Contributor Patrick Taylor sent to good e-mail with the pictures below reporting on his recent experience at the Maiden Landing access point on the James River. I’ll paraphrase the intelligence he shared with me since I have limited coverage on the James to date.
Patrick is on temporary assignment from the UK working out of Newport News. Unencumbered by the demands of a wife or home beyond the hotel, he is free to fish every weekend and is thoroughly enjoying the 3000 miles of public water within striking distance of his job . After fishing with Lon and myself at the Confluence , he headed out to the Charlottesville area with the stated intent to do some tourist things and expand his perspective on the United States beyond his conclusion that the fishing is robust and diverse. However, with a great day on the Rappahannock still burned into the front of his brain, he could not shake the lure of chasing some more smallies and found himself standing at the Maiden Landing access point west of Richmond.
He had been told that this access point was good for wading. What no one commented on was whether it was good for fishing as well. Based on his experience, if you’re looking for sunfish, this is the place to be. He reports that the bottom of the river is a barren desert — nothing but sand — no attractive structure that would hold a significant population of smallmouth.
Patrick worked up the left hand bank and picked up 20 to 30 sunfish in an active day. He also saw some long nose gar but did not catch a single smallie. Late in the day, a friendly kayaker pointed him at the right bank and indicated that the deeper holes were over there. Unfortunately, it was too late for him to go check out that bit of advice. While the depth may shelter some smallies, the sand is probably pervasive on that side of the river as well.
All in all, as a fishing trip in search of smallies, this was a bust. In my book, that’s great to know because now I do not have to waste a trip to discover that same thing. I appreciate Patrick sharing the feedback in the picture below to wave off anyone else from this section of the James.
GPS Coordinates: 37.664391, -77.890942
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore