If you’ve been reading about fishing the New River for smallmouths, you may be thinking what’s the big deal? The New River is onsidered one of the top rivers for catching smallmouth bass in the country.
Fishing the New River for smallmouths
For those who like excitement with their world-class fishing for smallmouth bass, few rivers, if any, are better than the New.
“Many Class I to IV rapids daunt the New throughout its course. The chunk-rock banks; long, cobble riffles; and numerous mid-river ledges are prime habitat for big, mature bronzebacks,” says Britt Stoudenmire of Canoe the New Outfitters & Guide Service.
Bruce Ingram, author of The New River Guide, adds, “Throughout its length across three states, the New has a strong undertow, the likes of which I have never seen in any other river. Always wear a life jacket while wade fishing and float fishing.
“Like the fishing, weather on the New River can be very unpredictable,” says Stoudenmire. “But for those who aren’t afraid to battle cold weather, harsh winds, high water and even occasional snow, the late winter and early spring typically produce the best numbers of 4-pound-plus fish.”
On the other hand, an angler can expect good numbers of 10- to 14-inch bass from late spring through summer, with an occasional tackle-tester of 17 to 20 inches joining the fray. A wide variety of baits will fool aggressive bass during this time.
“As the river begins to cool in the late fall and the river levels begin to rise, fishing in the midst of the vivid fall colors on the New River can be nothing short of sensational,” says Stoudenmire, adding that quality bass of 2 pounds and more, likely will attack reaction baits, including spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwaters. Original article here
More background information about the New River from Wikipedia:
The New River, part of the Ohio River watershed, is a tributary of the Kanawha River about 320 mi (515 km) long. The river flows through the U.S. states of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Much of the river’s course through West Virginia is designated as the New River Gorge National River, and the New River is one of the nation’s American Heritage Rivers.
It was named the New River because it was not known to early Atlantic Coast explorers. Despite its name, the New River is the second oldest river in the world geologically, and the only nontidal river that crosses the Appalachian Mountains.
This ancient river begins in the mountains of North Carolina near the Tennessee state line, flows generally northwestward across the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Appalachian Valley, Ridge and Valley Province, and the Allegheny Front in western Virginia and West Virginia, then cuts through the Appalachian Plateau (in the New River Gorge) to meet the Gauley River and become the Kanawha River in south-central West Virginia. The Kanawha then flows to the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Much of the river’s course is lined with steep cliffs and rock outcrops, particularly in its gorge in West Virginia. Original article here
If you ever get the chance to fish the New River for smallmouths, go for it. Just be careful you don’t end up going over the rapids!
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