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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Holt Reservoir , Butner N.C.

R.D. Holt Reservoir.  This 385 lake just outside of Butner,NC  boast a tremendous fishery, particularly  for Bream, Shell cracker and Crappie. The Bass population is overcrowded and a new rule is in effect for this lake. 10 fish can be caught and taken home except only 2 maybe greater than 14 inches. So that means the 8 other have to less than 14 or you could keep 10 10 inchers,  

The name of this lake is confusing,  Named RD Holt Lake  and impounded in 1956, most locals call it Holt Lake or Butner Lake.
 The city refers to it as lake Holt. and the name of the road leading to the ramp is Lake Holt Road. 
Whatever you call it, it is a very good fishery.

Below is the Lake Holt Concession, You pay inside to fish and launch a boat (Fishing is 2$ and launching  a boat is another 3$) and you can also get a very good meal while you are there.   I eat there at least once a week. 

The Menu

A look towards the ramp from the Balcony.

Now looking left off the Balcony.

A closer look at the ramp from the Balcony

These new Docks were in place for The Memorial Day Weekend

The State did an awesome job on these new floating docks.

6/29/2015  The Foundation for the Floating Pier is ready along with a newly poured sidewalk

Workers towing the 1st piece of the pier on June 29th

Pier Finished and ready By the July 4th weekend,

Here is the sign, you can keep 10 bass up to 14 inches of which only 2 can be greater than 14 inches.
So , you could keep 10 less than 14 inches or 8 less than 14 and 2 over 14.  What this tells us is there are too many small bass here and they need to be harvested. 

Added- 8/23/15 ,  I watched the weigh in of a night tournament held by the Jon Boat bass Anglers(an electric only club) this am at 8am.  This tournament started at 8pm 8/22 and ended 12 hours later.  several bass over 6 lbs were weighed in along with one over 7 so there are some big fish here.  I also heard just the other day of a 20 lb catfish recently caught.

This Dam is on the end of a Cove at Holt lake.  the Lake above this dam is Called "Lightning Lake" 

These bream were from  a Memorial day trip I took here 2 years ago, you can see that post here 

Thanks, Mack

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Florida Keys Trip

My Family and I made a trip to the Keys June 15th-19th.  It was a once in a lifetime trip and one I had looked forward to for the last few months. We stayed at probably the best resort in all of the Keys. World Famous Cheeca Lodge.  Wow, what an awesome place.
Here are a few pics of this famous Lodge.

On our second day, we traveled down south to Key West.

On our way down, we stopped off at Big Pine Key to find the elusive Key Deer. This deer is the smallest subspecies of whitetail being isolated from the Florida whitetail on the mainland for over 6000 years .  It didn't take long and we saw a very nice Key Deer Buck.

Awesome place.  Big Pine Key is one of the few Keys that has Pines on it.  Most of the Keys are too low in elevation to have Pines but a few do.   These Pines are Slash Pines which are found from the Keys up into North Carolina. If I ever go back I hope to spend more time around Big Pine. 

After leaving Big Pine we made our way to Key West.

Key West is a pretty cool place.  We saw Ernest Hemingway's house by accident. We were going down a road and there it was.   We also traveled on US 1 which ends in  Keys West and even has a sign that says "End of US 1"  Pretty cool since we live between US1 and old US 1 in Wake Co. North Carolina.
I  went on MapQuest and it is ONLY 964 miles from Us1 at my house to the end of Us1 in Key West!!

We finished up the day at a public beach in Key West.  I saw a few fish swimming around so I broke out one of my rods. I caught a bunch of these Snapper but all were small. I even had what I think was a bonefish hit my small swimbait but I didn't get a hookset.

On our way back to Islamorada we stopped by the  world Famous Robbie's Marina where you can hand feed Tarpon. 3 bucks gets you a bucket of fish and there are Tarpon ranging from 20lbs up to a Hundred plus. 

Wednesday Morning my son and I met Capt. Fred at the Cheeca Lodge Dock and we made the 50 minute run to the southern tip of the Florida Mainland.  We first stopped by a small Mangrove Island and anchored just off of it where you could see small Tarpon hitting bait along the shore. The guide had brought live pinfish and live shrimp for bait.  We got zero hits on the pinfish but we caught right many fish on the shrimp by threading them onto a white headed jig.  We caught Black Drum, Snapper, and Jack at this spot and I lost the one Tarpon Hookup because she got me tangled in a Mangrove root. Dang!  Here are a few pictures of that spot

My son and myself with Black Drum

After an hour or so at the first spot we left and went closer to Flamingo to a place called Snakebite creek. This actually wasn't a creek but 2 big flats with a deeper channel running through it. Here is my  First Tarpon caught here.

I caught another one that may have went 20 lbs but Captain Fred didn't want me to take it out of the net, which was ok as I was happy just catching one. Pretty cool though to land 2 out of 3 hooked. My son caught a nice red drum and we also caught a bunch of snapper  as well as 1 sheepshead and a lot of saltwater catfish. The snapper we caught were actually pretty good sized ones but we were so busy trying to catch Tarpon and Drum that I never took a picture of some of the nice Snapper.

Here is what we caught almost every fish on. A 3/8 ounce jig head with a live shrimp threaded onto the hook. First pinch the tail off then thread on. I am going to have to try this  for NC fish. 

While making the run back to Cheeca lodge we saw a Manatee . Captain Fred slowed down and we got a real good look at this awesome animal. Thanks Captain Fred!

Captain Fred did an awesome job and he can be reached on his website- http://www.captainfreddie.com/?Name=Value

Wednesday evening we enjoyed a nice dinner at the World famous Lorelei Restaraunt and Cabana Bar on Upper Matecumbe Key. This location is noted for it's sunsets. 

Thursday we had booked a snorkeling trip which was just a few miles out from Cheeca. The dates on this camera are wrong. 

Here are a few pictures of a few spots I fished early or late in the day.  

These pictures are  right across from Robbie's.  No bites here but I am sure if someone floated livebait here you would get a Tarpon. 

These next pictures are at mile marker  74?? This is at the bridge separating Lower Matecumbe Key and Craig Key  

A GOOGLE EARTH  screen shot of this spot.

I lost a nice Snook between that first pole and the bank. That is a channel between the Power lines and the bank with a flat on the other side.

Even though I lost that Snook it was a good evening where I got to see another awesome sunset. You can see the old railroad pilings on the right side halfway up.

Here are a few Lizards who I  saw every day at Cheeca.

Here are a couple of types of trees that I saw all over the keys. One is a  Royal Poinciana
( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delonix_regia ) and the other is some type of Fir? If you know the second one please let me know.  Both are defiantly non-native but cool.

It was an awesome trip.  I probably will never get back there unless I win the lotto but I am defiantly gonna try to go back one day .