Fishing was not great during recent trip on the Blackwater

Published 10:12 am Friday, November 19, 2010

by Jeff Turner

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 11th through the 13th on the Blackwater below Franklin.

The water was clear, 52 degrees and 5.40 on the U.S. Geological Survey gauge at Burdette. Air temps ranged from 33 degrees to 65 degrees.

Trash was pretty heavy, but I kinda expected that from the high water we had a few weeks back, but all in all, the river was in pretty good shape.

The fishing was not really so great. I caught a few largemouth, three chain pickerel, a bream and yellow perch casting, but it was tough going. The wind was pretty bad the whole time, and the leaves and cypress debris on the surface meant every other cast was fouled.

I set a few floating limb-lines to see if the blue catfish were in the Blackwater like they are in the Nottoway. I only fished six lines one night and caught two blues — one about 3 pounds and the other about 10.

So they are there, but I don’t think as prevalent as in the Nottoway. I believe the leaves have peaked.

It was just so pretty on the river with all the colors jumping out of the woods. I even saw a small pontoon boat with some really hardy folks riding around looking at Gods colorful canvas. They were bundled up, and needed to be, as that down river wind was tuff, but it looked like they were having a great time.

This was my first trip to this location since the mill closed. I always hated going to bed at this spot and having to hear all that commotion going on upriver like the de-barking drums especially. They were really loud, and I always thought how nice it would be if I did not have to hear that.

Well, Moonpie and I went to bed that first night. Got in the tent and got snuggled down in our respective sleeping bags. We laid there for a few moments and Moonpie said, “Hey you know, it’s really quiet, ain’t it?

“Yep, I replied, really is.”

We laid there a little while longer and started hearing things in the woods creeping around, limbs falling, trees groaning and other sleep-depriving scary sounds.

Moonpie said, “I really wish it weren’t so quiet out here, I liked it the way it used to be.”

“Me too,” I said. “I guess we need to remember that we better be careful what we wish for out here on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.”

JEFF TURNER is riverkeeper for the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper Program, an environmentally conscious organization that focuses on keeping local waterways healthy. BNRP’s parent organization is The Waterkeeper Alliance. His e-mail address if