James River Region

by Chris McCotter

While many locals turn to deer and ducks this month, James River Tackle Co. shop owner and avid river angler Donnie Bell says don’t put away the rods just yet.

He notes hordes of bass have moved out of the marsh creeks and are holding on deeper structure like blow downs in 8-10’ of water on the tidal James River.

If the weather stays mild this month Bell suggests using spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and crankbaits on the tidal James and Appomattox Rivers this month. Fish main river jetties, those laydowns and flats with structure on them.

If the weather turns cold, the fish will go deeper and you’ll have to pursue them with deeper diving crankbaits and Carolina rigged lizards.

November is a great month to fish the upper Appomattox River for crappie says Bell. He suggests fishing between 6-12’ main river blowdowns with light jigs or slip bobbers tipped with minnow.

The fishing over on Lake Chesdin can be very good in November. Water temperatures are in the 50’s and bass, striper, crappie and even walleye are schooled up on bait at the mouths of creeks and coves.

Bass anglers will want to try casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. Crappie are on docks and brush, especially in the lower lake region. Look for birds to help you locate baits and schools of striper. Walleye are trickier to target in Chesdin but anglers do catch them using mostly crankbaits for bass around rocky bottoms.

Area sport shops like James River Tackle Co., Castaway Sporting Goods in Chester, Jo Jo’s in Manquin, Angler’s Bait & Tackle in Beaverdam, Surf &Turf near West Point and G’Daddy’s on the lower James are your sources for fishing information. Stop by and talk to the clerks. They will be happy to let you know what the fish are biting on around the region.

James River Tackle Co. has doubled the retail space and inventory at their Hopewell shop so if you are looking for any kind of bass, crappie or catfish tackle, they probably have it. They are also a Magellan dealer.

If you are looking for a high performance bass fishing boat but don’t want to spend 60-70K, stop by Propeller Dynamics in Prince George and take a look at the new Xpress boats. The Xclusive Series will hold up to 250 hp and can easily top 80 mph!

If you do have some coin for a full-pro style rig, Propeller Dynamics is also the Virginia dealer for Falcon bass boats.

Patterson is also area headquarters for installation of all those new Garmin and Lowrance trolling motors and live sonar systems. He and his staff are ace technicians and can repair just about any trolling motor issue.

Area archery pro shops like Shooter’s Archery in Beaverdam and HuntNShak Archery Center in Richmond are ready for your visit. Big box and online shops have little or no inventory this season and very little ability to help you set up, tune or troubleshoot with your bow or crossbow.

Jeff Buttolph and his team at Shooter’s Archery and Anglers Tackle welcome your visit to their Partlow/Beaverdam area shop. Inside you’ll find a massive selection of fishing and hunting gear (with an archery pro shop), indoor archery range and more. Buttolph is combining the two names into a new brand – Central Va Outdoors or CVO for short.

G’Daddy’s just across the James River Bridge at Hampton notes a nice bluefish blitz developed last month along the beaches of the Outer Banks and many customers bought gear from them and headed to the beach. November is time to stop in and get geared up for rockfish season.

Jo Jo’s Fishin & Huntin’ Express is another great shop on the way to lower bay fishing. There’s really nothing missing from this shop from marine supplies to reels, live baits to hunting gear and ammo.

Green Top Sporting Goods wanted to thank everyone that braved the remains of Hurricane Ian to attend the Outdoor Expo last month. Stop by the store for a look at the new Rhodan trolling motors, Garmin dog tracking kits as well as deals on Lowrance Boat In A Box packages.

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