The biggest smallmouth I ever caught was on a float tube trip near Hatton Ferry. I don’t now how big she was since I released her and I had no scales with me to weigh the hefty fish. But she was big enough to pull my float tube all over the river. It took quite a while to bring that big bass to net.
It just so happens that now is an excellent time to float the James River and James River Runners offers an outstanding livery service. Jeff and Christie Schmick started James River Runners back in 1979 and also helped get the Annual Chili Cook Off to benefit the Scottsville Fire Department off the ground. The Schmick’s have since passed their paddles and chili bowls to Chris Wilkes, the current proprietor of James River Runners. The service is the same – very professional – and the equipment is first class. JRR offers numerous trips including a 21-mile overnight float and day trips up to nine miles. They also carry busload after busload of tubers up and down the river for refreshing, lazy floats down the beautiful James River – which is currently in ideal condition for floating and fishing.
On several occasions, I have been part of larger group activities at JRR, which can easily host large parties for livery service and cookouts.
With September fast approaching, now is a perfect time for a leisurely float down the James. James River Runners is located at historic Hatton Ferry on Route 625, about 5 miles West of Scottsville.
Reservations, especially on weekends and holidays, are essential. Call 434-286-2338 or visit www.jamesriver.com