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Smallie4130

Pony Pasture

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Im thinking of heading out there today and was wondering if anyone could help me out with some spots to check out there.  I went once to swim with friends but I didnt see any great looking fishing spots where I was, just alot of people swimming around.  Also, if anyone wants to go, let me know.  I searched and saw that some people said you have to wade out there.  Just wondering so I can dress accordingly.  I know the water level should be super low right now.

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Talk to rondef, he went out there once this summer and I'm sure he would be willing to help you out. But you really need to watch the water levels down there as they can get extremely hazardous. Rondef could tell you the safe water level. he is a hell of a guy. ;)

-Nitro

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Heya, water levels are down really low now so it's generally pretty safe. There are some deep spots that you might want to watch out for.  Most of the better fishing is out in the middle area and bank fishing isn't so great.  J and Rondef had luck fishing the deeper holes earlier in the summer, for me I've been targeting the current breaks, pools of calm water right next to swift current and some deep holes.  Many small smallmouth here but larger fish around 1lb i feel are few and far between.

If I hadn't of just gotten the kayak I'd probably be out there too =D

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Thanks guys, I think were going to head out there this afternoon/evening.  Ended up going to pumphouse yesterday and caught a couple small lmb.  

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Hey smallie, sorry I was late on this.  Out of town this past weekend.  Basspro is the genius at this place but I haven't seen him on in forever.  I do have a full report on the day my dad and I went out earlier this summer, but who knows if the fish are in the same kind of patterns as they were then.  Although it was a pretty usual summer pattern.

We had just found the strongest current and fished the more slack pools behind, not in front of the boulders.  Typically anywhere their were large boulders with current passing through were good options.  We would stand behind those boulders and away 20 -30 yards casting to the outside of the sweeping current and or near the boulders where the slack water was.

Most of our fish were caught like this.  Just be ready for anything out there, wear a pfd.  The current can get really strong in some areas and the pools can get deep remarkably quick.  It's always good to have someone with you.  If you follow the link in my profile to my blog, there are quite a few summer report/smallmouth outings.  You can probably piece together information from those and apply some of it to other locations.  I have pretty much used the same 3 - 4 smallie lures all year and had tremendous success on them.

Let me know if you wanna get out sometime.  I have a thread about August 4th in the south east section if any of you guys wanna join me on the Rap for some wading.

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Make that basspro48.

:)

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The pony pasture is one of my favorite places to wade for one simple reason, there's lots of 12+inch smallies to be caught. Now most peoples first mistake is bringing along the ultralight rig with the tiny beetlespin or grub and they just toss that around the landing for an hour and walk away with a couple bream and maybe one tiny smallmouth. Well to catch decent fish in this place you have to stick with your normal smallmouth baits you would throw in any other river or lake, DO NOT think you need to downsize just because the water is shallow and clear.

My standard set-up for smallies at the pasture is a 6'6" Medium Heavy Loomis GL2 with a Shimano Curado 100D and 12lb Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon. My most productive baits are a 3.5" tube on a 2/0 gammy superline EWG and an 1/8oz weight, and a lucky craft pointer 78 in tenn. shad. I have caught some fish on a jig and a hula grub too but so far nothing has out produced the tube and the pointer.

Now for spots, I don't even bother fishing anywhere near the landing because of all the swimmers and other rather obnoxious people that like to hang around. So I'll start about 100 yards upriver from the landing, there is a nice steep bank with a very deep hole on the park side of the river right there. Once I've hit that I'll just keep fishing my way straight across the river, being extra careful that I fish the several small islands extremely thorough before moving on.

Then directly on the other side of the river you will see a dam (this is where the river splits and goes around Williams Island) this area holds a tremendous amount of fish, just go from rock to rock and fish every pool you can find.

Here's a simple outline of pony pasture, the area's circled in orange are my favorite spots and the black dots are spots that have produced for me but aren't exactly the best.

pony490.gif?t=1217347707

And here is a link to a satellite view of the areas I fish for a more detailed view...

EDIT: the link is not working for some reason so for a satellite view just go to google maps and search pony pasture rapids or James River fishing school and you will get a detailed overview of that whole section of river.

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Hey Basspro.  Thanks for that info dude.  Last time up we fished the beginning of that hole because we saw some nice size schoolies swimmin' aound (2lbers easy) and staying along the outline of the rocks where we were.  General rule though... we saw them, they probably saw us.  They wouldn't hit ANYTHING.

If you go across river like you are talking about and head over to the dam area how easy is it to navigate up that way?  Can you actually walk across Williams island and fish that area up towards the Z Dam?  Just curious.

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Yeah going up the William's island bank is really one of the only ways to fish the area up by Z dam because the banks up there on the park side are all private.

And if you encounter fish like that again, back off and fish around a different area for 20 minutes or so and then approach the area that was holding the fish again but stay back farther and make longer casts to them. Usually once you give them time to settle down they will resume smashing anything they see.

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How rough is the wading across like that?

Anyone want to try it out later this week?

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Thanks for the info basspro, really helpful.  We never went the day I posted on here because it kind of rained and then looked like it was about to pour all day.  Im kinda glad I didnt now, with all this new info Im sure the trip will be more productive.

Link, I get off work at 330 every day and could meet up with you if you want.  Dont know if youre trying to go later in the day.

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That could work, I'm a teacher and off for the summer so anytime could work as long as the wife approves :)

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How rough is the wading across like that?

Anyone want to try it out later this week?

It's very easy to wade across, the water is no deeper than 3 or 4 feet in most spots and if you dont want to walk in the deeper water then just go from rock to rock.

It should be especially easy now since the flow should be down some

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Thanks for all the great info Bass Pro.  Where are all the pics of the pigs you've been catching this year?  Or have you not had time with baseball and all that stuff?  I should bring back that thread from last summer where you absolutely punished them up here lol.

As always a great producer of information from the richmond area, thank god for this forum and the guys who get on from our region.

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Yeah I've been really busy with baseball and work but I've gotten up there a couple times this summer. Haven't done nearly as good as last year though, biggest one in that section so far was about a 14 incher I think.

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The riveris very low.

You can see the bolders at Bosher's Dam which means the river is very low.

Where are all those hurricanes and their water we were supposed to be getting??  ;D

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A buddy and me are fishing PP saturday.   Should have great weather.

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I just went there last Friday afternoon for the first time.  It's beautiful.  I walked upstream about 100 yards and then waded in.  I talked to a guy who had just finished catfishing and caught quite a large one.  I didn't do so well with the smallies, but I saw plenty of fish.  Had a large gar chase my lure, saw a likely 25 lb catfish by my feet (scared the hell out of me at first), saw a few eels, plenty of smaller flatheads, and of course, some smallies.

Even though I didn't do well, I had a great day.  Plan to head out there with some different lures next weekend if I'm in town.

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