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osbornj2

New River Smallies  - good day today!

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This was my first smallie trip this year, and, boy, did we pick a good day! Air and water temps have been rising all week (finally ;D ), and today was the warmest all week. Overcast skies, with a little breeze all day...mmm mmm mmm !

Got my new PB - 19.75 in. / 3 lbs 12 oz. Also caught an 18.5 in. / 3 lb 2 oz. Both on lipless cranks in deep pools.

But, the big catch of the day was my uncle Jack's monster! She went 21.0 in. / 4lb 5 oz. I swear, when she rolled beside the boat, I thought it was either a carp or a big walleye! I was much more excited than Jack was (this was not even his PB, even though it by far qualified for a citation in VA). He caught her on a LC pointer in the same deep pool that I got both of mine in, and all 3 were within an hour or so of each other.

This pic is of my 18.5 in. fish. The stupid battery went dead on my camera right after Jack's fish, so we weren't able to get a pic of my new PB :'( :'(. Well, atleast I have a witness!

I still am not techologically advanced enough yet to be able to post multiple pics at the same time, so I will reply to this post with a pic of Jack's fattie!

post-6403-130163018795_thumb.jpg

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As promised, here is Jack's big girl.....

post-6403-1301630188_thumb.jpg

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awesome! I've only fished the New once but I can't wait to go back. Those fish get HUGE down there! Where were you fishing?

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Those are some good'uns osborn! Way to go guys!

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Thanks Dan and Scott.  We put in at the Pepper's Ferry Bridge (just outside of Radford...between Radford and Blacksburg), and floated down to the arsenal area.  There is a train tressle that goes over the water, and we usually fish the big long stretch below the tressle.

We take Jack's boat, which has a 15hp outboard, so we can get back up.  Some people make this float in a canoe or kayak, and will float all the way down to either Whitethorne or even to McCoy Falls, and have a vehicle waiting down there.  You just have to be ready for a full day if you do that, because you cannot stop and go ashore onto the aresenal's property, so you just keep on a'floatin', all the way down!

You may want to check the local water conditions if you're thinking of coming down from the Richmond area, as they run water pretty regularly out of the Claytor dam, and if the water is up and/or moving pretty quickly, it can get pretty scary sometimes (even though this particular area is some 10-15 miles downstream from the dam).  Jack lives in Radford, so he can just go over there and check it out (plus, he's lived there for 30+ years, so he generally knows the cycles!), bu I'm sure that the Army Corps probably posts the generation schedules somewhere online ????

Anyway...best of luck to you if you head down!  There will be atleast 3 decent fish that are still in that hole this evening !

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cool. I remember crossing Pepper's Ferry Bridge when I went to Parrott this summer to wade fish. That is a beautiful river down there. Rockier than what I'm used to wading, but you can tell that helps the crawfish population and in turn the size of the smallmouth.

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Those are beautiful fish. Great post, congratulations!

8-)

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Those are some nice smallies!!  I have been planning to take a trip up to the new for about 6 mouths now just waiting for the weather to warm up a little.  Do you have any problems running a boat it a small outboard on that part of the new.  I have read that parts of the river you can only fish from a canoe or raft.  I have a 14' jon with a little 8hp on it I was thinking of fishing from.

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RW - I had hoped to get a bag like your avatar photo before I posted any pics of me with a smallie here, but this one will have to suffice!  Thanks for the kind words.  :)

As far as the questions re: boat and motor size....I confess that I am NO expert on the New...I know enough to know that it can be a fairly dangerous river (LOTS of big rocks, fast currents, deep holes, drop-off shelfs, etc....all the things that contribute to it's being a world-class SMB fishery)

With all that being said, it continues to be a very productive river, year after year.  Many people fish it successfully from the bank and by wading.  Because of the natural topography, and because of land-use restrictions (i.e. the Radford Army Arsenal), it can be difficult to either fish from the shore or to launch a boat.  I am fortunate that I have an uncle who has lived in Radford for most of his adult life, and now that his children are grown and he is retired, it affords him the luxury of being able to specifically pursue larger fish (opposed to "numbers"); and, naturally, I benefit from his experience and knowledge!

He has a 16ft, aluminum, flat-bottom, jon with a 15hp ob (short shaft), and he knows the river extraordinarily well...so we rarely have any major issues.  As I mentioned in the earlier post, we put in at the Pepper's Ferry Bridge, and then motor down to the railroad tressle.  You can launch a canoe, kayak, raft, or anything that you'd like at this area, although it is not an "improved" ramp (i.e. the gravel road just sort of ends in the river...it is not concrete, and there are no docks, etc.).  There is some parking under the bridge, and usually there aren't too many people here.  

Getting down the river from there is usually not terribly difficult, esp if they are running water from Claytor Lake dam.  Although in the heart of the summer, sometimes even going downstream can be tricky.  It's the coming back up, even with a 15hp ob, that can be difficult.  We always take hip waders, in case we have to get out and walk the boat back up some of the riffles.

There are some professional guides that are also starting to use this area quite a bit, namely because it has the potential to produce some very quality fish, and it is a little more "difficult" to get to (i.e. the college students can't just come down there and wade the area!!). Some of them, I understand, use rafts with outboards, and some use jet motors.  If you know what you are doing, and use a little practical common sense, you can be safe and successful.

Please also note that you CANNOT exit your boat and go ashore on the long stretch that passes through the Aresenal property (they do have armed guards posted in towers !!).  In fact, right after 9/11, they completely closed off this section of the river (i.e. steel cables all the way across the river!!) to all users...but the fishing community rallied, and it has since been reopened.  So, if you are planning a true "float", meaning a canoe, raft, or kayak...just be prepared to float for a good while before you can get out and go on dry land!  The next main area downstream is in Whitethorne, which is probably a little closer to Blacksburg.  By the time you get down there, the water has flattened out a little, and you'll need to paddle quite a bit.  However, this is where a lot of the muskies are caught!

Next main area is Parrott/McCoy Falls.  This is an EXTRAORDINARILY popular area, esp with students from both Radford Univ. and Va Tech.  It is relatively shallow and flat, so there is a lot of wading, tubing, swimming, etc (read - Lots of partying and drinking...not that I ever did any of that while I was in school at Tech !!)

Well, hope this helps anyone who is thinking of fishing the area.  Don't forget to get the skinny on the water levels, as the Army Corps releases water regularly from Claytor Dam, and it can have a very signifigant impact on the fishing and your ability to navigate successfully.  I don't know where right off hand, but I am sure that you could find this online somewhere....?  Maybe someone who reads this will know more about it and can provide a website or phone number that you can  call.

Tight Lines....

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