Friday, July 27, 2012

Storm Warning

This evening I decided to hit up my local pond before the severe thunderstorms hit.  I rigged up with a donkey rig and football jig.  I opted to only take out a bag of flukes for replacements; this would cause me to dedicate my limited fishing time to fishing and not retying.

Once on the lake I immediately started fishing the shallower water with only one dink on the donkey rig.  A bit discouraged I switched over to my football jig.  I hopped it and dragged it across the bottom, but never got a hit.  I slowed my retrieve down, but still could not get any takers.  I looked up towards the sky and saw I had 30minutes, at most, before the storm would be upon me.

I then saw bass busting baitfish in about 10FOW.  I grabbed my donkey rig and danced it right through the school and paused it.  When I started reeling the slack out I felt weight and set the hook.  Immediately the fish took off running and I was getting towed around for a nice sleigh ride.  After about 30-40seconds I got it yakside and got excited.

Up till this time I had only caught bass in the 8-12in length in this lake, but this was a solid fish.  Instead of opting for my fish grips I reached down and heaved fish, weeds, and water into my kayak.  It was my first decent fish at 17.5in.

After a couple pictures I released the fish and looked for the school again.  My first cast back into the school yielded another fish.  This one fought harder; it had longer runs and went aerial more than once.  Once I got the bass yakside I did the same thing as the previous fish; I heaved everything into the kayak.

This one was much broader than the previous fish and would go a shade over 19in.  I was elated, and took some pictures and released the fish for another day.  Despite working the donkey rig hard in the school for my final 15minutes I could not find another fish before the storm snuck up on me.

Although I only landed three fish, I learned a lot about fishing the donkey rig and my local pond.  Catching those fish has renewed my faith in the lake, and I know I will be fishing their a lot more before heading back to school.

Monday, July 16, 2012

HOW I Spend My Weekends

This past weekend myself and another member of the Virginia Tech Bass Fishing Team volunteered with the Heroes on the Water - Tidewater.  The two of us found ourselves racing around in the morning Saturday before the event to get a kayak for me and some GULP!  We got to the ramp and everything was set to go and after a short pep talk we headed out in search of some flounder and trout.
All Lined Up
We prowled the inlet with a couple hits, but I could not manage to hook up.  As lunch time neared the whole group started to have trout splashing all around them.  I tied on a mirrolure and worked it quickly back to the kayak.  I hooked up on my third cast and landed a short 10-12in speckled trout, but with lunchtime and heavy rains forcing me off the water that would prove to be the only fish I landed.
 It was a great time out there with awesome people, and I learned a few things that would help me for future saltwater outings.
Sunday rolled around and it was off to Lynnhaven for some flounder.  Evan and I got out of the launch and immediately started fishing the grass.  We had numerous hits from blues, croakers, and a few flounders, but couldn't get anything into the yaks.  After moving around Evan landed his first flounder of the day; a 13-14in flounder.
We then paddled around the inlet waiting for the tide to turnover.  We found a spot and tossed our gulps around, but during slack-tide we had difficulty getting any bites.  Once the tide started rolling in I hooked up, but it was a shorter flounder than Evan's.  It was super small, but it was my first flounder I ever landed and I was proud!
My Super Small Flounder Held High and Proud!
A couple minutes later I had a solid hit and set the hook.  Fish on, but it was significantly bigger than my first one.  It splashed around yakside and I got my first look at it; it was a solid flounder.  Evan screams at me to land it without losing it, and after several failed landings I got it into the yak.  I paddled to the shore and threw him on the measuring board.  My first "doormat" (despite it being a small doormat) went a shade over 20 inches.  I was elated, but struggled to hook up with any other flounders for the rest of the outing.
20.5in "Doormat"
About an hour before we decided to head in me and Evan started hooking up with little tiny puppy drum.  They were 5-10inches, but fought like a freight train!  It was a blast fighting them, and was yet another species I was able to check  off my saltwater check sheet.
I cannot wait to head back down and get in to more saltwater species, they taste a lot better than the freshwater fish I am accustomed to catching.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dink Fest 2012

Wednesday morning I set out with my girlfriend, Lilly, and her parents.  The four of us loaded up the truck with kayaks and a canoe and set out for the New River; we were off to float from Eggleston down to Pembroke.  The area is known for its precipices lining the length of the float, and made this float particularly picture worthy.  I struggled through the first half with no luck with cranks, topwater, or spinnerbaits.  Lilly was having luck on her Rebel Pop-R for smallies.

After She Switched to a White Grub
After we finished lunch Lilly's parents were off to the races.  They started floating and never turned back for the rest of the trip, but me and Lilly decided to take our time beating the banks and pushwater/eddies.  I finally got dialed in to a solid pattern that I would use for the rest of the trip.

First Decent One of The Day
I noticed that anything chartreuse they were going nuts over chasing.  I tied a 1/8oz jig head with a 3in Zoom curly tail white grub onto my 4'6"ft mini ultra-light; I dipped the tip of the tail in chartreuse spike-it.

I threw my grub everywhere from the banks to deepwater ledges and everything in between, and had lots of luck.  My first fish were dinks ranging from 8-12in, but I did manage to land two 15+in smallmouth bass before reaching the takeout.

Those Cliffs are Home to Lots of Hawks
Overall it was a great day on the water.  I saw a big ~45in musky, and a handful of "C" class smallmouth cruising the shallows with little interest in anything I threw at them.  I cannot wait to float this stretch again and hook into some true New River "footballs".
Another Average