New Personal Best on the James River

Discussion in 'MEMBER FISHING REPORTS (BECOME A FISHING LEGEND)' started by blackwaterkatz, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    March 3 – 5, 2006
    My grandson, Doug, and I got back home late Sunday afternoon from my trip to the James. I was somewhat intimidated by the thought of fishing such a well-known producer of big blues, but I had plenty of tips and advice from several of the members that fish the area, most notably Gottafish and Fish Pimp, among others. I had the pleasure of meeting Gottafish and Fish Pimp, and some others from the area, and may have seen some others without knowing who you were. Thanks to everyone for making Doug and me feel right at home up there. A very special thanks to Scott for going out early and getting enough bait to last us for a week, if I had the time. A number of people provided some locations to try, and thanks again. Everyone we met up there was very friendly and offered advice, including one guide, some local fishermen, and the folks at Castway's Tackle shop.
    We started out fishing early Friday afternoon and fished until around 5 without landing any, but we did hang one that felt really big. That one was stripping line from the Penn 320gt2, but I forgot I had a gama octopus 10/0 instead of a circle, and forgot to set the hook. He got off after a minute or so, straightening the treble stinger hook, too.
    Saturday, we fished all day from early morning until around 5pm. I managed to land my biggest blue to date, and I was thrilled about that. It measured 40" long with a 30" girth, weighed 43# on a scale that I use for weighing deer up to 300#. Tried to use an electronic scale, but the hook straighteded out on it. The fish was caught on a 7'6" mh uglystik/penn 9M with 50# powerpro and a 50# mono leader/gama 9/0 circle and a 6” piece of shad gut pocket. After we took some pics and released the fish, it was time to try for another one for Doug. I was happy to have located my fish in a spot that I found on my own, so I think I have to say that I learned some things from everyone. We fished the rest of Saturday without any hookups, missed a few smaller fish that couldn't get the bait down.
    Sunday morning found us back out early for a few hours fishing before we had to head back home. The tide was just starting to fall, and we marked plenty of fish in deep water, around 38' - 42', but I don't think money could have bought a bite. A lot of the fish were below pods of baitfish; maybe they had their bellies full. LOL
    So, after 3 days of fishing and 825 miles of driving, we landed only one fish, which was a nice one by my standards. We marked quite a few fish, learned some new ways to fish (we don't have wing dams here, for instance), and overall we had a really enjoyable trip. Doug was disappointed that he didn't get into a big one, and that the icicles only melted out of his eyes about half way home , but he says he is ready to go back again...as long as it isn't 25 degrees when he does!
    The folks in Virginia were great! We enjoyed the area a lot, and I look forward to making another trip up there sometime in the not-so-distant future.
     

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  2. bj78

    bj78 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Nice fish! I'd drive that far for a 43lber! Hope I get to fish over there sometime!
     

  3. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    way-to-go on the big bluecat!
     
  4. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Nice fish Tommy. They sure are fun to catch when they're that big. Looks like a great area to fish too. Thanks for the great pics and sharing your fun with us.
     
  5. catsmith1

    catsmith1 New Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    State:
    Haughton, Louisiana
    This is what I love to hear and read on this site. The sucess stories are awesome!
     
  6. roundhill

    roundhill New Member

    Messages:
    810
    State:
    kings mtn
    tommy great fish how about giving some poniters to a has been i will be down thur-sun for randolps maybe see you thear
     
  7. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Thanks, guys.
    Ron, it was tough fishing up there. Most of those folks that fish there regularly were getting skunked, so I didn't feel too bad about the low success rate. The bite has been 'iffy' just like it has been around here. Some of those folks up in VA gave some tips and locations, but it is a lot like most river fishing. Current is important. On slack tide, the fish seemed to scatter out to who know where? When the current was moving, I could find them a lot easier. Now, getting them to take a bait was another story. Most of the fish I marked were near steep drops, in slightly deeper holes than the surrounding bottom, sometimes only a half foot or so. I really think I may have learned more about locating fish on the finder, and presenting the bait to those particular fish, than I have in the past year.
    I hope I can just apply what I learned to the waters around here.
    I haven't seen any reports around here since at least a week ago, but the weather is supposed to be near 80 friday and saturday, so the shallows could be a key; who know? I will check the water temps for the lakes and let you know. I need to send you a pm, anyway.
     
  8. truck

    truck New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    williamsburg ohio
    Congrats on your PB;)
     
  9. Catfishhunter

    Catfishhunter New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lanesville, In.
    WTG Tommy, I want to fish the james one day. Looks like a great river...
     
  10. ersel

    ersel New Member

    Messages:
    1,164
    State:
    Haughton Louisiana
    Nice fish thanks for sharing
     
  11. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Great job! Awesome fish! I have not got to fish the James River yet, but plan on in the near future.:)
     
  12. The J-Man!

    The J-Man! New Member

    Messages:
    321
    State:
    St.Paul, MN
    Thanks for sharing your story and pictures. It is great to hear from anyone with success! I appreciate the detailed story also. Crangratulations!
     
  13. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    Congrats on the nice cat, sounds like ya'll had a good time. Until the icicle part. LOL Nice job!
     
  14. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Tommy, congrats on nice catch, way to go brother
     
  15. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,341
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    Nice Blue Cat! Way to go! Great to see a fish of that size caught by a B.O.C. member!
     
  16. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Nice catch. Congrads on your PB.
     
  17. Itch2Scratch

    Itch2Scratch New Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    State:
    Ivy Bend on LOZ, Missouri
    Great catch Tommy!:) Bet if you apply all that learning on your home waters you do the same there also...go gettem bud.;)
     
  18. pursuing_cats

    pursuing_cats New Member

    Messages:
    247
    State:
    Clarksville,Tennessee
    Great Catch Tommy! Thanks for sharing the story of a great fishing trip and sharing the nice pics. One day I will have a Big Blue to talk about.
     
  19. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Thanks, guys. Most of the credit goes to the brothers who were generous enough to share their tips and fishing spots with us. That's a trait that is pretty much the rule with most catfishermen, I've found. Here's another photo
     
  20. BoG

    BoG Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    Delaware
    Name:
    Bo
    You drive from SC and I live in VA and still haven't made that trip. New to the boards, so it is great to hear about the help you receive from other members. The fish you caught have topped anything I have done. Will definately have to make that trip.