June Journal 2014


28 June 2014

Wow, two days of fishing in a row. Yesterday we were chasing stripers, as you can read below, had a ball. Today was to consist of getting the truck ready for sale, then taking care of the poison ivy covered maple tree that was going to fall on someone. After all this was accomplished I was whooped and came in to shower. Then I was just going to wait until the poison ivy took over my body, this is going to be fun.

The girl (my daughter Kayleigh) says lets go fishing. I perk up and say ok, she said you still haven’t taking me fly fishing, well in my defense she don’t like the cold. Since she don’t have waders we decided to hit the metal grates (hope that’s spelled right) up at the wier dam. We stop at the fly shop to get a few sure fire flies to make sure she gets bit and off to the river.

My thinking is she don’t care about fishing as much as she wants to drive, she just turned 15. It don’t matter to me, I no longer have to make excuses just say yes. Anyway we get out there and she starts the casting. I was pondering putting her on steroids since it worked so well for the baseball players and her casting was initially very soft. We talked and she worked and boom, she catches one, man she’s excited.

She cast and misses a few more, then cast more and catches a few. A super nice gentleman came by and gave her a strap to help lock her arm with the rod, what a great feller. We cast a bit longer and in total she caught 5, one got off before the cameraman could take a pic. She missed more than I have fingers and she said I like it.

Now I am not sure she is hooked but I am thankful she caught a few and had a ball. Just thinking now I may need to save up some money and buy some waders. If you ever get a chance, take a kid fishing. Even if they’ve been, take them after a new fish or use a new technique, I had a ball just standing beside her and watching her work. Hope you have a great day and God bless





27 June 2014

Hope you like the ducks above and sure I know when you don’t start off seeing any fish pics, it was not a good day. However, let me say that we had a ball on the lake Friday. The daughter figured she would go with me and the schnauzer and I was hoping to get on a couple of them. We waited to leave at about 1:00pm, I know the logic that early morning and late evening is the best time. However, at 1:00 there is no crowd, morning I was working and the evening I have been just too wore out to go after them.

So we get out there and try to catch a couple of shad at the ball field, the daughter caught one. We head up to the river figuring there would be a few and we had to get up to just about the cold line in about 3′ of water before we could see any. I see a striper swim by, we catch about 6 big gizzards, the daughter had caught one that was the biggest we had seen. We had bait and are ready.

I bait up here line and throw it out, before I could get another baited her shad was getting attacked. The striper never took it but chased it for at least 5 minutes. In the next hour or so we had this happen over and over, then finally she has one take-off, drag screaming, then nothing. Dag nabit we thought we had one.

Shortly after she has another run with one plumb under the boat and then let go, then another took off and she missed. All in all we must have had 10+ stripers mess with our shad with three taking them and the rest just playing around. I have come up with a plan for the next trip to put a stop to this mess.

The quote of the day came from the daughter. During one of her time of the stripers harassing the shad, hers took off flying and she says, he must have just gone to hotels dot com cause he is booking it. I laughed a bunch as we did for the 2.5 hours that afternoon. We didn’t land any stripers this time, but mercy we had a great time. Good luck and hope your rods stay bent all weekend.



21 June 2014

One of the first things that have probably jumped out to you are the lack of photos, well, my phone still works, but don’t let that stop you from reading. This weekend I had my plans set, everyone was going to be out of town and I was going to use the submersible fishing light from Bass Pro Shops catch bait and stripers until I was just slap wore out. Looked outside at about five and noticed the scattered storm coming through. Checked out the weather channel maps and as I am no meteorologist, I did notice red right over my honey hole. That is enough to keep me off the water any day, I don’t like the lightning.

Fair enough, I went to bed about 8:30, I am not much on staying up, and got up about 4:00 am. I was on the water by 5:00 am and puttered around for a bit. No shad were flipping and I realized something so by 6:30 I loaded up the boat and headed home. Got everything taken care of that I returned for, then headed back to the lake.

The dog ran to the neighbors yard when I let her out, so she got grounded to her kennel. At the boat ramp, I launched the boat, went to park the truck, grabbed my sunglasses and they broke. So far this day is starting off on a great adventure. I go down the bank to catch shad and nothing, let’ go up to where we fish, there have been shad all over up there.

When I arrived, sure enough shad were flipping. Now all year I have been blessed catching shad, but this morning was especially adventurous. I would throw right on top of a flip and nothing. I finally caught one gizzard and just started fishing. While trolling up to the river in about 4′ of water I saw a big school. I tossed the net on it and caught one. I knew that this was my day.

I have both shad on the line and begin continue the pursuit of the beast of Boone Lake. As I go through my honey hole, one of the shad goes wild, a swirl or two after it, then nothing. Another angler told me that they had a lot of blow ups but they were not taking it, well, that is where I was. I decided to just troll back to the dock and head home, I had been out there chasing shad and getting no bites for a bit too long at this point.

The fishing ended with one roughed up shad but still a kicking. Another shad with a sore nose but a great attitude as I released it for another round on another day. My plans were to be sore on Saturday from all the fish I had caught the previous night. Those plans never came to pass as I was skunked and thinking I probably should’ve went bass fishing. Anyway, tough day but still a blessed one to be out on the water. Hope your fishing was a bit better and your rods stayed bent all weekend.



