Briery Creek 9-1-2011

1 09 2011

I’ll keep this short and sweet. Headed out to Briery Creek this morning for the first day of my delayed vacation. Hit the water at 7am (a little later than I had hoped) but fished until 2:15pm.

Started with a large chartreuse and white buzzbait and that got em going. Caught 5 LMB ranging from 10″ to 15.5″ in the first 75mins. Landed 2 more LMB on a wacky rigged 5″ senko in the next 15 mins. From about 8:30am until about 11:30am-ish, things got REALLY cold. I wasn’t spooking, hooking up with, or seeing any fish.

Somewhere around there, I started to find a few and realized the bass in the lilies were also holding to other cover (lay downs); lure of choice for a lily field was none other than a frog, Capt Ken’s Clone. I had a lot of short strikes today and had 4 bass take my frog, fight for 5 to 10 seconds and somehow manage to come unbuttoned.

Around 1:30pm, found some of the ideal “pattern” for the day and threw my clone over. While retrieving I got a huge blowup, so I let it sit. Another blowup but it was a good 2 feet from my clone. I reel it in and wait for about 60 seconds and then throw back over. This time I get a solid hit and I set the hook. Thank goodness this time the fish didn’t come unbuttoned and I land the largest fish of the day, a hair over 18″ and nice and fat.


This is the most success I’ve ever had at Briery; I’ve been skunked several times here. I had my daughter Thursday nigh through Sunday, then Monday is the Salt, Tuesday I’m chasing Snakeheads, and Wednesday is a half day of guided fishing on Mossy Creek!

BTW, Briery in the middle of the week is FANTASTIC. There were only 3 trucks at the ramp when I got there, and I really only saw one other boat all day.

All my pictures:


Briery Creek 9-5-2010

5 09 2010

I accidentally set the alarm for PM instead of AM but managed to wake myself up at 5:30. Rushed out the door and was on the water by 7:15 at the 701 ramp. There was lots of steam coming off the water as the air temps were about 53 and the water temps about 80 degrees.




As soon as I hit the water, I see baitfish hitting the surface EVERYWHERE. They are in very large schools. I assume something is chasing them so I start casting anything and everything around the fish. Chase them around for about an hour and manage to land 1 skinny 12″ LMB. I finally realize that the bait fish are hitting dead mosquitos that are literally covering the entire surface of the lake.



It was a tough day after that. I called it quits at 1pm. I fished all the lilies I could find, significant structure, etc but it was just a slow day. I only managed 5 strikes, 2 of which were landed. 2 strikes were on the frog, one I just plain missed and one I turned my head to look the other way for just a second. The largest fish of the day never had the hook set well, so it popped right out the second he got a little slack line. I did get a good look at it and it was a 15″ or so, but SKINNY just like the first one.

I’d love to go back and try Briery again, but probably would like someone who’s more familiar with it to provide some guidance. I’m not proficient at fishing deep and I’m assuming this is where they were holding.

GPX Track

Belle Isle Lunch Excursion 8-24-2010

24 08 2010

Met up with a buddy of mine from KBF, Chuck, and decided to head out to Belle Isle to do some lunch time fishing. There is a large, clear, lake that’s at the western most section of the island.

I think Chuck stated it’s an old rock quarry, so the lake is very deep. The drop offs from the banks are severe, which made finding places to stand and fish a little difficult. There are several laydowns around the lake as well as a boardwalk/walking path on one side. I took only 2 rods and 2 baits: the SPRO Bronzeye in the new color and a 4″ watermelon Yum Dinger rigged wacky. I find a bank that I can scale down that has a laydown near, so I carefully make my way down the side and get to casting.

The first laydown is large and covers a LOT of area, and runs perpendicular to the bank. There is also about 8 feet of thick vegetation growing out from the bank, so if I manage to hook into a fish, I’ll have to navigate it around/in/out of the laydown and then pull it through the salad. I begin casting the frog first and after around 10 or so casts, I switch over to the Dinger. A few casts working the bait back to me with no bites, I decide on my next cast to dead stick it and see what happens. I cast my bait out short of most of the laydown, let out line so it’ll get to the bottom and wait. After about 30 seconds of waiting, I notice my line moving. I felt no tap but the line is definitely moving so I set the hook. FISH ON!!! I didn’t have the laydown to content with, but had to pull the fish through the salad. It came up with a bunch of vegetation, but I landed a ~12″ largemouth. I catch and release (and manage to get my work clothes dirty) and move on to the next spot.

I move to the western most point on the lake and there is a series of laydowns that look promising (I see a few bobbers in the limbs). Again, I begin with the frog but get no action. I throw the Dinger around several of the laydowns with no action. I decide to make one last cast and then move on. This time I decide to cast 20 yards beyond the laydown and let the stickbait sink and soak. After about 5 or 10 seconds of resting on the bottom, I get the familiar tap-tap on the line so I set the hook. FISH ON!!!! Unfortunately this time I have to contend with several laydowns and the fish makes a bee line for them. I’m able to maneuver it in and out of a few of the laydowns but it eventually gets wrapped around a trunk and breaks me off. This was a sizable fish so I’m a little disappointed, but it was expected given my position and the number of laydowns. I am impressed by the Yo-Zuri Hybrid 6 lb test I used as a leader. It withstood most of that battle, fighting around several laydowns before finally giving in at my snell knot. I decide to move on, but not before tying on a new finesse hook.

I climb down the bank near the pier at the eastern most point of the lake and begin casting my Dinger again. After about 5 minutes of numerous casts, I finally get another tap-tap and I set the hook and land a ~14″ LMB. Time is running short and I needed to head back to work, however, I wanted to cast a few times into the James since it’s running so low. I head over to the rocks and start making casts.

While walking the rocks, I spot a nice eddy that has the distinguishable silhouette and tail of a black bass. I immediately hit the ground hoping the fish didn’t see me. I yell over to Chuck that I see a bass. From my knees, I cast my Dinger into the eddy and within 5 seconds I get a tap-tap and I set the hook. FISH ON!!!! I yell over to Chuck, “I GOT HIM!”. I rise to my feet and get into my fighting stance, this fish has some size, probably a 16″-er!!! Unfortunately, he takes one leap and my hook is thrown. I get a look at him as he took a leap and it was definitely a largemouth. I turn around to complain to Chuck about losing the fish.

After my complaining I turn back to the eddy to see if the LMB is still there and notice 2 large gars have made their way into this tiny eddy, both about 2 foot long. I can’t believe this tiny eddy had a LMB and now 2 gars in there. I know there’s no way I’ll catch one of them, but I decide to cast my Dinger at them and see what they’ll do. Unexpectedly, one of the gars turns to my stickbait and takes a bite. I attempt to set the hook but there’s no way that hook is going to penetrate the rock hard mouth of the gar. It opens its mouth and scoots off. Funny…

I head back to work after a much needed break from coding an Android application. The Belle Island lake is awesome, I just need to figure out how to get my kayak there…

Froggin on Sandy River Reservoir 8-1-2010

1 08 2010

While driving to Briery, I made a spur of the moment change of plans and landed at Sandy. Sunrise was at 6:17 and I was on the water at 6:21. There were only 4 trucks/trailers in the lot, so I was going to have some water to myself this morning. Air temps were 70-78 the entire day and water temps 82. It was overcast for most of the day. Sounds like perfect fishing weather. The reservoir is noticeably lower than what it was 6 weeks ago, somewhere between 1 and 2 feet lower. The odd mixture of cold air temps and warm water made for interesting conditions when I first started out…


I began fishing the riprap throwing (mostly) a frog patterned Skitter Pop and a Mann’s 1-Minus. I got into a dink and an overly aggressive bluegill (lure was much bigger than it was) and missed a strike when I had turned my head to see what had caused some wake. All were caught on the Skitter Pop. I made it all the way to the end (literally my last cast of the riprap) when I got a blowup on my Skitter Pop. A short fight and I had landed my largest fish of the day, a 16.25″ LMB.

From there I fished the drainage ditch, the bridge riprap, and all my usual laydowns, coves, points, etc without a single nibble. I did manage to spook what would have been the fish of the day when I cast my stickbait into its head. I was throwing a white/chart buzzbait, watermelon red flake 5″ yum dinger rigged wacky, watermelon Zoom trick worm t-rigged, and a 1/2oz rat-l-trap in bleeding shad. I’m getting hung up left and right but no action from the fish. At this point, it’s approaching 9:30ish and I’m getting a little frustrated. I usually don’t have luck in the timber but figured I needed a change of pace so I make a bee line to the thick stuff.

