ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Here is a round-up of the latest outdoors news from across the region.
Quit After Two
There is nothing like hooking up with a big striped bass at Smith Mountain Lake (SML), and the Smith Mountain Lake Striper Club wants to keep it that way. That is why the club is advocating self-regulation on striper fishing. Anglers can legally harvest two striped bass from SML. The Striper Club has posted signs around the lake advising anglers to stop fishing for striped bass after they catch their two.
Warm water temperatures.
Striped bass that are caught and released into warm water are stressed and die more easily. With surface water temperatures climbing into the 80s in the summer, even if a fish is released, it is probably not going to survive. So, the Striper Club says get off the lake or target another species after catching your striped bass limit.
Good Flavor Depends on Good Handling
If you are keeping fish for the table, how you handle them can determine how good they will taste.
“Keep them cold,” said chef and outdoorsman Wade Truong.
Truong says to ice your fish immediately, especially oilier species like bluefish and mackerel. He also says to bleed them; that involves a simple cut just below the gills. Bleeding a fish helps to improve the flavor and texture of the meat while dispatching the fish quickly and humanely.
Cooking and eating the fish soon after it is caught is also key, though some species freeze better than others. Fish like flounder, walleye, catfish, perch, and striped bass can be processed and frozen for a few months. Fattier fish like bluefish do not freeze as well and should be eaten within a day or two of catching.
New World Record!
A new youth world record striped bass has been set, and the massive fish was caught by a teenager from Moneta. Laci Short was 13 years old last December when she hooked and boated that 59-pound-eight-ounce striper in the Chesapeake Bay. Catching trophy stripers runs in the family. Her father is Smith Mountain Lake striper guide Kenny Short.