 13 June 2014

We have made it back to freshwater and I got me another prop to try, so I headed to Bluff City. I have a 22 pitch prop and it is too much, only pushing 4400 rpm’s. I talked to Greg Clark at Country Side Marina in Johnson City and he let me try out this 20 pitch Raker. I only got to 5100 rpm’s but mercy the difference, I’ll call Marty Stewart my mechanic and see if this will be sufficient.

Anyway, I finally got going at almost 11:00 am after all the stuff going on and began doing a little fishing. I have some big gizzard shad and hit the island just past the swinging bridge. First pass and the planer board does it’s stuff, fish on and excitement begins. I grab the rod, set the hook, reel in from the immediate line break, then troll around to get the planer board. I figure that I should have checked the line better coming off the saltwater adventure.

I switch rods to the 25 lbs test line with my $15 Penn Reel that I picked up at a yard sale and start again. I cruise down toward the bend and see a school of shad. I toss in the cast net and pull up an amount of shad that I thought would have me mending my net. They were big and I began throwing them back in the water, I only keep a few of them due to them dying in my livewell.

I make another pass and boom, shortly after getting all the shad thrown in the water, I get hammered. I struggle getting the rod out of the holder and the fight is on. This one gets in and I use the lip gripper, man I love that thing. This has the spring type scales and it read 24 lbs, I still haven’t calibrated that thing. The first pic is me trying to hold it and take a pic, would that be a fishie since I wasn’t in it? Anyway, I laid his back end down on the deck to get a better pic, it was a beast. Released him due to size, I am wanting to keep one around 10 lbs or so.

I fish a bit longer and get three boil ups, but they apparently were just playing. I saw one chasing another shad down the way and then as I was trolling past the swinging bridge to the train tracks, I saw another one chasing shad.

It was a good day and I have now declared that it is on like donkey kong. I usually don’t night fish due to my sleepiness, but next Friday, I am considering doing a bit of evening and night. Green light, anchor, and kicked back may be the order of the day. Hope to see you on the water and good luck out there.





1st Week of June

Time to finally finish summarizing our trip to Florida; I am hoping no one fell off the edge of your seat waiting. Public beach access is not readily available on Marco Island, you have a spot in about the middle of the island you can park, when we stopped by it was too crowded to fish, there is also a place at Tigertail Beach. We had momma drop us off and the kids and I ventured to do a little surf fishing. This is the only time we attempted this as the walk to get to the surf was very long and we did not get a bite. We did see fish, a couple of stingrays, but in step with my routine, I left the cast net in the vehicle and we were unable to get live bait, I wish I would have had that thing. After seeing a dark cloud coming and fighting off the incredibly viscous insects, we decided to go back to the dock.

Our final full day on the island led to our charter trip. I called the guide to find out what they were catching and mentioned we would like to catch something with some size as well as put food on the table. The last morning we took off about 14 miles out. We started off catching bait and grouper, the grouper were about a half inch short and we weren’t able to keep any of them. The bait however we ended up keeping enough for a couple of good meals.

When we hit the third spot he brought out a different rod, this one looked like it had rope on the reel, but it was just 300lbs test mono. He said if this one goes we will leave it in the rod holder, we said sure, I had never been on a charter before. We still hadn’t caught anything big and our time on the boat was drawing near the end when we made the final stop. We caught a blue runner, whatever that is, and a couple more little ones and he said sometimes the little one will cause the bigger ones to get active. Then the rod in the back went down, he yelled hole the rod, well, we weren’t real sure how to react since we again had never been on a charter and by the time my son got over there, it was off, probably a nice fish since it took some drag on that beast of a rod.

We got back in the down line mode and I got bit, I lifted and the rod just stopped, fish off, then the big rod went. Son got this one and began reeling, rod in holder, it was a lot of work but finally brought the beast to the surface, then the rod he had holed (put in rod holder) bent. I grabbed it up, set the hook, and handed the rod to my son, this one he could not get off the bottom, it pulled around the back of the boat to the other side and then just went under some structure, lost it. I dropped my line in the water and boom, another big’un, I got it off the bottom then handed the rod to my daughter. These goliath grouper are interesting, they will pull to try to get you under structure but if you can get them off the bottom, they are not too difficult to bring up to the surface. When she got the rod, the battle didn’t last reel long (see what I did there by misspelling real).

The guide then is baiting up the big rod and letting out line when it bends, we get it in the rod holder and reel this one on up to the surface. He asked if we would mind if he tagged them, that takes a while, I looked at the time, was exhausted and said that’d be fine. We ended catching 3 goliath groupers with a weight range of 60 lbs for smallest and 100-120 lbs for biggest, guides estimate. We missed at least 3 more and all of this was within about a 30-40 minute window. Had that happened early in the trip, I would have had a hard time making it for 4.5 hours.

The vacation was nice, we didn’t take on last year but saved up to take one this year. Not sure if I will be able to get on the water this weekend, but next weekend, barring a huge storm, I should be out and trying to battle the Beast of Boone Lake. Hope you enjoy the pics and your rods stay bent all weekend, God bless.