About Me

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Raleigh, NC
Born in Richmond, Virginia, grew up in Kernersville, North Carolina, and now reside in Raleigh. I attribute most of my fishing prowess to my father, who took me fishing often as a child. We would regularly do float trips on the James River in Virginia, which is where I learned to love canoeing and river fishing. Unfortunately, my father has passed, but he lives on through my passion for chasing fish from my canoes. I intend to pass this love for fishing and the outdoors onto my children and can't wait to share these experiences with them. I currently have 4 canoes: Customized Old Town Guide 119, Customized Mohawk 16 Royalex, Coleman Scanoe, and 12' Indian River Solo.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Transitioning to the Triad

I've recently taken a position at another site within my company which has resulted in moving my family from the Triangle to the Triad of North Carolina. Good part is the Triad is a familiar place, as I grew up in the town on Kernersville, NC in Forsyth County. 

Although I know the Triad area well, I don't know where all the good fishing holes are located. With only 1.5 hours between Raleigh and Kernersville, I'm already familiar with a few spots. However, researching and exploring the local flows is a large contributor to my love of river fishing. 

The past two weekends I've visited a few Triangle area flows and done quite well. With many bass in the 4-5 lb range and good numbers overall, I can't complain. I also managed to land my first flathead catfish with a little help from Mack.

Last Saturday Mack showed the ropes of flattie fishing and I landed this beaut ...

Last Sunday I landed 20 bass before dark all on a spook, including this big girl. 

Today, I landed ~25 bass, 2 crappie, 2 perch (1 white, 1 yellow), and several sunfish. I also experimented with using large live bait for bass. Something I haven't had much success with. I landed a 4 lber on the white perch and was able to use it again to hook a 5+ lber, only to have it break me off. Still a wonderful morning on the river.

I'd say I'm transitioning well to the Triad ...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hungry Fall Riverbass

About 8 am, I was fully dressed for work in my honda civic and almost made it out of the neighborhood. That little voice in my head was telling me to turnaround, load my canoe, and hit the river!

A brief conversation with my "consultant", a.k.a. Mack, about yesterday's rain and impending flows pushed me over the edge. Shot a text to my boss and headed back to the house. In 30 minutes I was loaded and headed west to enjoy a nice day of solitude on the local flow.

I stopped by a bridge access on my way out to confirm the river conditions ... low and clear! Shortly after, I arrived at my launch spot. This section has produced for me before under similar water conditions (~2 ft visibility and low 50s water temp). I pushed off around 10 am and headed upriver with gusty winds out of the SSW (mostly upstream).

Started off switching between the spinnerbait and a jig. About 45 minutes in, I found the slower deeper water and this was my first victim ...

From there the bass were surprisingly easy to find. Locate the slowest deepest water near the bank and the fish were hiding behind/on wood or right on the bank. It got to where I would anticipate a strike as the spinnerbait rolled and fell over the logs. I caught over 20 keeper bass on this pattern with the spinnerbait (1/2 oz booyah white/chartreuse). These were all very solid fish, all over 2 lbs. I got 4 at 4+ lbs, best 3 would have pushed 60". Biggest was around 6 lbs. I caught 3 in a row in one 20 ft stretch, right on the bank. Also caught another 6 or so dink bass trolling crappie jigs and rapalas. It was an exceptional day for bass.

I spent an hour or so casting for crappie and ended up getting two big enough to filet, so they went home with me.

Made it back to the launch around 3 pm, lugged the gear back up to the car and headed home. Couldn't have been happier with my decision to take vacation and fish today. It was a beautiful day and the fishing was hot!

Monday, September 29, 2014

No Bass Here!

Mack and I switched up our Sunday plans and decided to try some new and big water down south. With rumors of monster blue catfish, I mounted an abu 6500 with a power handle and 17lb mono onto a 6'6" MH bass rod the night before. It's big and heavy, but I don't have a functional 5000 series abu and my 4600s have lighter line. I'm glad I brought the heavier gear.

We launched about 30 min after daybreak. The water was cool and the river was peaceful. As the sun rose over the trees from river left, we scooted past a few parties catfishing the flatwater in john boats and I snapped this photo.

I started with a buzzbait and spinnerbait. Neither were getting any love. As we got into the first stretch of rapids, I anchored up in a pool behind some swift water to wait for Mack. I was slow rolling my white booyah spinnerbait when it got hammered and the drag started zinning. A few minutes later, I hauled in my first catch of the day ... an 8 lb channel cat.

A few casts later in the same pool, the spinnerbait got hammered again, this time it was a 18-20lb blue cat. I only had boga knockoffs (no net) and couldn't get them in its mouth before this fish destroyed my spinnerbait and broke the wire in half!

Mack caught up and we began to see schools of big fish trashing in the shallows. We anchored up near one of these "pods" and I tossed in my replacement wallyworld chartreuse spinnerbait. After a few casts, I got hammered again. After a short fight, I got the fish near the boat and discovered it was a nice 5lb striper!

As I fiddled with the striper, Mack hooks up with something huge on a lipless crank with a medium action spinning rod and 10lb line. He asks me to chase down his canoe as he jumps out of the boat into waist deep water. A 20+lb smallmouth buffalo wasn't what either of us expected, but it sure was exciting.

We continue downstream through the various shoals and rocks, seeing pod after pod of big fish swirling and running, but none would take our offerrings. In one area, we parked the boats on a rocky shoal to cast to the pools below the fast water. As Mack was videoing the area on his point and shoot, I hooked into another striper on the chartruese spinnerbait. This one was a little smaller.

