|A beautiful March New River
walleye caught by a client of
Greasy Creek Outfitters
New River Overview
The New River flows 160 miles through southwest Virginia from the North Carolina
border into West Virginia. The New River cuts through beautiful VA mountain
scenery and features several major Class II-III rapids. However, plenty of flat water
exists for the less adventurous. Opportunities for angling, canoeing, and rafting
exist - particularly along the 50 miles or so of the New River Trail State Park.
Almost any freshwater species found in Virginia resides in the New River,
including smallmouth, spotted, largemouth, striped, and hybrid bass, muskie,
walleye, yellow perch, crappie, redbreast sunfish, bluegill, flathead and channel
catfish. The New River currently holds three state records: Smallmouth bass (8 lb
1oz, 2003), Walleye (15 lb 15 oz, 2000), and Muskie (45 lbs 0 oz, 1989). Visit
VDGIF for a map and description of the many available float trips.
Virginia Outdoors - A Resource for Virginia Anglers and Hunters
Virginia Outdoors - New River
New River Fishing
New River Fishing Guides
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth bass are the most plentiful bass and the most
sought-after species in the New River. Spring is prime time for trophy fish, but the
fishing is typically excellent year-round. Crawfish-imitating lures (e.g., jigs) are
smaller baits in the spring and use progressively larger baits towards fall,
culminating in "large" lures, such as 6" jerk baits and 1/2 oz crankbaits. In the
summer, soft plastics work well as do topwaters (e.g., buzzbaits) worked around
logs and vegetation. Largemouth bass are most likely to be caught in the stretch
below the Claytor Lake dam to Big Falls - the New River has produced several
largemouth exceeding 10 lbs over the years.
Muskellunge: Muskie are abundant, but often difficult to catch. Large crankbaits
and jerkbaits are good choices, but expect to work hard for fish. Live bait can be
effective in the winter.
Walleye: Walleye fishing is best during the spawning season of February through
May. Foster Falls and Buck Dam are prime spawning areas, which are best
accessed in a flat-bottom boat. Any minnow-imitating lure will work well, including
hard and soft jerkbaits. Of course, live minnows are also a good choice.
New River Fishing Report
August 4, 2012. Contributed by Captain Forest Pressnell, (540) 818-5274, New
Dry weather is resulting in water levels dropping on the Upper New, so we could
really use some rain here. Fishing for all species has been very good, but may
become tougher as the water levels drop. Our last trip provided great action for
clients on muskie, smallmouth, walleye and rock bass. Walleye have been hitting
crank baits even in the middle of the day which is a little out of the ordinary for this
time of year. Smallmouth fishing is best in the rapids and moving water right now
and they are taking everything. I haven't noticed the big damselfly hatch this year
so the top water bite has not been as productive for the smallies as of late. Scale
down the size of your muskie lures for the next month. Water is brackish brown to
greenish depending on the day and the water temperature is hanging around 80
|A 21.5" smallie caught on a night
trip with Canoe the New Guide
Service in August 2006
|Canoe the New client with a 20"
smallmouth caught on a
spinnerbait in September
|New River Charters Capt Forest
with 51" New River Musky
(Released Jan 2012!)
|Click on any image to enlarge!
|Check out these citation smallmouth caught by clients of Canoe the New
Outfitters in October and November 2006!
|Some great wintertime fish caught by Greasy Creek Outfitters!
|December - 21"
(Capt Forest Presnell - New River Charters)
|Copyright © 2009 Virginia Outdoors, LLC
|Trophy Smallmouth Caught on the New River in the Spring of 2009. Photos
courtesy of Appalachian Bronzeback (left) and New River Angler (right)
|Guide Capt Forest Presnell of New River
Charter Holds a 19 lb Citation Muskie Caught
on the New River in June 2007
|The State Record Fish Committee of the Virginia Department of Game &
Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has certified a new state record musky. On June 1,
2007, Shannon Hill, of Christiansburg, Virginia, caught a 45 pound, 8 ounce
musky from the New River. That topped the existing record of 45 pounds set
in 1989 by R. A. Underwood, a fish that was also caught in the New River. Mr.
Hill's huge musky measured 53 inches long and had a girth of 24.5 inches
(Photo below from VDGIF Outdoor Report - Visit the VDGIF web site to sign up!)
|A 42" muskie taken on fly in September
2007 by GCO client, Bill Hylander