James River Bait Debate

Discussion in 'VIRGINIA RIVERS TALK' started by RVACatter, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. RVACatter

    RVACatter New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Virginia
    Try saying that title ten times fast... :tounge_out:


    Anyway, what is the best bait for James River fishing?? Here's the ones I've heard a lot about

    1) Shad (live preferably, but also cut). Natural bait, good for hunting citations.

    2) Eel (live preferably, but also cut). Also natural. Small cuts for eaters, most/full eel for citations.

    3) Chicken Livers. Who HASN'T used chicken livers?

    4) Night-Crawlers. Similar to using bread for bream, its an easy go-to.

    5) Goldfish. Yeah, I hear they're great, but they're $2-$4 for ONE. Expensive bait.

    6) Stink-Bait. Alas, the stink bait. Do you want blood? Shad? Chicken? Everyone's used it, some love it, some hate it.

    7) Bream (live preferable, cut also) easy to get (for locals who know where they are!). I hear that on the James they're great for grabbing citations off the bottom!

    My choices are as follows (not from fishing the James, as I got skunked tonight:angry:, but in general)

    1) Stinkbait
    2) Chicken livers
    3) Eel. I've seen them used very successfully in Florida.

    What does everyone else have to say???

    By the way, I used Shad tonight and got only one good hit :sad2:
     
  2. Dallison

    Dallison Member

    Messages:
    450
    State:
    Virginia
    Are you fishing the upper James or the tidal James.

    Tidal James
    Cut Shad is the bait of choice. Some people use eel too.

    Upper James I've used , stink bait, livers, shrimp and
    for the monster flatheads LIVE sunfish.....

    I've even fished with chiterlings man talk about stinky....
     

  3. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    If you're after big fish, you have to use what the big fish eat, and that isn't chicken livers or stink bait.
     
  4. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    Tidal James I use cut Gizzard Shad and sometimes a whole dead Gizzard shad depending on how much success I had with the net. Never use live although I am sure it would work great. I use hickory shad in the spring when they are in the river. Bluecats love em! Seasonal snack and all! Eels are good but I never use them as it would require a trip to the bait store and I am too Cheap to spend money on bait for Blue Cats. Before I bought a gill net, I used brim from my pond and they work fantastic for blue cats.
     
  5. RVACatter

    RVACatter New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Virginia
    What size fish do you use? Bigger than your hand? same? smaller? Just wanted to gauge size!
     
  6. RVACatter

    RVACatter New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Virginia
    Dallison, I'm Richmond, so I'm just inside the tidal zone. I guess both would work?
     
  7. ramon06

    ramon06 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,552
    State:
    Alabama
    I have my best luck with cut/live Bluegill, cut shad, cut/live eel in that order. I have caught my biggest cat 62LBs on cut shad but I get more consistent hits 20s-40s with Blue gill head and the body. I only get good eaters 2-12 LBs on live and cut eel. But I have only fished may-now so im still learning. I havent personally seen anyone catch a fish over 10LBS on shrimp, chicken liver, stinkbait etc on the James. I have seen a 25LB Channel caught on cut eel though.
     
  8. RVACatter

    RVACatter New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Virginia
    It seems that Bream is the outstanding favorite. I guess that's my next step, finding the bluegill and learning to use a cast-net!! I've only caught a baby cat so far, so now I gotta find the Bream:tounge_out: Oh well, the longer on the river the better!!!!
     
  9. ramon06

    ramon06 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,552
    State:
    Alabama
    I havent had much luck catching gills in a while at DG. When I did catch a few they were like 2 inches. Although I havent tried there may be some there. The dang river is so Tidal its hard to catch the gills. I havent tried from a boat since there's a lake connected to my Apartment complex I just go there catch all I need. I keep the live ones if I foul hook any I throw them in a ziplock to cut up or freeze. I may come out next weekend, will let you know. Im off tomorrow but my ol lady comes back in town tomorrow and she aint havin it lol
     
  10. RVACatter

    RVACatter New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Virginia
    I hear ya ramon, my lady is up next weekend so I went ahead and blacked out those dates an "Non-Fishing" days! I have a lake at my apartment complex too (West End) so I may run out and try there! They say its stocked, but the one time I've thrown anything in nothing took. Just some nibbles on some bread.

    I'd love to hit up some cats with you soon. I really just need to expose myself and get in with these catters!!! Y'all are a truly talented bunch!
     
  11. reddcat

    reddcat New Member

    Messages:
    86
    State:
    Virginia
    All those may catch a cat but what they eat 24/7 is gizzard shad.
    The big ones ( cutters ) are cut in halves ,thirds , or fourths.
    the smaller ones are fished whole.
    they will eat anything that presents in front of them,,,White perch,crappie, bluegills,Green trout,(largemouth bass) small stripers, eel.
    equipment:
    8/0 Offset circle hook snelled onto 12-16 " 60# leader ,
    HD barrel swivel.
    plastic bead to protect your knot ,
    sinker slider with 6- 10 oz lead
    40# mono on med heavy rod and 7000 - 10,000 sized level wind reel
    This will do the job 99.9 % of the time.
    But twice in the last 6 years I have had fish on that did not even know they were hooked.
    They headed for hopewell and kept on going!!!
    Good Luck
    see you on the river.
    or keep in touch and maybe you can fill a seat on one of the boats

    REDCAT( Bruce)cell 627-2493
     
  12. ccjfamily

    ccjfamily Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Arizona
    For Flatheads if you want to get specific, use the brightest, most colorful pumpkin seed sunfish you can find. They catch the nice uns.

    Blues use gizzard shad cut or whole depending on size, and I think anyone who has tried using a live shad find that they become a dead shad pretty quick when hooked.

    Channels use liver and shrimp first. Worms and stink bait last.
     
  13. catfishwillee

    catfishwillee Member

    Messages:
    485
    State:
    Knoxville, TN
    not sure of the laws in virginia but in north carolina, tennessee and several other states im sure of it is only legal to use bream if they are caught on rod and reel. and also cannot be used live on trot lines.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  14. catfishwillee

    catfishwillee Member

    Messages:
    485
    State:
    Knoxville, TN
    reddcat - i hope you catch that MONSTER! i know there are some massive fish in there.
     
  15. jwfish

    jwfish New Member

    Messages:
    398
    State:
    columbus ohio
    For big blues in the james I will use big cuts of shad hand size or just smaller depends on how they take the bait.I caught my biggest flathead this year out of the ohio on cut shad it was 46 pounds.I always try to get fresh bait each day,don't think frozen bait works as well.
     
  16. RVACatter

    RVACatter New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Virginia
    Thanks for everyone who posted! I've got some ideas on what to take with me when I go!

    Any weird/off-the-beater-path baits been used?
     
  17. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    You guys need to start getting you some BIG eels. You'd be really surprised about how well those big fish will hit them. Those eels you buy aren't what to use unless it's all you can get. Just cut those big ones in 4-10in chunks and fish them the same way. In my experience it catches more and bigger fish AND you can catch multiple fish off the same bait AND the hit it harder than other baits I've fished. Tidal fish LOVE it!