Spring fishing season in the New River Gorge and Southern West Virginia is well under way. With warmer weather comes the desire to take advantage of the many fishing opportunities that abound in our region. Trout streams are being stocked, lakes are recovering from the winter drawdown, and water temperatures are rising.
Area streams such as Laurel Creek, Dunloup Creek and Mill Creek offer great opportunities for trout fishing. Boley Lake at Babcock State Park is another favorite; it’s also very scenic. I’m not a big trout fisherman but I generally try to go a few times in the spring to get outside with my sons and explore the mountainsides.
One of my favorite spring trips is fishing at Fayette Station. I like to fish below the rapids for smallmouth bass. Normally I can hook into a few 2-4 lb. class smallmouths at this time of year. Using crankbaits and small weighted jigs, I fish the eddies from the bank during the afternoon hours. Usually, a few fish have moved up from deeper water to soak up the warmth of the sun.
The absolute coolest way to fish the New River is by raft on a float trip. Not only do you catch a ton of fish, but the scenery is awesome. I try to go each year in May with one of the local outfitters.
New River fishing will only get better as temperatures continue to rise. Bass fishing opportunities on the New River can be found along many of its public access points. Also, check out Plum Orchard Lake for largemouth bass and Summersville Lake for both smallmouth and largemouth bass.