Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Long Day in Wait - November 26th

Dad, Roger, and I hunted from daylight to dark. We had fog, wind, sun, rain, and everything but snow. No bucks were seen. We did see several does, but none where taken.

Meat for the Winter - November 25th

Dad and I head out on Wednesday the first week of WV rifle season. We watched some fields until about 9am when 5 does walked through at 150 yards. I shot the lead doe and she went down almost immediatley. I had hit her throught top of the heart. The other 4 milled around her body for almost an hour. We left by 11am.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Whole Trout Season in a Day - November 22nd

Some days you go fishing and it just doesn't happen. You don't find fish, they don't hit, it doesn't work. Put a few of these slow days together and you've got a mini slump. But if you keep fishing the law of averages eventually comes around and then you have a day like Brad and I had today. We caught a whole trout season full of trout in one 3 hour fishing outing. The numbers are ridiculous, so much so that we may never be able to get those kinds of results in that small amount of time again with any species of fish. We left directly after church on Sunday and started fishing at 1:30 and left at exactly 4:30. In those ~3 hours I caught 53 trout and Brad caught 50 all of which were 12 inches or better. We caught 103 total fish of which 8 were 3 lbs. or better. The biggest being Brad's 4.5 lbs. monster. All the fish we caught were rainbow. We caught at least 100 lbs. of trout in 1 short afternoon, lost several more and had countless bites. It really was like and afternoon out of a dream. Today was by far the most trout I have ever caught in a single day. And a day that may never be replicated quite like this.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Finesse Fingerling Trout- November 20th

Craig, Brad, & I drove up to the Gauley River to do some exploring/fishing. They stocked some brood trout there a month ago. The water was swift and rolling. I saw another half dozen fishermen up there and only one had a fish and it was only about a pound. We all managed to catch some wild stocked fingerling trout with a deadstick trout magnet approach or a smaller spinner. We caught about 10 wild brook and browns. Nothing more than about 6 inches. We got a descent idea of how to fish the place and what it's like. We had nice weather and had a good time. It won't be long now until the snow will be flying and fishing will slow to a halt for a while.

Monday, November 2, 2009

October 29th

I tried working a fluke up at bullfalls for a couple hours during the heat of the day. The water was perfect and up some. I lost one nicer fish and missed another one. I caught a little smallmouth off the pit bank with a lucky craft pointer jerkbait and a back snagged shad with a crankbait. It's just not been a good fall at all for fishing at all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trout and Bass - Ocober 28th

Brad and I headed off on the trek through the canyon to the river for some fall trout fishing. The water was at the 77% marker and rising. Our window to catch fish was closing from the time we got on the water. We used spinners and caught 5 fish each. I caught all rainbows and Brad caught 3 rainbows, 1 rockbass, and one really nice 2.3 lbs. smallmouth which was a nice surprise. We had to leave early because the water was getting much higher and much muddier. It was at 87% when I got home. There were tons of leaves being washed down river that made fishing tough as well. We hit a farm pond on the way home and I caught 3 nice largemouth and a crappie.

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 25th

Dad and I headed up to Bluestone for some bass fishing and squrriel hunting. There was wind coming up and rain coming in. We saw 2 squrriels and killed only one. And we caught no fish and had only one hit. I did kill a crow at almost 70 yards with my Supernova 12 gauge. Other than the crow and the one squrriel it was pretty slow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Stonewalled" - October 20th

Brad & I fished made the last trip of the year to Stonewall Jackson lake only to find tougher fishing than we could have found up Bluestone lake. We fished from 9a to 5p with a 30 minute lunch brake in 55 degree water temp with 65 degree air temp. We had lots of sunshine and very little other boater pressure. We fished riprap, timber, backs of creeks/coves, main lake points, and timber flats. We really struggled. I caught 5 fish and Brad caught 1 and we got very few other hits. Of the fish I caught only one was above 12 inches and one was a white bass. The few fish we did catch came off of crank baits. We tried every bait in the book, flukes, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, shakey head worms, creature baits, and jerkbaits. We did see an otter eating a deer. Which before today I had never seen a otter before.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Frost on the Pumpkin - October 19th

