Riverkeeper Report: Best eats on the river

Published 11:15 am Saturday, November 5, 2011

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 2nd through the 4th on the Blackwater above Joyners Bridge.

The water was clear, fast, 48 degrees and 7 foot on the U.S. Geological Survey gauge at Burdette.

I saw no water quality problems on this trip, and I picked up one fat bag of trash.

The fishing on this trip was poor. I was hoping the blackfish were going to be hitting, but I did not catch a one. I tried for speckle and did not have a hit. I did catch one jack and seven largemouth, but to do so I wore out a reel from the nine million casts I made.

All the largemouth were caught on either the AC Shiner or a No. 3 Mepps Minnow and were very small.

This was my first trip on this part of the river since Irene. That storm really made a mess of the river downriver from the landing. In fact about two miles downriver there is one heck of a log-jam that will take quite an effort to breach.

We saw and heard a lot of turkeys on this trip and also glimpsed a bald eagle. The river was also full of ducks and the squirrels were so abundant I brought four home to go in my next Brunswick stew.

I did not hear any coyotes at this place and that was nice though I’m sure they are there.

I was pleased that this camp-site had not suffered from the effects of the high water and wind damage my other places have. In fact the high water had cleaned it up a bit by washing away a lot of the limbs, etc.

The one thing it did not wash away was the spiders. I could not believe these strange humongous white spiders at this place. I have never seen any like this before. They have this one big claw on them and the rest of the spider is just really skinny.

Moonpie thought they were some type of king crab they were so big. In fact, on the second night we gathered up a bunch, broke the claws off and boiled them just like crab claws.

The meat was very similar to crab and did not taste like chicken.

I gotta tell ya, they were one of the best things Moonpie and I have ever cooked and ate 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. Contact Turner at his website, www.blackwaternottoway.com.