Nottoway, Blackwater perfect for family adventures

Published 9:22 am Friday, July 6, 2012

The Riverkeeper’s campsite from a recent fishing trip on the Nottoway River. -- Jeff Turner | Tidewater News

Well, it looks like the hot weather is upon us in good fashion now. It’s so hot the river water has warmed all the way up to 83 degrees … and climbing.

The result is a sluggish bite and just poor fishing at least on the lower rivers. I have heard some good fishing could still be had upriver on the Nottoway, but you’re going to have to leave the bass boat behind and get out the canoe.

Actually, it’s a great way to fish this time of year. When you get too hot you just step out in the knee-deep water and take a dip. Helps wash off all those smashed deer flies also.

You might have to do some portaging on the upper river right now, but usually for every one of those you make it over, the fishing gets better.

People are lazy, so the more logjams you can get behind you, the more fishing pressure you leave behind also.

It’s a great time to take the kids, the dog and the wife also because if they get bored they can wade around in the water and find mussels and let the minnows nibble on their feet.

Moonpie loves it on that part of the river. Oh, sorry wife came after everybody else! Unintentional.

Take a picnic lunch, as there are plenty of nice sand bars and little secluded islands to lunch on. Be sure to take plenty of bug spray and sunscreen, you don’t want to end up like me with melanoma popping up every now and then. That’s a by-product of me running up and down the river in my youth with nothing on but cut-offs.

Make sure everybody wears flip-flops or old tennis shoes or something. There are so many things out there on the bottom that can ruin your trip it just makes sense to sacrifice the Nikes. You can go to Wal-Mart and get a pair of slip on water shoes for $10 ­— that is unless you have 5-E wide feet like I do. It’s why I swim a lot better than I walk!

A small first aid kit is also a good idea. All you need is a zip-lock bag. Toss some band-aids and Neosporin in there, along with your cell phone and fishing license, and you’re done.

And last but not least, especially if you’re leaving a vehicle at one ramp and putting in upriver of that, be sure someone knows where you’re going and when you’re expecting to be back.

By taking a few precautions and following these tips, you can expect a wonderful family adventure on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.