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Long ass floaty boat ride...

Started by Woolly Bugger, June 07, 2019, 13:41:14 PM

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Woolly Bugger

A few years back I caught a citation smallmouths on the James floating on the James River with Drifts. Facebook reminded me of this event and I reposted it with a note to Dave, "let's do this again"  A few days later he asked if I wanted in on the last Musky float of the season, he cautioned that it was going to be a long float and that I needed to be at the take-out at 6 am. Well crap, I'd have to get up before 3 to get there, If I was younger I would have stayed up all night. Dave offered up a sofa, so I made the drive up to Lynchburg and got a few hours of sleep before the 4 am a wake-up call. I'm not sure this was my best option, but we were on the road to the horseshoe bend take-out by 5. 

We arrived at the ramp minutes before Aaron arrived with his yearling bolder boat. Gear transferred we drove up to the put-in. Boat launched, beers opened and we began our odyssey at a quarter to 7.  Dave was targeting musky and I was going after either smallies or musky with a mid-sized streamer. It wasn't too long before the first fish was caught, and several rather small "fun-sized" smallmouths were released as the day wore on.
We had the river to ourselves for most of the day with only a pair of kayaks and a canoe passing up later in the afternoon. The fish weren't active and we had only about eight or nine to hand by late afternoon, and no musky were seen.  Hoping for an evening bite, Dave tied a streamer onto his 4 weight.
We had hit all the spots, from the bank to midstream with streamers of different size and colors to poppers and gurglers, without much success. Then things got exciting, Dave hooked a smallmouth, maybe ten or twelve inches, and was bringing it into the boat, when all of a sudden out of the depths shot a musky and it attack and latched onto the smallmouth. Now Dave was battling a 36 inch musky on the light rod. The fish wouldn't let go of its easy meal and Dave fought to bring the catch to the boat as Aaron readied the net. I was on the camera and attempted to video the action. The fish were scooped into the net but flopped out. The musky, still holding on to the smallmouth, attempted to get his meal away from Dave. One more attempt at netting the fish ended when the musky finally decided that this meal wasn't worth the trouble and finally let go to swim away.
That ended up being the highlight of the day, plenty of fishing, catching, not so much.

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!


Damn.  I don't know anyone who is doing any good with Smallmouth this year.  I think the 5 consecutive years of flooding during spawnage is taking its toll....or is this still post spawn slowness?


Eagle Rock to HB is a looong day.
Nice efforting.
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970


Damn fine trip.  We fished the James below Scottsville last weekend and did not have much success.  I definitely think high water/flooding has taken its toll on the Smallmouth fisheries.

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