Virginia’s Woo Daves determined to tame James River at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open

Category: press release

 Jul 6th, 2011 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 6th, 2011 at 12:00 AM

RICHMOND, Va. – B.A.S.S. has held seven events on Virginia’s James River, and in those seven, Woo Daves has nearly notched a win in four of them. He scored Top 5 finishes in the back-to-back-to-back Classics on the James (1988-1990), with his best finish (2nd) coming in 1988. The other event that he was a contender in was a 1983 Invitational in which he finished 5th. Though he lives on the river (he can fish a point from his backyard), a win has eluded him here. For the first 2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open, the Spring Grove, Va., pro is hoping that it’s his turn.

Woo Daves, 2000 Bassmaster Classic Champion

A win here for any contestant automatically qualifies him or her for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, which is set to take place on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. The winner will also receive a cash prize and a Triton boat with a Mercury motor. If Daves wins, 2012 will mark his 18th Classic qualification.

Though he’d like a win on the James, Daves isn’t exactly in top form on his home water. He’s only been on the James four times in twice as many years.

“It’s a lot different than it used to be,” he said. “A while back – 2002, I think – there was a massive saltwater influx and consequent fish kill due to a lack of rain, and that killed a lot of the cypress trees. The fishery changed completely.”

Tournament weights plummeted as bass were nowhere to be found. A few years after the fish kill, Daves and a group of concerned anglers pooled together funds – along with a handsome donation from Bass Pro Shops – to restock the river.

“It used to be a really great place to fish; you could go out and catch 100 a day,” Daves said. “But since we’ve restocked it, it’s steadily coming back and a few local events are taking 20-plus-pounds to win.

For this Open, though, Daves is less optimistic.

“Right after the Fourth of July weekend isn’t the best time to have a big tournament like this, with all the boat traffic that’s been out and about lately,” he said. “Hopefully by Thursday it’ll have gotten back to normal.”

Daves estimates that the winning weight will be similar to that which won the 1990 Classic – 35 pounds or so. When you factor in the James’ fluctuating tides, anglers will need to be fleet of foot and have several dependable spots in order to have a shot at a Classic berth.

Daily launches will be at 5:45 a.m. ET out of Osbourne Park, 9530 Osbourne Turnpike, Henrico, Va., 23231. Weigh-ins will be at 3 p.m. at Osbourne Park on Days 1 and 2, but will move to 4 p.m. ET at the Bass Pro Shops on Day 3 at 11550 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland, VA 23005.


2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha.

2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Supporting Sponsors: Humminbird, Luck “E” Strike, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats



About B.A.S.S.

For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.


The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications – Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times – comprehensive website Bassmaster.com, ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.


The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.


B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.



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