As you know the James River is (or was) a world class fishery for Blue Catfish. I have noticed a decline in the last 4-5 years in the numbers of fish and size of fish. Don't get me wrong there are still plenty of Big Blues to be caught. I just think sometimes we need to put it in perspective. We used to be able to go out on the river for just a few hours and could expect multiple citations. It's just not that easy anymore. Commercial fishing takes some of the blame but I this article posted by the VADGIF helps explain more. It says that only 1% of Blue Catfish in the James River are larger than 32 inches and even less than that larger than 35" or 30 pounds. Also an average 30 pound (citation) fish is 16 years old and 60% of the catfish die before they get that age. This shouldn't be discouraging just some perspective.
But don't worry I have the solution.... But you will have to fish with me to find out.