Dad and I headed up to the Fair Chance Hunt club on a cold clear October morning. I hunted around the fields and Dad hunted the high knoll and around to the right. I saw 12 deer one of which was a big cow horn spike. I ended up with 4 squirrels and Dad had one. I missed one more and saw 8 total.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coyotes Don't Like Buckshot - October 14th

Joe Yancey and I hunted the wood lots & feilds around the top of FairChance Hunt Club in Pipestem, WV. The weather was cold, windy and raining. About 9am the rain picked up and got heavy and steady. I killed 2 squrriels around the knoll at the cell tower and one more fox squrriel on the field edge at the end. I saw only 2 more squrriels and one deer all morning. I did see 9 turkeys out in the field after the rain began. Joe killed 2 big fox squrriels and missed 2 more. He also saw nice 9 point with a broken g-2 horn. About 8:30 while I was working my way around the fields I saw something walking the edge of the fields about 110 yard out. I looked thru binoculars and saw it was a big coyote. I slipped a load of 00 buck, that I had been caring around for no less than 10 years, in my 870 and figured I could at least try and see how fast that coyote could run. The coyote came closer and closer without paying much attention. Finally it came to no less than 65 or 70 yards and began to stare at me. So I figured even though it was to far I would give it a go. I fired and it fell flat on it's belly feet sticking up in the air and kicking. I was amazed I though I had hit it in the head or spine for that to happen. I starting walking closer and at 40 yards or so it got up and took off. I shot her 3 more times with 5 shot but off it continuted to run. I could see the smaller shot hitting it but it was hitting her in the hind quarter and obviously not getting much penetration. I chased after her and away she ran. I shot at her 3 more times before it ran down the hill and ran into a cave like hole at the base of a cliff. I am pretty sure it died from it's injuries, I just would have really like to have had a picture of it. If only I had a couple more loads of buck shot, I could have down a little better.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Opening Day 2009 - October, 10th

Dad and I headed off to the Little Creek Hunt Club in Greenbrier County for the start of squrriel season. It was a dark day with some wind and light rain. I had an exciting start to my hunt. By 10 minutes after daylight I had found a tree with 5 squrriels up it and a another tree with ~15 turkeys in it not even 70 yard on up the hill. I got 3 of the 5 squrriels and missed one more. The turkeys scatted every where on the ground around me and would have made and easy kill if only the season was in now instead of 2 more weeks. After the turkeys began to spook and fly out they quickly began calling one another trying to get their group reformed. After a quick start I went on to kill my limit in a little less than 2 hours, all greys no foxes squrriels. I saw ~ 15 squrriels and heard one fox squrriel off in the distance. I didn't see any deer and very little sign. The mass is way down from past years. The leaves are off more now than any other opening day I can remember. Dad and I both had a good time and were glad to get the hunt.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another "Shakey Head" Day - October 6th

Yet another shakey head day. Fish won't chase much of anything, although Greg did catch one of four bass on a white spinnerbait. It was cold today with rain coming in tonight/tomorrow. The water temps were low 60 on main lake and high 50's up the Bluestone river. We only caught 2 bass each and maybe only had 7 or so total bites in 5 hours of fishing. All the fish we caught were up in the Bluestone river and they were all shallow and some of them were super shallow. Greg caught one largemouth on a hula grub in less that a foot of water. One of the fish I caught was a quality fish(2 lbs or so) but it was still a slow day. I hope the fall bite will eventually take off and fish will start to chase again. Right now it doesn't look very hopeful. I feel like the fish are in transition and are all spread out all over the place right now.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Another Slow Day on Bluestone - October 2nd

I fished Bluestone solo from 2 till 5pm. I worked crankbaits and shakey head all along the the pit bank down past the triangle rock. I caught 4 fish along that section. I also fished from the Marina to the water fall on the Bluestone River side, around the bridge trestles, and all way around the bend past the big tree with no bites at all. Of the fish I caught 2 were small and 2 were descent keeper largemouth. The time of day was a little off(middle of the day) but it was the only time I had to go. the water temps were ~65 degrees surface temp. in the middle of the day. Going forward I hope to see fish get more aggressive between 60 going down to 50 degrees. Not a lot of fishing pressure. I did watch a mink catch and eat a crayfish. Greg fished earlier in the day, he caught and lost 2 more 3+lbs. bass.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cold Weather Begins - September 30th

