Sunday, October 30, 2011

Last Remaining Light - October 26th, 2011

I had only about an hour before dark to fish. I put my waders on and fished the route 20 side below the dam. When I got there Greg was kayak fishing from the grass island across from me. I fished and waded around catching 4 average smallies and one smallish crappie or spec if you will. Greg found the run and managed 24 in about 3 hours of fishing. The fall afternoon bite is no where near as good as the morning bite. The shad are getting stunned by the cold nights and the bass feed on them heavily in the mornings when they get sucked through the dam.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Deer, Bear, Turkey - October 22nd, 2011

Dad and I went to Little Creek for the opening day of fall turkey season. It was cold, around  36 degrees and a little foggy at daylight. I went up the high point and killed a quick six greys and started turkey hunting. I saw 8 does initially going in. They were all camp deer, although I did see two more up high later that morning. Just past the high point I heard something sounded like turkeys scratching on the ridge next to me. I slipped a face mask on and started creeping over there. When I got to the ridge apex I could see black but it wasn't feathers it was fur. Fur of a large black bear. I tried to take a pic but he had already started walking off and my camera doesn't zoom very far. If I had a rifle and bear were in season it would have been a very reasonable shot. On my way back to camp I ran across  a group of 7 turkeys at about 70 yards. I tried sneaking up on them but got made. I threw a shot at them and got them busted up in to at least 4 different directions. I called and called but only one of them talked back. The wind picked up pretty good and put a stop to my bust em up then shot em up plan and I had to return to camp without a turkey. If I had it to do other I would have cut a half circle around  them I tried to ambush them that way instead of a direct frontal assault.

Camp deer at 15 yards

Greenbrier County in October Splendor

The black thing in the middle is actually a bear walking away at 75 yards.

Sqacks not even trying

Shadtastic Day - October 21st, 2011

A cold front brought temps to the lowest in six months. Due to the colder air and water temps shad are to becoming lethargic in the lake. This results in some of them getting sucked through the spillway at the dam. This "shad flow" creates a super fishing opportunity the likes of which is not rivaled at any other time of year anywhere in southern WV. Big smallmouth stack up in amazing number in deep runs right below the baffles and feed like there is no tomorrow, because for them the opportunity to gorge like this may not come around again till next spring. Greg, Rick, and I combined for an amazing 173 bass in a 5 hour time frame. I would not believe it either had I not been a part of it. Joe fished the big run with flukes and lands several nice fish as well including a nice LMB, but was unable to float with us for health reasons. Almost all of our fish were caught within 250 yards of the baffles. I caught 71, making my Y-T-D total 999, Greg caught 67 and Rick caught 35. We caught at least 7 fish over 3 lbs and who dozens over 2lbs. It was to date the most amazing smallie day I have ever been a part of. I have had dreams about fishing that weren't as good. I found one spot that I caught 50 fish out of in a 90 minute period without moving the kayak more that 30 yards. We did catch a few on Strike King sexy shad spinner baits but the lure of choice was a white g-tail.

The forage that made this day possible.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More of Fall's Finest - October 19th, 2011

I fished out of my kayak around below the dam between 9am and 2pm. The weather was very warm and a tad overcast. The bass where hitting hard and often. They were ripping on the surface chasing minnows. I met  a nice fellow from Marlington who was wearing the bass out flukes.  I used the standard g-tails of which YUM brand in plain smoke was the hottest ticket for me on this day. I ended up with 42 fish two of which were solid 3lbs. I tried floating down the arm and the route 20 side with limited success. The fish seemed to be stacked in big runs up top near the baffles. Interestingly I caught a couple of bass that were spitting up 3 to 4 inch silver sided shad. This was also confirmed from Joe, the fellow I met from Marlington as well. It may be that the fish are stacked up at the top of the dam looking to pick off lathargic shad that are filtering in from the lake. If that is the case fishing may get even better the first week of November when they draw the lake down to winter pool. At any rate it was  a great day. The kind of which may be getting to be few and far between with colder weather inbound.

Photos courtesy of Joe Winfield.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beech Run Fun - October 17th, 2011

  I  hunted the S shaped loop that runs from Claude Davidson's over to Angel's and back with Dad today. Saw as many squacks as I can ever remember for the farm. We managed to kill 11 and saw well over 24 between 7 and 10am. Also saw 3 does and a nice rack buck. The ground was dry and movement was tough. I did manage to get three nice fox squirrels.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Winds of Change - October 14th, 2011

  Brad, Greg, and I floated from the dam down to Brooks. We started at 7am, right after the rain had stopped. We were slamming fish early. The first stop we each caught about 5 good smallies. From 7 till 9:45 we did really well. Then just before 10am the wind started howling. It was a little cold front blowing in. When the wind did start it was like you flipped a switch and the fish stopped biting. We only managed a 6 or so more fish the rest of the day. If kayaks have a weakness it's wind. I can paddle and I can fish but I can't fish while paddling in the wind to postion the boat.  We had to really work hard to paddle our boats to Brooks into a strong headwind. We ended up catching 61 bass, all smallies with one spot Greg caught and one LMB I caught behind the old Honaker Lumber. Had the wind not took over I feel like we could have broke the century mark on the day as a group.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hunt and Peck - October 13th, 2011

The bite today slowed down quite a bite from yesterdays torrid pace. I guess the rain from the the night before had really turned the fish on. Today on the same Bellepoint to the first ranger station we managed to catch 45 between the two of us, which is still a pretty good day just not as good as yesterdays 123 despite having one fewer fisherman. Today we never could lock down on just what color they wanted. I caught fish on both smoke with chartreuse and white. None of our fish were over 2lbs. And about 75% of our fish came from the dam to the first bridge. I suppose the oxygen turnover from the baffles has baitfish and smallies stacked on the upper end of the river. We had a good time and are going to give it a run again tommorow.

The water was about a foot higher than yesterday.

Greg with a nice bass.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Size and Numbers - October 12th, 2011

There were several  dead crayfish and all of them were this wild blue color.

Greg, Kevin and I made our usual run from 7:30 to 11:30am. It was overcast and had been raining much of the night. The fishing was unbelievable. On the first rock Greg stopped on he caught 21 fish. 21, without moving. Smoke with chartreuse g-tails were the lure of the day.The three of us landed 123 bass in 4 hours. Of the 45 I caught 8 were over 2lbs. I had two over 3lbs.,  one over 4lbs. and 6 more over 2lbs. The average fish today was bigger than any day I have had previously this year. Interestingly I did catch one nice largemouth right below the baffles for my first fish of the day. These fish are feeding up for winter big time. A cloudy, overcast day, with rising water made this fall day one of my best ever. The best part is were going back again tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Big Fall Smallies - October 11th, 2011

Greg and I floated in kayaks from the dam to first ranger station between 10 and 2pm. We caught 46 on g-tails. White and smoke with chartreuse were the hot colors. We caught several really nice fish, including 2 well over 3lbs right below the baffles. The overcast skies and warming temps seemed tom make the fish feed. We floated down the bottem half of the Greenbrier and even caught a few there. Nice bass and fall colors made for a good trip.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Turning Leaves and Falling Squirrels - October 10th, 2011

Dad and I went to Little Creek in Greenbrier County to start the season. Even though season has been open for some time we have yet to make it out. The leaves up there were really starting to turn. I hunted from 7:15 till 9:30am. I killed my limit crazy quick. I ended up seeing 26 different squirrels in a little over 2 hours. We left with our limits. I saw 12 piles of bear poop, a turkey, but very little deer sign.

This one is not so good at hiding.