Fishing is always better with friends. This Veterans day some buddies and I got out and chased striped bass on Kerr Lake. This was going to be a first for all of us. We had fished for stripers before on the Roanoke but never targeted them in a lake. At the boat ramp everyone was eager to get on the water.The weather was warmer than anyone expected and the trees were showing off their fall colors in their last attempt before winter. No one really knew where to go so we started to search for birds. There were some seagulls hovering here and there but we were looking for frantic action. Birds diving, water disturbed with fins and flying minnows.The fish indicator marked fish at various depths. We all worked water and hoped for the best. In the main channel there was always a nice brisk wind. Once you tucked in a cove the atmosphere was calm. The water had a murky brown color to it. After having no luck my friend John and I moved to a different part of the lake. The water cleared considerably but there was no birds or sign of life. There also wasn't any other boats, on top of that the fish indicator was silent.I dropped my line in anyways. You can't catch'm if your line isn't in the water. Our efforts were fruitless and after awhile lunch started to really sound good.Chicken and biscuits hit the spot! We headed back to where we started to see if the others have had any luck. When we found the cove there they were fishing we saw small shad jumping every where about 30ft off shore. There didn't seem to be any fish pushing them to the surface. It was hard to tell why they were so active and jumping out of the water. We figured big fish have to come and eat these sometime so we hung out and cast different flies among the shad. In the meantime we watched bald eagles and other birds.
Then just as we least expected it and were just kind of sitting around chatting and switching flies I heard a splash. I pointed to where I saw it and when John looked over three more simultaneous huge splashes disrupted the water. I went to tie a fly on faster than I ever have in my life. John started the engine and tried to get us closer to the splashes. It seemed in just 10 seconds there were about 20 splashes and gaining intensity. The boat seemed to take forever to get over to them. As we got closer we saw our friends quickly approaching from the other side. They could see the splashes from across the lake. John hucked his fly out and my line was in the water shortly after. The fish seemed to be every where. On my second cast I had a fish on and it ran to the right of the boat right under John's line. He was quick to get his line out of the water and nice enough to net my fish. Then there was the adrenaline rush of scrambling to get the camera and have him take the picture, all the while fish are busting all around us and we are basically wasting time with this taking picture nonsense. While John's taking the picture we over hear our friends whooping and hollering at fish they are either hooking or missing.
The fish snaps my line after the picture and I tell John "just to go back to fishing." I frantically work to tie on another fly and he casts like a mad man. The splashes start to subside and no one wants to say it out loud but we all know this might not last much longer. Maybe a minute or two more. We start doing things out of excitement rather than logic. If we get right on top of the few splashing fish that will make us catch them right? That wasn't the case, as we got closer the splashes became less and less. Eventually we were staring at calm water and minnows jumping here and there again.
What an amazing experience though and it was the kind of thing that makes you come back just to experience it again. It was nice knowing the fish like the white and chartreuse clouser I tied. Then came the best part of the trip. Getting together and sharing stories of the day.Asking each other questions like what kind of flies were working or how many fish did you get? Hoping they caught some but not more than you. It was a fun day of fishing not catching and I'm ready to come back and do it all over again.