Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Here’s Sam Rorrer with a 20-inch New River smallmouth bass. What a great fish!
Who else has been fishing?
The owner of Captain’s Quarters Marina, he’s always willing to share the good (and not so good) of the fishing at the lake.
Recently, something not so good happened to him.
Early the morning of Sept. 9, someone broke into the shop at Captain’s Quarters. More details about the break-in and theft of fishing reels and rod and reel combos are available in my column in today’s Roanoke Times. The short of it is, the guy (or guys, if he had a lookout outside) got away with about $8,200 worth of stuff. Lamb is insured, so it won’t cost him anything, at least financially.
What stealing does cost us is our good faith in our fellow man. It makes of wary, sometimes more wary than we need to be. Lamb is frustrated that he’ll now be suspicious of many who come into his shop, and I don’t blame him. I’m a browser, and I hate to think that my “just looking” will cause someone to think I might be casing the joint for a future break-in.
Anyway, here’s the best security shot of the guy. He looks bald but that’s actually a faded red ball cap. Someone knows who did this, just like someone knew who stole that canoe in Roanoke this summer. A reader broke that case, so why not here? I don’t want to get into the crime tips business, but enough of us know Lamb that this story had to be told.
If you know something about this, call the Franklin County Sheriff’s office at 483-3000.
I love the shot that ran with this week’s Fishing Report in The Roanoke Times. It featured young Stone Harding holding a lure with two smallmouth bass attached to it.
How can you not love smallmouths?
I was just up in smallmouth heaven, upper New York. I could almost smell Lake Champlain, a monster smallmouth factory, but couldn’t get over there to fish due to duties with the Outdoor Writers Association of America conference. One of these days I’m actually going to get up there to fish.
Next week’s fishing report will be the final of the season before the winter hiatus. That one always tends to be a looking-ahead kind of report.
There is a lot of good fishing to look forward to in the fall. But with many of us moving on to hunting, the pressure really drops off. Of course that’s a good thing.
So, who plans to fish much over the next few months? And what will you be chasing?
I’m working on a Carvins Cove fishing story and hoping to talk to an angler or two who fish out there fairly often.
Quick turnaround so the sooner the better. Please send me an email — email@example.com — with a good number and time to call, or call me at the office at 981-3395.
By the way, the story is about what I think is a pretty exciting development!
First, the good news.
No one was killed or even [seriously] injured during the inaugural Wild Life Float Fishing extravaganza.
The bad news? Fishing was tough.
You can’t have it all, right?
Eight hardy souls showed up for the Saturday float on the James River, from the Iron Gate put-in to Gala.
It was nearly seven.
As those of you who followed earlier posts on this know, the Amatuer (that’s how he spells it) was one of those pushing hardest to make this group outing happen. Yet, 20 minutes after the meeting time, there was no Amatuer. Bummer. We left two shuttle vehicles at the take-out and headed to the put-in.
By the time we had everything set on the water, it was after 9 a.m. I drove up to the parking lot and who is sitting there in his car talking to another group of fishermen? The Amatuer. Intrepid readers may recall that the Amatuer had asked a couple of times for directions to the rendezvous spot. A couple of us provided detailed instructions. Yet the Amatuer ended up in Eagle Rock. Not the Eagle Rock boat launch area, mind you. Eagle Rock itself. Some kindly folks provided him directions that were apparently better than those we had offered, and he was able to get to the put-in.
He’s also contributing to the loot, having sent this nice collection of river lures. Most are bass-specific, but there are a couple muskie lures in there, too.
If you had to buy this selection it would cost you way more than the $50 you’d have to spend to get the Ugly Stik spinning combo I’m giving away.
On the lures, I’ll divide them up and everyone who shows up will get some.
For those just getting in on this topic, the basics are that I’m float fishing the James from Iron Gate to Gala on Saturday. I’d like some company. We’ll stop and have a shore lunch at some point. It’s a pretty long float (9 miles or so) so it will be a pretty long day.
I think we should meet at 8 a.m. at the takeout and then set up the shuttles from there.
Standby for final details on the float to be posted.
In the meantime, those who plan to show up please send me an email confirmation so I have a decent idea how many to expect.
Who wants to catch a smallmouth bass like this one?
Let’s give it a shot on Aug. 24.
As a follow-up to an idea floated in this blog a few weeks ago, I’m planning to float the James that day, and I invite any of you Wild Life regulars to join me. Heck, even if you’re not a regular, come on!
This will be an informal trip, not sanctioned or endorsed by The Roanoke Times, its agents, its subsidiaries or Warren Buffett. (I probably don’t need a legal disclaimer, but what the heck?) We’re just friends getting together for a day on the water.
Participants will need to provide their own watercraft. I’m guessing for most that means canoes or kayaks. If you have a raft, inflatable pontoon kick boat or drift boat, that’s fine, too. If you’re one of those jet boat guys, I’m envious. But let’s make this a human-powered adventure. Fishing gear is also up to you. And, of course, you’ll need the required licenses. I bet when the conservation police officer crew gets wind of a bunch of outlaws like us –you know, fishing’s version of the Sons of Anarchy — getting together they will show up in force!
Let’s plan to start early, but not too early. Maybe 8 a.m.? We’ll stop somewhere along the way and have a shore lunch. Bring food and drinks. I might bring a bunch of hot dogs or something along those lines. I will let you all know.
On to the location. I’m thinking Lick Run to Gala. There’s decent parking at both spots. Anyone have a better idea?
While I know that many of you are just champing at the bit for a chance to fish with me and Amatuer, let me sweeten the pot a bit. Ugly Stik just sent me a new GX2 rod and reel combo to try. This $50 combo is brand new and not even in stores yet. At the start of the float, I’ll draw the name of one participant and that combo is yours.
So, who’s in?
The action has been pretty decent, particularly for my fishing partners!
Dad and I hit the South Umpqua first, primarily for some fishing spot recon. We fished a little and caught a few small smallmouth bass, but it wasn’t very good, which wasn’t a surprise considering the sun was high and bright and temperatures were in the low 90s.
Interesting thing about the rivers around here, and something I’d forgotten, is that much of the river bank is public property. So there are many areas where you can pull off the road pretty much drive right to the water. Easy access equates to more fishing pressure (and litter).
Another thing, at least on the South Umpqua, is the heavy amount of gold dredging. Nothing like the roar of a two-stroke dredge motor to add to ambiance! A dredge was blasting at the first spot we pulled off, so we just moved on.
The next afternoon we hit one of dad’s favorite smallmouth holes. The weather was cloudy and the wind was blowing pretty well, creating a nice chop so we decided to start with topwater lures. Dad put on a Zara Spook and I used a soft plastic buzz frog. The frogs bust them in Virginia, but I rolled only one fish. Dad, on the other hand, was ripping them, including this nice 2-pounder.
I was talking to Mike Burchett at Rock House Marina yesterday, getting the latest Claytor Lake fishing information for my fishing report (available HERE).
As he does every Wednesday, Burchett reported results of the Tuesday night tournament held out of the marina. The story was great. Not only did Brady Moles and his 8-year-old son Ben win the tournament, they won because Ben caught a 5.59-pound lunker largemouth.
Think that kid was excited?
Mike said Ben asked him: “What time do you open up tomorrow? I want to come buy some more tackle.”