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Smallmouth fishing in Virginia - need advice

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I would like to give smallmouth fishing a try in the spring.  I've never done it before.  I know there are some very good smallmouth waters in the Commonwealth within a few hours of where I live (southeastern, Virginia).  

I don't have a kayake or a canoe, and would be wade or bank fishing.  Where would be a good place to go that will provide a reasonable chance to catch some fish.  I don't care about size, I just want to catch a few smallies.  

I'm somewhat familiar with the James River in the Bent Creek area (where RT 60 crosses the James).  I'm also familiar with the Maury River in the Goshen area.  Also, the Maury River where is meets the James River.  

Can someone tell me of some good areas with public access for wade/bank fishing where the goal is to learn to fish for smallies where there is a better than average chance of hooking some?

Thanks.

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Also, if you were just beginning to fish for smallies, what would be your top 3 techniques?

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Well, for wading I would suggest the Pony Pasture area of the James (which is just above Richmond and is dotted with boulders and rocks) or you could go on a bit of a roadtrip up to the Rivanna river which is just outside of Charlottesville in Troy, VA. (it's about an hours drive from my house in southeastern hanover county)

Those are really the only 2 places that I fish regularly.

My top techniques for wading are as follows...

1. 3" tube in a natural color rigged weedless on a "stupid tube" jighead

2. LC Pointer 78 or small Rapala husky Jerk in tennessee shad worked quickly through deeper pools

3. 5/16oz Eakins finesse jig with a RI smallie beaver trailer

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Pony Pasture.  Is that in James River Park?  I think I've been there before.   Is that where the big rounded boulders are where people swim and sunbathe?

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Yeah there are usually a lot of swimmers and sunbathers around.  There is usually a pretty interesting crowd down there.   Here is the address if you need to mapquest it.

Pony Pasture Rapids

Riverside Dr and E Rockfalls Dr

Richmond, VA 23235

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I know you don't hear this often, but my big producer for smallies in the Catt Creek is a 7" power worm in motor oil or green pumpking color. Big smallies love em. Also a gulp shakey worm on a 3/16 giggy head produced my biggest smallmouth of the year at little over 4 lbs. Going to try some tubes next year but in all my years of smallie fishing they LOVE the power worm line. Never felt the need to try anything else even though a big go to bait are tubes.

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I have been doing pretty well on soft jerkbaits fished slowly as well as shaky heads for river smallies.

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Thanks for the info.

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I went to Pony Pasture today - not to fish, but to swim with my two sons.  My other intent was to scope out the waters for fishing.

I saw 4 or 5 guys fishing.   One guy was using a smallish spinner bait in chartreuse with a gold blade.  He said that was productive.  He was also using a Blakemore Blade Runner with a chartreuse twisty tail grub.  One guy was fly fishing.

I didn't see any big fish, but I saw a lot of small fish.  There were a lot of small silver fish (2-3 inches) in groups in the calm areas.  What were these?  Herring or shad fingerlings?  

Looking forward to going up there smallie fishing.

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Probably small shad, and bringing a MH action casting rod with heavy line for all of the huge gar in there wouldn't be a bad idea either. I usually toss em a big jerkbait or live shad, works like a charm ;)

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There's gar above the fall line ?  :o

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Wow SS, that's a nice fish for the Pony Pasture

There's gar above the fall line ?  Shocked

Oh yeah man, biggins to...

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Wow, that is a nice smallie - for anywhere.

OK, I can't wait until spring.  My son and I will be heading to Pony Pasture in the morning.   We got our light spinning rigs outfitted with 6# mono.  I'm taking a selection of small Blakemore Roadrunners with various twisty tails, small flukes, some Marabou jigs, spinners, small spinner baits.   Truck is already loaded.  

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47 minutes ago, Fishin923 said:

Where would be the closest launch point from Newport News to go smallmouth fishing? Thanks.

 

Hello and Congrats on your first post to the Bass Resource Forum.

This is thread is just short of 10 years old.

You'd stand a better chance of eliciting a response if you re-post your inquiry here ~ 

https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/forum/16-southeast-bass-fishing/

A-Jay

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