I head straight for a spot my brother in-law found when he was in town that he pulled in 12 or so LMB. My first cast….hung up. I wasn’t interested in losing any tackle so I crashed the area…guess I won’t be catching anything here. I notice the vegetation is much thicker along the banks than it ever has been, so I decide to throw my frog. I’ve thrown frogs in here before without any luck but we’ll give it a shot.

I’m throwing a SPRO Bronzeye in a new color (can’t even find it on their website) but it’s a blaze orange/red/black combo. Within my first 2 or 3 casts, I get a blowup. I set the hook and land a 15″ LMB. Sweet, I love frog bass. I release it and make another cast…BAM…another blowup….another hookset and I land another LMB, this one about 14″. Hmmmm, think I’ve got the pattern here. I go on to fish the outer edge of the timber, strictly fishing vegetation with my frog. I catch about 15 LMB all between 13″ and 15″, they could be clones of each other. I’m getting pretty good with my frog, I only missed 1 hookset today and had 2 short strikes, but the rest were put in the boat. I had a fairly large blowup from a bigger fish, but when I threw back with my stickbait, I overshot the area and ended up catching a much smaller fish.

There’s very little vegetation on the southern shore of the timber area and thus, I only caught 1 LMB once I made the turn. And once I got out of the timber…the pattern was off. Time was running short so I made a bee line to the “trench” and threw my trap about 10 times. I managed to land one last dink before calling it a day. A sample of what I was catching and what I was using…


Final totals, close to 20 fish, none with any real size but LOTS of frog action which is always a blast. I also managed to paddle up on a school of carp (I think) in about 1 foot of water right outside the trench. The water was so low, they were “tailing”. It was pretty cool. The funny thing was, one got spooked and they ALL got spooked, probably 10 or so fish.


Some other interesting notes, I didn’t see a single angler on the eastern side of the bridge the entire day. I had the timber area to myself the entire morning, which I thought was really odd for Sandy. There were 20 or so trucks in the lot when I got back so I guess they all just decided to fish South of the ramp. After fishing in SC for a week, it was nice to be able to fish without looking over your shoulders for gators. I also did not attempt to stand up in my kayak today after turtling the last time. I’ve never gotten hung up so much from t-rigged or wacky rigged worms in my life. I battled that the entire day.

Link to external pictures.

GPX Track

Private Pond 7-5-2010

5 07 2010

No pics today and a tough day fishing…Went to a private pond somewhere in Central Virginia to fish with 3 other folks from Kayak Bass Fishing. From some recon provided by the others, I knew this pond had lots of lillies, so I prepped my tackle the night before. We hit the water around 6am and fished until about 12:30pm.

I started off throwing a 4″ green Yum Dinger rigged wacky style on a Gammy finesse hook w/weed guard, a Rapala Skitter Pop in a frog pattern, and my Spro Bronzeye frog. I threw the popper parallel to lilly lines, the worm parallel to lilies and laydowns, and the frog into the lilies and worked it out into open water. For close to 2 hours, I didn’t have a single bite. I finally get a bite on the worm, pulling throwing it into a small opening in a stretch of lilies. The hook pops out after about 10 seconds of fight, the weed guard hasn’t sprung. Hmmm…I must not have set the hook effectively at all. Next time I’ll give it a full swing.

I continue on fishing, alternating between all 3 presentations with no action. I get another hit on the worm, fishing it in small lilly cove. This time I really try to put the screws in on the hookset…again after a 15 second fight, the hook popped out, weed guard still in place. What’s going on with this hook?

I continue on fishing, not getting any action. The sun is really starting to burn down, so I decide to try and hit some areas with shade. The best stretch with sun protection has already been hammered by myself and the other 3 anglers, but I return to it anyways. I begin working the frog exclusively on the outer edge of the lilies, bringing it back to the kayak. Within the first few minutes, I get a small crash of my frog on the surface. I think it was a short strike, but after about 3 seconds I realize my frog is gone so I set the hook. Fish on! A small 10″ LMB, but the skunk is off.

