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James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 6.49'
Flow: 10200 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 6:18am
Low Tide: 1:00am

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Posted In: Fishing

Big bass on the James River

July 24, 2012 9:56am

A little over a week ago, I wrote a column in the T-D about smallmouth bass fishing the James in Richmond city limits. Well, on the same day the column came out, reader Bill Landrum hooked up with a sweet bronzeback, the kind that keeps all of us fishermen coming back to the mighty James at all hours of the day and night.

Here’s Landrum’s description of the day and the fish: I recently visited the James River with my daughter to do some canoeing. I also took my fishing rod, hoping I would catch some smallmouth. We put in at the Huguenot Bridge and not far upstream from there, I landed one of the biggest smallmouths that I have caught. I did not have a measuring device for length or weight, but some people I have shown this to thought it could be a citation, if not, close. It was such a beautiful fish! I released it after taking the picture, so it is back out there waiting to make another fisherman happy.

I was using a Rebel Crawfish crank bait (yellow in color) that was a somewhat shallow diver. I believe that I saw a rock with a deeper hole on the opposite side from me and cast beyond it. The water was smooth with no ripples. When it first hit, I thought it was a small fish – until it pulled against the drag! The odd thing is it never broke water. I thought I had a catfish because it kept diving – and was one of the longest fights I have had in a while.

That is one good looking fish, Bill. And if anyone else reading this has had a similar experience — with the pics prove it — in a Central Virginia body of water recently, send ’em my way. I’d love to hear the tale.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?