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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys .. gonna on over to the james tomorrow night to fish the tidal portion for some flatheads

i was wondering how low the river is up above richmond .. is it too low to be running a jet? also i was wondering if its relatively easy to catch bluegill up above the fall line .. since transporting fish from waterway to waterway is illegal we decided to try and catch us some bluegill from the james .. just looking for some advice on the water level and if its easy to catch bluegill

any specific tips on bluegill are much appreciated and if you choose to tell me send me a bmail .. thanks guys!
 

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You tell us, hardcore

[q]i may not know all the fish that swim in the james yet or how to catch all of them but its sad to say this newcomer has probably caught more and bigger catfish in my short time here than you and most others that fished the river they're whole life[/q]
 

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if you are fishing tidal, launching at anacarrows- the furthest at high tide you can go, is up to the first low dam which is only about 1/4 mile past southern states building, there are some nice deep holes, will b-mail where you can get all the bluegills in the river you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
nopain apparently dosen't understand that this board is FULL of people that love to joke .. nopain: sit back and have fun

capt neil: thanks for the tip .. frankly i'm quite surprised at what you told me but i'll give that a try

we had originally planned to launch at watkins but after that little tip from neil i think we're gonna stick down below the fall line
 

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Tank, not a lot of people on this board are fishing for flatheads so I believe that is why there is not a lot of chatter. But the bottom line is that the upper section of the James from Anncarrows to the mountains is loaded with flatheads b/c of little to no fishing pressure. The 95 bridge area is good but you have to weed through all of the blues, channels and occassional stripers that are also there. Any boulder or stump in the upper section that breaks the current has the potential to hold a flathead. The area from Maidens on up has produced the bigger flatheads to date(some near 50 lbs) but the lower section is probably just as good for bigger fish but not as many people have spent a whole lot of time targeting them. Anglers west of Richmond just have flatheads to fish for while anglers east of Richmond seem to just want to fish for blues. This is why I think we don't get many reports from this area.(Richmond).

give me a call if you ever need someone to fish with. I'm going to try to allocate at least 2 days a week for the next 3 months to just fish for flatheads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks gtb .. i've been taking some extra time from work to fish lately and i really want to learn to catch some flatheads so i'll definatly take you up on that

we're still not sure whether to go to upper or lower section yet .. we're really after BIG fish and i just have a feeling that there are some real brutes in the lower section because they have more food (i think haha) .. the upper section i keep hearing there's tons of flatheads just not sure we'd be able to find a spot in one night to catch a big one since i have zero time on the water in the upper portion .. thanks again and i'll give you a holler next time i'm off!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
first 2 days we got thunderstormed out .. 3rd day we decided to go for blues since we didn't have time to scout .. after 3 days with hardly any sleep and watching radar we decided to call the week off

thanks for the tips but looks like i'll be trying some other time
 

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You can catch bream in a cast net if you have a cast net lic from the VMRC for $7.50. That lic is good on any tidal water up to the fall lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
considering how often i see them on the water enforcing things i think i'll go get a license for that

yes officer i was using the cast net for shad .. all bluegill were caught on that little rod over there!
 

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[Q]RKOCH originally wrote:
You can catch bream in a cast net if you have a cast net lic from the VMRC for $7.50. That lic is good on any tidal water up to the fall lines.
[/Q]

Can you post a link to where it says that. I have never heard that before.
 

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I had the same thought BigCat. I've never heard of that license. I always thought that gamefish had to be taken on hook and line to be used as bait. Bill Hilton got checked this year and the game warden looked at the lips of his white perch to make sure they had hook marks.
 

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I use a fish call and hypnosis to collect my bait. Not looking forward to explaining that to the Man.

Okay, that is not completely true. I have to give credit where it is due. Most of the time, I bum bait from Hugh, Josh, Slade or others. But they are VERY stingy with the live bait. But, free dead gizzards are fine with me.

Dayton
 

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Col bowman of the VMRC said they have jurisdiction up to all fall lines and all lic are good in any section of tidal water. He did say they get in pi$$ing matches with DGIF over these matters all the time because they both have jurisdiction in the freshwater areas. But he said the fact remains a rec cast net lic is good on the chesapeake bay just as it is below the fall line in Ricmond. The lic is actualy a rec lic to use commercial gear and the VMRC controls all comm fishing in tidal waters.
 

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RECREATIONAL FISHING AND CRABBING IN VIRGINIA TIDAL WATERS

(This page relates to recreational fishing by means other than hook and line; for information on hook and line fishing click here.)

Licensing Information

Any person desiring to take or catch finfish or shellfish for recreational purposes in the Tidal waters of Virginia must first obtain the appropriate gear license (See Exemptions and Annual License Fees below). Gear licenses can be purchased from any Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) licensing agent, except that crab pound/trap licenses can only be obtained from the district marine patrol officer. All licenses are valid for a calendar year and expire December 31 in the year issued. License tags for boats using crab pots and/or trotlines must be fastened at a conspicuous place on the starboard side of the boat or on the boat's mast; for crab pounds, the tags must be fastened to one of the offshore stakes [Code 28.2-225, 28.2-226.1, 28.2-234, 28.2-300, Regulation 4 VAC 20-60-20].

