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James River

Old 03-31-2021, 08:32 AM
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I recently moved out to Smithfield va from va beach. I’m only about three mins from the boat ramp in a small creek that will take me right out to the James rivers. Has anyone fished around there or even up in the creeks in Suffolk? I’ve heard of catfish being caught off the Newport News fishing pier but that’s not really what I’m after. Wondering if stripers, flounders, trout and reds ever come this way.
Old 03-31-2021, 08:53 AM
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Stripers and puppy drum have been caught all the way up to the Surry Power plant. Puppy drum in creeks mainly. Look for stripers around where the ghost fleet is/was with your electronics. I would assume trout make it up that far too. Never caught/targeted flounder that far up.
Old 03-31-2021, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Chesapeake239 View Post
Stripers and puppy drum have been caught all the way up to the Surry Power plant. Puppy drum in creeks mainly. Look for stripers around where the ghost fleet is/was with your electronics. I would assume trout make it up that far too. Never caught/targeted flounder that far up.
whats the “ghost fleet”?
Old 03-31-2021, 10:53 AM
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:02 AM
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Last edited by Wingnutt; 03-31-2021 at 11:09 AM.
Old 03-31-2021, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Wingnutt View Post
thanks buddy
Old 03-31-2021, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Nautibohh View Post
whats the “ghost fleet”?
https://www.maritime.dot.gov/history...-reserve-fleet

Also known as the Mothball Fleet. Used to be 100+ ships there, very few left now. I believe you need to stay 500 feet away from them or the guard boat will come remind you of that in a nice or not nice way...

My original post was a bit misleading, you can find stripers all the way up to the 95 bridge on the James where it crosses through Richmond. But around the Surry Power plant area/Ghost Fleet I believe you have your best chance for stripers (or further down river).
Old 03-31-2021, 11:24 AM
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Wow, I remember when the Idle Fleet/Ghost Fleet was really a fleet, dozens of ships of all sorts and we used to explore all around them in a skiff as kids. Guess they’ve gone to be offshore reefs somewhere now?
Old 03-31-2021, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Buckee View Post
Wow, I remember when the Idle Fleet/Ghost Fleet was really a fleet, dozens of ships of all sorts and we used to explore all around them in a skiff as kids. Guess they’ve gone to be offshore reefs somewhere now?
I believe so, either recycled or sunk as reefs. Back in the day when you could fish up right between the ships, it was nothing to pop around the corner and see stripers boiling in between a particular set of ships. The environmental hazard has led to the dismantling of the fleet.
Old 04-02-2021, 06:49 PM
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Few years back I was told military training was going on on the ships. Some people around town saw helicopters and people repelling on them. Who knows. Not the first time I've heard military training up that way on the james with fort eustis right there. As far as fishing. I have caught a few flounder around structure. Never over 14in. North of the jrb. Catfish are plentiful all up and down the james if you know where to look and get the right bait. No hard. Fished the jrb many times during the past striper seasons day and night. Casted trolled jigged the bridge with an occasional schoolie. Very disappointing. People tell me they catch redfish. I have a feeling it's either the best kept secret for fishing around or it just sucks for redfish trout flounder striper. It's just my experience. It looks so fishy its hard to not want to try to fish it with confidence. I hear people slaying the stripers up by Jamestown certain time of the year. I myself have just had very little to show for putting time in the james. I'm sure one fish two fish would be slaying the reds in the james

Old 04-04-2021, 03:56 PM
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Nautibohh Which ramp are you near? Jones Creek or the Pagan River ramp?
Old 04-04-2021, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Chief9 View Post
Nautibohh Which ramp are you near? Jones Creek or the Pagan River ramp?
5-10 mins from Jones creek and 3-5 from Clontz park.
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Nautibohh View Post
5-10 mins from Jones creek and 3-5 from Clontz park.
Im close to you, off Chuckatuck Creek
Old 04-04-2021, 06:41 PM
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Welcome to the neighborhood. All the catfish you want. I've seen a lot of Black Drum and Striper caught by the JRB and Reds in the creeks. If all else fails, spend the afternoon at Captain Chuck-A-Mucks. Very good food. I keep my boat at Brown's Marina.
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:06 PM
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Great boating area. We are also 5 min from Jones creek ramp. There are plenty of stripers around if you know where to look (any visible structure will produce). Catfish galore, croakers, red fish, specs, black drum. Lots of fun places to chill and explore. We mainly use our jet skis all over the James. Keep big boat at rudee. Good luck, we love the area.
Old 04-06-2021, 09:48 AM
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Wow there's a lot of us in the area. I'm about 12 minutes from Jones Creek. I usually do a drive by every few days when I stop by the recycling place to drop off the trash. Unfortunately, I won't have the boat ready for another three weeks or so.
Old 04-06-2021, 10:30 AM
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Who knew so many of us are close by haha. We sold out boat this past fall since it was gonna be a bear to trailer from Smithfield to the boat ramps in vb. It also gave me an excuse to look for a new boat too. Once I get back from deployment later this summer I think I’m gonna put in my deposit to have a Pair Marine 21 built for me. So for now, I’m just fishing wherever I can from the shoreline. Speaking of which, any decent spot to cast a line around the area from the shore? I’ve heard of decent stripers up in chuckatuck creek. Mostly schoolies but still fun to catch none the less.
Old 04-07-2021, 10:11 AM
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Nautibohh,

Before you do, go pay Judge Yachts a visit or talk to ifishmd here on the boards. They make some awesome boats. Also I've found a few other ramps on the eastern side that don't appear as crowded as Lynnhaven and Rudee. However, it seems like no matter what ramp you use (except for Lynnhaven) you're gonna have about an hour's run to get to some good fishing areas.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:05 PM
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It's an hour to VB towing then the headache of launching and the harassment of VB Police, it's about 22 miles from the Pagan River to the CBBT. For me, it's easy. I'll make the run from the Pagan all day.

You could also launch from the public boat ramp near Fox Hill in Hampton, but I believe you'll still have the same headache with parking.

Judge makes a very good boat and it's designed for the Chesapeake Bay. Definitely worth a look.
Old 04-08-2021, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by SaltyDawg86 View Post
It's an hour to VB towing then the headache of launching and the harassment of VB Police, it's about 22 miles from the Pagan River to the CBBT. For me, it's easy. I'll make the run from the Pagan all day.
Shoot, if it's only 22 miles from the Pagan River to the CCBT, it can't be more than 18 from Huntington Park! I guess that makes up my mind as where to put in at! Shouldn't be long now, I have an appointment next Friday to have that old gas pumped out of my boat. Hopfully, I'll splash the first weekend in May!
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