Cool, maybe I’ve found another pattern? I continue working this stretch of lilies, in the shade of the tree. I come up to a laydown and try all my currently tied up baits again, to no avail. As I pass the laydown and begin working the edges again. I get a ginormous crash of the surface. The bass just misses my frog and the frog goes flying about 2 feet in the air. The bass still in attack mode goes after the closest thing to him at this point, a lilly pad. Man is he ANGRY at my frog! At this point, I’m unsure if I throw the frog back or follow up with the Senko…I decide to throw the frog. First cast…nothing. Second cast…he hits my frog about a foot from the boat. In the half second he takes the frog under the water, it’s already let go before I have a chance to set the hook. I switch over to the worm, but at this point I think the fish is spooked. This fish easily went 20″+ and would have made my day.

I continue on fishing this stretch, with no luck. I do get one hit but it was with about 3″ of line out from the tip of my rod as I was bringing the frog up for another cast. The frog slingshotted up into the air as fast as it went down.

Fun day, beautiful pond, just not a lot of action. I’ll be returning here when the weather cools off, expecting much better days.

Sandy River Reservoir 6-18-2010

18 06 2010

My brother in-law Justin was in town for Sadie’s 2nd birthday, so I had a day of fishing planned for us the day before. Justin lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC and is an experienced salt angler; fishing mostly for speckled trout and redfish. He has a little pond experience with bass fishing, but that’s mostly it. A couple of times he’s been to Richmond I’ve taken him out and we’ve been nearly skunked so my goal for the day was for him to boat a lot of fish. I decided to take Justin to Sandy River Reservoir. A extremely generous KBF-er allowed me to borrow their Ocean Kayak Trident Angler 11 for Justin to paddle. Several others were meeting us out there: KBF-ers Hanover_Yakker and UTVolyaker and Zach from TKAA. We planned to meet up at 6am on Friday morning, which meant leaving at 4:30a from my house.

Driving was faster than expected as we showed up at 5:20am. I noticed Hanover_Yakker’s van is already in the parking lot, with no yak on top, and he’s no where to be found. He got there early and was already off fishing! We dragged a bit pulling everything together as I wanted to give the others as least until 6am to get to the parking lot before we shoved off. Zach showed up at 5:40ish and at 6am we hit the water. Justin and I pounded the banks on the way to the northern riprap while Zach made a beeline for the banks across the main channel. Water temps were already 81 degrees and air temps were about the same. It’s going to be a hot one.

I began the morning throwing a 5/8oz Rapala Skitter Pop in a frog pattern and a Mann’s original 1-Minus in brown crawfish. Making my way to the riprap, I had no action at all. I made my casts and retrievals of both lures parallel to the bank, with not even a nibble. I finally had a short strike on the popper from a smaller fish, but still nothing landed. By this time Justin was a good 50 yards up the riprap from me. I paddle to get around him and fish some structure he hasn’t hit yet when I ask him, “Any luck yet?”, fully expecting the answer to be “No.”. However, Justin replied with a “Yeah man, 2. And of them was a 16″-er, probably one of the biggest bass I’ve ever caught. My day is already made!” Awesome, mission accomplished. Maybe now I can catch some fish. Justin confirms that he caught his fish on a popper, retrieving parallel to the bank. I go ahead and start casting to this area and begin the retrieve…BLOOP…BLOOP…BLOOP…WHAM! Fish on! I battle the largemouth for a few seconds and land a 14.5″-er. Not a bad way to start the day.


I also wanted to work a drainage ditch in the area, so I headed around the bend and while casting parallel to some cattails, managed to land a 10″ dink on the popper as well. By this time, Justin had made his way around me and was fishing a shallow grass bed. He wasn’t having any luck so we decided to make a beeline for the eastern timber area while the morning bite was still on. Along the way we ran into Zach and he decided he was going to hit the timber as well.

As we’re entering the timber area, we are greeted by Hanover_Yakker who has been out there since o’dark thirty. He’s landed 4 fish so far with the biggest going 17″ I think he said. He was throwing a wacky rigged worm and a buzzbait. We immediately get to work. Justin paddles over to a small cove and gets to work while I start to slam the timber along the southern bank in 6′ to 8′ of water. Zach and Hanover_Yakker greet each other and begin working the center of the timber field. I’m throwing a wacky rigged 4″ Yum Dinger, the Skitter Pop, the Mann’s 1-Minus, a pig-n-jig (only once, got hung up and that’s all it took for me) and at one point a SPRO Bronzeye frog. Another KBF-er, UTVolyaker, shows up and starts to fish the timber as well. I sure do love the Commander 120 he’s fishing out of. After an hour or so and close to 9am, I land a nice 14″ largemouth on the Yum Dinger. I was working the worm between to parallel laydowns, working the worm along the length of them.


