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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening all. I'm back on the site...finally. I'm settled into my home up in Suffolk, VA (was stationed up here from Camp Lejeune). I thought that my NC fishing days were going to be few & far between, however, I've found that I'm only 34 miles from the Chowan River, specifically Shoup's Landing off of HWY 13.

From my research (aerial photos, maps, old NC Game & Fish magazine articles, etc...), I've decided to give the Chowan an honest shot of being my home/local/Go-To waters. From what I've read, the Chowan offers some of the finest bass fishing waters in NC, has plenty of depth, & plenty of structure & cover.

I've owned a Pontoon since 2006 (22' Suntracker Fishing Barge) & used it for bass fishing along with other types of fishing. However, even with the slightest bit of wind blowing, the pontoon was nearly impossible to control in the wind with a trolling motor.

I just recently, 1 & 1/2 weeks ago, bought me a used bass boat. It is a 1989 Winner Tournament 2000 with a 200 HP Evinrude XP VRO; 70 lbs thrust trolling motor, Hummingbird on the dash with down imaging, a basic Lowrance up front. I've finally got a dedicated bass boat that gives me the ability to more effectively fish for bass.

I hate to immediately start asking for assistance after being away for such a long time, however, I would greatly appreciate any help, insight, pointers, hints, etc... to help me & my son on this body of water. My son will be 14 in late July & he is 100% addicted to bass fishing. He's become pretty darn proficient with a baitcaster & I've made his day by allowing him to use MY expensive rod/reel outfits.

I'm not necessarily looking or asking for anyone’s secrets, the location of your Honey Holes, etc... I'm just trying to gain a better understanding of the river & at least a point in the right direction to get me & my boy on some fish. I'm also looking for some conversations & the possibility of fishing some tournaments on the river. Well, I should say "Donating my money" instead of fishing a tournament because it will be me & my son fishing them so that he can live out his Kevin Van Dam fantasies! Lol

Any & all help will be greatly appreciated & thank you all in advance.

Respectfully;
Donnie L. Hoskins
Staff Sgt/ U.S. Marine Corps (Active Duty)
 

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Interested in this too... Chowan was on the brain just yesterday and I'm thinking about making a 4-day Albemarle Sound river excursion Haven't been on the Chowan in decades but we used to slay'em on a T-Rigged black worm with a chartreuse curly tail. Interestingly, that's where the old man took me back some 30 years back when I first got the tug bug.

Great you're back and thanks for your service!
 

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Grew up there and it's a great place to fish. But lots of areas. Can fish Lilly pads, stumps, cypress trees, etc. Mud bottom up river, sand down. Stripers come in certain times of the year too. Just get out and start exploring. I always liked going up some of the creeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Grew up there and it's a great place to fish. But lots of areas. Can fish Lilly pads, stumps, cypress trees, etc. Mud bottom up river, sand down. Stripers come in certain times of the year too. Just get out and start exploring. I always liked going up some of the creeks.
That's some good information & I appreciate your help. I know the big island down river from Shoup's landing holds fish & is a popular spot. If I know that, especially just from looking on Google, then so does everyone else. One of the big questions is if there is good bass fishing all along the river? Basically, no matter if I turn right from Shoup's Landing & go up river or if I turn left & go down river...will I have a good chance of getting on the fish regardless of which direction I go?


Interested in this too... Chowan was on the brain just yesterday and I'm thinking about making a 4-day Albemarle Sound river excursion Haven't been on the Chowan in decades but we used to slay'em on a T-Rigged black worm with a chartreuse curly tail. Interestingly, that's where the old man took me back some 30 years back when I first got the tug bug.

Great you're back and thanks for your service!
You're welcome Sir & thank you for the info & more importantly your support & patriotism. I thought that I had enough colors of plastic worms, however, I guess I'll have to locate & buy some black w/ chart. tail worms in various sizes for the Chowan. Though, I might just try one of the many darker colors that I have in my current arsenal to see if they work as well. Might even be better, especially if I can find a different color that the bass will hit as good as the Chowan's black w/chart. tail staple...It will allow me to use something different than most everyone else. Regardless, there will be black w/ chart tail soft plastics in my boat!
 

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I fished a trib(Wiccacon River)of the Chowan some years ago. I launched at the boat ramp and all I can say is that it was not a waste of time. Hooked a massive fish in a bed of pads but lost it. The quantity of snakes in the area are breathtaking but at no point ever felt threatened.
 

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MPT's right... Now that he mentioned it I remember the snakes vividly. I don't recall them being aggressive either but a moccasin did slide off a branch into the boat once when we went in close to get a snagged lure... That was our fault, failed to check the tree before we approached.
 

