This January will mark the return of the Richmond Fishing Expo at the State Fairgrounds in Doswell, January 20-22. The Gray family is putting the finishing touches on the show and announced that BASSMaster legend Davey Hite and two-time BASSMaster Classic champion Hank Cherry will headline the special appearance list.
This indoor expo will feature more bass and saltwater fishing tackle, fishing kayaks, apparel and new boats/outboards than anywhere else, plus a Bass Tub demonstration tank and a Kids Trout Pond. There’s even the annual Woods & Waters Magazine New Product Showcase on the Bass Tub demonstrating many of the new lures and gear available at the show. For more information on any of these shows visit www.ncboatshows.com.
In fishing news, Donnie Bell from James River Tackle Co. reported last month that his son, Hayden caught a hybrid striped bass while fishing the tidal James River. This is an unusual catch because hybrid stripers (a cross between a striped bass and a white bass) were never stocked in the James River. They were not stocked in Lake Chesdin either. The concern is that wipers could crossbreed with pure strain Chesapeake Bay striper, so we’ll be monintoring if other hybrids are caught this winter from the James.
Bell says the crappie fishing will continue to be strong this month on wood and bridge pilings in and around the mouth of Appomattox River. Bass anglers will want to explore the Appomattox River this winter as many bass over-winter in it, off the James River.
One of his favorite tactics is pitching a Mud Puppy Brush Monkey to wood on deep banks on a warm afternoon. Google Earth the Appomattox all the way up to Colonial Heights and note some good fishing areas to try this month. Check with Bell on launch ramps and current river conditions.
Bell says tidal James catfish anglers know December is a month for big blues. Cut live shad fished on bottom rigs or live eels are gobbled readily by blue catfish up to 80 pounds now.
Over on Lake Chesdin, anglers are enjoying a good fall with crappie up to two pounds. Most are coming from brushpiles on small minnows.
Chesdin bass anglers are targeting some heavy bass using suspending jerkbaits this month. Chesdin striper are at the mouths of creeks on bait and can be caught on suspending jerkbaits and swimbaits. The lake does have a good supply of walleye. Most are caught accidently by bass anglers on crankbaits this month.
Area bowhunters, if you busted something on your bow or crossbow last month, you need to stop by Shooter’s Archery north of Richmond, about halfway to Fredericksburg. This shop offers bow hunting and archery enthusiasts a very unique venue that includes and indoor and outdoor range, pro shop and a fishing tackle section as well as live bait.
Hunters west of Mechanicsville will want to stop by Jo Jo’s Fishin’ & Huntin’ Express in Manquin. This shop is well-stocked with everything you’d need for a successful day deer hunting or waterfowling.
G’Daddy’s Bait & Tackle in Carrollton, Virginia (just across the James River Bridge in Hampton) is stocked with ZOOM soft plastic baits, a limited special collection of Poe’s classic all-wood crankbaits, Duckett rods and Reel Blessed custom rods. Profound Outdoors baits can also be found in the shop. Gift certificates are available at the shop as well as fishing licenses and the City of Norfolk lake fishing permits.
Robby Patterson of Propeller Dynamics invites you to stop by his showroom this month to see his selection of new Xpress boats, Raptor boat and used boats. He’s also the area authorized warranty service center for Minn Kota, MotorGuide, Lowrance, Power Pole and Garmin so if you have a marine electronic, he can fix it or sell you a new one! He also offers propeller repairs and sales if you found a rock over the summer with your rig.
Don’t forget RVA Santa will be at Green Top Sporting Goods December 14-16, 3-7 pm, December 17-18, 10-4 and December 19-22, 3-7. RVA Santa is hugely popular so online reservations are required!
C.C. McCotter & Donnie Bell