We enjoyed time on Father’s Day with family, friends and on the water. NCRA attended the informal Open House at Sheppard Mill and conducted some cursory fish-finding to see what is in the Millpond at Snow Creek. We have suspicions of what species are there but want hard proof. Also want to see if there are numbers enough to hold kids fishing clinics or other educational fishing programs. I suspect there is, but we better conduct more fish sampling outings-the 2 year old cut us short on the fishing! Sheppard Mill is a wonderful piece of local history with many great plans for the future!
We also spent time on the Dan River with the kids. Youngest caught a little smallie, they looked for bugs and critters and of course threw some rocks! The senses were alerted, nature crept into the bones and balance was created walking in the River (and in the soul)! It is always fun to see the reactions of kids when they first see something new in the environment. The River is a great place to spend time, with tons of wildlife, the water is cool on the toes and fishing is usually productive enough for kids to see and touch a few fish.
It was refreshing to hit a new stretch of water this past weekend. Not a new body of water, but a new stretch of River. A new section was in order to replenish the senses and find a little sense of adventure. One can become complacent in fishing the same bodies and stretches of water. Those known holes that hold fish become mundane and this can be a bad thing for the kayak river angler. You need to keep your senses and skillset sharp!
With the proper research and knowledge of a stretch of River, it can be fun in looking for new holes, ledges and pools that you know will hold fish if approached properly. That was the case this weekend.
We began by lining up a shuttle at the take out and asking the appropriate questions about river levels, rapid locations and any other hazards. Online research, publications and most importantly local river buff knowledge are all good places to look and ask for information about new waters.
Our evening started out slowly but we changed lures often and tried all of the likely spots for River Smallmouth Bass which included rocky outcrops, rock ledges, woody debris, shoots and pools. We quickly developed a pattern and found the fish to be in moving water between ledges in shallow water. They were also caught from some of the deeper pools along the banks. Once the pattern was developed it was on. And as quickly as we found the fish, the River changed and we lost structure. The second half of the trip was slow, fairly shallow with much less rocky structure. The bite was fun while it lasted!
We saw plenty of wildlife as usual on the River. A large snapping turtle, an osprey with a fish in talons, plenty of swarms of hatching bugs and lots of redbreast sunfish on the fly rod!
Contact us to book your Kayak River Fishing outing and look for the hard fighting Smallmouth Bass!
Check us out online and on Facebook for trips photos and reports and our nets page for handcrafted wooden fishing nets!
In years where the Winter seems to linger a little longer than others, we become happy fishermen with the Smallmouth Bass! Why you may ask? The longer the fish wait to begin feeding prior to their spawning (breeding season), the more aggressive the bite will be! The fish seem to wake up like gangbusters!
All we have to do is be patient and of course be in the right place at the right time, which means getting on the River. River Smallmouth Bass fishing is exciting to begin with-add in the elements that delay the already hungry, over-wintering smalmouth, and there stands to be a fantastic Smallmouth bass bite! Come join the fun and see what Smallmouth River fishing is all about with NC River Angler, LLC. Dust off the waders for a trip to Singletree Gun and Plough, or learn how to paddle that kayak or canoe so you optimize your chances at catching some river smallies! Come join the fun!
Check out our sister company NC River Nets and visit our new website. We are working hard to make it easier to find and order your own handcrafted fishing net. NC River Nets are functional, durable & handcrafted to provide a lasting fly fishing net to help you land your fish and release them safely! Visit our website and let us know what you think and place an order!
In reviewing notes about this past season, one thing stands out about River kayak fishing and guiding for Smallmouth Bass. That is, if you are not able to adapt or change things up, you will be left saying ‘the fish were just not biting today’.
I had the privilege to fish with a number of anglers this season. Some who were already fishermen, and some who were not. Some had fished for smallies and some had not. Some had paddled a kayak, and some had not. But there was one constant that kept coming to the forefront with a productive day, or days that simply ended with a goal of not getting skunked! This constant was the act of adapting to the day and finding a pattern to the fish for that particular river given the; time of day, weather conditions, water clarity (or the lack thereof) and ability and mood of the angler.
Sticking to one lure all day is sometimes the best thing you can do while smallmouth fishing, or it can be the worst. I have seen lures work all day, some of the day, and none of the day. But it is the angler that is capable of making the choice, or decision, to change things up a little to find the bite. Sometimes that means abandoning a lure that is seemingly working after a couple bites to find a bigger or more aggressive bite. Sometimes it means working a different column of water to see where the fish are holding as a pattern. If there is one advantage I think any angler has over another with River fishing for Smallies, it would be having the skillset to fish every column of water with various types of lures, whether that be fly fishing or spin fishing. If you can confidently fish many types of lures at the different depths of the water column, you will likely find success even on the most difficult of river conditions.
If you are interested in learning how to fish some of these different styles, try picking one technique and only fish that lure and style on your next outing. Find the many different ways you can rig that lure, use the current, alter retrieve speeds and presentation types to alter the way that specific lure fishes. This will ensure that you become much more confident in that specific style of fishing, within that specific water column depth. And we all know that confidence in a lure catches fish! Without confidence, your presentations and lure actions will not look realistic and you will be leaving the water with that skunked feeling-and that’s stinky!
Gaining confidence by only using one lure type on a fishing outing will give you a feast or famine sense that will really have you jumping for joy when you catch fish. We have rivers and streams where different tactics work for different bodies of water. But you always have to be ready for the changing conditions that occur while on the water. So the next time you are ready to hit the water, try using a lure or rig that you are less than familiar with and see what happens.
And of course, give us a try to see what some of the approaches and styles of fishing are that we employ. NC River Angler, LLC is not just a fishing guide, but also a teaching service. We do not guarantee you will catch fish, because we cannot control Mother Nature, but we do guarantee you will learn something new about fishing for Smallmouth Bass and River fishing techniques! And please do not be fooled by imitations of a no catch-no pay guarantee, you may be left feeling like there was a no lesson taught atmosphere! We teach techniques that DO catch fish, so you WILL be set up for success in the future. You know the motto, ‘teach a man to fish’…
With the season winding down, NCRA wanted to remind everyone that this Jackson Coosa is now for sale. If you are looking for a SOT river boat contact us or Dan River Company. The Coosa was used this season (April to October) will be sold for $900 and includes a bending branches paddle!
Last Sunday was spent on the Yadkin River, shuttled by Yadkin River Adventures, with repeat client and friend Igor, who has spent several trips with NCRA this year. He was in the market for a kayak and we were able to try several kayaks before he decided on a Native Manta Ray. Igor wanted to venture to a new stretch of River and given the currently clear water conditions of this stretch, the looming October bite of the Smallmouth Bass and the impending front coming through on Monday, I was hoping for good conditions.
The morning started slowly. We had a few bites but were not landing fish. I lost a nice Spotted Bass that wrapped itself around a submerged branch, and a nice smallmouth that broke off just before I could land it. Then Igor landed a nice smallie and things turned around for the latter part of the day. Igor caught his first ever Spotted Bass and several smallies. The spotted bass were very active, catching them 2 to 1 to the smallies.
We have a few videos of landing a couple smallies that highlight the fun of kayak fishing for smallmouth bass. The Manta Ray worked great for igor, holding a line nicely and keeping him in position to keep that lure in the water and that paddle in the paddle holder.
This day was another good example of when fishing starts out tough, you have to keep trying new things, stay positive and be pro-active. Developing a pattern for the day and experimenting with lures, colors and finding the right structure will often lead to a bite! Go with the flow!