Scouting out James River for upcoming tourney

Aug. 09, 2014 @ 05:42 PM

Susan and I spent much of last weekend helping our son, Jimmie, move and doing some overdue honey–do items. Luckily, there was time for a few hours of fishing on Belews Creek Lake, which is about 10 minutes from the house.

I only caught one small bass on a shaky-head worm in deep water, but getting out to fish would have been fun even if I had not gotten a bite.

This weekend, the plan is to spend three days fishing; one day on the James River near Richmond, Virginia pre-fishing for the upcoming FLW Rayovac event there in late August. This tournament was postponed in May due to a flood.

Currently, I‘m in 46th place in the season points chase and plan to move into the top 30 with a good finish in the final tournament of the year. This will move me on to the Rayovac Series Championship and possibly the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup with a top prize of half a million dollars.

The last time I fished in an event with a similar payout, the 2012 Bassmasters Weekend Series National Championship on Santee Cooper Lake, I went three days without landing a keeper.

Despite catching giants during practice, I hardly had a bite during the tournament. The plan is to not ever repeat that performance.

Kerr Lake fishing report — Reports are largemouth bass fishing is slow right now while the striped bass bite continues to be hot. Stripers are schooling and sources indicate a good early morning top-water bite.

You need to do a lot of riding to find a school on your electronics and they are moving fast, making them hard to keep up with. The conditions will change from day to day with some anglers reporting limits early while others ride for hours with no luck.

Upcoming area tournaments — The Kerr Lake Bassmasters of Henderson will hold an open club tournament on Lake Gaston out of the Hawtree ramp on Aug. 16. Contact Matt Priode at (919) 616-9610.

Next week’s report — Fishing and tournament reports from James River and Kerr Lake.

Tip of the week — Don’t forget to try a drop-shot rig to catch deep-water largemouth during the heat of summer. A green pumpkin Zoom finesse worm on a drop shot will catch fish anywhere.

Contact the writer at and on Facebook under Walt Bowen.