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1bigpapa

Smallmouth in Virginia

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I live real close to the Shenandoah River and excellent Smallmouth fishing. However, I have always fished for Largemouth having grown up in Florida. Am I going to try many of the same presentations and just downsize them or do I need to come up with new tactics? Also, I have never been much of a river/current fisherman anyway and would love to hear your best tip on how to fish currents correctly for Smallmouth. Thanks ahead of time. Jon

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i fish the upper james river alot and like you said just down size a lil for most part. Some baits that work for me are flukes,senkos, t-rig gary yamamoto twin tail hula grub,jigs, tubes,jerk baits, small cranks,spinner baits, top water etc list goes on!

Normally ill look for where creeks flow into river, behind large rocks where current breaks or along or behind islands...my fav is find a rocky section of river thats deeper and drop shot! I also have good amount of success fishing behind sets of rapids, Cast up into the rapids and let current bring your bait back down into the pool below and keep contact with bait and hold on bc smallies will crush it coming down rapids! Also i would start out with alot of weedless type stuff till you learn the river some bc with current you get snagged its hard to turn around and go back up river to get unsnagged you will use alot off trollin motor battery tryin to fight current or by time you start motor it would already be too late. I know my section of river enough to know where i feel safe throwing cranks on certain sections and not in others. You will enjoy smallie fishing in VA im sure just keep it simple! 8-)

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Thanks Aluma - Yea, I need to learn the river before I get too crazy out there. I'm hoping to meet up with someone that knows my area of the Shenandoah pretty good and might be willing to show me the ropes. Thanks again. Jon

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Do you have a 6' to say 6'-6" med. light spinning rod?  That would work the best outfitted with a copoly line.  There are a lot of rocks and trees to knick up line!  You might want to stop by your local library and see what books they have on the James river fishing.  There are some very informative books out there.  Also, smallies a big one are pretty athletic so, I am just warning you.

  Good luck!

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Hey WdyCrankbait - I do have that rod/reel set up, just need to put on some new line. I've caught a few smallies, really small ones, and I agree, they are fun... I'm looking forward to hooking into some bigger ones... on purpose! Take care.

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hahah,  good to hear.  Post some pictures if you can when you get into the good size smallies.  Enjoy and goodl luck!

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Never lived in an area that was big on SM, now since I live by the Potomic, I do have some grubs and a lot of 4" plastics.  I just want to know if a 6'0 M pole with 8# test ok.  I want a SM/LM meet in the middle set up.

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Hey KWM - I tell you... I go against the grain with some folks when I say, just get a rig and fish... but I feel that you can catch them with just about anything. Now believe me, I do match up my rods and reels for different types of fishing and have for awhile but I think for casual fishing, it doesn't matter too, too much. Anyway, for SM around here, it's popular to get a spinning rig set up on a medium or medium-light rig about 6' long, maybe 6 & 1/2'. The 6 or 8 lb. test is good but you gotta be careful because of all the rocks, etc. in some of the rivers. the Potomac is gonna get you quite a few LM so you may wanna go ahead and get a 10 lb test line. Get a braided line if you can so you can keep that low diameter but not break lines all the time. Where do you live on the Potomac? I've fished it a few times when I used to live up there in NoVa. Good luck. Jon

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Bigpapa one recommendation try to use single hook lures.  I have used a Pop-R and crawfish crankbait, both having two treble hooks.  Both times I caught smallies with those lures the other treble hook found an eye on the smallie.  I felt terrible for that!  Just something to keep up on if you plan on releasing the fish.  Good luck and welcome to VA!

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