I fished Bluestone by myself on a day were the air temp wasn't much above 50 degrees. With the water up I ran to Bull falls were I caught 3 smallies and lost one more in first 30 minutes. Then the fish just shut off, not antoher bite in 3 more hours on anything. All 3 bass were small smallmouths off of gold blade spinnerbait.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Pond Fishing - September 27th

One cooler sunny Sunday afternoon Brad & I fished the Wykle pond for ~3 hours. It had rained hard the day before and the pond was up a little but still clear. Brad threw small cranks and self made in-line elites spinners. I fished with flukes, shakey head worm, Senko's, Booyah spinnerbait, drop shot minnow, a crankbait and a jitterbug. I caught 4 bass, 2 on a spinnerbait and 2 on a drop shot Gary Yammamoto minnow. I missed a couple other bites. Of the four I caught one was a pretty nice sized largemouth seen in the pic. Brad caught a really nice channel cat. We weighed him and he was over 8lbs in the net. It was a realy pretty, cool yet comfortable, evening where you can feel cooler weather around the corner. The pond and the area around it are gorgeous.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Interesting Study on Stocked Trout

West Virginia Division of Natural resources
Wildlife Resources Section
Trout Tagging Study
Summary of Results
Since 2006, WVDNR biologists have conducted studies on stocked trout. The goal of this study is three-fold: 1) To determine angler success, 2) To determine stocking success, and 3) To determine angler opinions about trout stocking and fishing.
In 2006, three water bodies were studied: Spruce Knob Lake (Randolph County), North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River (Grant and Pendleton Counties), and Mountwood Lake (Wood County). This increased to five water bodies in 2007: South Branch of the Potomac River (Smoke Hole Section-Pendleton County), North Fork of Cherry River (Greenbrier and Nicholas Counties), Panther Creek (McDowell County), Coopers Rock Lake (Monongalia County), and Jimmy Lewis Lake (Mercer County). In 2008, WVDNR will be tagging and stocking trout into Krodel Lake (Mason County), Summersville Lake Tailwaters (Nicholas County), and the Blackwater River (Tucker County).
Several interesting results have been found:
WVDNR biologists have tagged and stocked 6,461 rainbow, brook, brown, and golden trout.
Overall, 48% (3,090 of 6,461) of the tagged-trout were reported caught. This ranged from 40% on the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River, to 65% at Jimmy Lewis Lake.
Anglers caught a greater percent of stocked trout in lakes (56%) as compared to rivers (45%).
Anglers kept 92% of trout they caught.
Based on study results, greater than 65% of the stocked trout were still available for anglers to catch one week after stocking.
Anglers reported catching tagged-trout as long as 1 year following stocking.
Based on 919 angler-submitted surveys, 73% of the anglers were satisfied, 12% neutral, and 15% dissatisfied with their trout fishing experience.
West Virginia anglers represented 89% of those who returned tags, non-resident anglers reported being from 15 states.

A couple thoughts: I knew people like to eat trout but 92% damn! It really suprises me that trout have a better chance of survival in a river vs a lake. I think it has a lot to do with the river they stocked these fish in. The North Fork of the South Branch is 20+ miles long and almost as big as the Greenbier, while Jimmy Lewis Lake is only 15 acres and accesible from all sides. They are reporting only ~50% of stocked trout being caught. Either people arn't reporting all the tagged fish they catch or trout are a lot better escape artists that I thought.

