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Fish News
Tide Chart
September 22, 2016

Virginia Swordfish
Submitted by Dr. Ken Neill

FI1 22sep163 swordfish, 3 white Marlin, 1 yellowfin, 1 skipjack, 1 wahoo, 2 hammerheads, about 15 dolphin divided between gaffers, slingers and bailers.

Started out with our normal jumping off, missing white marlin. Managed to catch a couple. It was not red hot but should have caught a half dozen. Got hit by gaffers twice out in the open holding on to 4 each time. Just about dark, put out a bigeye trolling spread and immediately hooked up...white marlin...pulled the hook. Then we got the tuna bite, got excited thinking bigeye but it was a yellowfin. Not big but in the box.

Then we went to the drift so I could nap. That did not work. Had action most of the night. 9 swordfish bites we're pretty sure of resulting in 3 slashed baits and 6 hookups including a double. JT Hale pulled the hook on the bigger one while Stan Simmerman caught the smaller one. It may have been barely legal but we decided to let it go.

Of the 6 hookups, we caught 3. We pulled the hook on one quickly when Chris Boyce went all Roland Martin hookset on it. JT fought a nice one for a bit. Stan had a monster just smoking the 80 before the hook pulled.

We're pretty sure of the 9 sword bites but there was a 10th that we were sure was a sword. We did catch 2 big hammerheads but they were obviously sharks. The one that fooled us was JT's second "sword". When he got it to the boat, it was a nice wahoo. JT's first ever hoo. That one did fool us but who is expecting a wahoo to eat a drifted strip bait in the middle of the night?

Preston Sparrer caught the biggest sword, a 50 something inch fork length that we kept.

I gave up on the napping, decided there was room for a 4th rod right beside the boat. I rigged up a 50, put the bait down about 30 feet straight down and had a sword on in about 5 minutes. There was some arguing about this one. Hungry people said it was the size of Preston's and we should keep it. I said it was the size of Stan's and we should release it. Hungry people decided they wanted to bring it in and measure it. They could have just opened the tuna door and drug it in but instead, Chris kept trying to grab it's sword and the fish kept trying to cut Chris's hands off. It was amusing to watch. The fish won and was released. We put the rod back out and the wahoo ate it.

In the morning we went back to jumping off/missing marlin managing to hold onto 1 and picked up some more dolphin.

Beaverdam Reservoir Fishing Report
Submitted by Sr. Park Ranger Michelle Dawn

FI2 22sep16Within a week the water temp has changed dramatically. It had dropped from 86 degrees to 75 degrees in five days. Those temps only lasted a few days, and the water was back up to 82 degrees. The fish were biting good for a few days last week, when the water was in the seventies, they were chasing bait, and hitting dark worms in 4 feet of water, but today they were quiet.

Although a few dinks did make an appearance, it was just enough to make an angler feel like its possible to catch a fish, but not enough to win a tournament. The water is thick with grass and stagnant with a sludge on the surface. She is a foot lower than normal and the water is crystal clear. We really need some rain. The top water will only last for 20 minutes in the morning, but it is not an exciting bite, it is more of a gulp ,then dead weight.

The bass are so lazy right now. They don't have any energy. You can see their swirls as they check out your frog or your spinner baits, but they are not going to chase you. A chase is too much work for the bass. Move slow, they do have enough energy for curiosity. If you move too quickly, you will obfuscate the presentation of your lure.

In a few days the water will be in the seventies again, and the fish will begin to move a little faster, I would recommend a black worm with a split tail, drag it, then bring it up just a little, then drag it again slowly. If they are moving slow, then you should move slow too.

The water is boiling with large balls of shad and yearling yellow perch in the lake. They just happen to swim right over the bass, and get gulped up with little effort. There is no need to imitate bait fish right now, that snack is a dime a dozen. Why chase what is fake, when there is plenty of real stuff.? I imagine by October the fishing at the lake will be wild. They can't hide forever. I wish I had more to report to the crappie angler, but they never have been a rebellious fish. They are in the shadows, avoiding the other hungry fish. The catfish have made a big appearance this summer, unfortunately unappreciated, they always seem to bite the hook of an angler that thinks he caught a Bass, then boom, only a catfish. Those poor catfish, big and brave and no one is paying attention.

The conditions of the lake are ideal for a kayak angler, they can reach the areas of the lake that will burn the brushes on a trolling motor. They can quietly move through the sludge and drop bait right on top of the fish. If you have been skunked all summer, don't worry, by the law of averages you're bound to get a bite soon.

The temp will be back in the seventies in just a few days, just in time for The September 17th Big Bash open Bass tourney. It will not be an easy tournament, that is for sure. It will distinguish the cat man from the Bass man, or gal. Enjoy and fish responsibly. Michelle


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