Kanawha River

Discussion in 'WEST VIRGINIA RIVER TALK' started by wolfman, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Copied this from the internet to share with the members here.

    Created by the confluence of the Gauley and New rivers, the Kanawha River runs across half of West Virginia before dumping into the Ohio River near the Mason County town of Point Pleasant. Known as a river for producing big fish, none raise more eyebrows than the Kanawha's mighty flatheads.
    The Kanawha consistently ranks among the state's top five waters for trophy flathead catfish, according to the West Virginia's Trophy Fish Citation Program. It is not uncommon to see flatheads up to 50 pounds on the citation registry and the list usually includes at least a few 20 pounders each month, especially during the summer. During July and August alone, over 20 flathead catfish were registered with the West Virginia Trophy Citation Program (catfish must weigh over 10 pounds).
    As with most large rivers, tailwater areas below dams on the Kanawha act as congregating points for various fish species. Large concentrations of baitfish and other forage entice top predators like flatheads to tailwater areas where they feed heavily. A good number of these trophy flatheads stay in these tailraces for several months, particularly during the summer when tailraces account for the river's most significant moving water habitat.
    The Winfield tailwaters have earned the reputation as one of the Kanawha River's best locations for trophy flatheads. Every year, it seems that anglers catch a slew of trophy channel and flathead catfish from the waters immediately downstream of the lock. Favorite techniques include using live gizzard shad or large minnows while fishing along the edges of the strong tailrace current. This technique requires more attention than most catfishing techniques, but it can pay off when one of the "big boys" hits.
    Anglers fishing the Winfield tailwaters also have the luxury of fishing from shore, as there is considerable room for shoreline fishermen along this productive tailrace. Shoreline anglers have a huge advantage of fishing around the access piers just below the dam. These piers are excellent fishing spots because the swirling currents pass close by, creating eddies for catfish to hold in. The Winfield tailwaters are located along U.S. Route 35 near Winfield.
    Another hotspot for big flatheads on the Kanawha River is near the town of Buffalo. This small community is located along SR 62 about halfway between Charleston and Point Pleasant. Near Buffalo, a good-sized boat ramp, which can accommodate about 50 vehicles, provides anglers with the best access to this section of the Kanawha River.
    Shoreline opportunities are very limited in this area, so serious fishing will require a boat. Anglers trying this particular area need to scour the river and search out the Kanawha's deep pools. These large pools serve as prime habitat for many of the Kanawha's mammoth flatheads. Anglers should pay special attention to the fact that many of the river's best pools are located on river bends. These bend pools make great initial setup spots for anyone looking to encounter trophy flatheads. Try these areas for a bit, and if action is slow, then move to another spot.
    Catfish anglers employ a variety of techniques, but Kanawha River fishermen catch most of their large flatheads by using live suckers and shad. They'll place these live baits along either back eddies or main-river currents. Live suckers are especially effective for hefty flatheads in the Kanawha. Don't be afraid to use suckers up to 20 inches or so. Remember, a flathead's mouth can exceed 12 inches across, so these mud monsters can eat nearly anything you can cast on a rod.
    One of my favorite tactics is to use heavy sinkers and fish live bait along swift current. This technique requires more work by the boat's oarsman or trolling motor, but the largest fish often lie on the bottom near the current line.
    Most anglers are aware that a "do not eat" advisory has been issued for the consumption of carp, suckers and catfish on the Kanawha River from the confluence of the Coal River to Point Pleasant. This advisory acts just like a catch-and-release regulation for catfish. The majority of anglers return their catfish to the water, and consequently, the potential for huge catfish in this section of the river is excellent. Because of the high concentration of trophy catfish in this area of the Kanawha, this section of the river may be the state's best water for jumbo flatheads.
     
  2. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    this river seems really nice, but how's the catfishing further in the state, say east of the turnpike towards summersville?? are there flatheads throughout this river system??
     

  3. mudcat_xpress

    mudcat_xpress New Member

    Messages:
    87
    State:
    Beckley, WV
    There are plenty of catfish heade toward Summersville. The New River is a very productive river for large catfish. I have caught plenty of 20 and 30lb fish in Prince and Hinton with the biggest being 42 lbs. The picture in my avatar is a 32 lb flathead caught in Camp Branch around Hinton. I hope this answers your questin.
     
  4. Catcatcher26726

    Catcatcher26726 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    wv
    My buddy fishes the Kanawha and catches alot of big Flatties
     
  5. bigfish

    bigfish New Member

    Messages:
    432
    State:
    Dunbar WV.
    my partner ducain and i fish the kanawha around charleston caught so many higher teen lower twenties we lost count. ducain landed his avatar a nice 30.8#er and i landed my avatar 35#er from the kanawha. i have fished the kanawha for past 20 years from the bank around the buffalo area saw a few 20#ers from the bank catch 5-6#ers all night from the bank in that area. ducain started fishing with me in 2004, but i now live in charleston area, so when i told him about all the flats id caught in that area, but it was to far to drive, so we started fishing the charleston area from the bank. ducain realy deserves a metal, he followed me to some pretty rough places in 2004 in search of these big fish. i caught two 8#ers that was it for 2004. i didnt think ducain would fish with me ever again. well for 2005 ducain acquired a 14ft boat that we started putting together. we couldnt wait for it to get ready so we found a old boat launch not used for launching anymore and started fishing it ducain finally landed his first flat 8#er. this is where i didnt know if i wanted to fish with ducain anymore;) [he owened the boat], because every time i landed 14 or 15#er he would land 23 or 24#er then he landed his avatar nice 30.8#er. it took the hole 2005 season before i got him with my avatar 35#er. sorry about going on so. ps ducain and i plan on beating state record of 70# from the kanawha this year.