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Despite the dog days of summer, action does not slow on the New River

ALLISONIA, Va. (WFXR) — Twitch. Twitch. Boom!

That scene played out several times one warm July morning on the New River near Allisonia, as smallmouth slammed topwater lures. The morning topwater bite can be fast and explosive on the New in the summer.

While fishing can slow down on other bodies of water during the dog days of the summer months, on the New the action stays strong.

“There’s always something here,” said Chase Bowman, owner of New River Charter. “It seems like there’s a fish behind every rock on the New.”

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Bowman uses a Stealthcraft fishing raft to get to places on the New where there are good numbers of smallmouth bass. He prefers to use topwater baits — Whopper Ploppers and Pop-Rs — to target trophy bass early in the day.

“You’re going to have good action early in the morning when it’s foggy and hazy before the sun gets up over these mountain,” Bowman said as he took a chunky 13-inch smallmouth off of a Whopper Plopper. “These low light scenarios are when you’re going to connect on big fish and make it happen in the summertime.”As the sun goes higher, a slow-down, finesse approach works better. Those bass seek the cover of rocks, timber, current, and shade. Ned rigs and other soft plastics are the way to go then.As for the New, the entire stretch through Virginia is perfect for smallmouth water. Tree-lined, shaded, and with rocks and timber everywhere, and plenty of forage, it is heaven for a smallmouth. In fact, the New is rated as one of the top five smallmouth rivers in the country by Bassmaster Magazine.

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