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heyitskirby

James River

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Might hit the Watkins ramp for a little bit tomorrow, but definitely going out of Osbourne on Sunday. I know they have completely different fishing strategies, but was wondering whats been working for everyone.

This is my first opportunity to take the boat out this year...can't wait.

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Check the weather for Sunday.

Go early at Watkins to beat the jet skiers.

Topwaters early AM followed by wacky and shaky heads.

Try shad colored crankbaits.

Post photos. :)

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Post and let us know how you do out watkins. Notice watkins landing on the DGIF site last winter, looking to try it before summer hits.

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Sam - hear you on Watkins. If I go it won't be until late afternoon. The worst part for me is always the ramp and if I go up towards the first islands I'm normally okay as far as traffic. Its just close to the house.

Shad color cranks...you mean for lower, right? Haven't tried that on the upper section, but the biggest hint I've gotten for the Dutch Gap area is to use shad raps.

kaotic - Our biggest fish out of Watkins was a 3.5 lb smallie off the rocks near the Henrico pump house. I will warn you, though, there are no signs posted and the thing blows back out at times. We had a scare there while anchored where if the wind had been blowing in one of the several directions it was that day we would have flipped the boat. Posted about it a while back and sent the county several emails. Last I was there no signs had been put up. Otherwise learn the channel and get ready for jet ski and ski boat mania like Sam said. It's a very small section of river and everyone is competing except the fisherman. Your best bet is to go during the week if you can (or before Memorial Day or after Labor Day).

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@heyitskirby: What blows back out at times? I'll take your advice and adventure out there during the week.

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Kaotic - the Henrico County Pump House. I don't know if its a clean out feature or what, but extremely dangerous.

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Thanks for the heads up. Where is it located in relation to the ramp?

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Down river on the north side closer to the dam. You will see a small building with rip rap along the shoreline.

I tried attaching a map, but I keep getting an error. I will try again later.

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i went to go put in at watkins this weekend since i dont live far...got there and it was CRAZY!! Parking lot full, about 7 boats waiting to take out and about 6 waiting to go in! With only 1 take out and drop in ramp it was a mess! After backing down waiting for another boat to take out..what do you know another guy backs his trailer all way around mine and dumps his while boat was waiting to take out...after that i said screw it and pulled up ramp and took off to Maidens. I put in with no wait, went up to first couple islands, got out and waded. I fished all around 2 islands for 40min while my gf and her daughter same below with the dogs. I hooked up with 3 smallies in the short amount of time and lost 2. It was fun wading and catching fish..water felt nice!

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To fish Watkins you have to go at sunrise.

Otherwise it is a disaster.

Plan to stay out a long time, too, as trailering your boat can become a challenge with the jet skis and power boats along with people who have no idea of boating safety.

I would like to see the Conservation Officers make some surprise visits to Watkins. It will be "ticket city" when they start asking questions and inspecting the various watercraft. :)

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How is Maidens versus Watkins for smallies? Like to venture out one of them this evening.

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My favorite thing at Watkins is to watch the SIZE of boats being put in. There are certain areas in there where the channel is 20 - 30' wide at the most and goes from 15' deep to 2' deep almost immediately.

I would love to see the police there. If not just to keep me safe...to keep from someone killing themselves.

One thing to remember if you do put in there is to go up river. Once you start seeing the first islands slow down and pay attention to your depth. Up there you may see a few jet skis, but not nearly as many ski boats. They mostly head towards the dam.

kaotic - it all depends on the kind of boat you have and what time of year it is.

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I have Jon with a small o/b motor. Did you mean go up river at the Wathkin's ramp? How is the fishing this time of year and does it get better when it's warmer/hotter?

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