advice on Fishing the Warwick River?
New to Virginia.
Stationed at Fort Eustis where we have a boat launch directly into the Warwick River. It looks to be a few miles downriver to get to the James River.
Looking for some advice on fishing the Warwick River or the James River. Believe ya’ll refer to this area as the Horse head near the Ghost fleet.
I have a bass boat, some I am keen to river fishing more than open water and bay fishing.
Any thoughts on when and where to go?
When it warms up, you can fish some deep holes near the denbigh boat ramp, and during spring rock season fish swim baits around the channel markers headed out to the James. The mouth of the Warwick where it meets the James is usually a good spot for any fish. On good days head out to the main channel ( you will see the boats ) and fish the channel edges. The horses head is a hike if the water gets rough, but on most days you can use your bass boat in most locations just keep a weather eye out. From the ramp at Ft Eustis to the mouth of the Warwick should take you maybe 10-15 minutes to reach,as the weather warms just watch the blind curves on the Warwick when leaving the ramp, a lot of go fast and ski boats haul a## through that area. hope this helps.
This time of year the catfish in the Warwick should be biting pretty good. Fish the channel edges with fresh cut bait and don't be surprised at the size of the cats that can be found there. With the mild temps the striper will be returniing (may be some there now) to spawn and can be caught on the channel edges, around structure and around the many docks that are scattered along the banks. As the temps warm you can catch croaker on bottom rigs with squid and later in the summer spot will start to show up. Summer Flounder are there as well but you may be hard pressed to find one that is keeper size. There are some larger flounder on the channel edges out in the James. Speckled trout and puppy drum also call the Warwick home at times normally in the fall but they can be caught at other times through the year as well. As cfirth mentioned the mouth of the Warwick is a good place but there's lots of opportunites between the Eustis ramp and the James. At one time of year or the other you can catch just about every species that enters the bay including cobia, red and black drum.
Cfirth hit on another good point; as the summer gets here the Warwiick is a favorite place for tubers, skiers and jet skis so be carefull as they fly through there.
Thanks for your service. I lived in the Warwick for 20 years until moving to Deep Creek on the James 2 years ago.
I fish artificials only so I never target catfish, but there are plenty of stripers in spring (catch and release until May 15th) and fall on the points, markers and creek mouths from the Warwick all the way around Mulberry Island to Mulberry Point and north. In May some nice black drum in the 3-10lb range will move in, and in June reds will move in, although some years are great for them and some years they don't show up. We fish Gulps on jig heads, spoons, Stanley Wedgetails and bucktails for the drum. Some years the reds move in later around August. They'll leave after the first NE blow in October. If the water is clear, with no rain and some east winds late in summer, there will be some nice specks around, but never in the numbers around the 'Liz or Hampton Roads, Poqouson Flats or Mobjack. If I am going to target trout (and most species, for that matter!), I fish elsewhere. If your bass boat is on a trailer, I'd recommend putting in at Messick POint in Poqouson or Wallace's in Hampton and fishing Back River. Great place for a small boat. We have caught reds to 35" and there is great speck fishing in the fall. Same could be said for Portsmouth Park on the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River. Some years the speck fishing in there is world class. This past year it sucked for us, but there were plenty of reds. Hopefully with this mild winter the speck year will be killer.
If its a nice day, run out the Warwick down the James. The JRB, Monnitor-Merrimac and Hampton Roads BT are easy runs. I have a 1990 19' Ranger and I'll run it down there on really nice days. Last October we caught 15 really nice specks at the HRBT on jigs and Wedgetails and a 31" red. Tons of stripers at the MMBT and JRB in the fall. Lots of other good spots but I can't give away my honey holes. :) Don't mess with the James on windy days: almost every year someone dies in there not realizing how rough it can get, especially on a NW wind.
Shoot me an e-mail and we can stay in touch: email@example.com. I'm on the lower James a fair amount and can usually get a report from others.
Thanks again for your service.
Me and my boy took my bass boat our on the Warwick river last weekend. Was only gone for a couple of hours as I threaded the storms back in.
We made it out to the mouth of the Warrick, Went into the James River Marina, but it seemed Kilda quiet.
Pushed back up to the buoys below the horses head where you can see the ghost fleet off you r bow about three miles away.
We drowned some froze shrimps. No luck catching
As I passed the Denbigh landing, the place was packed with about a dozen anglers and a few spectators. At each passed I saw them carting 2 or 3 fish off. Looking to be 1-2 pound cats, and none were thrown back into the water. So much for thinking my little fishery would be a trophy area.
Got my crab pots, lines, nets, etc… ready to go. Won’t be long now…
IF nothing else accomplished this day, I helped clean some of the silt at the landing. Bring a shovel if you want to launch here (Fort Eustis) at low tide. Doable, but with work.
When does the blue crab season start again?????????????????????????????
Glad you made it out and got a chance to see the river. Here's a link to the crabs regs.