Another hour or so with no action, I look over Justin’s way and notice he’s still in the same cove he started in. He’s definitely a more methodical angler than I am, so I just chalk it up to him really wanting to work a specific area. Zach and UTVolyaker call it a day; we say our goodbyes and tight lines. Another 30 minutes or so and I’m still not having any luck so I paddle over Justin’s way to see how he’s doing. Again, I pose the question of “Any luck?”, fully expecting the answer of “No”. Justin says, “Yeah man, I’m killing them.” WHAT?!?!? I say, “How many?”. Justin answers, “I don’t know, I stopped counting at one point. But I’m guessing around 12 with the largest being 16 inches”. Wow, no one else has really had much action and Justin is pulling them in left and right. Justin states he thinks he’s on to a pattern in that the bass seem to be holding in the shade and are hitting on a texas-rigged worm. Now I know why he sat in the one area for a couple of hours.

At this point I’m looking for shade to start casting to, but the sun is almost overhead now as it’s about noon. The frogs are out in full force, chirping away so I decide to start throwing the frog but didn’t have any luck. I stay close to Justin as he continues to fish and he hooks up 2 more times. At this point, I bring out a texas-rigged Zoom Trick Worm in green. I immediately get a hit, but the hook knot fails. We fish for about 20 more minutes and decide it’s time to get out of the timber. Here are a few action shots of Justin in the standing timber.



We decide to continue with the pattern and start banging the southern banks while fishing our way back towards the put in. The action starts picking up and we’re now both landing fish on the found pattern. At this point, we’re both having a blast and landing decent fish. A lot of 12″ to 15″ fish being landed. We get to an area that I’ve seen a 15″ and 20″ pulled out of so I point it out to Justin. We both begin casting and I get a tap-tap on my worm so I set the hook. FISH ON! I immediately get a huge tug and the drag starts screaming….it’s a good fish. 90 seconds and 3 jumps later, I land the largemouth. What a great fight; probably one of the better LMB fights I’ve ever had. I’m thinking it’s around 20″ but put it on the board and it measures 17.5″. Not quite the 20″ I was hoping for but still a good fish.



Justin also gets into a nice sized fish in this area, but the fish tries to break him off in a rootball. Justin spends the next 3 or 4 minutes trying to fish the largemouth out of the roots. I probably should have helped him out but spent all my time documenting his efforts. I think he did fine by himself as he pulls out a nice 15″-er.

At this point, we’ve both been in our yaks for about 7 hours so we make a beeline to the bridge and dock our yaks at the point across from it. The astute salt angler that Justin is notices some smaller fish running about 10 yards off shore. “There’s some bait running”. I get my crank rod out that now has a 1/2oz Rat-L-Trap in bleeding shad tied on and make a cast beyond the bait and start cranking it back. The crank hits some submerged weeds and I go to pull it through…WHAM! Fish on!!! Nice call Justin. I land a nice 14″-ish largemouth.


We finish stretching our legs and drinking some water and head out under the bridge, still making our way back to the put in. We have about an hour left to fish before we need to head home. At this point, the sun is straight up in the sky and not offering a lot of shade. Surface water temps are now 85 and air temps around 92. The southern bank looks like it’s still providing the most shade (barely any) so we decide to crash it. Justin eyeballs a small cove while I see a series of laydowns I’d like to hit. We both paddle across the channel.

As I approach the first laydown, there is tons of surface activity along this 30 yard stretch of bank…lots of bait movement. I immediately throw my worm to the left side of the laydown and get a hit on the first cast. Reel in the fish, a small 10″ largemouth. I release him and start to look for my next target. There is still a lot of bait movement on the other side of the laydown so I throw over there. I get another hit and the rod immediately doubles over. FISH ON!!! The beast makes his way to the surface and this fish has size. After a couple of drag screaming runs, the fish is almost tired out but manages to dart under the laydown. I can feel the tension on the rod and at this point, I don’t know if I’m hung up on tree or if the fish is still on. I make a low sweep with the rod and manage to pull the largemouth out from under the laydown and bring it to the boat. This fish HAS to be 20″…nope. Another 17.5″ but I’ll take it.



As I release the fish into the water, I notice a sore on the back right side of the fish. At this point, I’m jacked up about my recent catch and notice more bait running 20 yards down the bank. I decide to throw the Rat-L-Trap again but too much adrenaline just lands my crank about 20′ up in a tree. Wow, that cast was no where near the target. I start to laugh at myself and manage to pull the $5 lure from the tree without loss. Thank goodness for braid.

Justin makes his way around the corner and I tell him about my 2 catches. He figures there might be another fish in there so he tosses his worm near the laydown. Justin gets a bite and remarks that it’s a large fish. A short fight and he lands the fish. Another biggun’ right next to that same laydown!!! Justin takes a quick measurement and it reads 17.5″. Interesting…two 17.5″ largemouth under the same narrow laydown? I ask Justin, “Hey man does that fish have a sore on the back right side?”. Justin takes a quick peak and starts grinning, “Yeah man it does. Same fish. He’s either really hungry or really stupid”. Heh, we catch the same largemouth no more than 5 minutes apart on t-rigged worms, one green and one brown.

Time’s running out on us so we keep on making our way back to the put in. We catch a few more fish in the 10″ to 14″ range (I also manage a whopper of a 6″) and decide to call it a day. Final fish count:

Justin — 25ish
Eric — 15ish

Mission accomplished, Justin catches a boatload of fish and we both have a blast. I love Sandy River Reservoir and can’t wait until my next trip out there.

To see all the photos from the trip, see my picasa album.

Lunch Time Canal Froggin’ 6-7-2010

7 06 2010

After having so much fun the other night froggin’ for the first time, I figured I’d give that a shot at a canal that runs parallel to the James. I’ve fished here before with limited success. I fished four about an hour. The water was gin clear today and the sun was bright overhead, so I could see everything. The grass is growing at a rapid rate is about a foot below the surface, so froggin’ should work well.

The first 20 mins, I spent in one area, casting parallel to and perpendicular to the bank. It’s only 30 feet or so across this canal, so I was just trying to cover as much water as possible. Didn’t have any strikes nor did I see anything, so I moved on “downstream”.

Some more casts, still nothing. I then made a cast completely across the canal, landed it on opposite bank, and began the twitch across. As the frog passes right in front of a manhole cover a LMB swims up and takes the frog. I reel all slack out and then set the hook. Fish on! I pull in a 12″ LMB. SWEET, I love froggin’.

I then spend the next 30 mins or so moving back upstream beyond the first fishing point. I had 1 riser, but he wouldn’t take the frog. I love fishing this high up with clear water, I can see everything (I’m sure they can see me too). I saw numerous bluegill and a fairly large carp patrolling one of the areas. I need to get me an ultra-light so I can start catching some gills….I decide to pack it up and go back to the office.

On the way to the car, I decide to make a few more casts in the first spot. First cast…nothing. Second cast (and I told myself last cast of the day) is perpendicular to the bank and I land it about a 1 foot short of the bank with overhanging vegetation. After about 2 or 3 feet of the twitch retrieve I get a huge splash on the surface. I reel in slack and set the hook. FISH ON! Woah, this one is much bigger than the first. My rod doubles over but due to the angle of the sun, I don’t know how much bigger. Finally get him closer and realize it’s a real good fish (for me at least). I land the beast and I’m estimating that he’s about 18″. I’m getting splashed by the bass as I try to get him to the bank. By this time my khakis and work shoes are wet and a little muddy, but I really don’t care. I was only 10 feet or so from my truck, so I take him over and get some shots with my real camera.

KICKASS, last cast and I catch a sweet LMB. Wow, am I hooked on froggin’ now. There’s a lot of this canal that’s fishable and with all the vegetation, I’ll be froggin’ all summer. I’d be surprised if there are more than 1 fish of this size in this small area, so I’m guessing I caught the big lunker I spotted a week or two ago guarding fry.

All the pictures taken can be seen here.