Falls meet tides in downtown Richmond, and area anglers reap the rewards. For four hundred years, fishermen have found the James River — where the rocky Piedmont meets the sandy Coastal Plain — to be a place of great variety and bounty. The same holds true today.
From Bosher’s Dam near the city’s western limit through the Mayo Bridge downtown, fishermen have their pick of freshwater species: smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, channel, flathead and blue catfish. Below Mayo Bridge, where the rapids give way to tidally-influenced water, blue catfish and largemouth bass reign. The fishing here is augmented by seasonal runs of American and hickory shad and striped bass, all on their way upriver to spawn.
The James is the most popular fishing destination in Central Virginia, but is by no means the only one. Public access ponds and lakes from Powhatan to Henrico counties beckon with stocked populations of largemouth bass, sunfish and catfish. Dorey Park, near the airport, and Shields Lake in Richmond also receive seasonal stockings of brown and rainbow trout as part of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Urban Fishing Program.
No matter your fishing pleasure, you can find all you need to know to get out on the water here.