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question about boats on the upper james.

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Is it safe to use a bass boat on the upper James?  I'm talking Powhatan/Goochland(or further up if possible) down to Bosher's Dam.  

I know I've seen ski boats on the water as far down as Bosher's dam, so I'm just curious as my dad is talking about buying a boat this summer and we're trying to figure out what we want.  

Lots of good prices on all types on craigslist, but we don't want to limit ourselves to a small jon boat since we want to fish freshwater anywhere and everywhere we couldn't really access before.

Thanks ahead for any info.

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From Watkins Landing down to Boshers dam you can use any kinda boat bc its deeper in that section alot deeper then above watkins. I say about 2-3mi up from watkins you will start to hit rocks, rapids , and riffles and gets REALLY shallow. I wouldnt recomend a fiberglass boat or larger bass boat above watkins as thats when starts to get shallow and get into some rocks. If you had a jon boat or one of those rhino jet bass boats you can manuver your way up river. Now maidens landing , west view and on up i DEF wouldnt recomend a large bass boat! Only jons, canoes and yaks bc its SHALLOW as in stand in middle of river ankle deep shallow in some parts! So yes below watkins you can fit bass boat and go down river fine. But up from watkins i would go with jon boat or something like that. Its amazing to see those rhinos jet bass boats just rip right up rapids in just inches of water! :o

Hope this helps and good luck!

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Good fishing from Watkins to Bosher's Dam.

Fish the shoreline down to the dam and back. Both sides of river.

Go into Tuckahoe Creek by Bosher's Dam for lunch and also to fish.

For more information contact Neil Renouf, 804.266.1469 for a copy of his video, Fishing the James River, Vol. 1, Ancarrows and Watkins Landing. Tell Neil the area you want to fish to be sure to get the correct production.

Also get a GMCO map of the Upper James River which will show you the river.

Don't go upriver from Watkins unless you want to have some fun in the rocks.

Also, check out the water current and depth, as the river can get hazardous overnight.

You will catch smallmouth, largemouth, catfish, pike and the needle nose gar will come by the boat looking for a handout.

Watch out for skiers and jet skis in the summer.  ;)

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Thanks for the info.  We're looking to get into the smallies and I've heard flathead fishing is supposed to be really good up that way as well.

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Pony Pasture = Flatheads.

I caught a 25 pounder two years ago.

Caught many others, too.

Float from Huguenot Bridge to Z-Dam, fishing for bream to use for bait.  Keep bream in minnow buckets.

Cross Z-Dam or better, portage around Z-Dam and then float out into middle of river.

Lots of submerged rocks so bring lots of tackle as you will lose some in and around rocks.

Anchor raft and throw out into middle area of river.

I know the places to go but can show them to you as trying to tell you where to anchor and throw without being there is impossible.

If you cross the Z-Dam be very, very, very careful.  I don't do it anymore as I am old so I portage around the dam.

Great fishing for LMB, SMB and bream/bluegills between Huguenot Bridge and the Z-Dam.  

Throw small grubs into the rocks if you are wading west of Pony Pasture and you will have lots of fun with the SMB.

Be careful as the river is very unforgiving, especially in rocks.

Wear PFD and go with a friend, never alone.  ;)

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Hey sam

How do you access this section by hug. bridge? do you have to go down by pony pasture and go up?? im guessing can only access with yak or canoe? And the z dam is that just up from pony pasture?

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Here is how we do it.

You need two people or your friend/girlfriend/wife to help.

Go under Huguenot Bridge and look for the road on the west side of the bridge and drive down, turn right into parking lot, and park.

Unload jon boat and equipment and leave buddy to watch over it.

Take car and drive down to Pony Pasture and park in parking lot.

Get in friend/girlfriend/wife's car and drive back to Huguenot Bridge.

You need a vehicle to load the jon boat after you finish fishing at the Pony Pasture area.

When I go alone, I first park my car at the Pony Pasture and wife drives me and the raft, etc. back to Huguenot Bridge where I launch.

It is too far to walk from the Pony Pasture to Huguenot Bridge so you need two vehicles.

But it is worth it.

Give it a try.  Lots of fun and the river is beautiful.

And who knows, maybe the eagles will visit with you.  We have had them within 50 yards of us while in this area of the river.  ;)

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Yak, canoe, raft, jon boat.  Just as long as you can carry watercraft down steps to put it in the river.

Z-Dam is the one you see from the road along the river.  The one with the opening that allows the rush of water through it close to the road.

No rocks between Huguenot Bridge and Z-Dam. Rocks start at Z-Dam and go past downtown Richmond.

You and a buddy should not have any problems with the jon boat as long as you portage across the island on the north side of the river and do not try to go over the Z-Dam.

Wear PFD at all times.  :)

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