This April I was privledged enough to add Jones Brothers to my list of sponsors – they custom built me one of their brand new, redesigned 20′ Bateaus. The demensions are similar to the old 198 but with some serious upgrades – in addition to having gunnels that are 8″ higher than the old model, the boat is 100% composite construction (with a fiberglass stringer system) with an “in-floor” gas tank. I had them put in a short consol for fly fishing and duck hunting (as well as the olive drab color) and a hydraulic jack-plate – in my first tests I can run this baby wide-open in 4-6″ of water! Jack-plates rule!

After having picked up this sweet rig, I got to break her in on the Roanoke River (thankfully not on a rock). This year the Roanoke was strange – low water and an early spawn led to some strange days. One morning the bite was dead, the same day it was on fire in the evening. The next day we’d catch 100 fish, the day after 20. Who knows? Even so – we had a great time and brought in a lot of great fish. I have literally hundreds of photos of people with stripers – so i’m just going to share a few of my favorites.

Eric’s first fish of the day…

Bob’s fish with messed up stripes..

Crazy Brant! This evening we could not buy a bite on a spinning rod…but they would hit a fly on nearly EVERY SINGLE CAST.

The best day – Dale and 7yr old Jack (a super duper angler)

[b]Roanoke Flounder!! I saw a lot caught this year…[/b]

One morning I fished with my buddy, Gordon Churchill, and I snagged something with my fly-line…it ended up being an ancient Quantum baitcaster and lewes crankin’ stick – so old the paint was blistered, the cork rotted away and the whole thing covered with slime and some weird barnacle. So….some WD40 and a little love and I got the ol’ Quantum humming again and I used it most of the week – this is the first fish I landed on it..