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Bass Fishing the James in Downtown Richmond Va

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I am trying to find some spots to go bass fishing around Richmond. I hear that the James is a decent spot for smallies, but for the life of me I can't get even a bite. I have tried Ancarrow's landing and the Pipeline but I didn't have any luck navigating the strong current with my lures. 

 

Any advice on rigging/lures or spots around the James/Richmond area would be greatly appreciated!

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Welcome aboard!

There are a lot of guys here who fish the
Richmond waters, so you'll get some great
advice soon enough :) 

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Welcome to the forums.  I have been fishing the James a lot lately so, here's part of what I know.  Finesse spinning gear, 8# line and Pop-r's in the morning, with weightless senkos, and small craws.  Zoom Ultra Vibe speed craws do well for me.  As for places, Brown's Island, Pony Pasture, Texas Beach and Hollywood Cemetery.  My best success comes early in the mornings, like once the sun clears the tree line you're done.  Gotta find a new place.  Go exploring at those places listed above, you should run into some there.

Hopes this helps, I usually go Sunday mornings before church let me know and we can meet up and I'll show you a couple of my spots on the James,

Wdy

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Hello and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

A-Jay

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22 hours ago, WdyCrankbait said:

Welcome to the forums.  I have been fishing the James a lot lately so, here's part of what I know.  Finesse spinning gear, 8# line and Pop-r's in the morning, with weightless senkos, and small craws.  Zoom Ultra Vibe speed craws do well for me.  As for places, Brown's Island, Pony Pasture, Texas Beach and Hollywood Cemetery.  My best success comes early in the mornings, like once the sun clears the tree line you're done.  Gotta find a new place.  Go exploring at those places listed above, you should run into some there.

Hopes this helps, I usually go Sunday mornings before church let me know and we can meet up and I'll show you a couple of my spots on the James,

Wdy

Where on Brown's Island do you fish at?

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I haven't fished that place in years, but I would go to the very down stream end of the island and wade my way out. 

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Hit the area to the west of the Pony Pasture rocks where the kids hang out.

Park and walk west on River Road until you see the island close to the road.

Wade out to the other side of the island and look for the rocks.

Good smallie fishing in the rocks but very dangerous. Have a buddy with you and wear a PFD.

But before you head out call Dance's Sporting Goods store in Colonial Heights and ask if they still carry the grape scented 1-inch grubs from Wright Bait Company. If so, head down I-95 and pick up a few packs.

Ask the Dance people if they have a 1/64 size jig head. If Dance does not have the 1/64 jig heads then drive all the way back up I-95 to Bass Pro Shops and get some Jig Head Ball 1/64 jig heads in silver or gold.

Rig up an ultra light or light power 5-5 or 6-0 spinning rod and small (1000 size) spinning reel with 4-pound test with the jig head and white grubs and you are ready for a day of fun and action.

Handling 4-pound test can be a pain so you may want to go up to 6-pounds. But not heavier test line.

Cast into the rocks and let the current bring the grub back to you.

Remember, the Historic James River is very unforgiving so go with a friend and wear that PFD.

Have fun and let us know where you go and what you catch.

 

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Hey Sam I looked at pony pasture today but I think the water level was too high to hit the rocks. Where exactly is that island? Is it the Williams island? 

 

Thanks again 

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The Historic James is high and dirty now. You may have to wait a week after the rains stop.

If you look at the GMCO map of the Upper James you will see an insert for the area of Huguenot Road bridge down to the Powhite Parkway bridge.

See the red "Pony Pasture Canoe Access" icon?

You walk west on Riverside Drive from the parking area and canoe area going about 1/3 mile and look at the river. The island is not on the map but you will see it. It is towards the Z-Dam.  A small island that you can easily walk to and around.

Or you can put in anywhere along the bank and head to the rocks to the west of where everyone swims and sunbathes.

Be careful. The rocks and current can be formable.

 

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I think there is a total of three islands across the width of the river at Pony Pasture. It is a lot wider there then most people think. 

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I think I found that island you guys were talking about. It had a bunch of "no trespassing" signs leading up to it, but wading through the river would probably circumvent that. I am definitely going to give that a chance once the river lowers and clears. 

 

Thanks again 

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So here are a few tips and places I have been, I pretty much fish everyday on my way home from work.  The new bridge that they built on the way to browns island around that area is really good.  Basically I walk down from the Manchester side down to where the flood wall trail starts and navigate along the james.  That area the water is calm on a normal day as the water kinda backs up there for no reason.  If you are going across the manchester bridge coming from southside and you look over you will see what I am talking about.  Also I kid you not where that new walk bridge is where the rock climbing wall is I caught a 2.5 lb bass in nasty green and rusty water, crazy haha, the other day I also caught a 4.5lb bowfin where the james goes back into rapids along the flood wall...well before the drop off.  TONS of shad run along the grass lines and smallmouth is really good there.  I've been back everyday and have seen a good 2-3lb smallmouth who refuses to eat my lures but I normally catch a smaller one.  

 

I have been on this I have to catch a gar as well and there are a few that cruise that area since the water is calm.  here is tons of Warmouth and Shad so baits that look like that are awesome too.

 

I recommend pearl white flukes or a more transparent color fluke, either Texas Rigged with a 4 or 5 hook, or A lot of the times since I use my spinning rod more than my bait caster down in that area I use a 1 or 2 finesse hook and nose hook the flukes.  

 

Also my tried and true favorite are the bass pro speed shad paddle tails or Keitechs 4.3 / 4.25 inch lures with a 3/8s gama weighted swimbait hook.

 

Just be careful walking over the flood wall rocks haha.  

 

I have had some hit or miss fish over at Great Shiplock park as well, although its so deep there I don't know really what to use and cover is sparse on hot days.  I feel there has to be a good size bass in there but I don't know anyone who has caught anything bigger than 1-2lbs there.  ...except for catfish.  

 

Follow me on Instagram if you want to see some of the spots, you can normally tell from the photos

 

'drailrvadrums'

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Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw, Green Pumpkin Magic.  T-rigged 2/0 hook & 3/16oz. bullet weight.

 

or

 

Strike King Rage Tail Craw Falcon Craw color

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