Friday, May 30, 2008

MAY 29th PM

Brad & I decided to wade below the dam and see if we could catch some little bass and redeye. It was a really pretty afternoon. The water was clear and warm, the sun was out, and there weren't a lot of people on the water. We started off at 5pm throwing Joe Fly Elite spinner baits and catching a fish here or there. About 6pm I switche over to a Yo-Zuri Pinn's Minnow that I had been using for trout fishing. When I did I started catching or hooking a fish on about every cast. It was pretty unreal. I was catching little tiny smallmouths on about every cast. Brad switched over to a Rapala minnow, but it wasn't catching as many because it wasn't the same size. I was twiching, stopping, reeling, and twithcing it agian. I ended up catching 65 fish mostly little smallies, a few redeyes, and one largemouth. Brad caught 31 including a couple of really nice sized smallmouth. I believe between the 96 fish we cauth there were no more than 6 bigger than 10 inches. We caught a lot of fish but it was a lot of little smallmouth.

MAY 29th AM

Dad & I loaded up the rod racks he built for the bass boat and headed up to Bluestone to do some Carp fishing. We got there at 7:30 and cranked the pits. I caught a crappie and a bluegill off the pit bank on a Bomber Fat Free Shad. We headed up to Bertha and set up around 8am. The rod holders worked great, but we just couldn't get the fish to cooperate. We missed 4 good bites, on two of those bites the fish ran with the bait and everything. The carp bait was made with root beer oil instead of the usual vanilla extract, but I don't think that had anything to do with our lack of success. Roger was fishing not even 60 yards behind us with soft shells and he only had 2 bites without catching any fish. We fished from 8am until 12pm then headed back home. The fish were fairly active, jumping all around us. We just couldn't connect.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MAY 28th

Greg & I started fishing on Bluestone at about 6:15am on a warm rainy morning. We cranked the pits, thre flukes and senkos from the "fridge rock" to the point, fished from Bullfalls campground down to picknic table island, then recranked the pits, and finished up fishing around triangle rock up at around 12:30. I caught 11 fish and Greg caught ~ 13 or 14. We caught fish on Grave Digger crankbaits, Strike King Flukes, Senkos, white spinner baits, and Ghost Minnow Crankbaits. Of the > 20 fish we caught we caught 3 that were exceptional. I caught the one in the picture left that was 17 inches and Greg caught one that was 16 inches and another that was 19 inches. We also caught some "bonus fish" bluegills, rock bass, and crappie. We each caught all three forms of black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spot) It rained lightly most of the morning and we had some wind we had to deal with. For the first time all year the water temps were in the low 70's through out the lake.

Monday, May 26, 2008

MAY 26th

Even though it was Memorial Day Brad and I decided to make a daylight run on smallmouths
below the dam. We got on the water around 6:15 and fished until 9am. It was a beautifumorning. When we got there we saw only 2 other fisherman, but by the time we left there were dozens with even more pooring in. We caught tons of small fish on Joe Fly Elite spinnerbaits. Brad caught 22 and I caught 29. I caught 2 bluegills, 7 redeyes, and the rest smallmouth bass. I only caught 2 fish larger than 10 inches and they weren't much larger than 10 inches. The avg. fish was close to 6 inches. We fished from just below the dam to the bottom of the arm, mostly on the outside of the edge of the arm. We found fish anywhere there was slack water or weeds. As the day went on the bite got slower and the fishing pressure kept picking up. Today was a good day to get out early, get your fish, and get home early before the crowd gets going.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

MAY 24th

I started to sleep in. It was the Saturday of Memorial day weekend and even though the temps were cooler than usual I knew the rivers and lakes in Grant Co. and everywhere else would be loaded with fishermen. But at about 7am I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. Nobody else was up yet so since I was up I figured I may as well give it a go. I drove into Petersburg gassed up my Avalanche and figured I would drive down to Welton park and bass fish a section of the South Branch of the Potomac that doesn't get stocked. Since people up here as so trout centered I figured nobody would be down there. When I got there I was right nobody was fishing it but the water was to high to fish, even with waders. So I figured I would go back to South Mill Creek lake and give the "one that got away" another shot. When I got there I saw 6 boats trolling spinners out deep for trout and at least 15 other fisherman on the bank fishing eggs or powerbait. I started walking around the lake fishing any open spot I could find and surprisingly started catching fish on Joe Fly Elite Spinners. By the time I had walked all the way around the lake to the spot I had lost that brown trout at I had caught 3 small largemouth bass, 2 good sized bluegills, and 2 trout. When I got to my spot I saw 2 old guys in a crawdad fishing the same spot where they had seen me lose the big brown on Thursday. I stated throwing a Joe Fly Elite spinner that was white with a chartreuse belly and a firetiger blade. It was a great color for the muddy water. Right off I had a big hit and missed it. Then I caught a nice rainbow about 14 inches long. I threw him back and kept on fishing. Then I got a big hit and this time I knew I had a good trout. My mind stated racing. I just knew I had hooked the one that had got away on Thursday. It was the same spot, similar weather, it had to be. The fish came up and jumped, it was a huge brook and not a brown. The fish raced back and forth and I struggled to keep him out of the standing timber and stumps that were everywhere. I got him right up to the bank and he took a hard right turn and wrapped me around a cut off tree stump. He was only 4 feet from the bank but I pulled twice and could not get my line off of or around the tree. So I jumped in the lake up to my waist, ran over and reached my pole around the tree stump and began fighting the trout again. I got him between the bank and me with no trees involved and it was over. I grabbed him up and ran up on the bank. It was a big, beautiful, brewer brook trout. I got real lucky on this one the hook set was pretty sorry trailer hook only in a skin flap in the corner of the mouth. I picked my trout up and started to head to the truck when I saw it. Unbelievable I saw one of the old guys in the crawdad fighting a huge fish. He yelled for the other guy to "get the net". Shortly thereafter I saw him hold up this huge brown trout. I yelled over and asked him what it was and he said, "it's a 10 pound brown". Now I know better, but it was a huge brown trout in the 6 plus range. It just goes to show you, if you hook and lose or see a big fish, keep digging it out, lighting can strike twice. Also it seems that certain places hold big fish in bunches, so if you catch a big one it's time to get greedy and keep fishing.
I headed to Carl's store, a must stop place if you happen to be fishing in Petersburg, WV, and got and official weight on my fish. It was 3.75 pounds and 20 inches. To put it into perspective a citation brook trout is 1.5 pounds. This one was double that weight and change.

Friday, May 23, 2008

MAY 23rd

I started fishing on the North Fork of the South Branch around 7am. It was still pretty cold in the low 50's but the wind had slowed down some since the day before. I hit a couple of holes on he North Fork of the South Branch, Teepee rock, North Fork Mountain Bridge, Jordan Run Road. I caught 1 rainbow on the North Fork and then headed over the mountain to fish the Smoke Hole section of the South Branch of the Potomac. When I got to Shreves store I stopped and fished a while. I have seen them stock a lot of fish in that hole and the hole below the store. Since nobody was fishing there I waded out in the river and started throwing a Joe Fly Elite Spinner in Mickey Finn. I could see 2 guys slow fishing with eggs or powerbait below me and another above me doing the same. I hooked and lost a rainbow right off with the spinner. I figured since this was the Friday of Memorial day weekend I needed to dig into my bag of tricks and find something these pressured fish hadn't seen yet. I came up with a 3 inch Yo-Zuri pin minnow. I threw it out and started twitching it around some. I started getting hit left and right. I caught 2 browns and lost 2 more in about 15 minutes. I had several more fish raise to hit the small jerkbait but miss. The guys up and down river were pressing ever closer to me trying to see what I was throwing. I had to laugh because I've done the same thing myself countless times before. I fished 2 other holes on the smoke hole section, one right below the catch and release section and another right above it. Threw out the Smoke Hole fishing area there were tons up tons of fishermen out and about. Most of them were out of starters who had come in to fish the long weekend. I caught one more redeye before I gave up and headed home to give my sister-in-law the trout I had caught.

Althought Smoke Hole is a beautiful place to fish that gets stocked with a lot of trout and a lot of big trout it gets some heavy pressure from in and out of staters. Sometimes to catch fish there you have to go to out of the way places, or go during off times, or find a bait the fish havn't seen before.

MAY 22nd "The Day That Almost Was"

From Jordan Run I hooked up to my Bass Boat and drove to South Mill Creek Lake, about 12 miles north east of Petersburg. South Mill Creek is a 48 acre trolling motor only lake that has a lot of standing timber. It gets stocked by weekly with trout from March thru May. It had been stocked the day prior, but the trout where and after thought for me. I had caught some good numbers of largemouth up there the previous March and again in October. The lake has a slot limit on largemouth and they seem to do pretty well under those regulations. I had previously figured out from a 3rd hand converstion with a game warden that you can legally put a boat with an outboard motor on a trolling motor only lake as long as you don't lower the engine into the water or use it at anytime. The weather in Grant County was terrible, cold air in the low 40's and wind in the 15 to 25 mile per hour range. I really should have stayed at home. Once I got to the launch ramp I saw that the water was very muddy from rain the day before. Since I was already there I thought I would give it a go. In the first 2 hours I threw spinner baits, senkos, crankbaits, t-rigged lizards, and shakey head worms in every down tree or stump I could find. I had only 1 bite and it was on a green pumpkin senko. I couldn't feel the fish hit it and he rapped me up in a tree, making me think that I was hung up. I ran the boat over to the tree and started yanking it loose when it started to swim away. I started reeling in and it was a good sized largemouth 1 or 2lbs, but it got off almost immediatley. I had never set the hook because I never felt the bite in the wind so he just spit out my senko. With the wind blowing so hard I realized that I couldn't even fish anything slow, so I just went to throwing Joe Fly Elites spinnerbaits and 1/2 ounce Stanley Wedge spinnerbaits around cover while moving from place to place. I figured if nothing else I could test out my new trolling motor batteries endurance. The bass were in a way negative mood, probaly due to the cold front and I was about to give up when I threw into a downed tree with a white stanley wedge spinnerbait and something very strong hammered it. At first I thought I had a musky. Then I saw it! It was the a huge brown trout at least 6lbs +. In 2003 I caught a rainbow trout over in the Smoke Hole section of the South Branch of the Potomac river that was 6lbs. and 7oz. and this trout was noticably bigger. As I fought with this trout I was suddenly met with an overwhelming sense of panic. I didn't have anyone to net her and I hadn't got my net out of my deck box! I wrestled her right up to the boat and was about to reach down and get her with my free hand when she came off. I have never been so sick in my life. I have lost some nice fish before but this one really hurt. I mean like I could have cried it hurt so bad. Twice in the last year I have hooked and lost really big bass, one was a smallmouth and one was a largemouth, but this was a lot worse. Fish like this don't come along everyday. I have always dreamed of catching a really big brown trout. But the state only turns out brewer browns every 3rd year and rarely in the southern part of the state where I fish the most. I tried to hang in there for a while longer but after another hour of getting beat up by the wind I gave up and limped back the house to pout.
Later that afternoon I fished a farm pond on Aleshia's Grandpa Coopers for an hour or so. I caught 3 little buck largemouth on spinner baits and g-tails.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MAY 20th

We left the Comfort Inn at around 7am and went back to Vandalia Bay ramp since we had caught some quality fish there the evening before and we didn't feel like getting lost again or asking for directions. We got on the water by 8am. We cranked some riprap at the launch ramp with no luck. Then we tried cranking a couple of points and nothing. I started throwing flukes on the outsided edges of buckbrush and started get bite about every 3rd cast with flukes. I caught 4 in about 20 minutes all good fish > a pound. At 10am the hard rain and wind came in and it became totally unfishable. We ran back to the ramp docked the boat and waited the storm out in the truck. Finally at 12pm the rain slacked and the winds slowed and we headed back out to the water. We started on a point that had a lot of standing timber. Dad caught this piggy that was 19inches and just under 4lbs. on a Strike King Livin Eye 1/2 ounce spinner bait. It hit good and came up out of 15 feet or so right in the timber. When it first hit he thought it was a musky but it was a good fish all the same. We tried fish some unbelievably good looking coves with no luck. The structure in these coves was wonder full, brush, stumps, weeds, standing timber, you name it. But for what ever reason we couldn't even get a bite in a cove. The fish were on outside edges and points, I guess it was due to the colder than normal temps or maybe they were feeding a shad pockets that were running the main lake. We ran a couple miles down the lake and started fishing. Dad caught 2 more nice bass on a silver and orange wiggle wart. Oddly enough I caught a perch on a Lucky Craft mini DR. Believe it or not when I caught it we were at that very moment talking about taking a trip to Lake Moomaw to try and catch a perch later this summer. Around 4pm we loaded the boat and headed home. I was extremely impressed with Stonewall. It is by for on of the most cover abundant and beautiful lakes I have ever seen. The way it stretches out so much it feels like a much larger lake. The catch and release regulation makes it more attractive as well. I will definitely be back.

MAY 19th

Dad & I left Hinton @ 5am and drove to Burnsville lake. We got on the water by abour 7:40. The The weather when we arrived was in the high 40's and no wind. After about 30 minutes the wind started blowing in the 15 to 25mph range and fishing got tough. I caught the largemouth in the picture on a black 300 series bandit right after we got there and Dad caught a bluegill. But other than that we saw no other action. The little Kanawha arm of Burnsville lake was so muddy you couldn't fish it. The water down around little Bulltown campground looked great but when we got down there we only got to fish it for about 45 minutes before our trolling motor battery gave out. We ran back up the lake and went into the Ripple Run Campground and charged our battery for an hour or so with an extension cord. By then the wind was so bad we decided to got up to Weston, check into a hotel and fish the evening on Stonewall Jackson Lake. We drove up to Weston and checked in the Comfort Inn off exit 99 around 3pm. We then drove back down to exit 96 and after getting lost we stumbled into the Vandalia Bay ramp. The water on this ramp looked perfect, it was up the brush was flooded and it wasn't muddy or even stained for that matter. The Glady Creek ramp, which is small boats only was straight mud. We really wanted to find the Georgetown ramp but after on failed attempt and getting semi-lost we decided Vandalia Bay would do just fine for the evening. We fished within a couple miles of the launch ramp from 3:45 till 6:30. I caught 4 on Flukes and Dad caught 1 on a Zara puppy in the couple hours we got to fish before our trolling motor battery died again. I tried fishing for Bluegills for about 20 minutes once our trolling motor battery gave out yet again. I only caught 2 on nightcrawlers in that time span. The cold snap had either shut them down or the catch and release on restriction for bass at Stonewall works a hardship on the bluegill. If you had fished Bluestone lake for bluegills for 20 minutes you would have caught at least a half dozen. Sometimes I think that's why they call it Bluestone, the blue hue of the water comes from the million of bluegills in there. At 6:30 I decided it was time to venture up to Clarksburg and find a new trolling motor battery before it along with the weather had completely crippled our trip.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

MAY 18th

I went below the house and fished the Greenbrier for about 10 minutes before it started pooring the rain. I caught 1 smallmouth on a green pumpkin 4 inch G-tail. The river was up 4 feet or more and heavily stained.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

