Barge business on James River set to begin....

Discussion in 'VIRGINIA RIVERS TALK' started by jwh6f, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. jwh6f

    jwh6f New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    VA
    Hi guys,

    I suppose I am a new poster. I live about an hour and a half from Richmond, so I don't fish there much. However, I thought this article on a new barge shipping service set to begin on the James may be of interest to those of you who fish the tidal river between the James River and Hopewell.

    http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_barges_0923sep23,0,735779.story

    I have fished the tidal James twice, once out of Osbourne Landing, and the other time out of Deep Bottom (riding down to the mouth of the Appomattox). The first trip, we caught three 5-6 pounders in a five hours or so on fresh shad. The next trip, using frozen shad, we got nothing. I know there is a difference in the effectiveness of fresh bait to frozen bait, but is it that important? It is hard for us to get down there early enough to make using a cast net effective.

    We did find a few white perch that were easily enticed into taking a small piece of worm, and fished live, they netted us a few small catfish. But overall, the white perch were hard to find.

    Talked to a few guys from Fredericksburg. They said the Rappahannock has had some sort of shad or fish kill recently.

    Tight lines and good luck to all,

    Catfish Maniac
     
  2. freshbaitrules

    freshbaitrules New Member

    Messages:
    208
    State:
    virginia
    Nice heads up on the article.
     

  3. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Welcome to the brotherhood. Check everything out, you'll like it i'm sure.
     
  4. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    Welcome aboard! Fresh bait is better than frozen. However, there are two schools on fresh bait.....some who change out baits every 30 minutes for the freshest bloodiest bait they have, and others who will fish a piece of cut shad for as long as it will stay on the hook. Monsters have been caught using both methods. Just find what works best for you and stick to it. But fresh is definitely better than frozen.
     
  5. 66TBONE

    66TBONE New Member

    Messages:
    85
    State:
    Virginia
    I prefer fresh verses frozen, but i have decent luck on both. Welcome to the BOC and good luck on the water!
     
  6. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    I like barges. It seems like I always get a good bite when one goes by. My brothers and I joke about it. Thanks for the news and welcome to the board. If you don't have time to use a cast net,,,,,Buy a gill net. Fresh bait is the best. I won't bother fishing with frozen.
     
  7. F250SD-Baby!!

    F250SD-Baby!! New Member

    Messages:
    74
    State:
    Virginia
    Many thanks for the heads up! That is where we do most of our fishing. I have found that either/or work, it all depends on what they (the fish) are in the mood for. I seem to have better luck off of bream vs. shad. You may even want to try the old fashion, antique tried and true bait...night crawlers. good luck. and welcome to the BOC!
     
  8. jwfish

    jwfish New Member

    Messages:
    398
    State:
    columbus ohio
    I have not used frozen but when I go down for the week I will take freezer bags and put them on ice for a few days while I am there and have had good results.
     
  9. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    I remember reading a Blue Cat article two years ago written by a tournament fisherman from Ohio. This guy won catfish tournaments all over the country. He said he started out only fishing with fresh but has since decided that fresh shad put in a freezer bag on top of ice actually concentrated the smell and amino acids or whatever the fish like. After a day or two the fresh aged shad was a better bait than fresh. Key was not to let the shad sit in water. It had to be in a bag on top of ice. I have not tested that theory.
     
  10. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Welcome to the BOC! The fish I caught in the James were caught on Fresh big shad from a gill net. I am sold and can't wait for the opportunity to get back!
     
  11. Powhatan

    Powhatan New Member

    Messages:
    129
    State:
    Virginia
    I agree with Kenneth....get a gill net and I have always had bites when a barge goes by..don't know if it stirs up the water or what...but it is a joke in my boat too... "Get ready for a bite"..

    Thanks for the post.
     
  12. jwh6f

    jwh6f New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    VA
    Wow, thanks to everyone for making me feel welcome! Your replies are a tribute to this board; a classy group frequents here. I have met some of the kindest, most lively, most decent people, while fishing. I'd bet you guys would agree!

    My father is older, and I have a disability that impedes my stamina, so we take very few trips to the tidal rivers, but look forward to each one with the anticipation of a child going to Disney Land. It is always wonderful when we do make the trip, and fishing for catfish is easily done supine (laying down). I will never forget the James, each visit is a treasure.

    I love to see the eagles and the osprey, and the historic plantations in the area give the river a feel of walking back in time (a beautiful plantation house, lined with old piers, just east of Deep Bottom landing, not sure what it is called...). There is more to fishing than just catching fish.

    It seems as if we saw more fish in the shipping lanes, less in the oxbows and shallows. All of our larger fish came in 35 feet of water, with good sonar returns and apparent bait in the area. Areas with "current edges" were also good. We were, and still are, newbies, though.

    I do have one more additional question. How do you guys anchor your boats? What anchors are best -- mushroom, river anchor, or the lightweight anchor that digs into the bottom?

    We use two 15 pound mushroom anchors with 60 feet of rope attached. They still won't hold well when the wind and tide is giving us a good push. There were some good returns on sonar that we had to neglect because we couldn't hold our boat in position (a small Pro Team 175 aluminum) on a mildly windy day.

    I'll watch for your "barge pattern". Interesting, and yes, very humorous.

    Does anyone here fish in the Appomattox from Deep Bottom, near the bridges, or in the Pamunkey?
     
  13. jwh6f

    jwh6f New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    VA
    I will look into the gill net regulations. To tell you the truth, I had never heard of a gill net.

    We have used a cast net, but it is an extreme energy sapper and quite a time waster if the bait are hard to find. And, if you don't throw it often, your throws are, well, 'something only Sport Goofy or Steven Q. Erkel would be proud of'. Ok.... maybe not that bad, but close.

    The shad we were successful with had been on ice for a few days. So, perhaps the theories are true!
     
  14. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    I'm not too big on using mushroom anchors as a main anchor. You need something that will dig more to hold you in the current. I use a 20lb river anchor. Others will swear by lighter fluke anchors. Regardless, it's gotta have good "bite". I do use a mushroom off the back to control sway on windy days. And definitely pick yourself up more rope. 150ft at least. The more you can let out, the better hold you will get to the bottom. And use around 5ft of chain between the rope and the anchor, which will give the anchor a better angle to set at. All the articles say to use a 7:1 scope, but I haven't found the need to use that much rope.
     
  15. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    My brother goes by a junk yard and gets axles from cars. He then welds six or so 12 inch pieces of rebar to the axle on the hub end. The rebar claws grab like heck any stone it finds and digs in the sand and clay. If you get the anchor hung up where you can't lift it, it easy as pie to tie off on a cleat and power the boat forward. 99 times out of a 100 the tine will straighten slightly and the anchor come free. The other 1 time you gift an anchor to the river. Theres a ledge at the Presquille cut through that regularly eats anchors. Good luck
     
  16. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Heavy river anchor is my choice. A gill net, illegal in Ohio, is the cats meow for bait. Throw it over, run bait to it and unload. I absolutely love it.
     
  17. jwfish

    jwfish New Member

    Messages:
    398
    State:
    columbus ohio
    I use a richters anchor it is the best anchor I ever had weight is only 14 lbs and will lock down on mud sand rock trees what ever and pull out with ease when you go up river and pull it back.only paid 28 bucks for it I think.
     
  18. catman4926

    catman4926 New Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    State:
    Texas
    welcome to the BOC from So.Alabama and fresh is always better
     
  19. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    Name:
    Unspecified
    Yes, welcome to the BOC, Craig! :0a25:

    Of course, with access to experts like Kenneth, you can't help but win with Catfish1.com in every way!