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Thread: LKA - 12/9/17 - Snow Day Success

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    3,130

    Default LKA - 12/9/17 - Snow Day Success

    My birthday fell on Saturday, and thus my wife was kind enough to grant me a pass to go fish, despite a bunch of kids stuff going on that day. On Wed, she said she had rescheduled her one Saturday client and that she could handle all the scheduled run-around, and for me to just go and enjoy a day of fishing...(She's so awesome). Weather looked good on Wednesday, but then by Thurs night and into Friday morning I wasn't sure what I was gonna do. I knew they'd be eating, but wasn't sure how the roads would play out. I rigged up and was ready regardless and woke up at 3:30 on Saturday morning to see the roads clear. It was game on.

    I un-tubed and rigged up my new rod that she got for my b-day (again, she's so awesome), hooked up the boat and headed out. There was about 2-3" of white stuff on the ground at my house, but just a few miles north up towards Doswell, there wasn't a bit. It was snowing, but nothing was sticking. I got to APM and was the first one there. As I dropped the boat Carl pulled up and we chatted a bit. My focus for the day was going to be striper, and he was kind enough to let me follow him up the Pamunkey arm to where they had been on them recently.

    The lake was absolutely dead for the first bit. Not a bird flying, no wind, no nothing. Just silent and peaceful snow dropping all around. There were several very surreal moments out on the water Saturday where it was just me, the snow and silence. It was really nice. Anyhoot, I stuck around there for a while with nothing showing and then started moving around looking for some active fish. I went around and up into the NA arm and found some active birds, but no fish. Same thing as I moved back down the NA arm a bit. 2x I was on/near some actively diving birds, but I couldn't get bit. At about 9:30-10am I messaged Tony and Aaron that I was about to give up on the striper and just go find some bass...and that's what I did.

    I ran back downlake to a familiar dock and on my first cast with a blade in a 'bass area', I hooked up on a small keeper LMB. Tossed it back and kept working down the steep bank, then I got hung up. As I turned the boat back out after getting unstuck, I looked across the lake at a giant mass of birds working and diving on the surface. "Nope, I give up, time to catch some bass" was my thought. A minute or two later, I looked back over my shoulder...and they were still going mad. I couldn't help myself and went ahead and idled over, being cautious not to get in and mess them all up.

    As I got there I started throwing the blade with no luck. I could see fish crashing on the bait and after a few minutes of no success I picked up the A-rig. 2nd or 3rd cast my rig got crushed, but it was just short of 20. After a few minutes of getting the rig all straightened back out, I made a cast and caught another one, just short of keeping. They just flat out hammered that rig too. So awesome... At this point they had died down right around me, but there was another group about 50 yards away with numerous gulls and numerous loons going to town. I slowly worked over and started casting my rig as I got closer and again, the rig got smashed. This one was a decent sized keeper and he mangled my gear. Bent hook, braid all wrapped around it and despite the chaos around me...my dumb-but sat there and tried to untangle it. After a couple minutes my brain unfroze and realized I needed to get a line in the water. I dropped the rig, picked up my toothache and made a long cast into the fray. Two turns on the handle and I got clobbered, and I about lost the rod out of my frozen wet hands.

    It was a tank, and I initially thought I had hooked one of the loons that was in the mix, but it came to surface and rolled over in the first few seconds. It was a great fight on my 6-9MH, and it pulled like a oxen for a few minutes. A couple runs and a couple clicks back on the drag made it quite fun. As I got it up the boat I saw that it was much bigger than any of the striper I've caught on Anna, and she took some effort to get her in the net. Once in the boat I was pretty pumped. She was full grown, and after a quick hang on my hand-held, I had to shoot Chris Craft a message to see if he was gonna open the store up so I could get it weighed. Dude was kind enough to come out the house on a pretty nasty day just so I could weigh the fish and go up as the 'current leader' for the month. She topped out at 9-5, and although not a double digit fish, by far my best land-locked striper yet. Hopefully she'll hold for the month, but we got a lot of time left.

