Cedarscrimshaw.com is now live!

After 5 years of building the brand, cedarscrimshaw.com is now live and taking orders!

I bought the domain name a couple weeks ago, and my good friend Scott Kroggel helped me build the website. We launched it yesterday and the site is already getting orders…Of course the first order placed was for a lion!

This has been a dream for me since 2015 when I created the very first cedar scrimshaw for my Father on Father’s Day. Now, I am working on #145 today, they are selling in multiple stores in North Carolina, have been selling on social media pages, and finally they have an online home…. cedarscrimshaw.com!

These are perfect gifts for anyone in your life that loves lions, hummingbirds, viking ships, sea turtles, gamefish like striped bass, mahi, grouper, snook, etc. even great white and tiger sharks!

The smaller pieces start at just $30 so these original pieces of artwork drawn on my custom, chainsaw-milled cedar pieces are very affordable!

You can see samples on the Custom Woodworking page on this site, or go right to cedarscrimshaw.com and place an order there!

And commissions of whatever you would like drawn are highly suggested. Personal pieces make up over 50% of my orders so email me and we will create something very special for you or those special people in your life.

Thank you for your support!!!

Jordan Lake & Gaston Lake Report July & August

Sorry its late, but the striped bass fishing on Jordan Lake and Gaston Lake was really good during July and the first couple weeks of August.

I got out multiple times by myself, took Michelle a few times, and even took her nephew out on his first striper trip and we caught fish every time; keepers too.

Crankbaits, bucktails, swim bait rigs, it didn’t seem to matter if you could get on top of the fish and stay with them. Striped bass move around quite a bit in summer and can be notoriously difficult to fish at times during the hottest months.

And there seemed to be no markable thermocline this year, add that to the list of crazy 2020 happenings. And in addition everything seemed late.

Anyway, here are a bunch of pics of the fish we caught for our summer season, back to work for me!

Brandon’s first ever striped bass!

The spotted and largemouth bass were thick in the mix on Gaston Lake all summer long, especially on big spinners trolled fast through the upper water column. Stripers seemed to be 20′ down on both lakes for over a month, you just had to find them.

Jordan stripers were feeding well then I got too busy to fish, so I don’t know what’s going on there now…..

And don’t forget to check out cedarscrimshaw.com for game fish artwork like these….

Tight lines!

 

Kerr Lake Stripers

So the striped bass bite on Kerr Lake in North Carolina has been really good the last few weeks.

I have been up multiple times with different people and done really well. Kerr Lake is a tough lake to fish as the fish do stack up on points, but there is also a strong offshore bite on the myriad of underwater islands and flats. It’s a serious electronics fishery.

To me, Gaston and Jordan lake have the same type fisheries, but I can go out there and do really well without fancy electronics or mapping. In fact, I’ve never had those features on any unit I’ve owned until just purchasing the navionics card last week. These fisheries are more easily fished with basic sonar as the fish tend to be on the points all year long.

Michelle and I took our boat and hit Kerr a couple weeks ago the first time as Gaston Lake was seriously muddied up. We left midday on a rainy Wednesday, and started in pouring rain. Good thing we had the raingear. It took a while to find the fish, and being middle of the day the bite started slowly, but we ended up with a nice afternoon and found 5 fish I decided were big enough for the cooler. You can keep 4 per person right now any size, but it’s been a cool summer and I have been releasing some of the smaller fish to keep decent sized ones.

I returned a few days later with a buddy on his 24′ Sea Hunt and again found the striped bass. (feature photo)

Then, I went again alone this past Saturday, in a 10mph north wind in my boat, and found fish biting fairly early. I caught a limit, but only kept 3 as the other fish I caught were really small, and again I felt they would live as the water is much cooler than usual this summer. It was a seriously nautical day on that lake in my boat. Kerr Lake can sometimes seem to generate its own weather, so if you go out there in any kayaks or smaller boats, do your homework on the weather report and if you get caught in rollers like I did, be patient and take your time getting back to the ramp if you feel the need.

