Since it had been about a week since I got in a shorter, but serious outing on the river, so I went Wednesday morning. It was my work at home day & my work day got started a little later
I decided to hit an area of the Shenendoah that I hadn't been to all year. It's an area with a lot of fast water chutes & side eddy areas, shallower ledge rock areas (3-4'), exposed mid-river ledge rock, & "nervous water" where some riffles still exist farther below ledge rock. I loaded up the kayak & gear on the C-tug & pulled everything above the shallowest water to save a little time & effort. I launched about 6:45 am with a variety of faster, reaction type lures including a Mann's baby 1-, War Eagle Finesse spinnerbait, Wino River Darter, Winco counter rotating buzz bait, & Winco Predator Craw.
I started out focusing on the fast water chutes, the adjacent eddy areas and current seams between the two while working upstream. I managed to pick up 3 smallies on the crank in the chutes, 1 on the buzz bait in an eddy area, & 1 on the spinnerbait along the current seam. I made it up to a large mid-river ledge rock & switched around a few lures before turning to float back down. Switched a couple of rods over to a 4" wacky rigged senko, 2.75" Strike King tube (thanks DanMarino), & new favorite X-rap (grey). PIcked up a couple more little smallies on the tube & senko working the current seams of chutes below the ledge rock. Also got a swipe on the X-rap along a seam that felt a little nicer.
Started floating back down & throwing the X-rap in some nervous water. On a cast, the X-rap got SLAMMED & a big smallie cleared the water right away. After another jump and a few tense minutes, this chunky 17.5" smallie was in the kayak.
Here's another shot to show how fat it really was.
I caught another 12-13" smallie on the next cast in the same nervous water. Got down to a fast water chute below a ledge rock & picked up 5 more smallies in short order on the X-rap.. Continued floating over some shallower ledge rock & another nice smallie nailed the X-rap. This one went 15.5" and had some nice markings.
Since the beginning of June, the smaller 08 size X-rap has treated me pretty good. I've caught a lot of fish with some bigger ones mixed in. This was the first trip where I got some size to go along with numbers. I ended this trip with 17 smallies in about 4 hours of fishing. I got 8 smallies on the jerk bait in about 45 minutes, which was pretty nice.