Search Fishin.com

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 12 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Liberty
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Cumberland Striper - From Zero to Hero

    The History:

    Many years ago I would tag along with my Dad and his work buddies striper fishing on Cumberland. There were many late nights, often falling asleep in the bow listening to waves lap at the hull of the boat. Once I even fell asleep running the trolling motor and drove us all into a cove of driftwood and garbage, as my Dad and his buddies dozed also. Fog had rolled in making the spotlight completely useless. After some debate on whether we were on the right or left side of the creek arm, we managed to untangle the mess I had us in and get pointed back to the ramp.

    Then there was the time five of us went fishing in a regular cab pickup. It was a nice summer ride down in the bed of the truck, back when doing such a thing was considered normal. But, the ride back in a terrible thunderstorm wasn't as pleasant. Staying as close to the cab as possible so the rain blew over me and using the spare tire as a pillow, I actually slept most of the way home.

    The big fish fries with all the striper you could possibly eat are another fond memory. I still remember leaving my Dads friends house absolutely miserable I had ate so much, while trying to remember the guitar chords he had taught me after dinner. There was only one problem with all the striper trips, stories, and fish fries...I actually had never caught one.

    Then one late night, out with just my Dad in our boat it finally happened. I caught my first striper! It was only 13lb and didn't compare to some of the pictures I had seen of my Dad and his buddies fish, but it was finally my first fish. I remember having quite a bit of trouble getting the fish in, since at the time I was a very scrawny 12 or 13 year old. I had never caught a fish that size, or pulled that hard, and I was hooked. Dad realized what the "little" fish meant to me and actually had it mounted. Due to health issues and other crap life tends to deal out, shortly after that fish, Dad sold his boat and I didn't fish for striper many more times. Fast forward 28 years and that fish was my only striper until this past Saturday night.

    My wife and son loves to fish, and while I like it too, I have never been very good at it. Fishing and hunting are the same to me, it's more about getting out than actually catching/killing something. I can fish all day or night and never catch anything and I'm fine with it. I just love being in the woods or on the water. After owning an open bow runabout that is not designed in the least bit for fishing for 14 years, I decided to buy a fishing boat and pursue fishing more seriously this spring. As soon as I put the down payment to hold the boat, those old striper trip memories started floating back up. I just had to figure out striper fishing and get my wife and son to catch one.

    ...To be continued
    .
    Likes redearhoosier liked this post

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Liberty
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    The Zeroes

    So now I have a boat that I have rigged with rod holders, and lucky me, Dad still has 4 Penn rods and reels from all those years ago. New line, a hand full of bucktail jigs, a couple planer boards and a big net and I'm ready to roll! Or so I thought.

    I yapped enough about striper that I had my son eager to go, even though he was sick. We hit the lake, found a promising creek arm and started setting lines out just before dark. And then we trolled, and trolled, without a single hit. My son tried sleeping a various positions around the boat while I was still determined to find a fish. I think we finally gave up at 1 or 2 in the morning. This was the first zero.

    Okay, back to the drawing board. After reading more and more into how to fish for striper it seemed clear I needed to be fishing with live bait. A net and an underwater light came next at about the same time I found out you can actually anchor and fish under said light. We had never done that years ago but hey, I'm all for lazy easy fishing like that!

    Shortly afterward on a Saturday morning I talked my wife into going with me while I tried out my new Helix and cast net. We took the striper rods just in case, but that was a waste of space. I never found anything on the graph that looked to be striper so we didn't even put the rods out. I did find out really quick that the net I had bought was both too small, and sank too slowly. Time for a cast net, take two.... and zero number two.

    Time to really get this right. Armed with my 8' net that I actually learned to throw, an underwater light, snacks and drinks for a whole night trip, I again talked my wife into going with me. At the lake a little before dark, I found a promising looking area and threw out the light. It didn't take long and I had bait in the tank and lines down fishing! We trolled as slowly as possible around a main lake point and back into another arm accumulating the biggest ball of bait I had ever seen. We settled into a nice inset and watched the bait swirl, occasionally hearing something big hit the surface right at the edge of the bank. I cast redfins and slivers but never got bit. Neither did the live bait suspended at the bottom of the bait cyclone we created. At around 4am, she was cold, tired, bored and ready to call it a night. See, my wife doesn't like to fish much, she likes to catch. If she's not catching, she's over fishing and ready to do something else. I'm really surprised she lasted as long as she did, since this is now zero number three.

    After talking with a guy who had caught fish under a light that weekend, I figured I was just in the wrong place. So with a new area in mind, I was ready to go again. This time I would be by myself as I had now built a reputation. It didn't help that we were on another lake crappie fishing at daylight that morning and now I want to leave out to striper fish at 8 the same night.

