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Recommendations for Fishing the New River (North Carolina)

I fished the New River above Sparta for the first time with a friend this weekend, and had a great day wet wading. We fished light spinning gear with Texas-rigged soft baits to minimize snags on the rocky bottom. Our catch was smallmouth bass exclusively with an average size was roughly 12”.

This is a very scenic waterway, although there can be a lot of folks floating in canoes, kayaks, and tubes  with some being particularly noisy and distracting.

Wondering if anyone with experience on the New can recommend areas of the River or baits that would improve my chances with larger smallmouths?

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