Big cats in the James
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Thread: Big cats in the James

  1. #1
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    Big cats in the James

    If saltwater fishing is slow the James is full of these pigs pulling.
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  3. #2
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    Nov 2002
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    Nice...hope to be catching some soon down this way in brackish water if we get a decent weekend.

  4. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    our biggest from the James is 64#
    js

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  6. #4
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    64 lb is an awesome fish. Right now is trophy season. Will be up until about May when the shad run is done and they start to spawn. And they get fatter and heavier in March when those shad and white perch come in. Getting bait from the bank right now is tough. I lose a half dozen cast nets a year throwing my arms off. But if u do get bait it's worth it. I've been buying jumbo eels and heads from the seafood markets cause sometimes you can't net a cutter all night. The colder and nastier out the better for trophies.

  7. #5
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    Dec 2015
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    How far up the river have you been catching these monsters? I need something to do until the saltwater fish come back

  8. #6
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    Richmond..... Ancarrows. Dutch gap and the power plant. Get the free charts and hike and cast to the marks. If u find a wintering hole ur styling. I take a few trips a year to the mouth of the Rapp and I catch em there so they're pretty tolerant to brackish water. I hear they catch em in the Er now. That's sick. Isn't a fat striper a saltwater cat? Same difference.???? Either way...... Resilient fish that grow big and hang around

  9. #7
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    They get em in the chic, the Potomac, the Dan, and every big and small water in between. They're there.....Salt or fresh, whether u like it or not. Blue cats got inshore on lock. Top predator currently in the rivers

  10. #8
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    Oister,
    Free charts?
    T

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by twidpa View Post
    Oister,
    Free charts?
    T
    Whatever free NOAA booklet charts u can find online. They show the river depths, mud flats, wrecks, and structure. If u look at say the barge pits. Them topo charts show alot of the junk in the water used by boats for navigation. And depths. Tide varies what you will and won't see. And knowing where the main channel is important. James gets pretty wide and depending what side your on takes a big cast to get deep. I like high tide, late night/early morning mud flats. Especially if a wing jetty is near

  12. #10
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    Henricus park is like the best kept secret in VA. Awesome hiking, scenery, and fishing...... Especially winter fishing. From what I understand the big Giants really start to pick up at about Williamsburg towards Richmond.

  13. #11
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    The only place I've seen cats caught in the Elizabeth River were small ones in the Chesapeake locks. There were plenty of medium cats when we were allowed to fish at Tidewater Community College in Suffolk and that is the James. A few years ago the bite was good at Bennett's Creek Park but then it slowed.

  14. #12
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    Jun 2012
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    mathias, WV
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    we always fish out of Hopewell marina, probably don't go over 5 miles one way, we fish with archie gould of nightstalker charters, the guy knows how to fish!
    js

  15. #13
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    Big ole kitty ..

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish'n Phil View Post
    The only place I've seen cats caught in the Elizabeth River were small ones in the Chesapeake locks. There were plenty of medium cats when we were allowed to fish at Tidewater Community College in Suffolk and that is the James. A few years ago the bite was good at Bennett's Creek Park but then it slowed.

    Shads around the southern ER area for anyone needing bait for those cats. Phil water not to deep on this side think the avg is 15-20 ft in middle of chchannel till you get around Norfolk waterside then it gets 40plus ft . but the biggest I have seen out this way was someone stinger that got lost floating in the river. Cat was probly 15-20 lbs.

    I know bobs fishing hole had 40(est Citation cats last year plus many close ones. There's few charters out at bobs now. Jan and Feb best time for Those big ones

  17. #15
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    Would be nice to net and vacuum pack some bait for the cats. Wouldn't of thought there would be bait swimming around with water being cold but that's good to know. Where is there a place to toss a net on the southern ER?

  18. #16
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    Phil ill see if I can get some for you.I have a boat so easier for me to get to them.my buddy entering A cat tournament in the next Two weeks and we are supposed to go net some more.

  19. #17
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    The best bait is fresh bait. Indigenous bait. Which sometimes means other Blue catfish. They're cannibals so keep an open mind

  20. #18
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    Never underestimate the power of a bluegill either. Especially in the northwest

  21. #19
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    Oct 2010
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    Where in Henricus park are the good spots for the monster Cats?

    Thanks..........

  22. #20
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    Never ever set a live brim or stiff back out near Ancarrows.
    Was laid up in VCU for a few days in Oct one year with a birds eye view of the James. Saw a big "v" being cut in the stretch between I95 and Ancarrows, it was not a boat, canoe, kayak or a jetski, no human involved, just a V. Big fish come up there, of all sorts.
    Good post Oister.

  23. #21
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    You will actually be fishing in the Dutch Gap conservation area but you park in Henricus park. No fee unless you wanna go inside and get a history lesson. They have free trail maps there and online. I think the walk around the whole lagoon is about 4.5 miles. Some is uphill depending which way you go at the Y. You don't have to make the whole loop though. They have piers and docks all around the lagoon... with rod holders. It's like a small lake. It's all the warm water discharge from Dominion power so when it's cold the bait migrates there and the predator fish follow. Largemouth, catfish, and crappie galore. Take a short rod too because there will be tight spots u might wanna fish and no overhead clearance for a heaver. Get the NOAA boater charts and cast to all that sunken junk. You can make it easy and fish the first few docks or keep on hiking and trying spots off the path or the further docks. I only fish it in the winter and 3 - 4 oz will hold in the lagoon but you'll need 8 or more in the actual river which loops around the lagoon. Swamps, marsh, main channel, and the lagoon. Awesome place....Really scenic and wild. I've been looking for a shorter way in but Dominion has it all fenced off prison style. Your not climbing or jumping it. Idk what time they open the gates but they close em at dark. That stinks because I'd love to night fish it. A kayak guy can put in at Dutch Gap boat launch and be there quickly and have no gate problems.

  24. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyhandslopez View Post
    Never ever set a live brim or stiff back out near Ancarrows.
    Was laid up in VCU for a few days in Oct one year with a birds eye view of the James. Saw a big "v" being cut in the stretch between I95 and Ancarrows, it was not a boat, canoe, kayak or a jetski, no human involved, just a V. Big fish come up there, of all sorts.
    Good post Oister.
    Bull sharks have been reported in the James, Pamunkey, and the Potomac. And I think there are more 100+ lb catfish in there than people know about. I believe the biggest of the big only eat other blue cats exclusively. That 143 pounder them boys caught in Kerr lake won't tell anybody what they used for bait. I'm guessing a 10lb catfish. When the biologists purge big blue cats there not finding all the bass, crappie, and striper like MD and VA want you to believe. They're finding other catfish in their bellies. I've never cut up a small cat for bait myself because I actually like the Blue cat, all C & R. But I will throw whole jumbo eels at em and big, hand sized pieces of shad. I'm not posting any links so the fact checkers will have to dig this info up themselves.

  25. #23
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    Reelhooked...thanks for the offer. Fished cut menhaden one day last spring but it seemed like the cats enjoyed night crawlers more. I figured the oily bait in cold water would draw them in but what do I know. At Bennett's Creek they bit squid !

  26. #24
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    I use eel down near Chick and other parts of the Lower James. It does well. I saw a fella haul in a 62# hoss using Mickey D's chicken nuggets! Go figure! The vacuums of the James don't discriminate on bait.

  27. #25
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    Feb 2009
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    Newport News, VA
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    I use eel down near Chick and other parts of the Lower James. It does well. I saw a fella haul in a 62# hoss using Mickey D's chicken nuggets! Go figure! The vacuums of the James don't discriminate on bait. Our cats are usually channel not monster flatheads!

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