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Been fishin tributaries of the albemarle for about 40 yrs - chowan, yeopim, perquim, and columbia are all good. Chowan: whites landing, rockyhock - generally, the north side of the river is best. White or chartreuse buzz baits are good, particularly for locating 'em. Then I like to throw topwaters: spittin images, nippi-deedees, spin-sticks, etc. You'll be surprised how close to cover they hold, particularly this time of year. Casting accuracy is important, but sounds like your boy has that covered. Like the others said, DO watch for mr no-shoulders. If one hasn't fallen into the water by your boat (or into the boat) while retreiving a snag-up, you just aint been fishing the chowan long enough yet. Good luck. Post back with some results ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I fished a trib(Wiccacon River)of the Chowan some years ago. I launched at the boat ramp and all I can say is that it was not a waste of time. Hooked a massive fish in a bed of pads but lost it. The quantity of snakes in the area are breathtaking but at no point ever felt threatened.
Was the boat ramp that you launched from located on the Wiccacon River itself? My boy & I launched from Shoup's Landing & eventually went down to the Wiccacon...I'm glad we did! Started off fishing the the North & West sides of the river, casting into cover that "looked" like a "perfect" bass spot. We didn't have any luck, so I decided to move to the South & East banks; that's where we got our bites from. We did see a Cotton Mouth slide into the water from a stump that had grass & shrubrey growing on it when we were going in to release a hang up.

MPT's right... Now that he mentioned it I remember the snakes vividly. I don't recall them being aggressive either but a moccasin did slide off a branch into the boat once when we went in close to get a snagged lure... That was our fault, failed to check the tree before we approached.
I'm glad that I read your post before my son & I went out; I checked every overhead, hangin branch whenever we had to go into the bank to get ourself free'd from a hang-up.

Can't beat a 1/4oz white buzzbait over the wood. Doesn't matter what time of day. Let us know how you do.
Agreed & it happened. Caught a nice keeper adjacent to the Shoup's Landing boat ramp on a white in color Booyah buzz bait. It was during the late evening hour, the typical "time" that it's said to throw topwater lures, but I'll be trying the topwater bite throughout the various times during the day in future trips.

I 2nd the buzzbait on the Chowan.
I can now & will 3rd the buzzbait on the Chowan.

Been fishin tributaries of the albemarle for about 40 yrs - chowan, yeopim, perquim, and columbia are all good. Chowan: whites landing, rockyhock - generally, the north side of the river is best. White or chartreuse buzz baits are good, particularly for locating 'em. Then I like to throw topwaters: spittin images, nippi-deedees, spin-sticks, etc. You'll be surprised how close to cover they hold, particularly this time of year. Casting accuracy is important, but sounds like your boy has that covered. Like the others said, DO watch for mr no-shoulders. If one hasn't fallen into the water by your boat (or into the boat) while retreiving a snag-up, you just aint been fishing the chowan long enough yet. Good luck. Post back with some results ...
Well, I guess I've been fishing the Chowan long enough, even though we've now only fished it one time now, because we had one slide off of a vegitated stump into the water that was right next to the boat when we were going in to recover a hung lure.

My son did pretty good in regards to casting yesterday. He had a couple of tree casts, but all in all I was very pleased & proud of how well he did casting in & around cover.

I'm going to post results & a report in a different post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My son & I fished the Chowan yesterday. We put in at Shoup's Landing at approximately noon. We started off by making our way down the river on a south bearing in order to recon the area. I simply wanted to look for obstacles & depth of the river in order to safely navigate. The most important thing to me is ensure the safety of my family; so a map, photo, & physical recon of the area in which we would be traveling at higher speeds was in order.

Water Temps: Mid to high 60's in the main river & around Island Creek...low 70's in the Wiccacon River.

Water Clarity: Tea colored water but fairly clear, I'd say that I could see my lure (white/chart spinner bait) down to about 2 1/2 to 3 feet.

Wind was constant & hard enough to put a good chop on the water; approximately anywhere from 10-15 mph wind speed.

Sky conditions were partly cloudy.

All fish were caught on a white & chart spinner bait (nickle/gold willow leaf blades), a square bill crank, & a white buzz bait.

Only (2) fish were caught around Island Creek; (1) largemouth on a square bill crank & (1) bow fin on a white/chart spinner bait. We were fishing this area during mid-day.

The rest of our fish came from Wiccacon River & the Shoups Landing boat ramp. I personally caught (2) Largemouth & (1) bowfin there on the spinner bait. My son caught a couple of Largemouth & a Pike (that was a surprise!!!) on a KVD 1.5 square bill. The other Largemouth was caught near Shoups Landing on a white spinner bait.

