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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm thinking to try Rudds Creek water and wonder about the launch facility at Rudd Creek Recreation Area. Is it open all year around and is launch possible with low water? Is this the best launch to get to the water between Rudds WMA and Rochichi WMA? Is it a relatively propeller event free area to boat in?

I see quite a few launch sites closer to the dam "Piney Point" that could give me access to Eastland Creek. Is there a recommendation for a good launch ramp and how to get there?

Regards, Joy T Brew
 

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JTB,

Rudds is a nice ramp that is open 24 / 7 and is close to Rochichi. There are a few underwater hazards in that area, but they are marked with shoal buoys (just don't go between the shoal buoys and the nearest shore). The bottom of Rudds concrete ramp is at 285, so you'll have plenty of water, especially since the lake has already come up 1.5 ft (as of 9:30am) with this recent rain. I have attached a link to monitor current lake levels and a link to look at top and bottom ramp elevations.
 

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I launch on the other side of the lake, JTB, so I don't have any experience with launching over there but those areas do produce even at times when I'd rather be inside by the fire. Planer boards against the bank with large baits and plugging Redfins and Rogues is the standard MO when cold weather sets in. Island Creek holds fish pretty well also and you can always find a good windbreak in its many coves-it's almost a mini lake within a lake. Stay warm and tight lines.
Jaybee
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I launch on the other side of the lake, JTB, so I don't have any experience with launching over there but those areas do produce even at times when I'd rather be inside by the fire. Planer boards against the bank with large baits and plugging Redfins and Rogues is the standard MO when cold weather sets in. Island Creek holds fish pretty well also and you can always find a good windbreak in its many coves-it's almost a mini lake within a lake. Stay warm and tight lines.
Jaybee
Hi JBee,

While Ivy Hill Park seems a bit distant from my location and over some pretty narrow roads, possibly it's another location that I need to explore. Do you have experience with this launch site?

I've stayed pretty much with Occ 1 and 2 because I got the season pass a while back. Without a launch fee, the $5 pays for the bait! :) Then, your recommendation about Redfins and Rogues might mean that live bait doesn't produce when the cold weather sets in? Or is it that bait is not available?

Guess it's time to wake my daughter as the weather outside sure looks inviting while I'm sitting in the warmth of indoors. BTW, do you ever use one of those propane type cat heaters in the cold early morning? Thought I saw one in photos of fishing Chesapeake.

Thanks for the info, time for more exploration . . .

Regards, Joy T Brew
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JTB,

Rudds is a nice ramp that is open 24 / 7 and is close to Rochichi. There are a few underwater hazards in that area, but they are marked with shoal buoys (just don't go between the shoal buoys and the nearest shore). The bottom of Rudds concrete ramp is at 285, so you'll have plenty of water, especially since the lake has already come up 1.5 ft (as of 9:30am) with this recent rain. I have attached a link to monitor current lake levels and a link to look at top and bottom ramp elevations.
Hi LittleBoyBlue,

Thanks for the links to the ramp elevations. I don't launch at Staunton River ST, even though it's only 8 miles from my door. I was surprised that the bottom is only about 1 foot different than Occ 1. However, the absence of a top elevation at SRSP might suggest a reason for so little water being there much of the time. The link that shows the current lake elevation is surprising.

Not a good navigator as I thought I was far from the bank entering Occ 1 and ran out of water for my prop. A little like Occ 2 where the rock pile is obvious in low water, but hardly visible in high water. Neither rock pile at Occ 1 or 2 is marked with a bouy, just "no wake". At Occ 2, the rocks on the right and the bottom comes up quickly on the left. Sure hope the "No Wake" bouy doens't move around as I use it as a sort of centering marker. I've got to pay a lot more attention to my sonar, that's for sure. Possibly I'm biting off more than I can handle.

Off subject a bit, but what happens to the stripers when there's a lot of run-off after a huge rain like we just had? Ha, ha, where do the bait fish go in the close proximity of Occ 1? Do they move with the clear water, or does it make a difference? With so many creeks coming into the lake, the water quality might change quickly.

I keep thinking that there's so much to learn and the time is short. Guess it's the problem with retirement.

Thanks for your reply,

Regards, Joy T Brew
 

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JTB,

Yea, keeping one eye on the depth is always a good idea, especially when close to points. A general rule of thumb is that if you see a point of land in the woods on land, it probably extends under water as well. The under water topo map chips that you can put into your GPS (such as Navionics Hot Maps) are very helpful in detecting underwater hazards.
Depending on how muddy, the fish typically move out of the muddy water, however they can tolerate the mud if the bait is still there. I remember catching them one time b/w the bridges with the water littered with branches, trash can lids, soccer balls, etc (all of which seemed to tangle in my planer boards)….remember, God has designed these fish to swim into the rivers (which are often muddy) every spring to spawn…so they can tolerate the mud. If it’s too muddy (like the color of coffee with lots of cream), I just don’t think they can even see the bait on the hook….so since the lake has now (as of 9 am Sunday) risen 3.5 feet and is still rising from the Friday rain event, I would recommend going down lake and into the creeks.

Good Luck,
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info Scott,

While I planned to get out on the water for the past couple of days while the wind and rain seemed to be waiting for another big event, my daughter decided to take on the flu. She still doesn't sound like she's recovering. So, I parked the boat under the carport for a few days. I'm scheduled to arrive at Sunset Beach Resort on Monday, the last forecast of great weather on Kerr. Think it's forecast to rain at Kerr and Keptopeke for the entire week. Guess the wind will determine if there's oppotunity to get on the water.

Maybe my daughter's illness is a blessing in disguise for me as it's forced me to take it easy after the colonoscopy. Most all the polyps were in the upper colon. If it hadn't been for a very small one evident in an earlier sigmoidoscopy I'd be under the illusion that all was well. Still got two weeks for the biopsy, and the uncertainty about longevity is worrisome.

Ha, ha, when I made up my bucket list a year ago, I had lots of stupid things in it that are all gone. Fishing for stripers wasn't given a thought. After my Mrs passed, I was thinking wine, women, travel . . . . Diabetes took the women and travel out of the bucket and left Cowboy Action Shooting, wine, and recently fishing Kerr for striped bass.

If I leave for Chesapeake early on Monday, I could check the launch ramps at Rudds, Eastland, and North Bend. Got to take a look at Ivy Hill quite soon, but it's a different direction. Unfortunately, I'll have to miss the Gill Net Survey this time. Then, making two of three isn't bad. This one will be in the rain and likely very different and interesting. The crappie were a surpirse and my daughter found another good eating fish. She had a feast with two stripers, two blue catfish, and a half dozen large crappie. Well worth the few hours work. Then, with the uncertainty related to the Chesapeake, we could be back early.

My Wide Eye Hummingbird seems to be OK for some aspects of marking depth and fish, but it doesn't have the other options that I'd think are necessary. Seeing fish under the boat is important, but the side sonar to look along the shore might be just as important in finding the fish. I'm waiting for the price of the Lawrence units to drop, maybe to a cost that I'd feel more comfortable with. A 10 percent reduction in Feb doesn't seem appropriate in this economy. Always some expenditure I hadn't planned. Like the Casio digital camera I dropped at the Occ 2 parking lot. I checked at the park office a few times, but no luck. Also lost two of the Off Shore planers the same evening. I think they blew out of the boat when at speed coming back to the dock. Am I thinking about the need for two sonar on the boat? :)

The GMCO's Chartbook of Kerr Reservoir gives good detail if my tired eyes can read the numbers. Well, I have to remember to have it in the boat and it's frequently home or in the truck just when I think I need it.

My purchase of the Neptune was just to see if I'd like boat fishing. The eight person capacity has evaporated due to accessories to the point that with only two of us, the boat is now like a barge. Guess boating is like other hobbies - always need something bigger and more suitable . . .

Might be a good day to travel to Bobcat's and look at smaller bait tanks and other tackle. :) Got to keep trying to fill that hole in the water with money!

Hope you are having a great day and thanks for helping me understand Kerr.

Regards, Joy T Brew
 

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Butcher's/ Rudd's can be very productive this time of year and with the ramp right there it is convenient.

Eastland is also very good, but the last I saw the Eastland ramp was closed. You can launch at North Bend and come down into Eastland.

If we get a big slug of mud (can't say that I have seen it since I stayed in Richmond this weekend) the Clarksville area will shut down. The James is mighty muddy right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Butcher's/ Rudd's can be very productive this time of year and with the ramp right there it is convenient.

Eastland is also very good, but the last I saw the Eastland ramp was closed. You can launch at North Bend and come down into Eastland.

If we get a big slug of mud (can't say that I have seen it since I stayed in Richmond this weekend) the Clarksville area will shut down. The James is mighty muddy right now.
Thanks Roe,

I'm still trying to get out of here and travel to Cape Charles. A stop at Rudd's an order of the day. Seems like rain is forecast for the rest of the week and the muddy will take over most everything for a while.

I tried seveal times to get one of those square water adapters on my outboard to flush debrise out (like sand and silt), but it's never worked for some reason. Never get enough pressure to allow the tell-tale to show water. Have you ever had a problem like this after use in muddy water?

Regards, Joy T Brew
 

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Joy, you should try and make it to the bay before the season is over. We just got back yesterday and had a pretty good trip. Pictures are posted under Lanny's last bay report.
Benji White
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Joy, you should try and make it to the bay before the season is over. We just got back yesterday and had a pretty good trip. Pictures are posted under Lanny's last bay report.
Benji White
Hi Benji White,

Well, my explorations took me to Cape Charles to make a trip on the bay in hope of landing a huge Striped Bass. I got to the Sunset Beach Resort (monday 12/16) before Mike Smedley. So I went exploring and found Ramrod and LannyP among others at a different motel. Thought Ramrod or LannyP might know where Mike was staying. Just in case my charter didn't work out, both Ramrod and LannyP told me that they would get us on the water. Great to know the BISC members.

Later that evening, I made contact with Mike and set the day and time on the water. Continued my explorations on Tuesday to learn more about the area and found what appears to be the only tackle/bait shop in the area. To my surpirse, Mike arrived and we had our first meeting.

Mike took a charter out on Tuesday night and they landed two at 50 pounds for their first trip.

On my day, the weather wasn't the greatest, but Mike was willing to get out. Confident that he could repeat the success of the previous evening. We arrived near high tide on the fishing ground and did some drifts in hopes that the tide would start running and give the boat more speed. The wind, chop, and swells were difficult for both daughter Deb and myself to handle. Likely, it would take many trips to build the necessary muscle. To make situation less comfortable, Deb gifted the flu she contracted to me. :( We made several drifts in various areas, but no luck finding substantial marks that were in a feeding mood. From my observations, Mike has the boat/accessories and knowledge/experience to get the fish in the boat. It was neat to see the lights illuminate the complete boat and close by water while the lines were set. Gosh, radar, sonar, mapping, on huge monitors sure tells what's going on. Radar at night seems like a necessity with the pilings and other obsticles.

Unfortunately, after dark and even though the wind nearly stopped and the chop/swells lessened, it brought heavy rain. Both Deb and I were satisfied that we'd given the fishing our best shot. Even without our own catch, we learned a lot. Deb won't be here after the first of the year, but I intend to make another trip for the big ones at Cape Charles.

I was very surpirsed that a flurry of boat launching was going on when we returned to the ramp. Guess night fishing is as important as other times.

If we hand't been ill, it's possble that we might have signed on as HOs with another charter. Just have to learn more about the process. Then, I really took a liking to Mike Smedley and if he's available down the road, I don't think I could make a better choice.

Also, I think I learned that my 20 foot boat isn't suitable for the bay. Nor do I have the necessary accessories to get by.

Now, I'm waiting for the flu bug to leave the house and then look for better weather to try the Rudd ramp and Butcher Creek. All part of new and very enjoyable explorations.

Thanks to all that encouraged me to undertake the travel to Cape Charles.

Regards, Joy T Brew
 

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Joy,

Sorry about the slow action and nasty weather, I appreciate your patience, and I still had a very good time with you and your Daughter. I look forward to fishing with you on Kerr this winter. I also took a liking to Joy, and I learned a bit about Cowboy action shooting.

Mike Smedley
Old School
 
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