Shortly after catching this striper, I landed a ~3-4 lb channel cat, again on the spinnerbait.  That would be the last fish landed on this trip.  A few hours later, I lost another striper on a weightless fluke and Mack got blasted near the surface by a huge fish on his spinnerbait (we assume a big cat), but it missed the lure. 

The most surprising thing is that we caught no bream and no largemouth bass. In fact, neither of us saw a bream or a bass in the 7 miles of water we covered. We also didn't see any shad or minnows. Water clarity was ~2-3' with a green hue, flow was ~1800 cfs. 

All fish were caught in swift water areas.  Another memorable trip. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

On a Roll

Today made three straight weekends where I got out early for a 1/2 day of river fishing. Many thanks to my loving and understanding wife for making this possible!

Last weekend, I fished some new water on a very small rocky flow west of Raleigh and did very well with the pickerel and had 53" with my best 3 of ~15 bass.  I caught most of my fish on topwater (spook, fluke, and buzzbait).

Today I chose to fish a larger local favorite, but a section I've only fished once prior. I pushed my range a bit more today, waded and drug quite a bit, and was ultimately rewarded with some nice fish.

All the area flows are relatively low, as you would expect this time of year without any significant rainfall. Today's location was fairly clear, with visibility around 4'. The rocky bottom was only out of sight in the deeper holes. Shady banks and the edges of the deeper holes is where I found the bass.

Things started fairly slow with a couple dinks and a couple decent fish on my usual offerings (buzzbait, spook, fluke, swimbait).

Once the sun came up the fish were spooky and I started to notice follows, but no strikes. I was standing next to a deep hole near a creek mouth on the last follow and I decided to switch up my lures and presentation altogether. I broke out a finesse jig that I purchased last winter. It's a small profile 3/16 oz black and green jig and I added a 3" smoke/black flake curly tail trailer.

On my 3rd cast, I landed the best fish of the day.

I proceeded to land about 15 bass on this same jig and had to change the trailer twice due to wear. No more dinks on the jig, all fat and healthly fish 15"+, including this 18"+ I caught right in front of a few bank fisherman who were coming up short.

Shortly after switching to the jig, the weather changed. Clouds rolled in and the breeze picked up. With more favorable conditions for my typical presentations, I tried the swimbait a little more in promising areas with mostly short strikes, except for this ambitious fellow ...

I totalled 56.25" with two around 19". There may be something to this jig thing afterall!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Left Them Biting

I had to be home by 12:30 to relieve my wife for her afternoon plans. I wanted to try a section I've scouted, but never fished. It's 1.5 hrs from my house, so I wouldn't have much time to fish.

I'd heard there were crappie in this section. Saturday night I loaded a small cooler with ice, rigged up my lighter spinning gear, grabbed one baitcaster, tossed the small jigs in my box, and loaded the car.

I woke up before the 4:30 alarm, I assume due to the anticipation of new water. I popped in my contacts, grabbed my keys and breakfast and slipped out the door.

The moonlight was low and it was a cloudy morning. Around 5:45 I pulled into the gravel lot and parked under a street light. The dark surroundings of the parking area were a little creepy. I unloaded my canoe and gear by the riverbank, turned on my head lamp, and pushed off upstream toward the first set of rocks. I paddled/drug/walked upstream about a half-mile before daybreak. At first light, I started throwing a spook in flatwater near laydowns. My second cast gets blasted by a largemouth. It's the only bass I'd see for the next 2 hours. The next mile, I'm trolling a jig and tossing a bettlespin, trying to catch a crappie in the flatwater. I can't buy a bite from the target species. I do land a few sunnies and soon go back to bass fishing.

As I approach my target area for the morning, I switch the lure on my baitcaster to a small sebile swimbait. On the first cast, I catch a small bass. 2nd cast in the same hole, another bass. I proceeded to land 8 out of this one hole before moving on. Most of the bass were short and fat, like these ...

I work my way upstream in the shallow water and I'm catching a bass on nearly every cast or every other cast, but they're all fairly short. I switched to a larger sebile magic swimmer to try and entice the larger fish. Same results, lots of hungry fish, but nothing too big.

I find one pool below a rapid and catch at least 25 standing in one place. It was nuts. This area produced my best fish. I think this was number 21 or 22 from this spot ...

I turn around at ~10 am to head back. The catching continues on my return and then my 10:15 phone alarm goes off. I still have at least 1 mile to go including some serious rocks and ledges, so I had to boogie and the leave them biting.

I only caught one small crappie, but that's ok ... the 40+ bass will do

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Striper

I got a taste of the salt with my friend and colleague Chris down in Wilmington. 

It was a long and hot day.  We came up short on the reds, but landed a few decent striper on flukes and spooks within sight of the USS North Carolina.  Good Times!

Photo: Squeaked out a few small striped bass in downtown Wilmington this afternoon with a colleague.  Good times.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Three's Company

Today was the day to fill out the 3 seats in my "custom" Mohawk. My son, oldest daughter, and I squeaked out 2 hrs on the pond this morning, and dodged the storms and most of the rain.

She was a little timid at first about joining us in the canoe before we launched. Once we pushed off there were no worries. My son was in the back and did his own thing, fairly well too.

Between the pee breaks, snacks, and playing with worms and fish ... I caught 4 small bass on pop-r. Kids caught a mix of bluegill, shellcrackers, and bass on worms from the backyard. Probably a dozen overall. Good times had by all. Daughter's bass came on a worm speck hanging beside the canoe while I was fishing for a new worm. That Shakespeare Scooby Doo rod has to go, it's terrible.

Wish I could get them this excited about cleaning up their toys!

Take a kid fishing!