The fish are schooling up now and hitting Bama rigs and bucktails in 20 to 30 FOW on points and underwater islands, and I found fish away from the radio traffic every day I went in the right depths.

Don’t forget to check out cedarscrimshaw.com for gamefish creations like these!

Get out there and catch ’em up!

Gaston Lake Stripers May 2020

The striped bass have been feeding heavily on Gaston Lake this month, along with the blue catfish and spotted bass.

Gaston Lake has been on fire! The hardware bite has been very good for us for multiple trips now, and the live baiters are also telling of really good fishing.

Started on the river side chasing them when Dominion was pulling water and did ok, but that bite has seemed hit or miss this year, so I started on the main lake. The striped bass are scattered but when you find them its really good fishing. I’ve been having success in 18 to 24 foot of water running 4 colors of leadcore to either cranbkbaits or swim baits. No hits on bucktails as of yet, but the fish are hitting plugs and sassy shad type plastics hard.

Along with the stripers have been a good number of spotted and largemouth bass, and of course the famous Lake Gaton, gear-wrecking blue catfish. These three species have been readily taking the same baits in the same areas in the same depths.

Hope this helps!

Get out there and let me know how you do!

And for gifts like these below, for the sportsman and sportswomen in your lives…check out my cedar scrimshaws!

Jordan Lake Report 3 – 22 – 20

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Since lake levels around the state have come down in late winter, I’ve had the chance to fish Jordan Lake 3 times in the last week and the fishing has been pretty good.

I hit the river area about a week and a half ago in search of white bass to see if their run had started. Hadn’t been on the lake in months so I really didn’t know what to expect.

I tried trolling cranks and spinners but found nothing. Not even a perch. The white bass of Jordan Lake were seemingly not present yet. The water was a slight stain, maybe a touch darker than normal. It was cloudy with a slight west wind, and weather approaching, the barometer was moving, so I expected something to happen.

After paddling up one of the multiple creeks in the area, I decided to try casting for a bit. I threw upstream, downtream and crossstream and still had no takers. I threw a couple different cranks and spinners and finally selected a hairless brass spinner; it would be the last switch before I tried to troll out further on the lake to fish deeper water.

The line flew off the reel perfectly. I let it sink into the current downstream, and just before starting to retrieve, the line thumped hard. I set the hook and felt a large fish. I knew I was hung, but then the head shakes came. The fish darted towards me and into a tree and hung up. I detached from the tree I’d connected to and drifted slightly downstream and it came off still attached to the line. After a decent tussle, I pulled the largemouth bass from the river. It was easily 4 pounds (feature photo).

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I sat there for another two hours catching one after the other. They almost all ran for the same tree and several hung in it and escaped, but most came off just like the first fish, and eventually into the kayak. I released all of them and left that afternoon without another species.

Michelle and I returned the following Sunday and fished deeper water in the river area. A buddy told me he’d caught some in an area he, my brother and I had done well in last year. Even though all the fish were short, due to, IMO ridiculous new regulations the NCWRC placed on white bass last year. They are a panfish, and now they have to be 14″ for the creel, and they reduced the creel limit from 20 to 10.

Gamefish artwork at cedarscrimshaw.com like these!!!

Crappie can be kept at 10″ on Jordan Lake, which is tougher than anywhere in the state I can think of. I just don’t understand it. White bass are extremely aggressive, plentiful, they are in no danger of decline and are stocked as put and take fish for the table, but now someone got the bright idea to make Jordan a trophy white bass destination, ignoring why the fish is stocked. We catch hundreds literally every year and have always released the overwhelming majority; the creel should not have been changed so drastically. It just makes it harder for law-abiding anglers to catch a meal, while 5 buckets get crammed full of every fish caught by many who don’t even have a license to fish. Happens every year in the Haw, the wardens get called, but nothing happens, they never even come. The reason is political and ridiculous.