    Solo I go into the night, quickly finding an area in Wolf that had scattered bait, some good arches on sonar, and the perfect point to anchor over where the breeze would just push me out towards the channel. Bait came quick and lines were in the water. I relaxed and watched the cloud of swirling bait both on the sonar and in the water. A couple of hours passed and I rebaited hooks not realizing I had been fishing with dead bait on some of my lines. I settled back into my comfy spot and then that wonderful sound of line spooling out on a clicker broke the quiet that had finally set in. Even after midnight there were still boats and loud stereos going here and there, as this was Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend.


    To be continued...
    Likes redearhoosier liked this post

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    russell springs
    Posts
    644
    Post Thanks / Like
    ok I'm hooked, keep the story going, great read.
    I am pulling for you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    202
    Post Thanks / Like
    Yes please do! Love the read!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Liberty
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Long Night, Short Fish

    The clicker on a reel. How can that sound make me jump up with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning? Now that I'm thinking about it, I really should make that my morning alarm sound on my phone! Maybe I could jump up out of bed the way I jumped to the rod that Saturday night.

    The fished pulled good once I threw the spool into gear and set back, but I wan't sure of what I had. It was on a short down line of about twenty feet so it wasn't long before it was close to the boat. And that's when it really decided to pull! After the "second run" I was really getting excited, knowing this could very well be my first striper after all these years. A few more cranks and it came into the light enough I could see those dark black lines and all I could think over and over is "where's the net, get it in the boat!" Had I not already bored my wife and son with unsuccessful fishing, I would have had someone there to help.

    Netted, in the boat, and measured, it was a bit bittersweet. While I just proved that I am capable of catching striper, the fish was only 19". Actually, capable might be too strong of a word, let's go with lucky. After all, I still don't really know what I'm doing. So, lucky me finally caught a little short striper...and I was thrilled! Knowing how good that little fish pulled, I really want to hook a 30 pounder!

    As I watched the bait in it's endless circle around me, I would bolt to action at the sound of the clicker a few more times that night. When it was all said and done, I had not racked up another zero, but had caught a total of three striper. The first two both were 19" and could have very well been the same fish, as the second one didn't have the near the fight of the first. The third was 20", and again bittersweet. I was finally catching striper, but I sure wasn't making plans for a fish fry.

    Since the fishing was slow, it gave me the opportunity to learn something useful about my Helix. I split the screen with half down imaging and the other half sonar. About the time the fish started biting I noticed my depth alarm of 3' would go off occasionally. I bumped up the chart speed to 3 or 4, which seems odd since I'm sitting still on anchor but let me explain. At that chart speed I could see streaks on sonar that I finally realized were fish coming up into the bait. The quicker chart speed let me see those streaks, and the bait that was evenly scattered down to 15' would tighten up to 10' or less. That was what was setting off my depth alarm. Every time it would go off, the bottom of the bait would be tighter to the surface, and the "fish streaks" would show up again. While this made the sonar a bit of a streaky mess, the down imaging stayed clearer to read, with better size differences between the bait and predator fish. Now I know what it looks like when fish are on the bait under me!

    When the last of the bites were over I had those three striper, a 19" Ky bass, and a decent sized catfish. It was about 4:00 am and I was getting pretty sleepy. By 4:30, I had found a comfy position in my seat and dozed off. I slept off and on until 5:30 when I realized there was enough light I could see the bank. I was cold, hadn't had a bite in quite awhile, and needed to be home by 7:30 so I figured enough was enough.

    Driving home I realized I was simply exhausted. I don't remember being that miserably tired from the late night striper trips when I was a kid. I guess being 40 means I need to take a good "safety nap" before heading out for a night of fishing next time. Or, I could just get up really early and go fishing in the mornings.

    Or, I could take my one day off work after a long, miserable, 6 day work week and try to do both. Yeah, short fish and overtime are both bittersweet.

    To be continued...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    202
    Post Thanks / Like
    Finally got one! Congrats!
    Likes OutInKy, peter liked this post

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    russell springs
    Posts
    644
    Post Thanks / Like
    getting warmer.....WARmer....WARMEr.......

    man do i know what youre talking about being exhausted! my 4 year old grandson really didnt care if i night-lite fished last night, he wanted to ride the sidexside so i guess 2 hours sleep will have to do lol
    Likes OutInKy liked this post

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Liberty
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    I'm Too Old For The Insanity

    So, if you've read this far you have probably noticed the striper bug has bit. I'm starting to question the sanity of all this. The boat, the Helix, the rods and reels, the cast nets, the baits, the truck gas, and the boat gas....wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to just fish in the seafood section of Kroger? Since I'm staying about one trip behind on this story, I assure you the insanity continues!

