Virginia has a lot of great fishing opportunities. Many people head to the Williamsburg, Virginia to experience the amazing history of this town. I discussed the fishing in the area with avid Virginia angler and new Williamsburg resident, Joey Cooke.
What does fishing mean in your life?
Outside of my family, fishing is my life! Everything about it is food for my soul. I’m lucky enough to have a family that supports me and my endeavors and love to fish too!
Living near Williamsburg Virginia, what are your three favorite waters to fish and why do you pick each of these?
I just moved to Williamsburg about a year ago, so I haven’t had the chance to really explore the water supply lakes that are in the area. When I fished in clubs, back when I first started bass fishing, Chickahominy River was, and still is, a staple destination for just about any club across the state.
We also fished Chickahominy Lake. Back then, I loved the river, despised the lake. Since moving up here, it has quickly become my number one lake! It has something for everyone. I’ve had some of my best days this year on Chickahominy Lake. But as much as I love that lake now, I still call Lake Cahoon in Suffolk, VA home. When I got back into fishing, 10 years ago, that was the only place I knew of that I could go and rent a boat. So I have spent a lot of time fishing there. If you love fishing wood cover, this is the lake for you. My third favorite lake would have to be Burnt Mills, again, in Suffolk. I don’t have a ton of experience there, but that’s the lake that my personal best Largemouth came from.
So, what’s the story behind your PB?
Up until May of 2013, my PB Largemouth was 4.96 lbs that I caught in the late 90’s on the Chowan River in North Carolina. My dad, who lives in West Virginia now, bought a boat to come down and fish the horsepower restricted lakes in the Suffolk VA area. Not long after he bought it, he came down so we could fish.
Day one was on Lake Cahoon. We had a pretty good day given the excessively warm temperatures for the middle of May. The next day, he wanted to go to Burnt Mills. I had only fished that lake once before, so I was excited about going, especially when I recalled the stories he had told me about fishing in that lake back in the 80’s. We got to the first spot and I lost a dink on the first cast.
We ended up in the back of the lake, after getting the boat stuck on one of the 18,569,375 stumps out there, and no more fish. It was hot and we must’ve had a Shoneys sign on the boat, because the yellow flies were eating us alive! I remember in my frustration, telling my dad that we should pack up and go back to Cahoon. He said that we were gonna fish this one deep shoreline that always had big fish on it. I remember muttering under my breath, as I slung my white Zoom trick worm towards an overhanging tree, “yeah, 30 years ago”.
As my worm disappeared in that dark water, I felt a tick on my line. I thought for sure it was a bluegill. As to not take any chances, I set the hook, and it was no bluegill. Even though I knew it wasn’t a bluegill, I had no idea how big it was, until it jumped a foot out of the water! After what seemed like an eternity, we got it in the boat. The official weight was 8lbs even and it went 23 1/2 inches.
You are a proud user of Liquid Mayhem. How long have you been using Liquid Mayhem and how has it made a difference in your fishing?
Even if I wasn’t a representative for Liquid Mayhem, it would still be in my boat! I’ve only been using it for about 6 or 7 months now. But it has made a HUGE difference in my hook up ratio. The fact that it’s made from real bait and it sticks to your lure 30 times longer than other oil based products are just some of the reasons why it’s the best fish attractant that I’ve ever used.
Do you put it on all baits or only select applications?
I don’t throw a soft plastic lure, without having Liquid Mayhem on it. I will also put it on crankbaits, frogs and jig trailers.
How about the other companies you represent? What do you like about each of them?
I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to represent some great companies in a relatively short period of time. On top of Liquid Mayhem, I represent McCain Hi-Performance Rods. What’s there to not say about these rods. They are flat out awesome! I tell everyone, I had nice rods. And then I got McCains.
I also represent Skoll Gear. To me, their UPF protective clothing is a no brainer. I’ve never been a fan using sunscreen when I’m fishing. But even if you are a fan, their clothing adds that much more protection. Not to mention their products are super comfortable and cool looking.
I have to ask about two non-fishing things. First, the beard. Its quite impressive. How long have you had it?
Haha,thanks for the compliment. This current beard is about 18 months old, with a few trimmings.
You have a choice…the fish gods will grant you a personal best largemouth bass but you have to sacrifice the beard. Would you do it?
I would take the FISH!!!! I can always grow another beard.
Lastly, tell us more about your music. What type of music do you perform and where can people hear you?
To be honest with you, I don’t play as much as I used to. I’ve played everything from hard rock, to alternative, to my last endeavor, country. While I loved playing music and had some great times doing it, my family and fishing is where it’s at for me now. I wouldn’t trade my life for the world!