Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

I'm heading out to the Shenandoah next week to do some smallmouth fishing for a few hours -- floating the river in canoe from Front Royal. I've done a lot of lake fishing in my time -- both smallmouth and largemouth -- but never dabbled in river fishing. I was thinking of running some bright colored shall cranks and tossing some senkos. But, I'm curious to hear any tips or tricks that you may have for me? Since it's my first time, I'm thinking it's best just to stick to a 2-3 bait day, rather than rotate between too many setups. (Going with two 6'6 rods -- both medium weight. Thinking of tying on 6lb test for both). 

 

1.) I'd love to hear 1-2 setups that you'd go with for a 4 hour float for smallies near Front Royal?

2.) what type of water should I be targeting? In and around breakwater? Slower/ deeper holes? To shore or mid-river structure?

 

Sorry for such a broad question, but any and all tips that you may have would be greatly appreciated!!

 

Thanks in advance,

Jared

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the Shenandoah River or what kind of structure you are likely to find. In general, for a short float like you are doing, skip over any deep holes or slow water. You are looking for active, feeding fish. Look for the fastest, current you can find, then fish the eddies, and break lines, next to the fast water. If the sun is out, fish the shade line. If there is mid river structure like shallow rocks that disturb the current flow, cast around it. Fish any lay down trees you see. Throw your bait to let it drift along the edges of those downed trees or get it behind any rocks that break the flow of the river. If you get areas where the current is slow, paddle through it to spend your time in more productive areas like I pointed out. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice above.  As for baits, keep it simple.  So long as the water is clear, tubes, grubs, senkos, Ned rigs are all going to catch you fish.  Generally, for most presentations, start with 1/8oz weight and go up or down accordingly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've fished a bunch of floats, both and above FRC, but not this summer, so I don't know what the river is like right now.  Been pretty dry, though, so I'd expect fairly low and slow. 

I don't even take a baitcaster with me any more.  I carry four spinning combos.  One will always have an Owner Finesse Ball head with a four inch worm....stick or trick...doesn't matter much.  Greens are good.  Oxblood roboworm also good.  One light crank or trap.  Another should have a wacky rigged plastic.  Other plastics that work very well there are Keitech Krazy Flappers and three to four inch swimbaits...I like flukes and small soft paddle tails.  River is mostly shallow, and can be a bit swift and challenging by canoe.  I disagree slightly with above posters about deep pools.  I suggest that when you come up to a pool, take a good look at surroundings.  Some of your best smallies will come from those pools; check for a place to beach your canoe at shore nearest the pools....get out and cast into them from shore.  Take a handful of finesse jigs and throw those into the deeper spots....that's always the key to our biggest fish.  Go ahead and get stuck in the riffles and cast down from them....always active fish in and below the riffles.  In general, fish are facing upstream waiting for food to come down.  But, it can be tough to fish from above while you're moving...between snags and keeping your lure slow, it is a challenge.  You will find in most areas, that casting across will be most manageable for you.  A number of folks use inline spinners, like Mepps...I don't anymore, just because they are bluegill magnets....you'll miss smallies because you're so busy taking the panfish off.  There aren't a lot of productive laydowns on that float....cast to any wood, but don't waste too much time with them...your best luck will be  below fast water and in the deeper pools.  The least productive water are the long shallow rock flats...I think that float has one about a quarter mile....go ahead and paddle through into better water.  With one caveat: some of those long flats might have a crevice angling from one shore or the other...you may find some in those cracks.

    Be prepared to lose some hardware.  You're going to get snags you can't get back to.

   Go to FRC's websites and read the fishing reports.  There's a number of guys that file great, detailed reports.  If you don't see a real recent one, check July/August from previous years.

   Finally, FRC is a great outfit.  I've been very pleased with them each and every time I've rented from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all - this is really helpful. I think I might swim some grubs, bounce some tubes, throw some senkos and maybe a few shallow cranks, though ill probably stick to the plastics first time out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm probably the only one, but I can't catch Shenandoah smallies on tubes....or grubs for that matter...lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good advice from above. The advice from Big'un is right on. The wife and I fish the river regularly from the VA/WV line to the Potomac River. Riffles are your friend. You will see lots of rock ledges also. Our go to is usually a paddle tale swim bait or Berkeley gulp minnows. These seem to work well majority of the time. I usually use a Carolina rig due to the deeper riffles you will come across. The wife has also used a bobber with a gulp minnow hooked thru the back with split shot in between and it works very well. The water is low and starting to warm up more and more, so like I said, moving water and deeper riffles are your friend. Do not count out the deep pools. Especially if it is sunny. I wish I had some pics of the large fish I floated over last year above FRC on a float. 

 

We fish off of kayaks exclusively. The two rod setup you have works great. 6 to 8 pound test is fine. You may come across a muskie or large catfish though. We use 8 pound mono on ours. I keep one carolina rigged with a gulp minnow and usually the other has a frog, top water plug, or if the water is muddy, a spinner bait. Front Royal Canoe has decent fishing reports and river condition reports. I recommend checking them a day or two before you go.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing rods

    fishing rods


    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    bass fish

    fishing poles

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×