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OK, I'm hooked

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My son and I went out to Pony Pasture on the James River (Richmond, VA).  We fished from 9:30 AM until 12:50 PM.   Between us, we caught 21 smallmouth, 8 redbreast sunfish, and I caught a 20" channel cat.

None of the smallies were very big.  The smallest wasn't much bigger than my thumb.  My largest was 11 inches.  I caught several around 9-10 inches, as did my son.  The small fish were brightly colored.  The larger ones were very bronze.  

The sunfish were surprising fighters.  We caugh a couple of large ones and they put up quite a struggle.

The catfish was a surprise as it was caught in very shallow water with a tiny jig.  

I learned a few things today:

- Bass Pro Shops Squirmin' Grub (1") on a plain jig head worked best.   Solid white produced the most fish (and strikes) including the catfish, followed by gold with metal flake, then black.  Bass Pro Shops Triple Tail Grub (2") in electric grape on a plain jighead produced well (not as good as white, but better than gold and black).   Chartreuse, watermelon and pumpkin produced no fish and only a couple of strikes.   The smallest jigs caught the biggest fish.

-Blakemore Roadrunners with a gold willow blade and a 3" white Triple Tail grub produced a few strikes, but no fish.  The same Blakemores with flukes produced no strikes or fish.  

-Spinner baits of any kind produced no stikes or fish.  

- I really like Stren Magnathin line.  We both fished with 6' light action roads and casting even tiny jigs was easy.  Abrasions did not seem to be an issue.  Line twist seems minimal, noticably less than with standard mono.

Anyways, it was a fantastic day.  Warm, clear water, few bathers, and only a few other fishermen.  

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Great day man, I fished there today and caught 6, all 10+ inchers. If you want to get into the larger keeper size fish I suggest upgrading your tackle.

I was using a 6'6" MH Loomis casting rod with 12lb fluoro and a t-rigged 3.5inch tube with an 1/8oz weight. I also caught several on a medium sized Rapala husky jerk.

You may think I'm crazy but you'd be surprised, I used to think that smaller river=smaller baits, but I have just as much success with the bigger stuff and the fish I catch are much bigger.

:)

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Thanks, I'll try that soon.  My goal today was to at least catch some fish, and hopefully a lot of them since I had my 12 year old son with me.  He had a great day - lots of fish.  Now I'd like to catch some bigger fish.

Where were you?  I was fishing about 100 yards upstream from the concrete steps that lead down from the parking area.  I was fishing aroung the grassy islands and in the big calm area between the rocks down from the spillway and the rocks that all the bathers like to lounge on.  

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I believe I saw you, were you wearing a black shirt?

I went across the river to a dam that is on the far side, that is where I caught all of my fish. They like to hang around the tailraces because of the moving water, which is especially true when it is as hot as it is.

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That was me - black shirt, sunglasses, black fanny pack, white shorts.  I had my 12 year old with me, or at least somewhere near me.  

I think we caught all our fish, except the cat, in moving water.  

Now that I know that area a little better, I'm going to start exploring more.  

How's the area a little further up near the dam?  Where that big tree is stuck?

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The area right up near the dam is a good spot during the summer because of the current but it gets a fair amount of pressure. I suggest going straight across the river from the parking lot and fishing the wooded island and the "hidden" dam on the other side.  

When you finish fishing that section move up the river and rig up a 3.5" tube in a natural color with a 2/0 wide gap and an 1/8oz weight. Throw it right into the fastest, strongest current flows you can find, keep a semi-taught line and let the bait drift naturally with the current. Fish will dart out of nowhere to smash your bait, the bite will usually either be a hard thump or line just starts moving against the current.

I'll probably be back out there either Saturday or Sunday morning with my dad

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I've uploaded an aerial view.  The area encircled by orange is where we fished for the most part.

I haven't been to the hidden dam, but I see it on the aerial view.  When you say move up river, do you mean up above that dam?

What's the best way across the river to that dam?   It doesn't look very far from the parking lot on the map, but that dam is a pretty good hike.  

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Nevermind, I saw your answer in the Pony Pasture thread.

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Try throwing a 7" Berkley Power worm Tex-posed.

You will be suprised at the outcome. All my big smallmouth come on those worms in motoroil color or black.

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Nevermind, I saw your answer in the Pony Pasture thread.

Actually, it would probably be a better route if you go straight across from the spot you were fishing. It would be a shorter hike and you could hit many of the good spots on the way over.

ry throwing a 7" Berkley Power worm Tex-posed.

You will be suprised at the outcome. All my big smallmouth come on those worms in motoroil color or black.

I'm gonna have to try that on the ledges and in the pools, sounds like a good idea.

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