Virginia Striper! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Virginia Striper!

03-27-2002, 09:59 PM
The following is an article that my father-in-law sent my way, from his local paper, to torture me in the off season. I only wish this online story had the picture that the printed article featured.

One Whale of a Fish Tale (

You can rest assured that if my F-I-L doesn't know a property owner on this private lake that I'll be running a late night "covert op" there on my next visit. That reminds me, I need a red lens for my headlamp........:D

03-27-2002, 10:02 PM
Drat!!!! I checked the link only to find that it wasn't working out.

Here is the article, form the March 8th Winchester Star:

When Winchester’s Murphy Leake landed a monster striper on Thursday, he didn’t want it to turn into just another fish story.

Leake knew he needed proof for his fishing buddies, because this tale sounds like a whopper — a 40-pound striper, caught out of Lake Holiday in The Summit subdivision in Frederick County.

“He was only in 10 feet of water,” said Leake, a 77-year-old retired plumber. “We had no idea he’d be there. We thought he’d be deeper.”

Leake knew from experience that big stripers dwell in the lake. On regular trips with his son Roger, he’d hooked plenty of good-sized fish.

Last November, Leake landed what most anglers would consider the catch of a lifetime — a 28 1/2-pound striper, out of the same lake. And earlier in the fall, he’d reeled a 17-pounder, also out of the same waters.

“We just go up there and fish,” said Leake, also an avid gardener. “I don’t have anything else to do.”

With fair weather and free time on their hands, Leake and his son loaded up the boat and were on the water for a morning trip. Lake Holiday is a private lake and is open only to residents, lot owners, and their guests.

“It got a little chilly up there on the water,” Leake admitted afterward.

Using an artificial diving minnow on 8-pound test line, Leake hardly seemed a match for the monster bass.

But after a battle he estimates lasted slightly more than 15 minutes, Leake hauled his prize into the boat.

“We never keep a bass,” Leake said. “We catch ’em and let ’em loose. I kept this one, though.”

After his experience telling fellow anglers about the 28-pounder — (“When I told some of them, they didn’t believe me.”) — Leake knew it was time to get some documentation.

First he weighed the fish on two different scales — both registered the striper at an even 40 pounds.

Next he measured it, and the striper came in at 46 inches long.

Finally, he called The Winchester Star to come take a photograph.

In comparison, Goodview’s James Davis holds the state record for a striper after hauling in a fish that weighed 53 pounds, 7 ounces on March 16, 2000 out of Leesville Lake in southcentral Virginia.

Leake’s fish would still easily qualify for a Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries citation (reserved for stripers 20 pounds and larger) and would probably make a fine trophy on his mantle.

But he has other plans for the striper.

“I’m going to have him for dinner,” Leake said.

And while Thursday’s catch was the biggest fish of his life, Leake thinks the striper may have a big brother or sister lurking in the depths.

“I thought that 28-pounder would be the biggest I’d ever catch,” Leake said. “I topped it a little bit with that 40-pounder.

“... You never know. I might get another one. I think there’s some in there bigger yet.”