Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30 2014 - Quantico Creek (Tidal Potomac)

Went on a grand adventure and put in at Quantico Creek.

Quantico Creek is a tributary to the Potomac and the portion I fished is an embayment formed by the tidal portion.  On one side, the creek is bordered by Quantico Marine Corps Base, which you pass through to reach the access.  On the other side of the creek mouth is the Possum Point power generation station.  I don't know what impact the power station might have on the water temperature, but the droning of what I assume are the turbines is not the most pleasant ambient noise.

I got there at about 4, and talked with some of the local boaters to get whatever local scuttlebutt there was.  M________, who apparently fishes here with some regularity, had a lot of positive things to say about the fishing, and assured me I'd catch something.

According to NOAA, when I put in at 4:45, it was low tide.  Here I am, having passed under the bridge, looking west, upstream.

Initially I paddled along the north bank, but moved over to the south bank looking for some shade.

Moved along, initially casting a weedless frog over the mats of hydrilla, hoping to tie into a snakehead.  Got tired of that and started fan casting over top of the hydrilla, one rod with a small spinner and the other with a buzzbait.

Caught this bluegill.

Then tied into this big 20.5" largemouth:

And then just a couple of casts later, this one that was 18".
Here's the buzzbait I was using, one of my own design.  The treble hooks snag the hydrilla like crazy, and it sinks fairly quickly.  I might try building one up with a wooden body so that it floats, and using a single hook.

Not all of them can be lunkers.  Caught this one on a larger spinner.

This place was lousy with ospreys, here is just one of many:

Being near the Marine Corps Base, there are also ospreys of an entirely different sort around: V-22 Osprey.

Saw these flowers on the way back, have had a heck of a time figuring out what they are, but I'm fairly certain they are white turtlehead flowers (Chelone glabra)

Took out at about 8:45.  The Acute Angler, at the end of a successful day, in the classic bassmaster pose:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26 2014 - Abel Lake

 Went Over to Abel Lake in Stafford County.  Put in about 5:45 PM.

 It was a nice day, fairly cool, and not a cloud to be seen.  The character of this lake is similar to the Rivanna Reservoir in the sense that it is a riverine impoundment, meaning long and thin.

Headinng south from the ramp, having just passed under Kellogg Mill Rd.

There are a few coves coming off of the lake.  Nothing doing though.

End of the day, caught this 21" channel cat.

Big channel cat medicine:
Took out at 9, cleaned my fish, and headed home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014 - Mountain Run Lake in iambic pentameter

Lo! Work over for the day,
So a’fishing I have gone,
I put the canoe in at six,
Under a blazing sun.

‘Round towards the dam,
Along the windward bank, towards the lee,
88 Fahrenheit,
Beneath that tranquil sea.

What terrible luck,
'Cause on the horizon what do I see?
But a darkening cloud,
Scudding along toward me.

A few drops at first,
Then a heavy shower,
Do I fish on through,
Or self-preserve and cower?

No hatches to batten,
No respite at hand,
Do I fish on through,
Or make for dry land?

Crash! Bang! Boom! MotherF-ing Doom!
The sky torn asunder,
Can I make it to safety,
Or am I going under?

Jockeying for position
All the boaters scurry,
Pulling their trailers around,
Taking out in a hurry.

Sitting in my car,
For a quarter of an hour,
The arrival of the sun,
Signals an end to the shower.

My hopes dashed,
Nothing copacetic,
Nothing left to do,
But try and be poetic.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20 2014 - Mountain Run Lake

Went out to Mountain Run Lake.  Had planned to go to Aquia Creek, but didn't get motivated enough to do anything until that was too late.

The green herons are here too.

Caught a bluegill and a bass on a jig:

Some confused duck appeared to regard me as a surrogate mother, following me around for about 5 minutes:

I got tired of the duck being around, so I put on some speed and paddled away.  I was afraid to look back, feeling a little bit like Lot's wife, but I pointed the camera behind me to see the fiend giving chase.  

Catching up:

The motherducker still following me, I really put on some speed and finally lost him/her.  The duck (the brown blob to the left of the boat) found another surrogate mother.  Better him than me.

