The definition of a “delightful person” is someone who causes happiness and joy. While I have never personally met Angie Gail Dudley, delightful is the exact word that I thought of after our interview. Angie’s answers make me smile ear to ear. Her joy for fishing and life is truly contagious. Keep reading to see what I mean.
How long have you been fishing?
I have been fishing for as long as I’ve have been able to hold a pole! When I was growing up I thought there was no greater outdoorsman than my Daddy! I can remember, 30 some odd years ago, him loading up his jon boat into the back of his pick-up truck, grabbing his gear, my Barbie spincast combo, and telling me to “come on lets go fishing”. I can still see how proud he looked and how proud I felt when I would reel in a bluegill or crappie. In my mind it was if I had caught a 16 pound largemouth bass. There are days when I still go sit on a bank with a spincast and spend the day pan fishing.
To this day my Daddy still gives me tips on how he catches the papermouth. There are days that I’ll be out on one of our local public lakes and there he’ll be, in his jon boat reeling in the crappie. We’ll stop and exchange fishing stories and advice. I need to plan more fishing trips with him. Time seems to pass so quickly these days and I’d love to have more of those memories to store away.
My son is now 15 years old and I have continued that tradition with him since he was a little tyke. He still enjoys going fishing with his mom and dad. I know that he will also continue the tradition when he becomes a parent himself. I think that it is important to get your children involved in outdoor activities. There is so much more to it than just “fishing”. I think it helps to build character, to build stronger relationships, and to build confidence in young people.
How was your 2017 fishing season?
My 2017 fishing season has by far been my best yet. A lot of exciting, motivating, and inspiring things have happened this year. I’ve had more time on the water than ever and because of that I’ve caught the most fish, in several species, than I’ve ever caught in a single year before.
I started posting more fishing content onto my Instagram page @angiegail82. This has helped me to share my catches with other anglers and it has helped me to gain more followers. In return I have found other anglers both pro and avid to follow. By doing this I have learned so much more about the world of bass fishing such as new techniques and products that I wasn’t aware of before.
Instagram and other sources of social media can be a great place to broaden your knowledge for just about anything. There are always folks willing to share their tips and tricks and give you advice if you need it. It was because of Instagram that I found the bait that helped me land my new personal best largemouth bass this fall and that snowballed into me landing two sponsors. I’d say that makes for a pretty great year for any avid angler.
Will fishing in costume on Halloween be a new tradition?
What? I thought everyone fished in costume. Ha ha. Yes I believe that I will continue the costume fishing tradition! I was already dressed up for a Halloween get together and I had a little bit of time to spare so I decided to run out and wet a line.
What do you love about fishing?
Everything. First of all what I love to most is just being outdoors and doing something so primitive but at the same time requires some skill and knowledge to produce the results that you are looking for. Breathing in the fresh air and connecting with nature has always been a passion of mine whether it’s involving fishing, mushroom hunting, hiking, or just spending the day playing and swimming at the lake shore.
A close second? The Bite. There is nothing like that adrenaline rush that you get when you know you’ve hooked up on something decent. I love the challenge of figuring out what it takes for the bass to answer the door when I’m in their neighborhood. Coming up with some sort of strategy before the boat hits the water or my feet hit the bank and knowing that it payed off when I land a toad. I even enjoy, or it humors me, when a fish breaks me off or I lose one and blame it on the fact that “I wasn’t holding my mouth right” as my Grandpa used to say. I’ve been known to throw some pretty epic temper tantrums. But hey, who hasn’t?
I see that you fish with your husband. Who is the better angler? Haha. Seriously, what do you enjoy most about spending time on the water together?
I’m either going in the dog house for this one or I can potentially score some wife points with this one. How about instead I say that I am a bit more serious about my fishing than he is. Gary has retired from the Virginia State Police after 28 years and served as a SWAT team commander for the last 12 years of his career so when he is fishing he is basically in relax mode. He is more of a catfish and crappie guy, although he has landed lots of bass unintentionally.