Anyhow, we did find a lot of the notorious white bass, but only 3 were legal. We trolled chartruese bomber crankbaits and sexy shad as well. The fish also responded to inline spinners with and without hair. I use barrel weights to get them deep enough. We trolled 2 mph and fished water 10 to 15 feet deep and did really well. It was windy and cold but the fish cooperated. We probably boated 30ish white bass, most in the 10 to 13 inch range, as usual. We also caught crappie (a couple keepers which luckily allowed us enough fish for one good meal) catfish, largemouth and a striped bass. We released everything except 3 white bass and 2 crappie. The biggest white bass was 15″; the other 2 just over the 14″ minimum.

We came back one more time and caught even more fish, repeated doubles and triples. I’d say 70 conservatively in a morning outing and none were 14″. But again, luckily we found several fat crappie to make a meal out of.

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Did I say how much I think the white bass regulations stink?

I saw several folks taking short fish, even one kayaker at Ebeneezer on the way out with a terribly short striper.

Folks, we can do better, and I’m not just talking to anglers.

 

 

Gaston Lake Striped Bass

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We decided we’d take ourselves to stay at the house on Gaston Lake for Memorial Day this year and hang out with family and do some striped bass fishing as well.

The weather was supposed to be dry but hot, and there were calm to light west winds forecast for the entire weekend. Luckily, we did have cloudy periods each day that helped to keep us outdoors.

However, boat traffic was extremely heavy so we really only had four or five hours a day we could fish. So we opted for the mornings.

But when we got up Friday afternoon, we noted the lake looked calm enough as we crossed Eaton’s Ferry bridge, so I hooked the boat up to the truck as soon as we got to the house and we were on the water by 6:30 that evening. Not a lot of time, but we found the notorious Gaston Lake striped bass.

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After maybe 20 or 30 minutes of searching, I handed the first wildly bouncing rod to Michelle, and she reeled down a striper double to start the trip. One was a keeper and the other just short so we put it on ice and started back through the area. Hooked up again on the second pass and I took the opportunity to crank in another nice keeper at about 24”. Unfortunately, both times the leaders on the the three-way swivels fouled, and I had to tie 4 knots to make sure we wouldn’t bust off fish. That was time consuming, and it was brutal to watch the marks on the sonar and not be able to fish. They were only hitting the chartreuse and white bucktails, and I only had enough with me to tie two rods. I changed that the next day and when I found them at a local bait shop, I cleaned them out!

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Check out my website cedarscrimshaw.com for unique gifts for the sportsmen and sportswomen in your lives…gamefish like these are very popular!

So it was pretty much dark after 3 passes and we headed in for the night with 2 keepers.

The next morning we were on the water before dawn.

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However, Dominion wasn’t scheduled to pull water that day and the bite didn’t start til after 7am. But when it did, it was hot for the next 3 days.

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We caught a ton of short striped bass, perch, largemouth bass and 3 or 4 keeper stripers every day, so I was able to leave my Dad with fish and brought some home, and we fried some up while we were there.

The fish were suspending in 40 to 60 feet of water and coming up periodically on humps and points to feed in water as shallow as 15 feet on out to 30. Speed was very important as well as bites only came when I was trolling at least 3 to 5 mph. Anything slower and the rods stayed straight.

Spinners, crankbaits, jigs and swim baits were useless on the striped bass, so I would suggest bucktails to anyone looking to hit Gaston Lake for the next few weeks.

Good luck!

White Bass Report at Jordan Lake & Latest Woodworking

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So it’s been a very busy end of winter and early spring, both on the water at Jordan Lake, and working on some really cool commissions I wanted to share.

The 2019 white bass run at Jordan Lake was a trickle at first, then starting last Tuesday, it really tuned on.

I took two different days off work when the rain was light, and at least the weather conditions were what I considered optimal. The water conditions were however, not. The river was stained and the main lake was as well. And talk about high water. I usually can’t stand fishing Jordan Lake when it’s high, but I’ve been so busy, frankly, I needed a day on the water and at least everything else had lined up to get out there.

At least it was easy to launch.

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I was looking at a skunk after nearly an hour and a half of searching, but then found them, and when I say found them, I mean found them like never before. Double after double after double trolling, so I just started casting.

