New trotline/limbline regulation coming

Published 12:32 pm Saturday, October 11, 2014

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 5th through the 7th on the Nottoway below Delaware or what was formerly Hercules. I guess I’m just going to start using Delaware since that is the historic name of the location.

The water was clear and 66 degrees. Air temps ranged from 43 to 74 degrees. Except for being a little windy, it was perfect weather and the cool snap seemed to calm down the skeeters quite a bit. This was our first land-based trip of the fall, so we were very happy to be back on shore.

Trash on this trip was bad for the Nottoway, but that’s because of shore fishermen trashing the original boat landing. So I put in a call to my man over at the chemical plant, and I think they will put a stop to that. Terrible shame people have to go ruin a good thing! All the people that fish there would have had to do is take the trash away when they leave. I just do not understand people bring the stuff there to a fishing place, then eat or drink it and leave the trash behind instead of taking it home with them.

Anyway, the world is full of idiots. The fishing on this trip was just okay. I caught seven largemouth from 3 ounces to one and a half pounds. Yes, I said ounces. I caught several like that and I’m guessing they are from this year’s spawn, so it looks like we had a really good success rate this year with largemouth. With the bream I was doing good on the flyrod until it suddenly broke in half. I have no idea why and I hated that because Reverend Duffy had given me that rod and it was very nice. So I ended up casting a mepps No. 1 to catch enough bait for catfishing.

And speaking of catfishing, I set 10 limblines this trip and only caught two fish the first night. The second night I did better and caught four with the largest going about 10 pounds. I used catfish belly to catch the biggest fish.

Speaking of limblines. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, there is a new amendment to the trotline, limbline regulation (4VAC15-350-60) that will require that these devices are removed after fishing. So YEE HAA, all that pestering VDGIF finally paid off, and I commend them for making this change. This should really cut down on the numbers of dead critters by derelict lines. Also, remember in Virginia you cannot use any kind of live-bait (except worms) to bait trotlines or limb or jug lines. I had a lot of problems with blackfish stealing my bait.

Moonpie pulled out one of her two pistols that she packs and wanted us to use the blackfish for target practice, but I told her we could not do that. If ya’ll remember on an earlier Riverkeeper Report, I told about the 4-foot-long fish jumping out of the water one night after it struck the boat. Well I talked to some folks that are in the know, and they said it sounds suspiciously like a sturgeon breaching. Evidently sturgeon can launch their entire body out of the water. Sturgeons were once in our rivers as evidenced by finding their scales in fire pits of the local Native American sites along the river. Pollution and overfishing eventually did away with them in our rivers, but they are making a comeback in the sound and there are studies being done on the James River. You can check out their Facebook page at

So it is possible that a Sturgeon is what I saw that night and that would certainly be great news for the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

JEFF TURNER is the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper. He can be reached at