Riverkeeper Report: Just call me Sandy

Published 10:07 am Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jeff Turner | Tidewater News

Jeff Turner | Tidewater News

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 15th through the 16th on the Nottoway below Cypress Bridge. The water was super clear, 78 degrees and 3.40 on the USGS gauge in Sebrell.

I picked up a little bit of trash on the river, but the landing was really trashed at the sewage treatment plant outfall. I saw no water quality issues.

The fishing started out slow, but toward the second half of the day, I figured out they wanted a popper. I ended up with 8 bass to 2 pounds. I also caught some nice bream on a tiny Rapala fished on top. I saw dozens of very small bass in the clear water. They were running around in little schools, and it was really fun watching them. I was eating a sandwich and throwing little dough balls in the water. The little bream would rush to get those and the bass would rush in to see what had excited the bream. It just goes to show why impulse fishing is so successful. Draw attention, catch a fish!

I was in the itty-bitty Riverkeeper boat that Rev. Duffey donated to us this trip. I use that boat when I’m on the upper river where it’s shallow and really loggy. I was really hoping that I was going to be able to get further up and down river than I did. I had only about a 3-mile stretch I could run because of shallow water. Both up and down river the 2.5 HP motor grounded me out in the sand. I need like an itty bitty air boat. That would be awesome; I could zip right over those sand bars then.

Camping up on that part of the river has its own pluses and minuses. I love sand bar camping when I’m sitting beside a fire at night right beside the river. It’s so nice hearing the owls doing their thing and hearing fish feeding in the shallow water only feet from where I’m sitting. The one bad thing about sand bar camping though is well, the sand. It sticks to everything especially if you get wet, like I did. So I got up out of my chair that night to get ready to go to bed. Started walking up the sand bar toward the tent when the sand went out from under my foot. I lost my balance, did a couple of pirouettes, three scissor kicks and a curtsy and then fell right in the river. It was only two inches of water, but I could not get up without getting hold of something so I had to crawl to my chair to get up. So I got WET! Of course then I was covered with sand.

Moonpie was also covered in sand but that was from her rolling around in it laughing at me. “Hey, Sandy,” she laughed, “you look like one of those white-powdered doughnuts from the grocery store.” I didn’t think it was very funny. I knew there was no way to get all that sand off of me before I got in the tent. So I just had to suck it up and brushed myself off best I could and jumped in.

After worming myself in the sleeping bag, I lay there on what felt like #60 grit sandpaper thinking how miserable the rest of the night was going to be. Then I thought, c’mon man, this is a really small price to pay for being able to be out here on these two wonderful rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

I slept like a baby.