am to blame for the storms. every trip I plan, I bring some level of suck. Storms. Heavy seas. Crazy wind. I am the common denominator. While its all my fault, Paul should have know to tell me he was out of the country when I invited myself.

Spot B: While it was raining, we figured we should head over to another spot where Paul had some fish the previous week. When it looked like radar had us mostly safe, we through the kayaks in the water. I found a weed line and a fish with in a few casts on lil Barky. And then another fish that was a bit bigger. Hung out there for a bit with a few more bites, and decided to head into the creeks for the outgoing tide. Paul had one while we fished our way through. Some nice structure, but not really much bait. We headed back to the original weed line and had fish again. They were eating lil Barky, so I let them. I tried a few other things, but I really like fishing that bait. I think we both had 4 or 5 fish. I won the daily pool with a 3 lb 2 oz largemouth. No snake heads.

There was a boat stuck out in 12" of water and matted hydrilla, that I paddled a rope out to for Sea Tow. Paddling through 12" of hydrilla matted water, pulling a rope is not fun. But it did pay for dinner and some gas for the drive home. So mission accomplished I guess. Exhausted. We finished for the day.

Day 2

Paul's 4lb 6 oz largemouth
Spot C. After a little bit of sleep, we headed out and I was going to get a lesson in deep water fishing. After tying a rope around a rock for a makeshift anchor, we were off. Paul is clearly a good deep water fisherman. He understands the structure and how to attack it, and it showed with his 4 lb 6 oz. largemouth that was the first fish boated. It took me some fumbling, but I think I sorta got the hang of it. No bites for me though. I resisted the urge to go find some fish in shallower water, and did a good job for a while. Until I had to pull anchor to go retrieve a rattle trap from a rock. Then I sort of drifted there. I blame the wind. Still left there skunked.

Spot D: Smallies! I love these fish. I don't fish for them often, but I really love them. They hit like a train and have 5x the heart of a largemouth. It started out slow and we probably stayed in a few spots a bit longer than we should have. It all looked good, but they were not there, or not eating. I am usually pretty confident when fishing current and willing to fish quickly from spot to spot. Paul got the first on a popper. I finally got one on a shad rap and daily skunk was removed. As we drifted lower, we started to get some bites on tubes. Then we drifted to a set of rocks and we find them holding pretty good.A few on tubes and a few on lil Barky. Paul was beating up on them with his popper. I wore out my welcome, so I move across river and found a nice current break where I had the 3 lb 10 oz on lil Barky. These fish are so strong in current, and know exactly how to use it. They remind me a lot of tog. I caught another and decided to just sit for a few minutes and let my sun burnt feet cool off in the water.
3 lb 10 oz smallmouth on lil Barky

Final tally for the day. Paul had a couple largemouth with the daily pool for his 4 lb 6 oz. I am guessing we both had 12-18 smallmouth each.

I then had to recruit my former athletic self to go fetch my keys. (I am going to write about this more in a future series called "Ridiculously dumb things that happen on fishing trips".) Get read for some laughs.

We finally loaded up the trucks and I was back off to NJ.

Overall, the fishing could have been a bit better, but about average for most of our trips. Thanks to Paul for his hospitality and putting up with all the hi-jinx I bring on these trips. Dude really should have learned by now.

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