    Sunday morning, the second of June, we decide to have another go since this is my only day off this week. This time I have finally caught striper for a change, so my wife and son decide they want to go. The plan was to be up at 3:30 and off to the lake in time to catch bait. What actually happened was oversleeping after fighting with the installation of a livewell pump way too late the previous evening, and getting on the water at first light. I still haven't figured out how to get bait once the light is up. It's easy-peasy in the dark with a light, but now I'm on the water, it's light, and I have no bait. The only thing I can do is cut all the hooks and re-rig with bucktails.

    Just after getting all the rods switched and the planer boards out, there's a distant rumble. Surely that couldn't be thunder...but it was. A small storm had just formed and was heading for us. Since we were close to the ramp and in an aluminum boat, I figured the best thing to do was to get on the trailer. And since I was on the trailer and waiting out a storm, I might as well run to Jamestown and grab some shiners.

    A bag-o-shiners and brief storm later, we were back on the water. Re-rigged for live bait, we trolled a steep rock wall that looked promising on sonar and side scan. Down the wall and back again we trolled, rounding a sharp point we picked up our second Ky bass, but still no striper. And then the Helix went blank. We might as well be fishing on the moon. How could one side of this point have so many fish and the other be blank? Then a planer hung the bottom and I had to deal with that while my wife ran the trolling motor. Out of nowhere she said "There's a boat!". Me being in the back, my first thought was "I don't hear a boat." When I turned out around, there was a striper guide pulling about 12 planer boards.

    A guide! And he's fishing where I'm fishing! Holy cow, maybe I'm actually in the right spot at least! Then I looked at the completely blank Helix. Okay, so what is he fishing? Obviously he knows something I don't. So, we turned about giving the guide his piece of the Dead Sea and returned to our more productive looking water. The sad part was, our little piece of that creek gave us another zero. We reeled up the lines and I tucked my tail about noon. I was tired, hot, and aggravated that a guide was right there fishing and yet I can't get a single fish. But the images on the Helix looked soooo good! Before we put the boat back on the trailer, I had to have a look at that punch bowl the striper guide was fishing since nobody was around when we came back to the ramp. I idled down the bank where we originally met...nothing. I idled across the bowl, passing the big rock point...nothing. I started circling the bowl...nothing, until about two thirds of the way around and the Helix lit up. Only one fourth of that whole bowl had fish, but boy did it have a bunch! That one fourth was also the same spot the guide was in...see, I told you he knew something I didn't! Oh well, the wife and son were ready to go and truthfully so was I. It had been a long week and I was ready to head in.

    Back home it was time for a good nap. The only problem was I went to sleep thinking about the images on the Helix, and I woke up thinking about them too. Next thing I know, my wife and I are headed back to the lake at about 6pm. Yep, I really think these fish are causing my sanity to slip! And what would make it slip a cog further? All those fish, both in our spot and the one the guide was fishing, are now gone! After spending over an hour going out to the main lake and back I finally found them again. They seemed to all now be in another punch bowl further upstream than before. But, I can see why. Baitfish! I have never seen so much bait, all in the punch bowl and the first half mile upstream of it. And not only is the bait there, there are fish pushing wave after wave of it down the bank.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190602_200239.jpg 
Views:	136 
Size:	65.7 KB 
ID:	18798


    I'm thinking this is the night I'm going to get into the fish. Everything just seemed to be perfect. I had lines at about the right depth heading right through these active areas of skittering shad and....nothing. ARRRGGGHHH! As quickly as all the action started, it seemed to be over. The light was nearly gone, all the schools of bait scattered, and no fish in the cooler. At this point I'm starting to think the next piece of gear I need for the boat is a "For Sale" sign! But, there's always plan B.

    It's pretty well dark, so we might as well drop the light and fish the point where all the shad were pushed to when things were so active. I switched the planer boards to down lines on one side of the boat and decided to check the bait on the float on that side at well. It had an empty hook, so I re-baited and chucked it back out. While switching out the planer boards on the other side, that float started bouncing. At first I just watched, as it didn't sink in that it wasn't just the shad doing that. Then it suddenly disappeared, making it obvious we had a hit! I set the hook and handed it off to my wife. After a short easy fight, she had caught her first striper! It was only 17", but at least there was room for improvement!