Friday, September 25, 2009

One Nice Smallie Saves the Day - September 25th

Greg and I fished Bluestone on a day when you would think fish would be feeding. It was overcast, cooling off, and very low fishing pressure. We tried every thing. We caught 2 fish off around the pit and then nothing until about 11am. We tried the slide, below Bertha, below the pits, we finally found a few fish below Bull Falls campground. I caught 5 fish, 4 bass and a redeye all on a shakey head. I caught one nice bass seen in the pic, he weighted ~ 2.5 lbs. A pretty nice smallmouth all and all. But the fall feed up still hasn't started. The water is still very warm despite the almost October calender date.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Low Tide at Stonewall Jackson - September 22nd

On the 1st official day of fall Brad and I left Hinton at 5am for Stonewall Jackson lake. We got on the water @ Vandallia Bay by 7:45. We had rain early and scorching sun late. For some reason the lake was ~ 5 to 7 feet below summer pool, which made fishing tougher than expected. We spent a lot of days exploring the lake. We went back into little skin creek and below the lodge. We had ~ 15 or so hits and caught 9 fish, nothing big and all largemouths. I caught mine on a green shakey head worm and Brad caught his on a craw fish crankbait. We had a great lunch at TJ Musky's in the lodge. They have the biggest Musky mounted in there I have ever seen. We found some early sun catching, perfect riprap banks below the lodge that scream jerkbait bite come late next March or even early April, and I will be back next spring to give it a try if not sooner. Overall it felt more like a scouting trip that a fishing trip. I do really like fishing this lake and feel like the potential to catch a monster is there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Big Fat ZERO - September 17th

Brad and I went up to Bluestone lake from 5 to 7:30. We had a few bites on topwater but caught no fish. I don't know what was going on. The water was up a little bit and there was hardly no other boats on the lake at all. We tried every thing but we couldn't get a fish anywhere close to the boat. When we were loading up the boat to go home I heard a guy pole fishing from the pit bank say to his buddy that he had caught 5.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Afternoon Fishing With Avery - September 16th PM

Avery, Aleshia, and I went fishing for a couple hours. Avery reeled in 10 fish including bluegills, redeyes and bass. We saw a couple squrriels, a deer, and a chipmonk. We all had a good time. It was a nice comfortable eveing with very little traffic on the lake.

Solo on Bluestone - September 16th AM

I fished Bluestone by myself from 6:30 till 11:30. I used buzzbait early, shakey head a lot, and threw a fluke for a while as well. I had 5 bites and caught 2 fish on the buzzbait. The fish didn't seem real interested in the shakey head at although I caught 4 and missed several more. I suspect some of them were small fish maybe even bluegills. I had several hits on the fluke but no hook ups. Fish act like they are starting to slowly think about feeding up and getting more active about chasing down something to eat before winter gets here. I ended up with 14 or so bites and 7 bass caught. I caught all 3 brands of bass and 2 fish that were ~15 inches.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th - Fall Fishing Startup

For the first time in a long time I put the golf clubs down long enough to go fishing. Greg and I fished Bluestone from 6a to 12p out of his Triton. The water temp was ~70 degrees. We fished the pit bank, lower Bluestone river bank on the park side, Bertha campground, Bullfalls campground, and the slide. We caught fish on the pit bank, Bluestone River, and the slide. I caught 7 bass all on green pumpkin shakey head worm and Greg caught 10 on shakey head and buzz bait. Many of Greg's fish came on a white buzz bait. Greg's best fish was an ~ 2 lbs smallmouth off of a buzzbait, and mine was a skinny largemouth caught at the slide.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fishin With Avery - July 27th

Avery and I went Bluegill fishing on Bluestone Lake around 10am. We fished for 2 hours. I would hook the fish and Avery would reel em in. We fished down near the dam. Avery had a snack, practiced driving the boat and even honked the horn a couple times.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bluestone Bluegills and the Cyrus Boys - June 22nd

Armed with 2 dozen worms, ultralight poles, and a flypole Dakota, Tucker and I started chasing bluegills around 8:30. We fished from the dam to the second cove. Then from the cliffs up to just below Bertha campground. The water temps were around the mid 70's and we had overcast skies with high humidity. The bluegill bite was average but not exceptional. Tucker had the hot hand catching 37 all on nightcrawlers and a bobber. Dakota caught 20, most of which were on my flypole with tandem yellow foam bugs. I caught 20 as well. Both boys caught 3 or so bass each, all smallies or spots. I caught one stray redeye. We wrapped up around 12;30 just as boat traffic was starting to really pick up. I forgot my camera on the charger. I did take some pictures with my phone but have yet to figure out how to download from my camera to the computer.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Bluestone Bluegills - June 17th

