I hit the lower James solo this weekend and had a banner weekend by my standards. Bait was really easy. I let the net soak for 10 minutes and had over 20 cutters including two nice crappie. I threw back about half and kept 10 for the day. I then went to a deep hole and marked some bait balls and good quantities of arches along the bottom ahead of the hole in about 35ft of water on an incoming tide. The birds were also actively dive-bombing the area, so I thought, this will be a good spot. Got setup and ready to fish by about 11am. Almost right away the fish started biting. In a matter of just a few hours, I caught a 10, 30, 28, 27, 42, 14, 36, 24, 20 out of that hole. By early afternoon, the bite had slowed, so I went upriver to another spot and marked tons of fish from 20-30 ft. Sat there for an hour and not a bite. I was thinking to myself, well it was a good day, time to go to the hotel and eat and get some rest for tomorrow. I had a pole out with the entire gut section of a 1.75lb crappie, it was a good 6" wide piece of bait. Out of nowhere, WHAM, the first true freight-train hit of the day. Pole went from straight to doubled-over in the blink of an eye, and the fish was running sideways too! I had trouble getting the rod out of the holder, but when I did, the fight was on! He busted the surface about 20ft away from the boat like a bass would, and when I finally got him to the boat, he really went ape$hit and dove back down. This went on a couple more times and went I finally thought I had him wore out, I went for my net, but the dang thing was tangled in a pole I wasn't using. There was no way I was gonna lose this fish, so I hand grabbed him. BIG MISTAKE! I was bringing the fish over the gunnel when he shook and I lost my grip. As the fish was falling, the exposed point of the circle hook caught my finger and dug in and the weight of the fish ripped the hook back out. The fish was back in the water and I said no way I'm losing this #*(*%!*!% fish so I attempted bare handed grab #2. I put my death grip on him this time and combined with a little anger, he wasn't going anywhere. Well, he weighed in at 42lbs, but was a feisty devil. I took a look at my hand and it was covered in blood and a piece of meat the size of a bead was hanging from my finger. I took a photo with him and sent him on his way. They gotta get their licks in every once in a while or it wouldn't be much sport, would it? I think the evening bite was just starting to pick up and the tide was rolling out, but my girlfriend was waiting at the hotel and we were gonna get dinner, so I headed out. I think the way the fish were biting that day, I could have stayed out there all night and kept catching them. But it was an awesome day, my best day ever fishing actually, so I appreciate the opportunity I had. I also went out Sunday, bait was just as easy again. Setup on the same hole and not 5 minutes later, I start the day off with a 33lber! As I was releasing the fish, another pole slammed down and drag was just a peeling. This fish really had me fooled. I thought it was gonna go at least 40lbs. He put up an excellent fight. But ended up weighing 21 lbs. Then - not another fish the rest of the day! It's like the action I got that morning was the leftover of the feeding session from the previous day. I ran the river some and fished some other holes but didn't catch anything, and could barely get a nibble. I had heard about this before, but noticed it for myself on Sunday. The birds were all sitting on the water. They weren't flying around like they were on Saturday. Wonder if there is some kind of correlation to the fish bite? Overall I had a great trip! Caught five citation size fish this trip, and have 9 overall this year, compared to just one in all of 2007. It's great being out there fishing, nothing beats it. I have some pics. Unfortunately, the settings on my camera were off, so half of my pictures were white-washed. But I still managed to get some good ones in.