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King George, Virginia
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June 4, 2014     The Westmoreland Journal
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June 4, 2014
 

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6 Wednesday, June 4, 2014 THE JOURNAL www.journalpress.com Summer means lily pad fishing MARK FIKE Summer is not officially here according to the calendar, but by the time you read this, you will know it is here with temperatures near 90! Once we had that warm spell a month ago, the lily pads started coming on str6ng and fast. Lily pads are synonymous with summer fishing, in my opinion. You can always .find a bass hanging below a few lily pad leaves. They enjoy the shade and the nearby food. Plenty Of minnows and, smaller fish will hang around lily pads, too, looking for cover and food. Small insects land on the pad leaves, and if they fall off, bream and smaller fish suck them off of the surface of the water. Bass love to eat other fish, particularly small :crappie and bream. On a quiet summer afternoon, you can literally hear the fish sucking the water among the pads in a pond when insects dingle too close to the water or fall in. Believe it or not, you can catch loads of crappie by simply jigging among the lily pads, too. TACTICS THAT WORK Bass fishing among the lily pads can be done one of two ways: A top- water weedless rig can be cast into the jungle of lily pads and retrieved with erratic cranks on the reel, or twitches on the rod. This is a deadly and fun way to take bass. It does take a stout rod, heavy line and a good weedless lure to do the job. Scum Frog, Phat Rat or any similar lure will work well. When your lure appears to "hang" up (and it will), give it a gentle tug first (hoping a bass grabs it to unhang it, too) and then start pulling harder. Nearly every time, the lure will come free. Often the line is what gets hung on a pad leaf, not the lure itself. Be sure to clean the lure each time you pull it in, and check the position of the hooks as related to the lure body. When you get a hit on these snagless lures, you almost always have to wait a few seconds to set the hook. I tend to miss fish by not waiting long enough to set the hook. The fish grab the "frog" and head off gulping or mouthing the bait down some. Once they get it securely in their mouth, you can set that hook. Another tried and true tactic is to flip and pitch, or pitch and flip soft plastics among the pad leaves. The idea is to drop the plastic bait into openings among the leaves of the lily pads. Carefully eye the outside edges of leaves and not the inside. In other words, don't drop a plastic rig down the center of the lily pad plant; you are more likely to hang up that way. Dropping your lure just on the outside edge of the lily pad leaf will put it in the face of a lounging bass anyway. I prefer to fish with no weight in this manner, but many anglers will use a slip sinker or split shot. The slip sinker is better because of its shape; the cone shape allows it to better shed vegetation. Get your boat as close to the lily pad field as possible, and do it as quietly as possible. Using a long rod with stout line (17-pound is a good start, and braid is not a bad idea), pitch or flip your plastic worm or creature to the holes. Watch your line as it goes down. Usually, if there is a fish playing customer to you, the line will move to the side or away from you. Give it a second or two, and then set the hook. Having a high strength line will allow you to work the bass out of the vegetation. Take your time and pick your way through the pad leaves, and don't be afraid to cast ahead of the boat to pick off fish that are not yet scared of the trolling motor. I love to use creature baits in the Havoc and Powerbait series. However, other scented baits work well, too. You have to find what works for you and what you feel confident in using. The Mann's Hard Nose baits work very well in heavy cover, because they don't rip offthe hook as easily as some baits might. Panfishing in the pads is pretty easy. I wish I had a dollar for every fish my wife or I have caught in the pads, simply .dangling bait or jigs over the side of the boat. A full third of those fish were caught unintentionally: Sometimes we have multiple rods rigged, and when I am busy (unhooking a fish, getting some water to drink, tying a new line or whatever), we drop the bait or jig overboard right next to the boat and pay no mind to it until the rod nearly gets flipped out of the boat by a fish. The lesson is twofold- The fish will hit right at the boat very near the surface, and you should never leave your rods unattended! Fish for panfish nearlythe same way as I described above, with pitching and flipping. Drop nightcrawlers, crickets, hoppers or bright colored jigs among the pad leaves to get hits. The difference is that I fish closer to the boat, and I use an ultralight or light action rod and reel. Fishing in the pads often has high yields. You won't necessarily get a hit on every Other cast or pitch, but you can certainly pick off fish steadily as you work your way around a cove, pond or lake. Take your time, experi- ment with color variations, and hang on to those rods! This bass was caught from the shore of a pond using a Mann's Phat Rat. When fishing the pad leaves, let the fish work the bait down before set- ting the hook. Left: Crappie can be caught easily in the pads on bright colored jigs. Above left: Quality bass can be caught among the pads on plastic worms. Above right: Bream like to suck the insects off of pad leaves. Therefore, use crickets or hoppers in such areas, and enjoy some fine bream fishing. FROM THE EXTENSION AGENT *#&*@$ Deerflies ! ! ! No one reading this article, or any of their relatives before or after, that lives 'in