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Now most people who fish for white bass for any number of years know they can just about count on days when those fiesty critters just keep biting; fair weather, blue-bird days, overcast, it doesn’t seem to matter, when you get on a biomass of them and have the right lures; it’s indeed non-stop fishing. And I have had many of those days. I thought I’d known no more frantic fishing until last week. I got tired of catching and releasing them; mainly because out of probably 200ish fish on the day, only 1 met the new 14″ minimum for my creel. And they’re just about my favorite fresh water meat for the table.

It was a surreal day of fishing. Cloudy then clear, off and on. Winds weren’t light, and the current (the Army Core of Engineers was aggressively pulling water at the Jordan Lake Dam) was intense. I fished in the river and the main lake, on two seperate occassions, and the results were nearly the same. A ton of fish were caught, but only 1 keeper both outings over 14″.

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But the fish are staging in 10 feet of water now and seem to be scattered around even into the shallows from there. Anything under 15 feet and you’re in the zone. Crankbaits, inline spinners, beetlespins and grubs, whatever, go throw it. Just remember the new regs, only 10 for the creel too.

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Now I have had several woodworking commissions of late and they really let me get creative. Hope you like the stuff. If you think you might be interested in anything, there’s a custom woodworking page on this site, feel free to give it a look and contact me if you’d like to talk about a piece. It’s all chainsaw-milled lumber, and I mill it and do all the work. The little hummingbirds are inexpensive and great for gifts.

Good luck fishing!

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Winter Fishing Report – Jordan Lake, Gaston Lake, Kerr and Shearon Harris

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The fishing has been very good on three North Carolina lakes this winter. Jordan Lake, Gaston Lake and Shearon Harris Lake have all been steadily producing quality fish.

After Christmas, we got on Gaston Lake and reproduced nearly the same results as in November. Striped bass were still chasing baits trolled slowly in twenty plus foot of water. We had success with sassy shads, swimbaits and Bama rigs. Four colors of leadcore and we were in the zone. We just had to stay under two miles per hour.

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Then, in early January, we got on Jordan Lake and started catching striped bass in lots of different areas. Fish are hitting slowly trolled artificials, swimbaits and also are taking metal jigged vertically. The mix of fish has been good as well with nice largemouth bass, white bass, white perch, crappie, yellow perch, catfish and even carp. Small baits are again producing far more fish than anything bigger than the small shad on the lake in abundance right now.

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Just use stout hooks.

Harris lake is fishing very similar to Jordan lake. Main lake points and current breaks anywhere adjacent to baitfish and deep suspended target fish. Fish slowly and patiently; you could be waiting for 1 or 2 bites a day, but they could be giants. Bass are present and feeding early and late in the day in twenty feet of water.

Kerr lake was fishing really good last fall and early winter. I got on the lake in late December, and we caught fish, but they were all shorts. I haven’t been back or heard much from locals there in weeks.

Here are a few from this morning on Jordan lake. I was on the water three hours and caught my personal best largemouth and a very big striped bass minutes later.

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The winter bite is the same as it usually is this time of year each year. You just have to fish steady and believe the bite is coming. And when it does be ready. Use your electronics and don’t fish areas without bait and marks on your sonar. Make note of the depths you’re in when you catch and stay in those depths.

Good luck!

Gaston Lake Thanksgiving Stripers

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So striped bass were crushing trolled baits at Lake Gaston this Thanksgiving.

My brother went up the day before Michelle and I, and ruled out the main lake, which was muddy from recent rains. Then, he found some stripers in a creek we fish a lot. He caught stripers and catfish the first day and kept three nice ones for a game dinner the day after Thanksgiving. I was bringing up a backstrap from my first deer of the season, and the striped bass fillets would go great with it. He and my Dad went out the next morning for a few hours and caught more too. From there on out we stayed on them the rest of the trip.

