[NEXT "STORY CONTINUED"] Our trip starts auspiciously on a cold morning a week later, when I walk down the boat ramp, slip on some ice, and land on my ass. Fortunately, I'm wearing about half of the Cabela's winter catalog, so the hard part isn't the fall but finding a way to get back up. The first order of business on any trip, Harris tells me as he cranks the Yamaha 150, is fresh bait. We do a 20-minute frostbite run downstream to a feeder creek where gizzard shad can be reliably netted. Entering, he throttles back and slowly patrols the water looking for shad on his fishfinder. Meanwhile, he gives me the short course on blues. Up until a fish hits 20 pounds or so, it's basically a scavenger. It roams freely and will hit the chicken livers, bloodworms, and stinkbaits of the average angler. Above that size, a marvelous transformation takes place. Continued growth requires larger and more frequent meals, so the scavenger turns predator. Its favorite mouthful becomes the gizzard shad, a sizable (11- to 13-inch) baitfish abundant in the James year-round. A big cat is also cannibalistic; a 35-pounder will make a snack of a 20-pounder. And it starts hanging out in deep structure near the food-providing current: dropoffs, wrecks, submerged trees, deep holes, humps, stolen ballot boxes, armored cars, piles of human bones, whatever breaks the current.