America negr any sort of vegetation, 'has ever been immune to and had always been a victim of pesky, biting deerflies. We've all experienced them, and this year will be no better. Already, I've received several calls on this bloodthirsty i snt. Chrysops spp, or deer fly, are slightly larger than house flies, and mostly yellow or black with darker stripes on the abdomen and dark markings or patterns on the wings. They have brilliant green or golden eyes with zigzag stripes. Deer flies are vicious, painful biters. They are very predatory, and wait on vegetation to attack and feed on the blood of cattle, horses, mules, hogs, dogs, deer, other warm blooded animals, and humans. Biting deer flies frequently attack humans in yards, near streams, and at the edges of moist, wooded areas. Deer flies are almost nearly impossible to control. The eggs are deposited in masses usually on vegetation or near water or wetlands. After eggs hatch in 5 to 12 days, small larvae drop down and burrow into moist, wet soil found in marshes, stream banks, and bottoms of lakes and ponds. They may drop into rapidly flowing streams or burrow into dry soil. Larvae feed on organic debris, other insects, tiny crustaceans, snails, earthworms, and aquatic or semiaquatic organisms. Other than utilizing aerial insectivores such as purple martins and barn swallows, no satisfactory methods have been developed for control of deer flies. Even purple martins and barn swallows offer limited" help as the deer fly remains seated until it spots a moving victim. It is impractical in most regions to eliminate the breeding areas. Draining marshes and wet meadows where flies develop may appear to be of the greatest value, but should be done in such a way as to preserve the desirable wildlife of such areas, if possible. Fortunately, the season for deer flies is rather short, usually Outdoor Report Fishing continues to be very god all over. HUNTING Squirrel season will come back in June 7 and continue through June 21. FISHING Rappahannock River Kerfs ;rackle in Spotsylvania reported rockfish action from Rt. 1 down to the Fredericksburg City Dock on plugs. We hear that bass angling is good on spinnerbaits around creek mouths. Try plastics and iigs near woody or leafy structure in the river for chunky two-15ound bass. Bream and :rappie can be held in these same locations. Potomac River Aqua Land in Southern Maryland reports that anglers are catching some rockfish on various baits, and some are decent-sized. Catfish are hitting well on night crawlers and other baits, too. Aqua Land also had reports of some croaker downriver. Kerfs Field and Stream in Oak Grove reported that they are hearing of lots of people catching croaker downriver, as well. Try squid, shrimp or Fishbites. Ponds Bass, crappie and bream are hitting among the lily pads in ponds. Try plastic baits or topwater weedless baits for them. Some crappie ate hitting on the beds, too. Bream are after crickets and hoppers. Hunting Run Reservoir has given up some very nice bass recent- ly. A great stringer of crappie is deft- nitely a possibility om there, as well. Saltwater Croaker are hitting very consistently near Tappahan- nock, we are told. Captain Ryan Rogers of the Mid- night Sun (804-580-0245) reports goad rockfish action. Many smaller fish between 20-30 inches are also being caught. Puppy drum, flounder, a few blue- fish and some croaker are now being four to five weeks in June or July. The greatest deer fly activity occurs on warm, sunny days when there is little or no wind. Deer flies seem to be attracted to the highest point of moving objects and dark shapes; this is why they attack humans especially around the face and neck areas. However, there are some things that can be done. Recent research has found that deer flies are highly attracted to the bright blue color, the same blue color found on disposable plastic cups and plates. Very recently, it was found that a six inch diameter blue plastic disposable plate covered in Tanglefoot, a very sticky clear insect trap paste that is purchase d in a tube, would trap the deer flies to "the plate when velcroed to the back of the cap of outdoorsmen, without the victim getting one bite. Knowing they are predatory and wait for mOving victims, researchers have concluded that large, moving objects that are 3 - 6 feet off the ground level will attract deer flies. To make a workable deer fly trap, "SXtlEII YII!Utl LSUPEt JuNt I3TH large black balloons tied to the lower branches of trees that move around in the wind with blue, sticky plates taped on top did in fact attract and trap hundreds of deer flies. I hope this information helps those who live in areas that deer flies find attractive. If you have any questions or concerns, please call or email me at the county office. --Mike Broaddus, Ag and Natural Resources Agent I Bring up to 3 boxes to II Motts Run Reservoir reported caught with regularity in the lower --" ' * nice catfish action. Crappie are also Bay. Look out for the big red drum, when S n for " hitting offshore. Some nice bass are too! -FR|DAV being caught all over the reservoir. -- Mark Fike membershiD. No--w open SaGr-d@s00 ; 8-006 shred for FREE m ." ". tt Spin-to-Win up to $25* " e II Refreshments provided. . *$25 will be deposited into your savings account within 30 days of account opening. The Welcome., !" in Healthcare Dr. Michael 'Costa + Help the Clinic raise funds to purchase a state-of-the-art X-Ray Machine Goal: $120,000, Raised to date: $82,000 Donations tax-deductible 11131 Journal Pkwy. King George, VA 22485 Lab Services On-Site ATHEROTECH" ! DIAGNOSTICS tAB Taking all lab scripts, & most insurance drawing for LabCorp, Quest, & MWH No Co-pay & cash panels $39.95 (540) 625-2527 A,,erov,es,,no: Allergy Testing & Immunotherapy Without the commute to "Town". a 24/7 TLC not for profit 501 ( 3 organization