I like to give him hell about it sometimes when I’ve been putting in the work and trying everything in my power to land one and there he is pulling one in buy using a bobber and a night crawler. And there are times where he would rather just drive me to the lakes or ponds and just watch and support my obsession with it all. He is my biggest cheerleader…not to mention my photographer and tackle caddy haha.
All joking aside, I think it’s great that we are able to spend so much time together doing something we both love and learning from each other’s fishing mistakes and victories.
You catch some impressive Virginia largemouth bass. What are your three favorite largemouth waters in VA?
My favorite fishing spot would have to be some of our local farm ponds. I am lucky enough to have such great neighbors and friends who allow me to fish on their property. Some of these ponds have been around for several generations. That’s where I’ve caught my three biggest largemouths. There’s just something about pond fishing that I can’t quite explain, but it’s just plain fun!
Second in line would have to be Sandy River Reservoir in Rice, Virginia. It’s a 740 acre manmade lake which holds 7 to 8 pound plus bass. It’s a beautiful body of water with everything you’d want for the largies such as standing timber, lots of laydowns, rocky shorelines, and grassy flats. I feel like it’s the perfect location to send the day fishing.
I also spend quite a bit of time at Kerr Lake in the summer. Also known as Buggs Island Lake, it borders Virginia and North Carolina. It’s a 50,000 acre lake so it’s obviously has great fishing potential. When I am fishing this lake I spend 75% of my time catfishing. I do bass fish it but not as much as I should.
I plan to focus more time this summer hunting down the bass and exploring different areas of the lake that I haven’t been to before. I just have to get out there and learn the lake and find the sweet spots. With a lake that massive it will probably take me all summer long to fish the entire thing. No complaints here!
What is your personal best largemouth bass?
My weighable personal largemouth bass was 8.6 pounds. It was October the third and I had just received my new pink “Country girl” jig that I ordered from Kalves Custom Creek Jigs. I saw the jig on my Instagram feed and I just had to order it because of the color.
It was a beautiful 70 degree fall day so I decided to grab my gear and head over to a nearby pond just to try it out. It was probably my 3rd or 4th cast and I thought that I had snagged something on the bottom and then realized that I had a fish on.
The way she took it so slow and almost motionless made me believe that I had a catfish on the line. I remember yelling out across the pond to my husband, “I can’t believe that a catfish went after this jig!”. She was pulling pretty hard but not a lot of action in her tug so I was pretty surprised when I got her close enough to realize that she was a lunker of a bass.
Of course I freaked out at this point and yelled across the pond again to my husband to bring the net, the camera, and the scales. By this time he got over to me I had already landed her and had that beautiful girl in my grasp!
I was shaking so much from the excitement that I could hardly get the scales on her. It kept reading 2 pounds and I knew that it couldn’t be right especially with her measuring in at 23 inches long. After about the 3rd time I finally got a reading of 8.6 pounds and another reading with the same. I decided that was enough messing around with the scales. She felt heavier than that to me but I wanted to snap a couple of pics and get her back into the water.
I didn’t fish much longer that day. I was too excited to get home and share her with my Instagram fishing friends and family. Scott Summers from Kalves Creek Custom Jigs said that she was the biggest largemouth bass caught with his jigs to his knowledge and asked if he could use my photo on his website. Of course I agreed and decided that I needed to purchase more of his jigs since they seemed to get the job done!
There is nothing like breaking your PB record!
What is your favorite method for bass fishing?
My number one, go to would have to be fishing the jig. Whether its swimming, casting, pitching, or flipping it always produces and never lets me down.
I feel that the jig is the most versatile bait out there because it can be used in so many different ways. You just have to know when, how, and what type to use in different situations.
Just like any other fishing methods gaining confidence requires patience, practice, and experience. I’m still not the greatest, or even good at flipping and pitching but the more you practice the better you become and that’s what I plan to do.
What is the boat that you are fishing out of?
It’s a Bass Tracker Pro 175 Special Edition that my husband bought new in 2006. He was looking for something that would work in different bodies of water. We’ve taken it out on rivers, pulled it onto lake shores, and a nearby lake that is basically all standing timber and with an aluminum boat like the Bass Tracker you don’t have to worry about it as much as fiberglass boat.
