Richmond/James River

by Chris McCotter

    June on the lower James can be pretty good for trophy blue catfish but recreational boat traffic can make fishing during the day tough.

  River water temperature will reach 80 at some point this month so the big blue cats should finish spawning and be hungry! When the bite is on, it’s awesome and you can expect to catch multiple citations per trip.

   Rock-hopping around Pony Pasture with a medium heavy rod set up with 40-lb. mono and 90-lb. leader line with your favorite live bait could pay huge dividends for a potential monster flathead catfish this month, too, if you want to accept the challenge of both citations in a month.  

   You can even venture closer to the bay for the beginnings of the croaker run. Check with G’Daddy’s on the status of these fish this month. 

   Bass fishing on the tidal James River has been good recently according to  Donnie Poore at James River Tackle Co. in Hopewell.

   “Bass are biting around wood in the first third of the creeks,” he told W2 recently.

  He suggests fishing creeks like Kittewan, Wards, Flowerdew, Queens, Herring and Powells using crankbaits, soft plastic jerkbaits and shakey head worms.

   The mouth of the Appomattox River is also a good place to catch bass as many tournaments launch out of nearby Hopewell Marina. The bass stockpile on the Rt. 10 bridge and around the water plant structures.

  Over on nearby Lake Chesdin, the lake hasn’t reached 80 degrees yet and anglers are still waiting for the fishing to really take off.     

  This month try using deep diving crankbaits, Carolina-rigs, shakey head worms and some topwater early on Chesdin for post-spawn largemouth.

   Don’t forget there is a free ramp on the lower end of Chesdin maintained by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

   Area sport shops like James River Tackle Co., Castaway Sporting Goods in Chester, Jo Jo’s in Manquin, G’Daddys in Carrollton, Pat’s Sporting goods, also in Chester are your sources for fishing information. 

  Propeller Dynamics has found their Falcon and Xpress bass boats very popular among area anglers. These boats come in and sell quickly! Robbie Patterson and his team not only rig new boats, but they install depth finders, shallow water anchor systems, plus sell lithium ion batteries and charging systems and repair lower units and propellers.

  Green Top Sporting Goods reminds W2 readers that  June 2, 3 and 4 are free fishing days here in Virginia. No fishing license of any kind will be required for rod and reel fishing in freshwater or saltwater on these days. 

  Green Top has announced the dates of their popular Outdoor Expo. The event will once again be held the first weekend in October (Oct. 7-8). The Virginia Whitetail Trophy Class will be held in conjunction with the show. Get your mounts ready to be judged on the Boone & Crockett scale and we’ll see who has the biggest in the state by category. For more information visit

  The 38th annual Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show will be held August 4-6 at the Richmond Raceway Complex. 

  Besides exhibitors showing everything from ATVs to tree stands, guns to apparel, hunting trips and more, the show features the 84th annual Virginia Big Game Contest August 4-6 at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia.  

   The contest will feature all the large deer, bear, and turkey harvested throughout the state during the last hunting season.

    To put this in perspective last year VPSA put on display 335 of the largest deer, bear, and turkey harvested in Virginia!  

  At this show there’s also a National  Wild Turkey Federation sanctioned state turkey calling contest, television personalities, cooking demonstrations and the Pig, Deer & Beer Cafe. Visit for more information.

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