Wednesday, June 21, 2017

21 June – A fun day with a fly rod.

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I decided to take a break from chasing largemouth and just have some fun targeting a variety of species on a lightweight fly rod. There were no drag smokers but plenty of action. I fished mostly points where the current was rounding a corner with an eddy on the backside, and it was really ripping today after the wind change. It was like trout fishing, cast up stream and let the current carry the bug down the bank to the eddy. I was catching Crappie two and three at a time back to back. The water was 4 – 6 inches deep on Pleasant Ridge Road so I knew the bass would be way back in the brush. The Crappie, White Perch, Bluegill, Yellow Perch and baby Bass however were everywhere. Using small #14 Crappie Charlie’s on the 4WT and a larger version in white and black on the 6WT, I collected at least 30 fish. One bass was an even pound but most were only about 8”. In fact most everything was in the 8” range. I started about 9 after the rain ended and stayed on the water until 2, plenty of time to satisfy my fishing urge. Next trip, back to bassin’.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

19 June – It only took 15 minutes.

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With the wind howling from the Southwest and the water almost in the parking lot, I launched from the Lotus Garden and headed down Ashville Bridge Creek. I knew it was going to be tough. When the water is this high I think they are way back in the grass and weeds. This creek is usually filled with Milfoil for the first ¼ mile or so, but today, nothing. The Lotus are also mysteriously absent. Not a good sign. I used weightless Senkos and Texas rigged Chigger Craws along and in the reeds on the bank and crank baits and Beetle Spins in open water. For the first two hours not a tap on anything. About eight I found a spot where a small island had flooded and reeds were just above the water. It was one after the other for the next fifteen minutes, and I caught dinks on everything I threw. Two on the Senko, two on the crank bait, and two on the Beetle spin for a six fish daily total, the giant of the day a whopping 1-7. Thing abruptly stopped and that was it for the rest of the day. Never another tap for the next three hours. The wind was now gusting to 25 so the trip back was rather fast. The water was rising fast and the parking lot was getting flooded by now so I was able to paddle almost to my truck. At least it was easy to get out of the yak. A disappointing day.    

Saturday, June 17, 2017

16 June – A bass thumb means a good day.

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I went to check out the weed beds on Back Bay at the entrance to Beggars Bridge Creek today.  While they are still there, it’s on the sparse side but a few bass were still available. I started with my usual array of weedy baits, Johnson Silver Minnow, Swimmin’ Senkos, and a Hollow body frog, and used a Whopper Plopper and a wake bait where the weed were thinnest. With the flat calm conditions I would have thought there would be more action in the grass but most of the fish caught were on the bank, maybe the high water had something to do with it. It was fairly steady all day and from 5 until 9:30 I boated 15 bass with three in the two pound range. At 9:30 I switched to a 6 WT. fly rod and a Crappie Charlie fly to see what was available. I found 8 to 10 Crappie, 7 or 8 Yellow Perch, one white perch, and several bass, best was 1-7 on the fly. So ended a busy day on Beggars Bridge Creek.  I’ll have to continue to drag the fly rod along. It makes for a really fun day.

HD trip video is on my YouTube Channel.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

13 June - Dinks in the grass.

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Finally made it out again. Only the second time this year, its been real busy. Launched at Horn Point around sunrise and was casting in House Cove shortly thereafter. I was hoping the milfoil beds were back but they were on the sparse side but it should be OK in a month or two. They grow pretty fast and the frog fishing should be great by the end of July and on into the fall. I started the day with a Johnson Silver Minnow with a white skirt trailer, a Yamamoto Swimin’ Senko, a River2Sea Whopper Plopper (Bluegill), and a Yo-Zuri  2-3/4”  3DB Wakebait F (Sexy Shad). The wake bait got the biggest fish but the weeds got to be a problem so I had to go weedless and the Senko got all the rest of the dinks. I was surprised the Silver Minnow only had one tap. It usually does well in the grass. Ended the day with 13 bass with the biggest a 2-3. I’ll try to get out a little more this summer but the heat and the 4:15 alarm is slowing me down.

HD trip video is on my YouTube Channel.

Friday, April 21, 2017

21 April - I finally make it on the water.

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After a long delay I decided to see what I've been missing. Several people have been doing great things so It was time to chase some bass. The water was high and on the muddy side and a strong SW wind didn't help with the boat control. I usually do well on breezy days fishing the windy shoreline. Today was the case in point. The best structure to fish in Back Bay is deep in the reeds and cattails with jigs and plastic during high water. I started with a Chigger Craw, Texas rigged, and a weightless Swimming' Senko. Cast way back into the trash and jig the bait up and down. You dredge up a lot of junk but that's the price you pay to reach the fish. I ended the day with 13 bass from 1-0 to 3-10. A couple were hard to get out of the weeds and I lost three or four due bad hook sets or the hook was fouled with five pounds of milfoil. With 13 bass boated, the top five were: 2-5, 2-6, 2-10- 3-5, and 3-10 for a total of 13 pounds 15 ounces. A great way to start the new season.

NOTE: Email me at for a link to my new 2017 Launch Guide.

HD trip video is on my YouTube Channel.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

2017 Launch Guide is now available!

Get yours today.

Well I finally got the 2017 Launch Guide put together. There are some major changes from last year, some good, some not so good. My biggest disappointment is the closing of West Landing Marina. Those of us who can't paddle 10 miles a day anymore will not be able to reach Godfrey Creek, Cow Creek, or Haynes Creek, some of my favorites. You could get there by launching at page  "07 - Upper North Landing River" in the guide, but it would be a stretch, and it's closed on Sundays. 

The new launch area at Horn Point.

The good news is there has been some major changes to the "15 - Horn Point Launch" and "14 -  Back Bay NWR Contact Station Launch". As shown, they have added rip-rap to protect from erosion, a nice new sandy beach, and planted some native grasses along the shore line (still very small plants but should grow fast).

BBNWR - Still under construction in March, but you get the idea.

While we lost the ramp at West Landing Marina, we gained a new ramp at Pungo Ferry Landing.  As usual the city has done a bang-up job with the project. I understand from Parks & Rec as funds are available it will be expanded to add a swimming beach on river and other amenities. You can still launch at the small beach in the cul-de-sac but that old boat is still there and it can be a challenge to get past all the mooring lines he has out across the water.
The new launch at Pungo Ferry Landing.

Another addition to help the paddler, is a second local water gauge installed by the USGS on the Beggars Bridge Creek bridge. A check on the gauge before you leave home might save you a trip. The link to that as well as the gauge on the North Landing River can be found on the left side of this page under "Fishing information". So that's it in a nutshell. There are still more than enough launches in Virginia Beach to satisfy most paddlers, so to get your 2017 Launch Guide, email me at:

Monday, March 27, 2017

27 March 2017 - First trip of the year.

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For the first trip of 2017 it was a very slow day until the last ten minutes. The water was on the low side and very muddy. Visibility was only about 6". I started with plastic, a Chigger Craw, when the depth was over a foot, but because it was so shallow I had to rely on the wake bait, a top water, and a shallow running crank. The wind picked up around 10 and boat control became a problem, so I gave into the elements and headed for the ramp at about 1. As I made the last turn into the ditch by the road, I got a tremendous hit on the wake bait. The good old swamp donkey tipped the scale at 6-1 so the day wasn't a total loss. Sure wish it had been a bass.

I probably won't get out again until next week or so. I'll be doing a lot fewer trips this year because of other commitments, so the videos will suffer the most, but I'll at least do a blog entry for every trip. Thanks for watching.