    The shad swirled and time ticked away as we listened to coyotes and owls in the darkness. The only sound we were missing was the reel clickers. My wife had already mentioned that we both had to get up early for work, but my striper insanity nagged at me to keep her fishing at least one more hour. Good thing the sane part of me didn't win because that clicker finally went off. This time she set the hook herself and around they went....literally, around two other lines and around the prop. It was a miracle the line wasn't cut by the prop, but I finally netted the fish.

    Talk about coming up short! That fish was 21 3/4"! She had a ball catching it, and I had a ball getting those lines untangled. Finally, she had caught a decent little striper and seen herself how well they pull. I think she is now hooked also, I just wish my son could have got in on it. He had his fill of boring on this mornings trip and didn't feel up to a repeat.

    Now it's nearly midnight and we haven't had a hit in a little while, and we both know 6am is not long from now. My insanity finally gives in to early exhaustion and we call it a night. Getting home at 1am and getting up for work at 6 is not a good idea. I might have pulled this crap off when I was younger, but at 40 it is rough. That Monday at work was one long day.

    If I'm going to stay out that late fishing, I'll have to camp or sleep on the boat the next time. Hey, now that's an idea! Camp out with my backpacking gear and just sleep and fish! Surely I could get into the fish if I was right on the lake just hitting camp long enough to eat and sleep! Well, maybe if it wasn't pouring the rain every little bit in the middle of a Flood Watch...

    To be continued...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    russell springs
    Posts
    644
    Post Thanks / Like
    man that's a good looking screen shot on the graph, that's what you're looking for.
    keep chiseling away , you'll break through

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Louisville, Ky
    Posts
    909
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by stripernut1 View Post
    man that's a good looking screen shot on the graph, that's what you're looking for.
    keep chiseling away , you'll break through
    Sure is. Those look like some decent fish there and a wad of bait as well. Those fish were there to feed.

    I have a question. What did you have your lines set to, how fast were you moving and what did you do when you saw this screen? This could be a great learning moment for you and maybe others! What adjustments do you make if you see that screen but don't get bit?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Liberty
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Duayne View Post
    Sure is. Those look like some decent fish there and a wad of bait as well. Those fish were there to feed.

    I have a question. What did you have your lines set to, how fast were you moving and what did you do when you saw this screen? This could be a great learning moment for you and maybe others! What adjustments do you make if you see that screen but don't get bit?
    If I remember correctly, my shallowest outside planer was at 15'. I later told my wife that I more than likely pulled just under the fish. Are striper like crappie, only feeding at or above them but never lower? Also, I was heading in the opposite direction that the fish were pushing bait. Would that make a difference? I was trolling a little slow at 0.6 according to the screenshot.

    Let's see, what did I do when I saw this screen? I freaked out is what I did! There was action on the surface everywhere, the graph was showing wave after wave of fish like that, and I was trying to keep those two boards running straight into them. I knew it was significant enough to grab a screenshot, but honestly I was so overwhelmed by the moment it never occurred to me to get my boards up shallower. And it only lasted about 30 minutes, then it was dark and the bait was scattered everywhere.

    Here is the same spot a week later. The bait is still there, and so are the fish, but they just didn't feed from what I can tell. The graph looks like this for a bout a half mile stretch. This is also the ONLY spot on the lake I have seen to have this much bait in one little area. Is this a bit odd, or perfectly normal?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190607_184015.jpg 
Views:	86 
Size:	61.6 KB 
ID:	18808

    Looking back, I know I should have got my depths up in the 10' to 15' range since that's where they were feeding. But I don't know if running into them head on, intercepting more schools was wise. Maybe I should have flipped and just paralleled one school.
    Likes peter liked this post

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Louisville, Ky
    Posts
    909
    Post Thanks / Like
    Yep, you were mostly under them and they will not feed down. Those are actively feeding, so knowing your are under them, you can speed up and raise the lines. Stripers LOVE to hit rising lines. You can also turn away from those fish mostly on the one side. I know that sounds nuts but that will cause those lines to rise as well. Speed up, turn away and I bet you get a few hits.
    Likes OutInKy, Wormin, headbanger, peter liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. Another Obama Hero Falls.
    By GeoFisher in forum "Off Topic" Posts
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-19-2013, 11:56 AM
  2. Lamar Alexander is My New Hero
    By jcb in forum "Off Topic" Posts
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-12-2013, 10:49 AM
  3. GoPro Hero Cameras
    By 12VoltMan in forum Kentucky Discussion Board
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-29-2012, 02:19 PM
  4. Guitar Hero
    By DJD in forum "Off Topic" Posts
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-28-2009, 12:28 AM
  5. Defination of a Hero
    By mhall in forum "Off Topic" Posts
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-11-2008, 09:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •