Old-school junk fishing on the James

If you like junk-fishing with old-school baits in tight tournaments, then this week's James River Northern Open is for you. Just bear in mind that tides – being at the right place at the right time – can make or break a win, though you should do okay by just bank-beating the right stuff.

When you see a BassGold baits graph like this, you probably think it's a shallow bite, with worms, topwaters (the Pop-R type) and buzzbaits dominating wins.

Shallow is right because when you look at the Macro Factors graph you see that "Shoreline" far outweighs any other area. It factors in 76 percent of wins and high finishes (second-fifth).

So the next question is: around what?

You can see that while James River bass can be caught shallow around just about anything, most winners and high finishers do well fishing wood.

Skimming the pattern details shows that often old-school worms on wood do well. (Don't forget to check the pattern deets, where you'll see things like the best buzzbait color seems to be...black.).

The Weights graph in the pattern report shows that tournaments this time of year are won with an average in the mid-teens per day, with second-fifth weights just a pound or so under that. In other words, it should be a tight one. So even though locals tend to do better on the James than others, it could be anyone's ballgame.

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