Posted on by Green Top in Blog, Fishing, Fresh Water Fishing, Virginia Bass Fishing. No Comments

We had not seen anyone but each other for quite a few hours. The mild shock of quickly sliding down the rapids in our boat was augmented by two men suddenly standing on the rocky near bank, tossing bucktails into some deep water. We agreed that they were trying for stripers given the time of year, choice of lure, and the rockfishiness of the hole they were scouring. My mind turned quickly from smallmouth bass in the bright sunlight and green water to striped bass at night under the lights. Brit snapped me out of my reverie, pointing at a foam trough. “Jerk bait.” he said. I nodded and put out a team of casts, spanking the worth-every-penny fifteen dollar lure throughout the water. Mickey, my fishing partner, worked a tube on the bottom with his eyes glued to the line.
Most of the day went like that; reaction bites from the jerkbait, and more accurate fishing with a tube. The morning was extremely productive. When the sun came up on us at New River Outfitters near VA Tech, the sky was cloudy and the day felt like fishing weather. When I said just that, Mickey replied that any weather is good fishing weather. I had to concur. Fishing with Mickey is like fishing with a Green Top Hemingway. Declarative sentences and no mincing of words. If you get the chance to fish with Mickey, I recommend it.
The water had only just started to come down from all of the recent rain. It was a lovely green with a two foot visibility. The runoff from creeks entering the river was clear as a bell and we rang it all day long. Our first stop was just such a creek. There was bait flying from the water that suggested the predators lurking below. We didnt hook up at that spot, but Mickey and I both got our citations shortly thereafter. The smallmouth were almost all large with a spring yellow tint to their bronzed sides. Between the two of us, we racked up twelve fish over seventeen inches with two citations and several that were very close. The numbers never really tell the story; the strength of the fish, the jumps, the takes, and the silences are what fishing is about. Numbers are absolute, but transient in my memory compared to the smallie that came off of my tube at the high point of a long arc in the air. Others shook the jerkbait furiously just above the surface of the water. March is a season of stored energy waiting release. The heat inside these fish was palpable, their eyes were tiny furnaces. We tried to photograph a nice double, I couldn’t hold mine; she was too wild for my thumb.
Fishing the New River is like being transported to another time. I would say back to another time, but there is nothing in my past to compare it to. The fish are strong and their movements throughout the year are enigmatic and changing. If you live in VA and consider yourself a serious angler, you need to experience the New. In a world full of spin and hype, it is what it is cracked up to be.

 

Gabe




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