Any license to recreationally fish or crab shall be issued to an individual for his/her exclusive use and shall not be transferable. No person shall be issued more than one recreational gill net license, more than one recreational crab pot license, more than one recreational crab pound/trap license, nor more than one recreational eel pot license [Code 28.2-226.1, Regulation 4 VAC 20-670-20].

EXEMPTIONS - The following activities are exempt from the licensing requirements:

1. Taking by dip net, hand line, or two crab pots (or two collapsible crab traps), as much as one bushel of hard crabs and two dozen peeler crabs in any one day for personal use aboard any vessel. If crabbing occurs from shore (crabs are not possessed on a vessel) the possession limit is one bushel and two dozen peeler crabs per person per day.

2. Taking a maximum of one bushel of oysters in any one day for personal use, when taken by hand or with ordinary tongs during the oyster season from open rocks.

3. Taking a maximum of 250 clams in any one day for personal use, when taken by hand or with ordinary tongs from open areas.

4. Using one tank or float no greater than 4 feet in width and 8 feet in length for shedding crabs for personal use.

5. Harvest of oysters or clams from a private lease by the leaseholder, or the person authorized or employed by a leaseholder. (Other no-cost permits may be required.)

6. Taking minnows, menhaden, or mullet for personal use as bait with a cast net; fish may not be sold, traded or bartered.

7. Taking, by hand, a maximum of 5 horseshoe crabs in any one day for personal use only. No harvesting allowed from any shore or tidal waters of Virginia, within 1000 feet in any direction, of the mean low water line, from May 1 through June 7.

Exemption references: [Code 28.2-226, 4 VAC 20-270-56, 4 VAC 20-670-20, 4 VAC 20-900-30].

Annual License Fees

Note: effective December 1, 2005, most saltwater fishing license fees for 2006 and beyond will be increasing. Click here to see the new license fee schedule.

For a recreational gill net up to 300 feet . . . . . . . . . . $7.50

For a recreational fish cast net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $8.00

For a recreational fish dip net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6.00

For up to 2 recreational eel pots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10.00

For up to 5 recreational crab pots . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .$29.00

For a recreational crab pound or trap . . . . . . . . . . . .$5.00

For an ordinary crab trot line up to 300 feet . . . . . . . . $8.00

*For saltwater recreational fishing license . . . . . . . . . . $7.50

*For saltwater recreational boat license .. . . . . . . . . . . $30.00

* Click here for more recreational saltwater hook & line license information

Gear Restrictions

* Any person licensed to use a recreational gill net must stay within 100 yards of such net when it is overboard [4 VAC 20-670-30].

* It is unlawful for any person to use more than 5 crab pots or more than two eel pots when licensed for recreational purposes [4 VAC 20-670-30].

* Any law or regulation applying to the setting or fishing of commercial gill nets, fish cast nets, fish dip nets, crab pots, crab pound/traps or crab trot lines shall also apply to such gear when set or fished for recreational purposes [4 VAC 20-670-30].

* It is unlawful to fish licensed recreational crab pots on Sunday. The daily time limit for commercial crab potting shall not apply to the setting and fishing of licensed recreational crab pots. [4 VAC 20-670-30]. Daily time limits and the Sunday prohibition do not apply to unlicensed recreational crabbing allowed by the exemption noted above.

* It is unlawful for any person to place, set, or fish or knowingly leave any hard crab pot or peeler pot in any Virginia tidal waters from December 1 through March 31 [4 VAC 20-270-40].

* From June 1 to September 15, it is unlawful to set or fish any recreational crab pot in the Virginia Blue Crab Sanctuary [4 VAC 20-752-30].

* A crab pot must have at least two unobstructed cull rings, one at least 2 5/16 inches inside diameter and the other at least 2 3/16 inches inside diameter located one each in opposite exterior side panels of the upper chamber of the pot; except the 2 5/16 inches diameter ring may be closed in pots set on seaside of Accomack & Northampton Counties or within the crab dredge areas (see 4 VAC20-90-20 for boundaries) or Pocomoke or Tangier Sound [4 VAC 20-700-20].

* Each crab pound/trap must have at least four unobstructed cull rings of at least 1 1/2 inch inside diameter, located two each under water in the lower portion of two opposite side panels (perpendicular to the shoreline) of the retention box [4 VAC 20-460-50].

* Any person licensed to use a recreational 5-crab pot license, a recreational crab trotline license (300' maximum) or a recreational crab pound/trap is now limited to one bushel hard crabs and two dozen peeler crabs in any one day for personal use [4 VAC 20-670-25]

* It is unlawful for any person to use any recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to catch and possess any species of fish that is regulated by an annual harvest quota (includes: black drum, black sea bass, bluefish, scup, speckled trout, striped bass, and summer flounder) [4 VAC 20-670-30].