I assume some misfortune befell the duck's parents, but I don't really know.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19 2014 - Lake Orange

 Went down to Lake Orange.  It was overcast and cool.  Put in at about 6:45 PM

I fished up the lake, didn't catch anything, saw some green herons.  Before I started chronicling my trips, it never occurred to me  to wonder what sort of birds I was seeing.  It does add some color to the remembrance to find out what sort of birds I'm seeing.

Heading  back down teh lake, there were some baitfish breaking the surface, I cast a curly tail jig and reeled it through them, and caught this 10" bass, which was the only fish of the evening.

It rained off and on while I was there.  It never rained hard enough for me to get wet.

I took out around 9:30.  There was a guy at the lot who had 4 rods set up.  We talked for a little, apparently he is a tournament-winning carp angler.  He told me about some of his best carp bait, one of which was couscous with almond flavoring, and rice with ketchup.  This fellow was so committed, he even had a carp-related vanity plate on his car. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014 - Government Island Park

This is only tangentially related to fishing.  I visited Government Island Park in Stafford County.  Government Island is so named because it was the source of sandstone used for construction of the White House and other government buildings in the nation's capital.  It also happens to be an island, although according to one of the information placards, it's actually a peninsula with marsh/wetlands between the "island" proper, and the mainland.  Given seemingly inevitable global warming and resulting sea level change that we might one day expect, they might have to revise this at some point.

Launch of watercraft is forbidden at this park, according to a signpost, so even though the trail abuts Austin Run, a tributary to Aquia creek, no go on putting my canoe in here.

Of course, some tattooed probable-felons were fishing in the creek with bobbers and worms, another prohibited activity.  Maybe I shouldn't concern myself so much with the legalities of launching a boat and just do it.  Although now I can't feign ignorance if I did launch watercraft here because of this post.  So much for my promising future as a hardened criminal mastermind.  

Alright, enough with the bullshit/insight.

After you walk across the boardwalk, there is a trail that approximately circumnavigates the island.  One of the first notable things you see is an area where slabs of stone were cut.  There is a sign that describes the stone cutting process.

 I'm assuming that this is a 20" trench:

 Here is a boundary marker for some property, as evidenced by the "RS" chiseled into the stone.  There was a information placard for this as well, but the picture didn't turn out.
 A picture of Aquia Creek:

As I made my way around the loop, I saw a turtle in the distance that looked strange.  What's this crazy turtle doing?  What's wrong with him?

Evidently, what's wrong with him is that he's a female laying a clutch of eggs.

As discreetly as possible, I filmed the turtle.  The film is pretty anti-climactic.  In retrospect, I should have watched until the end, but at the time I felt like I was imposing as it was and wanted to leave the turtle alone.

Too bad I only had my phone, which, as I've remarked before, makes a shitty camera.

Anyway, no putting a boat in here.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 13, 2014 - Lake Orange

 Went down to Lake Orange, put in at 6:45 PM.  I had intended to go over to Aquia Creek today, but didn't feel up to paddling 6-7 miles, especially given the 30% chance of rain/storms.

Anyway, put in and fished towards the dam this time. 

 About 30 minutes later, it started to rain lightly, and there was some thunder off in the distance.  It only rained for about 5 minutes, and cleared up.
Caught an 8 inch bass that I released.  Then I caught an 11 inch bass on a small spinner (silver blade/red body 1/16 oz)  I had foul hooked him in the gills so I decided to keep fish.
 Caught a chain pickerel, maybe 15 inches, up the creek to the left of the dam.  Had him up next to the boat, trying to figure out the best way to land him without cutting up my hands, and then he flopped off the hook and was gone.  Caught him in about 3 feet of water near weed beds.  Caught him on a small spinner with red blade and blue body, with very slow retrieve.

Moved along the bank, casting my spinner up under the trees.  Snagged a lot of weeds, but did catch a decent 14 incher.  Slot limit here is 16-22", so he was fair game.

Took out at about 9:30.  The same grizzled local that I ran into last time was there tonight, and he'd caught a 22" walleye, which was an impressive fish.  He'd caught it on some sort of jib, I gather a swimbait or something similar.

I started the GPS log late, and forgot to turn it off until I was on the road.  In any case, here's my journey.  The reason I swung out so far going around the point near the dam was that there was a guy sitting at the point fishing with bobbers, and I assume live bait.  I'd guess that the point would be pretty good fishing, and next time I'm there, I'll have to give it a try.  I didn't fish much between the dam and the ramp on the way back, and that's water that I should probably pay more attention to as well.