MAY 15th

I started fishing up on the "bluehole" at 6:45am. I cranked the pits and nothing. I then headed down to the triangle rock and threw a sammy alternating with a spinner bait for a while with no results. I then switched to tubes and caught a good sized black crappie on a black 3 inch tube. At around 8am I picked Dad up at the pits to go carp fishing. He had made some dough balls up and we decided to head towards Bertha campground and try the carp. We cut the engine off well before we got to our spot which was around the 8th channel marker and well below the bertha islands. We bass fished for about 15 minutes while looking for carp jumping. Dad caught a buck LMB on a Rapala glass ghost while we were scouting out the carp. We saw several jumping in and around the 8th channel marker so we eased up to it with the trolling motor. We put the anchors down and rigged up and started waiting for a bite. Their was no wind and the carp where jumping around us everywhere. Dad caught one about 7 pounds around 10:30. I had a bite that never took the bait around 11am. I caught one that weighted around 10 pounds at 12pm. We saw 2 guys catch a carp out of a john boat about 400 yards above us. I had one more hook up that pulled loose for no real reason at around 1pm. At 1pm we called it quites and started bass fishing again for a little while. We had no wind and good cloud cover all morning, but the bass didn't seem to be all that active. We fished from the Fridge rock down and then crossed over and fished the cliffs up in a light rain. Dad caught 2 more and missed 2 more hits on a Rapala glass ghost. I caught a spot right below the cliffs on a black bandit 300 series.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

MAY 14th

Greg and I headed over to Plum Orchard Lake in my boat. We got on the water by 6:45am. The lilly pads over there were up but hadn't fully bloomed yet. Greg caught 1 buck on a grave digger crank bait and lost another on a creature bait. I caught 1 LMB and lost another on a white bandit 300 series crank bait. We fished all over that lake over the course of 6 hours and came up pretty much empty. We got less than 5 total bites including the 2 fish we caught and the 2 we lost. We never really could figure out where the fish where or what they were doing. The water was gin clear and the fish were definetly not up shallow. There were some old beds from place to place, but no fish on them. From all indications the fish were in a post-spawn negative kind of mood. We threw everything at them crank baits, topwater sammies, T-rigged worms, Jig-n-pig, creature baits, flukes, shakey head worms, spinner baits, and sinking minnows but nothing seemed to motivate the fish. We have been over there before when it tough and usually we can round up a half dozen or so with shakey head worms on the outside edges of the pads, but the fish weren't having it today. We did see a lot of wild life beavers, deer, squirrels, and wood-peckers. On a down note, as in 14 feet down, Greg dropped his cell phone in the water and that plain sucked. He had it in a sweatshirt pocket and fell out and bounced from the boat deck to the bottom of the lake in a split second.

Friday, May 9, 2008

MAY 9th

Dad & I fished Bluestone lake from 4 to 7pm. Dad caught this 15.5 inches citation spotted bass off the pit bank on a Lucky Craft mini DR. He also caught a black crappie and 2 other bass. I caught 3 small spotted bass and a smallmouth on Flukes and black 300 series bandit crankbaits. I had a really nice smallmouth make a pass at my fluke just below Bertha but he didn't get it. We fished the pit bank twice, from the cliffs towards bertha and from the judges stand to the flatrock. The winds blew a good bit and it felt like the temps were dropping a little. The fish activity in shallow water had dropped dramatically from earlier in the week. Only 2 days before Greg had his best day ever on Bluestone catching 39 bass with 1 4+lbs. and many over 2lbs. Greg and Todd were there fishing also and they found some good success on tubes, Greg caught one outstanding LMB off the pit bank point about a half hour before dark that weighted well over 3lbs.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

