Riverkeeper Report: Lure not always most important part of fishing success

Published 9:20 am Friday, March 25, 2011

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 17th through the 19th on the Nottoway below the Narrows.

The water was high at 9 feet on the U.S. Geological Survey gauge in Sebrell, fast, 53 degrees and slightly muddy. Air temps ranged from 44 to 75 degrees.

I saw no water quality issues, and trash was light.

The fishing on this trip was just kinda OK. I picked up Freezing Deer the first day, and we caught zero shad. The second day, I picked up my dad, and we caught about 20 between us.

I saw people catch a lot more than we did, and I would not have caught what I did if it hadn’t been for a nice fellow that gave me some of his pink jigs. I watched those guys catch a bunch of shad that afternoon.

When they started to leave, I ask them what the secret was. So that’s when he fixed me up and told me to get in his spot, which I did. Even then, I did not catch a single fish that day.

However that next day the lure he fixed me up with worked, and I was not even in his spot. That was very nice of him, but it just goes to show ya’ that it always what’s on the fish side of the line that decides if you will catch fish or not. A lot of the time it’s on the fisherman’s end.

I tried for stripers, but I really only tried for a short while and had not a single hit. I was mainly interested in catching shad just because they are fun. I throw them back mostly now days as they really are a bony fish.

The rivers are really full of people right now so please be careful while you’re out there. Be courteous and don’t clog up the boat ramps by securing your boat on the ramp or fixing your gear in the boat on the ramp. Do that stuff in the parking lot and then get in line.

And speaking of safety in Virginia, the law is beginning July 1, all personal watercraft operators 50 and younger must take a boating safety course, and boat operators ages 20 and younger need to take a boating safety course. Failure to do so will result in a fine. You can get more information by going online at www.dgif.virginia.gov/boating/education/requirement/

Also, please remember April 2 is our annual Clean Rivers Day event. CRD is a community effort to clean up the Blackwater and Nottoway watershed. This cleanup is accomplished by organizations, church and civic groups, schools, individuals and any group or anybody getting out and cleaning up our piece of this earth.

Some will go by boat on our rivers; some will hit streams or ditches, parking lots, your front yard, wherever.

It is a great opportunity for folks to contribute to the health of the Blackwater and Nottoway watershed community we live in.  Every person that goes fishing in a boat that weekend should pick up trash if you ride by it, or if it floats past you.

If you are fishing from shore and there is trash, you should pick it up as well.

As always I will have litter getters and bags for those who need them. Teams or individuals can pick their own locations to clean up, or I can find you one. Teams can pick what time of day they want to work and how long. There is no start or stop time.

Teams need to keep count of bag and participant totals and totals of tires, etc.  Make note of your “most unusual item found” and be sure to take pictures to send to me. You can sign up by e-mail at blknotkpr@earthlink.net or call me at 562-5173.

This is a great community event. So get yourself, your group or family involved this year and let’s show the world just how much this proud community cares about our environment.

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. Contact Turner at his website, www.blackwaternottoway.com.