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As soon as Michelle and I got up to the lake, Joey and I launched the boat as I hadn’t run it in quite a while. I just wanted to run some of the old gas out, which had been treated with Stabil a few months prior. We figured, why not drop a few baits though, right? Without even getting out all the rods, the first doubled over. It wasn’t a huge striped bass, but we knew they were still in the area.

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It was cloudy, overcast and cold, probably in the 40’s, and when the wind blew, it was out of the north and stinging. The trees up there have been dropping leaves a while and there were patches of water that had to be avoided as lines and baits would tangle with pinestraw and dead leaves.

So I called Michelle and told her to get ready as I was coming back to the house to get her. She had never caught a striped bass before, and we had tried a few times on previous trips, but luck hadn’t been in her favor. That was about to change. So we ran back to the house, scopped her up, and motored back to our area.

After a little while the action started. When the first rod started bouncing wildly I handed it over…and she fought it perfectly, bringing the linesider boatside like a pro. I could tell by the look on her face she had the bug. Then, another rod doubled over and Joey fought that one in.

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After dealing with the first two, the action slowed a few minutes. We were still seeing birds moving about though (which is a dead giveaway for feeding striped bass in cold weather). Seagulls will often crash the water violently, snatching scraps, when fish are feeding underneath them.

Soon, it was my turn again and when the rod started going off, I grabbed it and started on the fish. Moments into the battle however, the other rod started really bending over. I hollered for Michelle to grab it and we had our first double on! We had to change positions a few times in the boat as she had a biggun on running out drag and trying desperately to escape the situation. I got my fish netted after a few minutes and used the boat to make her’s easier. It hit the top of the water a few times and we could see it had two of the jigs on the Bama rig in it. I had freed the first fish from the net while she was fighting hers, so it was ready when she got the bigger striper boatside. After some hollering it was in the net, and she had experienced her first striped bass double (feature photo).

I’ve taken her fishing a good bit over the last year, and we have caught a ton of fish, on kayaks and in different boats, but every time it’s been her turn, a different species was on the other end of the line. She has caught largemouth bass, crappie, white perch, white bass, carp, catfish etc. And now finally some stripers.

After the double it was time to go in for Thanksgiving with the family, but the fishing wasn’t over…

The next morning it was freakishly cold. Michelle opted to sleep in and Joey wanted to go on his kayak, so I took the boat out alone. It was 29 degrees with a light wind out of the north and cloudy, no sun greeted us at dawn. But the birds were working. It took a while to get the fish going, but we were marking tons of bait and arches on the sonar. Joey started the morning with a largemouth off a point in nearly 30 feet of water.

A few minutes later, I was almost about to go in for coffee and wait a couple hours for it to warm up when the first rod went off. I could tell it was a nice fish, and set in to battle it in freezing conditions…that’s when things got interesing! The second rod started bouncing much harder (just like the day before, a minute after the first fish hit). The boat was moving about 1.5mph, as slow as I can run without knocking off. As I fought the first fish, hollering for Joey to come my way, I watched the other rod just going off. A few times during the fight it almost straightened up and I thought it was off, but it stayed attached. I used the net on the first fish, as it was a nice one, then set in to fight the second. That’s when I realized it was a big one, for sure.

So I dead-boated it. After killing the engine the fish started burning drag and I just held on. Then, I felt the weird sensation striper fishermen sense at times. There was a strange tug-of-war coming from the end of the line. I had two fish on! It took some time to get the mess boatside, and I had already tangled a striper and hooks in the net, so I tried using fish grippers to get the big one, which looked to be a 30″ fish. But it’s mouth was not going to open. So I opted to reach for the Bama rig and pulled both fish over the rail and into the boat. Another triple by myself, man that’s an adrenaline rush for sure.

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My hands were absolutely frigid by the time the fight was over so I had to leave biting fish to get warmed up. Joey caught a few more, but by the time Michelle and I came back out the bite was over. It was really a brutal day out so we cut our time short and went in to have a wild game Thanksgiving; a second day of feasting. We released everything from the two days of fishing as Joey had secured three nice fish for our feast on the first day.

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We will catch those guys again one day…and they’ll be bigger…