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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got the opportunity to spend the weekend fishing with my best friend Mark on the New River in WV. I know this is a site about NC but since the river originates in NC that sort of counts, plus the trip was too good not to share. We have been fishing this part of the river since about 1997. He lives in the area and has guided in the past so we know our way around pretty well. I got lucky and the conditions were about perfect for late summer. Rain had colored the water and forced Bluestone lake to open a gate to release water. When this happens it flushes large amounts of shad down the river and the fish go on a feeding frenzy.

We were on the water early on Saturday. It was overcast and threatening rain. At our first stop we could see fish everywhere busting the shad on top. It took us a bit to figure them out but once we started catching it didn't stop all day. The best time was about a 2 hour stretch when it started raining and we caught probably 40 bass in one spot. At one point I caught a fish on 6 consecutive casts. The best part was that these were quality fish. We guesstimated that the average size was probably 12" or better. We had numerous fish in the 14-17" range. My biggest was 18" and Mark caught one right at the end of the day that was right at 20". We didn't count but we figure we had close to 80 fish for the day.

A couple views of the beautiful gorge.
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Looked down to see this guy on my life jacket. He just kept sitting there and even crawled onto my finger. Finally had to set him down on the raft frame to get back to fishing.
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I caught a rock, literally! The hook actually went through a hole in the rock, a first for me.
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Big fish from Saturday.
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By Sunday the water had cleared and most of the shad were gone so it was slower. However, the first or second bite of the day was a giant. We didn't have a tape measure but this fish was 21-22" and fat with shad. I caught some nice fish but wasn't able to connect with any big ones. Mark also added a big old flathead he caught on a spinning rod with a tube and 8lb test. He fought the fish for at least 15 minutes. We only fished a 1/2 day but we still probably had 30+ fish.
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In a day and a half we boated well over 100 bass and we also landed redeye, 1 walleye, and 2 flatheads. The only species we didn't hook was musky. The New River is a truly special place and if you have never had the opportunity to fish it you should put it on your to-do list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great trip, I love that river.

The butterfly is a hackberry emperor. They really like to land on people for some reason. Makes photography easier.
Thanks for the identification. I was wondering what type of butterfly that was.
 

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That's awesome, Andrew. Those are some nice smallmouth! Looks like a phenomenal trip, thanks for sharing the pictures!
 
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Awesome post! Lovin that Saturday fish.

I grew up in Beckley and remember going to Hinton with my grandfather and fishing at night with live helgramites. Don't remember what we were fishing for though. He also talked about Sandstone. Somehow I managed to miss fishing there when I was growing up but would give anything to do it now.
 

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Were those shad coming through the gate live or dead?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Awesome post! Lovin that Saturday fish.

I grew up in Beckley and remember going to Hinton with my grandfather and fishing at night with live helgramites. Don't remember what we were fishing for though. He also talked about Sandstone. Somehow I managed to miss fishing there when I was growing up but would give anything to do it now.
If you were using helgramites I'm sure it was for smallies. When we first started fishing the New we waded in Hinton at the mouth of the Greenbrier. There is a parking area an you can get out and wade fish on one side of Sandstone falls. We caught a pile of redeye there one time.

Were those shad coming through the gate live or dead?
Live, they just drift down the river in little pods. The bass set up in ambush spots and when some drift over they tee-off on them.
 

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They are good. Possibly the only DQ in the world with a split level dining room overlooking a river.
you guys are making me homesick! I grew up in Beaver (near Beckley), and although I wasn't a fisherman back in my young days my dad and brother were. We used to go down there all the time, and stopped at the DQ and another restaurant right beside it (the name escapes me) for a meal. Great times and a great river. They used to wade in front of the dam.
 

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Hope this is not a thread high-jack, but at the end of the month my wife and I are going to kayak the some of the south fork of the New. Any Tips? We plan on camping the wagoneer and 221 access and fishing to twin rivers campground. Neither of us have fished the new before so any tips will be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
you guys are making me homesick! I grew up in Beaver (near Beckley), and although I wasn't a fisherman back in my young days my dad and brother were. We used to go down there all the time, and stopped at the DQ and another restaurant right beside it (the name escapes me) for a meal. Great times and a great river. They used to wade in front of the dam.
I believe the other place is Kirk's
 
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