Jamie Childress aka Virginia Bassin’ has been fishing for Virginia bass his entire life. Jamie shares with us how he loves to catch Virginia smallmouth and largemouth bass.
What are your favorite waters to fish in Virginia for Bass?
I have a couple special places. First is the James River. I fished it with my Grandfather when I was a wee little one. It is where I caught the fishing bug. When I was around 9 or 10, he found me a flying hellgramite, and I caught a big Smallmouth as soon as it hit the water. I’ll never forget that, or fishing the James with him.
Second place is the Maury River. I just started fishing it this year, but the beauty of it, and the quality of the fishing, made it an instant favorite. It produced my personal best Smallmouth earlier this year. It is also where I started my YouTube channel.
Honorable mention to Lake A. Willis Robertson. This lake is home to some giant, but incredibly hard to catch Largemouth Bass.
I love your approach to fishing. So I would like to break down your box that you posted on Instagram. Lets start with tubes. What are your favorite tubes to fish?
Thank you! Keep it simple stupid is definitely my philosophy. My favorite tubes to throw are Zoom brand Super Salty tubes, 3.5 inch size, usually rigged weightless on a 2/0 worm hook. My go-to color is green pumpkin w/black flake. If I can’t find those in the tackle store, I go with green pumpkin Coffee Tubes from Strike King. They worked really well for me in the late summer and early fall. I didn’t catch a ton of big ones, but I caught a LOT of bass on them.
Next are one of my favorite, the Fluke. Are you a fan of Zoom’s or do you use a different brand?
You can’t go wrong with Zoom flukes, and I too use that brand. I didn’t have a ton of success on the white flukes, but the smaller Arkansas Shiner color ones landed me a couple nice Largies late in the fall when the shad started dying off.
Next I think I see some classic grubs. When is the grub is your first choice to throw?
Those are my confidence bait back to when I was little. My grandad called them “Smoke Grubs”, for the color, and because during the late spring and early summer, river smallies absolutely smoke those things rigged on a 1/4oz black jighead. They work well in clear and murky water, and there doesn’t seem to be a wrong time of year to throw them on the James River.
I see a couple Senko type baits. Do I only see a couple because you don’t use them very much or because you use them a lot and most are gone?
Haha, yeah, you only see a couple because that’s my bread and butter for late Summer and early Fall. I typically throw them on a weightless Texas rig, or a wacky rig. The wacky rig produced the top 2 fish in my “Top 5 of 2017” video. And truthfully, I’ve only purchased Yamamato Senkos once, and I didn’t care for how soft they were and how easily they would fly in half. I’m a YUM Dinger guy in reality. Green pumpkin w/black, and green pumpkin w/watermelon red are my favorites.
Next I see some topwater, Pop-R’s and frogs. How often do you fish topwater baits?
I typically throw top water late in the evening during the main part of the fishing season. Whenever they start blowing up on stuff, I will go to the popper, or the frog. Sometimes I’ll throw it super early in the trip to nab a more agressive Bass, but then I’ll switch to soft plastics.
What have I missed that are go-to baits for you?
We’ve about touched on them all. I feel lost if I don’t have at least some tubes, stick baits, and grubs or craws. I throw a lot of weightless because of how much cover the rivers I’m fishing have, so I’m fine without jigheads and sinkers, etc.
What is your rod/reel/line combos?
I have 3 now, I got a couple for Christmas.
1 – Shimano Syncopate 2500FG, Jawbone 6′ Medium Rod, 8lb Mono
2 – Abu Garcia Mike Iaconelli Spinning Combo, 50lb Power Pro Braid
3 – Lew’s Laser Speed Spool, Jawbone 5’6″ Medium Rod, 8lb Mono
I still try and keep it simple stupid. I like to finesse fish more than any other style, and these particular setups seem to go hand-in-hand with my style.
What are your goals for your YouTube channel?
My goal is just to continue to improve the content, grow, and be a better editor. I really enjoy re-living each catch as I edit, so that’s a bonus…LOL. Hopefully you will see a lot more big fish this year as well! I hope to be at 1,000 subs by the end of the year. A modest goal, I know, but I’m a modest guy who just loves what he does. I don’t expect to ever have a following like the Googans or anything like that. I just love sharing fishing with the world man.
You get a “little” excited when you catch fish. Your passion for the sport shows in your videos. What do you love so much about fishing?
LOL, that’s the understatement of the year! I get so hyped over every catch! Reason is, you never know which fish is gonna be your last…tomorrow is never guaranteed. I like what Justin Rackley, better known as Lake Fork Guy, says: “Make every cast count.”
I like to say: “Appreciate and be grateful for EVERY catch.”
Who are your current pro staff companies?
Right now I’m pretty new to the whole pro staff thing, but it seems a good way to start making a name for oneself on the corporate side of the sport. I’m currently with American Tackle Company and Hookfish Proformance Apparel.
I love Jamie’s passion for fishing. It is absolutely contagious through his videos. Rooting for his fishing and YouTube success!
Read Another Interview with a Virginia Bass Angler: Learning Virginia Stream and River Fishing with Guide Spotswood Payne