* It is unlawful for any person using a recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to take and possess more than the recreational possession limit for any species regulated by such a limit. When fishing from any boat, using recreationally licensed gear, the total possession limit shall be equal to the number of persons on board legally eligible to fish multiplied by the individual possession limit for the regulated species, and the captain or operator of the boat shall be responsible for adherence to the possession limit [4 VAC 20-670-30].

* It is unlawful for any person using a recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to take and possess any fish which is less than the minimum size established for that species. When different size limits for commercial and recreational fishermen are in effect for a species, the size limit applicable to recreational or hook & line fishermen shall apply to such species when taken by recreational gill nets, fish cast nets, or fish dip nets [4 VAC 20-670-30].

* It is unlawful for any person fishing from a boat or vessel to anchor, drift, troll, or otherwise fish within, or to cast into the prohibited fishing zone of any pound net which is marked by orange flags. It is also unlawful to take or harvest crabs from any part of a pound net marked by orange flags, unless such person has the written permission of the owner of the pound net. It is unlawful for any person to tamper with any flag marking the prohibited fishing zone of any pound net [4 VAC 20-20-35].

* It is unlawful for any person to tie, fasten, or secure any boat or vessel to any pole, stake, netting or any other part of a pound net or stake gill net, except during the normal lawful fishing of such nets by the licensee, his crew or agent [4 VAC 20-20-35].

* It is unlawful for any person to take, catch, or kill any fish with the use of a firearm [4 VAC 20-570-20].

* It is unlawful to capture or kill any fish, shellfish, or marine organisms by means of explosives, drugs, or poisons in any waters of the Commonwealth or in any waters under its jurisdiction [28.2-313].

* It is unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take any finfish by means of snagging [4 VAC 20-740-20].

* It is unlawful for any person to use any snatch hook, grab hook or gang hook for the purpose of taking or catching fish in the Rappahannock River below the Downing Bridge at Tappahannock between January 1 and March 15 [28.2-306].

* It is unlawful for any person to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organisms, on or within 500 yards below the Chickahominy Dam at Walker's, other than with rod and line or hand line [28.2-311].

Gear Marking and Reporting Requirements

Buoys of any crab pot, eel pot, gill net or ordinary crab trotline, and an offshore stake of any crab trap, used for recreational purposes, shall be marked legibly with the licensee's last 4 numbers of his/her social security number or driver's license number, preceded with the letter "R"; these figures must be at least 1 inch in height. [4 VAC 20-670-40].

Any person catching finfish or shellfish using a recreational gillnet, cast net, dip net, crab pot, crab trap, crab trotline, eel pot, or any other recreational license established by Regulation 4-VAC-20-670 must report annually on forms provided by the Commission: the weight and species harvested, location of harvest, days fished and amount of gear used (click here for downloadable form; if you get a prompt for a password click cancel) [4 VAC 20-670-40].

Size/Catch Restrictions

* Minimum size limits: 5 inches for male hard crabs (jimmies) and immature female hard crabs, 3 inches for peeler crabs, and 3 1/2 inches for softshell crabs, measured from tip to tip of the longest spikes. No size limits exist for adult female hard crabs (sooks) [Code 28.2-708, Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-55].

* Dark sponge (brown through black coloration) crabs must be returned to the water alive and not altered or destroyed in any manner; however, a tolerance of 10 dark sponge crabs per bushel is allowed [4 VAC 20-370-20].

* It is unlawful for any person fishing with recreational hook & line, rod & reel, spear, gig or other recreational gear to possess more than 50 eels [4 VAC 20-500-55].

* Click here for finfish size, season and possession limits (rules described above may supercede limits described for recreational hook & line fishing; call (757) 247-2200 with questions).

CLICK HERE FOR COLOR CRAB PHOTOS

Definitions:

"Jimmy" means a male hard crab with a narrow apron on the abdomen.

"Sook" means a mature female hard crab with a semicircular apron.

"She-crab" means an immature female hard crab with a triangular apron.

"Sponge crab" means an adult female hard crab which has extruded her eggs on the abdomen or abdominal flap. The egg mass or "sponge" may contain about 2 million eggs.

"Peeler crab" means any crab with a soft shell fully developed under the hard shell. A white, pink, or red line on the outer section of the "backfin" is an indicator.

"Backfin" means the last leg of the crab, flattened to aid in swimming. Also known as the swimmer or paddle fin.

"Buster" means a crab that has begun to back out of its old shell.

"Softshell crab" means a crab which has recently emerged from its old shell. The new shell is soft and tender.

"Papershell" means a softshell crab whose shell has begun to harden. The shell stiffens and becomes tougher - usually within 12 hours after shedding the old shell.

"Doubler" means a male crab carrying a female crab prior to or after mating. Usually the females are peelers or softshells.

VMRC LAW ENFORCEMENT FIELD OFFICES

All information provided above is summarized from the Code of Virginia and VMRC Regulations. Please refer to the Code sections and Regulations cited for legal documentation. All regulations are subject to change. Call (757) 247-2200 for the most current regulations.

Revised August 2002



Here is the whole regulation as you can see it says tidal waters that means all tidal waters.
 
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