Wade Fishing the Rappahannock River of Virginia: Smallmouth Bass and Shad

Overview

To catch fish, you need to know where to fish. Updated for 2012

The Rappahannock River is home to some of the biggest, meanest smallmouth bass in Virginia. These cantankerous beasts cruise silently in the quiet pools and fast runs below old trench lines marking the remains of violent Civil War battles or in remote, oddly named places like Snake Castle Rock. Steve Moore shares his years of experience fishing this premier river to guide you to the best water between the fall line ...

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Overview

To catch fish, you need to know where to fish. Updated for 2012

The Rappahannock River is home to some of the biggest, meanest smallmouth bass in Virginia. These cantankerous beasts cruise silently in the quiet pools and fast runs below old trench lines marking the remains of violent Civil War battles or in remote, oddly named places like Snake Castle Rock. Steve Moore shares his years of experience fishing this premier river to guide you to the best water between the fall line in Fredericksburg and Chester Gap high in the Blue Ridge. Using 252 pictures and 23 maps to round out the descriptions, the book covers 25 access points that open up over 43 miles of water to wade fishing. Even though the book is oriented at anglers who fish on their feet, kayakers and canoeists will find it equally useful to identify the productive water to target as they float downriver.

Given we are in the internet age, Steve includes 279 GPS coordinates usable for customized directions via the Internet or loadable into a GPS receiver to guide your day on the water. Finally, any discussion of the Rappahannock must mention the superb fishing available during the spring shad run. Steve dedicates a chapter to where to go and how to catch the fish called the "poor man's tarpon."

The first few paragraphs of Steve's introduction provide perspective:

"In the Algonquian Indian language, Rappahannock means "rapidly rising and falling waters" and, every Spring, the river demonstrates why the name is appropriate. During that stormy season, flood waters charge downriver with fantastic velocity and violence causing the huge spikes in turbulence that are an inescapable lure to legions of kayakers. But the name is inadequate to describe the quality and variety of the fishery that exists under its roiling surface. Although the name is unlikely to change to whatever the Algonquian translation of "angler's heaven" is, in addition to smallmouth bass, you are likely to scream a panicked "FISH ON" as massive redbreast sunfish, carp or even yellow perch and channel catfish pull hard against your smoking drag once the season drifts from frantic Spring into calm Summer.

Granted, I do not cover all 184 miles of the Rappahannock from its dim origin at Chester Gap in the Blue Ridge to the tidal flats lining the Chesapeake Bay, but I do cover the 59 (43+ wadable) miles that represent the interesting core of the river for smallmouth bass fishing enthusiasts. Besides, below the bridge, the river runs wide, slow and sandy; becoming the domain of largemouth bass pursued by hard-eyed anglers leveraging every ounce of technology packed into supercharged bass boats.

Above the fall line, the high-powered bawl of a 200 hp Mercury engine is replaced by the quiet dip of paddles or the hushed slosh of ragged sneakers moving through the shallows. While the book is useful for kayakers and canoeists since the good places are good regardless of how you reach them, my focus is on those who fish on their feet - the sweaty grunt, the fishing infantry. The book includes the well-known angler's playgrounds at Snake Castle Rock and the Confluence - usually the restricted domains of kayakers and canoeists who reach these honey holes via a long downstream float. As I describe later, a short hike, coupled with a bit of perspiration, gives you the opportunity to fish normally inaccessible locations."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982396261
  • Publisher: Calibrated Consulting, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Pages: 196
  • Sales rank: 1,044,857
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Moore is an avid, hard-core, terminally addicted fisherman. He was ruined for life when his father introduced him to the sport at the age of 7 while living in Norway as a result of military duty. Chasing trout on mountain streams left an enduring imprint and drive to find new water... something that tortures Steve to this day.

Of course, this was preordained since Steve's father (Hal Moore - coauthor of the NYT bestseller, "We Were Soldiers Once... and Young") was fishing in a local bass tournament on the morning Steve was born. His father claims to have had permission to go, but Steve's mother does not remember the actual facts matching that story. The point that he won a nice Shakespeare reel did nothing to mitigate the trouble he was in upon his return.

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