James River Smallies 8-14-2010

14 08 2010

Wife woke me up at 6:30am giving the me the kitchen pass (starting at 8am) to go out and fish this morning. Spent a good bit of time getting my tackle ready as it was all loaded up for largemouth fishing, but was on the water by about 9. I parked in the Pony Pasture parking lot and used my wheels to portage .2 miles down to a decent place to launch. Water temps were 83F and there was an intermittent (but sometimes strong) breeze blowing from the SE. Water was slow and low today and made fishing easy. Air temps maxed out at 90F and was humid as hell.

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The water is really low right now, the lowest it’s been in quite some time. Take a look at this picture of a large boulder, you can see the stain of the water.

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I had 4 combos setup for the day: wacky rigged 4″ watermelon w/red flake Yum Dinger (eventually switched over to a Wave Tiki Craw 3″), Pearl White Super Fluke, Rebel Pop-R, and a 1/2oz White Bleeding Shad Rat-L-Trap. The morning started slow. After reading a lot of Jeff Little’s posts on KayakBassFishing.com (and I just finished up his book), I saw a collection of foam in an eddy after a set of rapids and remembered some of his suggestions on these.

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I fully expected to catch something here, but I didn’t even get a nibble here and I cast everything I had into it. I finally got a small nibble from a small fish and tried to chase him down for 10 minutes. He ended up stealing my yum dinger so I switched over to a tailhooked Tiki Craw.

Finally hooked into what would be the smallest fish of the day, about a 10″-er on the Trap banging across some rocks. It’s a dink but the skunk is off!

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Right next to where I catch the dink, I spot a nice deep hole in between 2 sets of rapids. The water is calm here so I’m hoping to get into something. I throw my Trap to the far side of the hole and start bringing it back to me. I get a nice hit and the fight is on. It’s a sizable fish! After a solid, long fight (felt like 5 minutes, was probably more like 90 seconds) I put a 16″ fish into the boat. The fish had a battle wound or a sore on the top of its head, I took a picture of it, you can find it linked at the bottom of the page.

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I fish all the structure I can at the furthest most downstream section of Pony Pasture, so I start to make my way to a set of rapids just on the upstream side of where Powhite Parkway crosses the James. My first 5 casts here and I hook into 2 more ~14″ smallies. I think I’ve found a hot spot but then spend the rest of the next hour not catching a thing. I decide to call it a day and paddle back to the launch.

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In all, I land 6 Smallies, with most being between 13″ and 15″. No real big ones, but decent sized. I sure do love Smallie fishing, they put up a great fight. All caught on the Trap, either banging rocks or pulling the crank over a deep hole from shallow water. Didn’t get any action on any of the other lures. Here’s a vid of one of the releases:

The entire album of the day

GPX Track

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