My brother-in-law and I began our trip in our pontoon boats near the US21 bridge between Independence, Virginia and Sparta, North Carolina on Sunday, September 23, 2007. We were on the water by 9:45 a.m., and it became apparent very quickly that we would be dragging our "toons" almost as much as floating them. We picked up several smallmouth in the 10" to 14" range, but no bigger fish. We "floated" approximately 5 miles on day one, spending the night on a little island who's whole mouse population spent the night under or around our tents. We almost starved to death the first night, having only ribeye steaks and potatoes to choose from. But, we managed to survive.
On day two, September 24, 2007, we awoke at approximately 7:00 a.m to the distinctive sound of a bull that was very vocal, and really close by. After getting out of our tents, we observed this huge black angus bull standing in the river up to part of his male anatomy. He was approximately 100 feet from our camp giving us the "eye." After about 10 minutes, he finally decided to go back to his field. He may have smelled our "steak breath" and decided to give it up. After a measly breakfast of coffee, eggs and sausage, we were back on the New by around 9:00 a.m. The morning started off decent, but still no big smallies. We probably picked up 30 fish in the same 10" to 14" range in the morning. We ran across a couple of guys in a canoe spin fishing who seemed to be having about the same success as us. The afternoon fishing was a little slow, and the fish were sporadic at best. We were out of the water by 6:00 p.m., and had reached our destination at the US58 bridge between Galax, Virginia and Independence, Virginia.
My take on the trip? Good friend, good food, decent fishing, not much water, lots of dragging and bad bull!