All in all it was a really good day considering the fact that we got a late start & it was our first time ever fishing the Chowan. Not all caught were bass, but I don't mind catching Bowfin & Pike...or anything else for that matter; just as long as something is being caught. We're targeting bass, but any fish caught is an added bonus as far as we are concerned.

My son was excited to catch the pike, especially after I told him that I have never caught a Pike before in my life.

I hope that in the future I can get much more efficient & much more accurate on establishing a pattern, finding the areas that are holding fish, & being able to maximize fishing time & fuel by selecting the appropriate area on the river to launch from.

My goal anytime I go out with my son or with my wife & son together is to be safe & to be able to get them onto the fish. Any and all help will continue to be greatly appreciated. By all means, PM me with any info! I will continue to share my knowledge & reports after each outing on the Chowan or any other NC fishing trip.
 

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since irene eastern albemarle rivers have been better for bass fishing than the chowan, but lately it has improved considerably. most tournament fishermen seem to agree that in the chowan, best areas to fish are river bank trees/stumps from 13hwy to holiday island. senko is killer in the trees, and the water is usually a weird black/clear. rockyhock is immensely popular, and keel creek gets a visit regularly, although hurricanes have laid down some major wood obstacles to getting in there the past few years. be wary of stake nets in the main river channel which are hard to see when the river gets wide, as well as the black float crab pots someone thought was a good idea. you should be able to see most of the wood in the water of the main river, especially near keel creek. there is also a stump field around the river bend at holiday island on the left. i like green pumpkin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is the banks located on the main river a good place to fish? Basically do they hold good numbers of bass or is it better to fish the tributaries (rivers & creeks)? Also, do these areas hold fish all year long or do I HAVE to fish the southern areas of the river. The closest ramp to me is Shoups Landing at the HWY 13 bridge. Does the river hold bass in that area year long or does the majority migrate south toward the Albermale? I've read articles about fishing river systems & one of the articles stated that bass will migrate north or toward the head of the river during the spring in order to spawn & will then migrate toward the mouth after the spawn in search of baitfish.

Does this sound like characteristics of the Chowan, Meherrin, Wiccacon, etc...?
 

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Chowan bass spawn in the creeks but from postspawn on will line the main river in those trees I mentioned before. Always some fish out there spawning also, so never really a bad time to fish the river, just better times to fish the creeks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's what I kind of figured, especially, the smaller creeks. What confuses me, what I'm indecisive about is the smaller rivers such as the Wiccacon & Meherrin that dump into the Chowan. Would a person still treat these bodies of water like an independent river system?

Its pretty exciting to hear that bass on the Chowan can be caught in the shallow water cover (trees, stumps, vegetation, etc...). It's also good to hear that deeper water structure such as log jams, standing timber, etc...can also be fished to some success as well. Am I in the ball park with my understanding of where to fish on the main river (Chowan)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Went back to Chowan on Sunday (18 May). Launched again from Shoup's (HWY 13), but instead of turning left & heading south down the river, I decided to turn right & go north.

Seeing how this was only the 2nd time I've been to the Chowan, I wanted to get eyes on different water. One thing about the Chowan...dang near everywhere you look it looks like a bass' living room! My son & I stopped just north of the HWY 13 bridge & fished some beautiful shoreline on the east bank...not a bite.

We popped smoke & pushed up into the Meherinn River & on into the "P" Creek (I have no clue how to spell &/or pronounce the name of that creek). We managed only (3) fish, my son caught (2) on a Square Bill & I caught one on a spinner bait. All were caught in the lily pads at breaks in the current.

Just when we were establishing a pattern, a wall of darkness (storm clouds) started rolling our way. no need to chance it, especially with my son onboard, so we once again popped smoke & made our way to the ramp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
keeper fish?
Only one of the (3) were keepers & it was the last fish caught. I caught it on a spinner bait. I'm going back to the Chowan Friday & hope that I can find some more areas.

I'm debating on either launching once again at Shoup's & fishing the areas near Shoup's & also pushing on north up the river...OR if I'm going to launch from a different location & fish in & around Wiccacon, Bennetts Creek, Holiday Island, etc...

Regardless, I'll be doing both over the course of the next week. Along with fishing, I'm also recon'ing different areas so that I can become much more familiar & knowledgeable with the Chowan & its' tributaries.
 

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The Chowan is probably my favorite place in the state to frog fish. I fish hollow bodies and ribbits. Another thing I like to do is throw t rigged lizards and worms in the pads and let them fall in the holes. Seen a few good sacks come that way. I generally fish near Holiday Island and launch out of Rocky Hock. Hope you figure them out soon.
 
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