    Following this bite I hung around the area for a bit and kept fishing with the blade primarily. I picked up several perch, a couple bass and a few non-keeper striper off this one point/cut area. I also landed my 3rd keeper striper. After a bit though I was getting antsy and started moving around looking for more feeding. I went up a bit and found some activity around the State Park ramp and caught a football of a 'wiper' that was about 1/2" short keeping. Y'all that have caught these things can probably attest to this, but they are some mean SOB's. Even the small ones will take you for a ride, and they don't hold back when they eat that bait. This one knocked so much slack in my line I thought I had broke off, then it turned on me and the fight was on. Just flat-out brutes...

    Another 30-45 minutes of looking around and then I finished up the day around APM throwing a JB. I hooked up on a decent bass, and at that point was satisfied with my solo success, and called it a day.

    I'm not a striper dude (although I'm getting there, quickly), but I can see how fishing for them can be so much fun. To get around a feeding school of fish, and to have them annihilate your bait is why I love fishing. That anticipation with each cast waiting for the freight train to hit, to me, is one of the best parts. The actual bite and fight is like the icing. I also learned on Saturday that the loons are better keys to success than just the gulls. Seems like the gulls tend to get themselves worked up about nothing, but if you have feeding and active loons on a ball of bait, the fish are there too...at least that's what I experienced on Saturday. No loons, no fish, and if it just a bunch of ADHD gulls getting riled up about nothing ("mine, mine, mine, mine"), there was nothing.

    After all was said and done, I think this was probably one of my best and most enjoyable days on LKA, despite the nasty weather. I caught a load of fish, nothing broke, and I was home by 3:30, and off on a date night with my wife by 5:30. Finished off the day with a great dinner, some Christmas lights and some dessert. Then all day Sunday with the family around the fire place. One of the best B-days I can remember...









    Last edited by gnfsnva; 12-11-2017 at 11:24 AM.
    Wishin' I was fishin'...
    www.lds.org


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    C'ville
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    Hell of a day Horseshoe, we will turn you into a striper fisherman in no time,

    I tend to find the opposite...I hate seeing the loons because they themselves will work the bait and get the seagulls in a tizzy and the stripers aren't always there and you just waste your time
    I'm about to play my Ace

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    202 Norfolk Dr Ruther Glen VA 22546
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    Bait dont come to the surface just to be eaten by gulls. If birds are diving on bait or loons, there are feeding fish of some type or size that are around too.
    Awesome report Eric and what a day. Congratulations!
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper



  4. #4
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    Jan 2010
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    Understood. Just noticed that for me, on this Saturday, the loons were a difference.
    Wishin' I was fishin'...
    www.lds.org


  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    Blacksburg, VA (for now)
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    great fish, erik - congrats! pretty good way to spend a b-day fo sho. awesome pix.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Warrenton
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    Great day! Congrats on a very nice striper. And Happy belated Birthday! Sounds like a great weekend for sure. Amazing how that toothache spoon looks exactly like the shad.
    </div>

  7. #7
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    Jan 2009
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    Message me
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    Awesome day. Found loons can fool you to I've had them getting gulls worked up pushing bait with no fish around.
    We ended up keeping hands warm while we waited for gulls to get up on feeding fish that worked area we were in. They moved all over coming up in a area of about a footbal field.
    2017 Ironman winner

  8. #8
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    Jan 2008
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    warrenton, virginia
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    Nice job EK.
    2013 Frog Only Tournament Winner
    2010 Tie for VA-Outdoors Angler of the Year
    2009 Caroline County Rotary Club Tournament Winner
    2007 Tuesday Night Classic Champions
    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    854

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    If you really want to enjoy striper fishing, fish them in Apr-Jun at night on topwater baits. It will give you cardiac arrest.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Pretty awesome day EK! Your getting me in the winter fishing mode!
    Eric

    2004 Fishers of Men VA-East Division Champions


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