Trackers are strong, lightweight, and durable. In the 12 years that we’ve had it there have been no issues and it still looks brand new! I feel that Tracker Boats are affordable and well-built boats that are made to last and I’d buy another one in a heartbeat!
An unrelated question to fishing, how long have you been singing? As a fan of Dave Loggins, I loved your cover of Please Come to Boston.
I have been singing for as long as I can remember as well. If someone asked me what my favorite past time is, it would be a toss-up between fishing and singing. Like fishing, I developed my love for music at a young age from my Daddy.
I inherited my artistic side from my mother but my voice came from my Dad. I can remember him playing his guitar and singing old classic country music songs all over the house and it fascinated me. I would often sing along with him and would sing at church.
One particular memory comes to mind once when I sang to a crowd for the first time. With my Daddy accompanying me with his acoustic guitar, I sang the Peter, Paul, and Mary song “Puff the Magic Dragon “ and “Paint it Black” by the Rolling stones. (I wonder where I got my name from?) Seeing the smiles and the applause that my audience gave me got me hooked.
My Mom and Dad knew that I had a love for singing and they encouraged me to sing as much as I wanted. Singing wasn’t only a part of me growing up but in my adult years I joined a bluegrass band with my Daddy and three other amazing musicians. We were Stoney Knoll Bluegrass. I stayed with that band for 3 years.
It was because of Stoney Knoll that I met my husband. He has written over 200 songs and needed someone to lay down the vocal tracks for a project he was working on. Someone told him about me singing for my bluegrass band and he called me for an audition and I got the gig! About a year later he and I decided to start a country/ southern rock band. Gary plays rhythm guitar and we found a lead guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer. They were a great group of guys who had unbelievable talent. We named ourselves Angie Gail and the Double Crossed Band and we played in local bars, festivals, and benefits for 7 years.
Gary and I still love to make videos whether it’s in our living room or on our lake porch in the summer. We post most of the videos onto my You Tube channel and my Instagram page mainly to have something to look back on, listen to, and enjoy and let others enjoy as well. We will continue to make videos just as long as I have a voice and his fingers can pick his guitars. He has 19, should I be worried? Haha.
Feel free to check out my You Tube channel. You may even find a funny video of me instructing you on how to fillet a pan fish. I’m thinking of starting a separate channel dedicated to fishing in the spring of 2018 so be on the lookout for that! You can even catch me singing to my catches on some of my Instagram videos before releasing them back into the water. I’m always goofing off and having fun!
Who are your fishing sponsors?
DSF Apparel (Down South Fishing, Down South Fowl, and Down South Freaks) was the first company to ask me to join their team. I had already seen their brand on Instagram and after checking out their merchandise and how much other anglers loved it as well I decided to accept! Trey at DSF offers quality, comfortable, attractive, and practical performance fishing and hunting shirts, caps, buffs, and shorts. They are official promoters of Kalves Creek Custom Jigs and Leviathan rods. I am super excited to sport their new designs for 2018!
Because I had already purchased and used their jigs and they are teamed up with DSF apparel, Kalves Creek Custom Jigs asked me to become a part of their team as well. I gladly accepted since they are my #1 choice jigs to throw. Scott makes some awesome jigs that are proven to work! At Kalves Creek Custom Jigs you can find quality, durable, affordable hand crafted jigs and spinnerbaits that can be customized in any way that you need or could dream up!
I couldn’t be prouder to be a teammate and promoter for such great companies!
2017 was an amazing year for me and I know that 2018 will be even better. I am looking forward to the super cold weather breaking here in Virginia so that I can get back out on the water and go after more largemouth bass and maybe even breaking my personal best again! As always keep those rods bent friends!
I told you Angie Gail Dudley is delightful! One of my greatest joys from doing this blog is meeting so many people that show off the joy that comes from fishing. Thank you Angie for sharing your love of fishing with us.
Read More about Virginia Fishing: Virginia Pond Fishing with Ryan Green