If you’re a fisherman in southern West Virginia and don’t know about Hinton and New River, well, you’re missing out on this premier fishing destination! The mighty New River, which starts in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and flows north to Gauley Bridge, West Virginia poses a wealth of fishing opportunities.
No area offers as much as around Hinton, and the thing is, New River is not the only stream to choose from! The Greenbrier River flows into the New directly below the Bluestone Dam at Hinton and the Bluestone River meets the New on Bluestone Lake about one mile upstream from Bluestone Dam. No place in southern West Virginia gives the fisherman as many choices in such concentration.
To get the real scoop on the best fishing holes in the Hinton area, I talked to Donna Jesse at PC Bait and Tackle in Hinton. (304-466-1444) Donna runs this popular bait, tackle and outdoor supply store along with her husband Matt. I knew she would be a great source for information as she is involved with the Hinton fishing scene on a daily basis.
“I am asked many times each day by customers looking for the best fishing spots and where to catch the big one.” Donna told me. “My first question is what species are you looking for and then are you fishing from a boat, wading or bank fishing. All of these things play a part in the suggestions we make,” she explained.
Donna said one of the first places she suggests is on the New River at the base of the dam or the “catwalk”. This location is great for the wade fisherman or bank fisherman. You will need to know the number of gates open on the dam before fishing this area. Approximately 2 1/2 gates or fewer are preferred for fishing from the catwalk. You can catch bass, catfish, muskie, bluegill/rock bass and carp from this area. Occasionally you will catch a trout that has washed through the dam from the stocking of the Bluestone River at Pipestem State Park. Walking the cat walk at the base of Bluestone requires caution and fishermen should always wear a life jacket (PFD) while doing this.
The mouth of the Greenbrier River located where the two bridges meet for Rt.3 and Rt. 20 is another good location Donna suggested. Fishermen can launch a small boat, fish from the bank or wade fish from this area. (Wear that PFD!) Donna added that New River, directly below the confluence with the Greenbrier, holds some great Muskie fishing.
Donna offered that Sandstone Falls area is not only beautiful, but a great attraction for the small mouth bass, catfish and muskie fisherman. Those who want to bow fish for carp also love this spot. Bluestone Lake is very popular for boating and fishing. Here you can catch Crappie, Small or Large Mouth Bass, Catfish, Hybrid Striped Bass, Bluegill / Rock Bass, Carp and Muskie.
I asked Donna if she could make suggestions about what baits to use for the species of fish found around the Hinton area, and she was kind enough to give us this list. Remember guys, this is coming from the lady that deals with this every day!
Live Bait: Worms, Hellgrammites, Lizards, Minnows, and of course Soft Shell Crawfish
Artificial Bait: Gitzit Pre-rigged Hellgrammite, River Rock PC Ringer, G tail Grubs, Tubes, Rebel Crawfish, Jitterbugs, Spinners, Crankbaits.
Live Bait: Worms, Minnows, Soft Shell Craw, Chicken Liver, Yellow Hellgrammite
Artificial: Stink Bait, Fish Bomb
Live Bait: Minnows
Artificial: Jigs, Spinners, and Tubes
Live Bait: Minnows, Meal Worms, Wax Worms, Night crawlers, Red Worms, Crickets
Artificial: Berkley Power Worm, Spinners, and Jigs
Live Bait: Minnows
Artificial: Lipless Topwater Baits, Shallow Runner Baits, Large Spinners
Artificial: Bread, Shredded Wheat, Strawberry or Vanilla Marshmallow Baits
Give Donna and Matt a call at PC Baits for the latest fish reports and stop and see them when you visit Hinton and break out the fishing rods!