Dad and I fished Bluestone from 9am till noon. We had a 2 and a half hour rain/lightning delay at daylight. We used only flypoles. I caught 42 fish and dad caught 35. Of my 42 fish four were bass and one was a redeye. A 10 inch smallie was the largest. Yellow foam bugs continued to be the most dominant fly.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Over the Century Mark - July 13th

Brad and I left for Claytor Lake at 5:30am with the goal of fishing until we each caught 100 fish or darkness set in. We used fly poles with foam bugs and ultralights with worms. Nine hours and 2 sunburns later we did it. We fished all over the lake and caught fish everywhere we stopped. I ended up with 108 the largest being an 18 inch and 2.35lbs. smallmouth that I caught off of my 3 wt. fly pole, it was the largest bass I have ever caught on a flypole. Brad ended up 103. We used flypoles for the first 50 and then switched to ultralights with nightcrawlers. I also caught a yellow perch, my 1st of the year. We caught 20+ or so small bass mixed in our 211 fish as well. We used clicker counters to keep an accurate count and didn't count any fish that didn't make it in the boat. It was a good day, it got a little hot ~ 90 degrees later in the day, but we accomplished what we set out to do. Claytor is pretty lake.

Flypoles and Bluegills - July 12th

After work on Sunday evening Brad and I went up to Bluestone and flyfished for bluegills for 2 hours. I caught 30 and Brad caught 25. We used yellow foam bugs. I tied 2 in a row and tried to up my odds but never doubled up. We fished the weedbeds below Bertha campground and right above the cliffs.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fast Action Bluegills - July 8th

Brad and I fished with nightcrawlers and ulralights for the first 2 hours at Bluestone. We caught more fish on the sunny side than the shady side for some reason. Once we ran out of bait we switched over to flypoles and continued to wear the fish out. Between 5 and 8:30 I landed 61 fish and Brad caught 51. We caught all bluegils except a half dozen small bass and a couple redeyes. The best flies seemed to be topwater foam ants in yellow or orange color. The bluegills really like the topwater around the grass. The lake was really busy and somewhat crowded for a week day, lots of pleasure boaters. I forgot my camera again so now pictures, although we didn't catch anythign remarkably big anyway.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Couple Hours on the Greenbrier

I went below the house for ~ an hour and a half or so. The water was low and clear and bites were had to come by. I cauth 3 small bass and lost 2 more. The fish in the river were in summer pattern and the afternoon on a hot day is not the time to fish.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wading in the River FINALLY! - June 25th

In a day of fishing that I would just as soon forget Brad and I went wading below the dam on a hot and crowded afternoon with the intentions of catching lots of little smallies. The river has been unfishable for 6 straight weeks, and druing the the best time of the year the river no less. Needles to say I was lookin forward to getting to fish the New river for the 1st time in along while. I started off throwing a small 1/4th oz. chatterbait. I had one bite and he got off. I am just about to write off chatterbaits. I like the idea of them and it can't be much different than swimming a jig, but I never get bit on them. Then I went to switch to a Pinn's minnow and dropped in the current while trying to tie it on. The current started to carry it away and I went chasing after it. While in pursuit I fell and went completely under giveing the plug ample time to escape. What a great way to start the afternoon. Meanwhile Brad is pulling in fish after fish after fish with his homemade in-line elite spinners. I put an elite on and started missing and loosing fish left and right. Brad and I would throw to the same spot and he would catch one and I would either miss or lose one. By now I am really starting to get that this is just not my day and maybe I should just cut my loses and go home. But instead I pressed on in a severe state of irritation. I switched over to the old faithful river plug the Rebel Crawfish. Finally I started landing a few smallies, nothing big but at least things were starting to look up, right? Wrong 10 minutes later while in the absolute middle of the river while fighting a smallmouth the bail on my spinning reel broke. On that note I said %$#*^&$ and went home not 2 hours after we had started. I caught 12 and Brad caugth at least 25 or better. In the words of Tom Petty,"Some days are diamonds and some days are rocks".