Plan a Fishing Vacation in Hopewell and Prince George, Virginia
Hopewell and Prince George, Virginia - Fall is a good time for planning a fishing vacation in Hopewell and Prince George, Virginia. With two major water bodies – the James and Appomattox Rivers – the area offers many fishing opportunities to the sport fisherman. Summer boaters and jet skiers are gone and the wide, flat river waters stretch out before you.
“I love this time of year because it seems you have the river to yourself,” says Woo Daves, 2000 Bassmaster’s Classic World Champion. “The water starts cooling and the baitfish move into the shallows with the bass right behind them…. Around Hopewell is a good place to catch them, and, of course, we have the big catfish.”
Daves, who lives in Burrowsville, Virginia, just ten miles from Hopewell, considers the James and Appomattox Rivers his home waters, where he has fished for 48 years. Daves fishes 100 days a year from his Nitroz Z-20 Bass Boat with a 250 Mercury Optimax motor. But he points out that you don’t need a $70,000 bass boat to fish here. The area waterways, especially the Appomattox and Swift Creek, which branches off the Appomattox, offer prime spots for people to fish from their kayaks.
“While you fish, there’s lots of scenery to enjoy. You’ve got eagles to look at and you don’t have to worry about wind or waves,” says Daves.
Two marinas offer easy access to the Appomattox and James Rivers: Hopewell City Marina, located on the Appomattox River, one mile from the James River at City Point, has both a kayak launch and a four-lane boat ramp. Jordan Point Yacht Club has a dual concrete boat ramp on the James River at the southern foot of the Benjamin Harrison Bridge.
Even if you don’t have a boat, you can fish from the shore in Hopewell’s Old City Point Park. There is plenty of space to spread out along the bank and parking is an easy walk across the street. Another spot to fish from shore is the bulkhead at the Hopewell City Marina.
YEAR-ROUND FISHING IN HOPEWELL AND PRINCE GEORGE
Fall is the time when striped bass and rockfish are moving up river. They feed heavily to fatten up before winter, according to Eric Briddle, a fishing biologist with the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.
“Trophy catfish fishing can be at its best in the coldest months of the year,” says Biddle. “If you are willing to brave the elements, the best anglers say December and January are the best times to catch the biggest of the biggest blue catfish.”
Starting in the late winter and early spring, American Shad and Hickory Shad start their migration from offshore in the ocean into the Chesapeake Bay and James River. Along with the shad, anglers can also catch river herring and striped bass, making their migration upstream. American shad and herring cannot be kept; so any caught must be returned unharmed to the river immediately.
As spring temperatures warm the river water, anglers should target white perch and yellow perch. When spring turns to summer, anglers need to focus their efforts on largemouth bass and sunfish. The full moon in May and June can provide anglers with the best time of year to catch citation sized bluegill, redear sunfish and largemouth bass.
During the dog days of summer, as water temperatures really heat up, so does the catfish fishing. Catfish over 100 lbs. have been caught in the James River in the area around Hopewell.
HOW TO PLAN A WEEKEND IN HOPEWELL AND PRINCE GEORGE
Daves and his wife Patty, who is his fishing partner, encourage fishermen and their families to plan a weekend in Hopewell and Prince George. For details on how to find the best fishing spots, please contact the Hopewell and Prince George, VA, tourism office at https://www.hpgchamber.org/visitor-center or 1-800-863-8687. Travel advisors will be happy to share details on river access points, accommodations, historic attractions, food, musical performances and entertainment in and near Hopewell and Prince George, Virginia, just 20 miles south of Richmond, Virginia.