Riverkeeper Report: Following big green blob for fishing success

Published 10:58 am Friday, January 11, 2013

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 7th through the 9th on the Blackwater above Joyner’s Bridge.

The water was cold at 38 degrees, clear, fast and a little high at 6.10 feet on the U.S. Geological Survey gauge in Burdette. Air temps ranged from a frosty 26 to 64 degrees.

Except for that first, 26-degree night it was a really nice trip.

Trash was about par for that part of the river. I picked up about a half a bag.

The crazy thing was the first day Moonpie and I were out there, we came upon what looked like a big flat screen TV. YIPPEE, exclaimed Moonpie, we can drag that to camp and watch Jeopardy (her favorite show).

I explained to her I didn’t think that was going to be possible unless the TV ran off waterpower. Anyway I went to drag the TV into the boat and quickly discovered it was not a flat screen. It was a humongous like 32-inch JVC regular TV just like I have at home that weighs about 100 pounds.

Needless to say, we could not get the behemoth in the boat even with Moonpie pulling on my belt loops.

I then tried towing it with the intent of towing it back to the boat landing. But the thing was so big and heavy, the boat would not steer straight, and with the landing two miles away, that was not going to work.

So I ended up pulling it to a little clubhouse on the river that was right there close. I tried pulling the TV up on their boat ramp, but could only get it partially out of the water.

So I put a note on it and hope they will be kind enough to dispose of it properly. I hated to do that, but sometimes things are just too big for Pie and I to handle.

I e-mailed Sheriff Mark Marshall (no that’s not a misprint) and told him what we did in case they wanted to see if it was a stolen TV.

Fishing on this trip was okay if bowfin was the quarry.

I picked up my dad on the second day, and as soon as I dropped my lure over, I caught one. Wow, I thought, this is going to be great. Well we did not catch another fish for an hour.

So I had to do something different. After trying a few things that did not work, I started seeing this big green blob on my sonar. It was like 5 feet off the bottom in 40 foot of water and about 5 feet thick.

So just for the heck of it, we let our lures down into it. WAMMO! We both tied into fish instantaneously. That was the ticket; just fish the big green blob, and that’s what we did the rest of the day.

I even called a friend who was fishing in another boat to check it out on his sonar, which is nicer than mine. He said he had never seen anything like that, but thought maybe it was thermo cline. That’s when there are different temperature layers in a body of water.

He even took pictures of it on his sonar graph to send to an expert graph interpreter. Might have been baitfish, I don’t know.

All I know is if you moved away from the big green blob, you stopped catching fish. If you stayed with it, you caught fish.

I guess it’s just another one of those unexplainable mysteries we continually encounter 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.