MAY 6th

Greg, Dad, & I headed up to Bluestone lake and started fishing around 7am. Greg caught 2 LMB's & I caught 1 spot off the pit bank in the first 15 minutes. The water temps ran from 60 to 66 degrees. We headed up the the lake on the right and fished from the fridge rock to the point. Greg caught 2 really good LMB's on flukes and one was close to 3 lbs. And I caught 1 around 2 lbs. We then crossed over to the other side and fished from the cliffs to Bertha. Dad caught 3 buck LMB and 1 smallie on a Lucky Craft Pointer. Every 100 yards or so we would get into a little pod of bass. A lot of them were too little to hook with a 5 inch fluke, so I downsized to a 4 inch fluke and started picking up a few more bucks. All the way up the bank we caught fish from the cliffs to right below Bertha. Towards the end I switched to a Rapala X-rap in glass ghost that looked like & ran like a pearl fluke. I caught 1 and missed 2 more on it in a short period of time. I was very impressed by how well the lure ran, walked the dog, and suspended in cover. All told we fished 6 & a half hours caught ~ 25 fish and missed at least 15 more. Greg caught 12 or so, I caught 10 and Dad caught 4 or 5.

Monday, May 5, 2008

MAY 5th

Dad & I headed up to Bluetone lake and started bass fishing around 7am. Dad caught a huge (1.5lbs+) crappie off the pit bank an a Rapala X-rap crankbait right out of the gate. The morning was cold ~ 45 degrees but it warmed up the lower 70's by 9am or so. The water temps was around 62 - 65 degrees. We fished below the pits for awhile and Dad caught 4 more little buck largemouth on that same Rapala. I caught 1 little smallmouth and lost another on a Lucky Craft Sammy 65. We then crossed over and fished from the Judge stand up towards Bertha. I missed a couple more on Flukes and Dad caught 2 more bass and lost a good bass on that side. Around 10am we headed up to Bull Falls, and by now the sun was shinning brightly with little to no cloud cover. I caught a big bluegill on an in-line elite spinner and 2 bass (1 small & 1 LMB) on a fluke. I also missed 3 more on flukes up there. Dad caught the small mouth in the picture below up there on (you guessed it) that same Rapala X-rap. Around 12 we headed down to the refridgerator rock and fished for 2 more hours towards the pits. I caught 3 more nice bass on a flukes, 2 of which were ~ 15 inches and ~ 2lbs and missed 2 to 3 more bass some of which were to little to get the hook out of a 5 inch fluke. Around 1:30 we loaded up and headed home. We fished ~ 6 hours and caught 13 total fish and missed/lost ~ 6 more. We caught 1 really good crappie, 2 respectable LMB's, 3 solid smallies, a handfull of little bucks and a bonus bluegill.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

MAY 4th

That's right your eye's don't lie and no this photo hasn't been altered. It's Brad in the New River with a Brown trout that he caught right where he stands. I have no idea where it came from and if I han't seen it happen I wouldn't of have believed it. Our trip started at the park below the dam at aroun 7am. We only fished 2 hours but we caught a good number of small fish. Brad caught ~ 17 and I caught ~18. We lost about half that many more. But of the fish we caught only 4 or so of the 35 total we caught were bigger than 12 inches in size, lots o little guys. I caught a nice "pumpkinseed" bluegill and a fall fish. Brad caught a brown trout and a good sized redeye or rock bass, but other than that we were catching all smallmouth. The weather was overcast and cool. We caught our fish on Joe Fly Elites in Mickey Finn, white, and black/brown. I also caught a couple fish on a Stanley Wedge spinnerbait, and a couple on a Storm thundercraw.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Dad and I fished Bluetone from 12pm till 4pm. The water was down some, it was windy, and fishing was tough. We tried carp fishing for 2 hours but the water temp was only 57 and we couldn't keep the wind from blowing the boat all overt he place. After no bites carp fishing we tried bass fishing from 2 until 4 or so. Dad caught these to bass (1 spot & 1 LMB) on an X-rap shad minnow and I caught 2 desent spots on a fluke. We ran into Greg & Todd they had been fishing since 8 am and had caught 4 bass (one LMB Greg caught was in the 4lbs range) Greg had also missed a nice musky earlier in the day. The lower water level ~ 1408 elevation hurt us because a lot of the bass structure was out of the water or in very shallow water.