A tail-slapping good time on the Nottoway

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 11th through the 13th on the Nottoway below Courtland. The water was pretty, 56 degrees and 6.40 on the USGS Gauge at Sebrell. Air temps ranged from 36 to 80 degrees and it was terribly windy the second day. How windy was it? It was so windy that I could hold my shad rig out on the end of the rod up in the air, release the line and the wind would make a 50-foot cast for me.

The fishing on this trip was fantastic. My dad, Bobby Turner, came out on the first day and we caught about 15 shad. What was really cool was he started catching stripers on the shad lures we were using. Just an itty-bitty pink twisty tail. None of the stripers were keeping size, but they were still a ball to catch in that fast water.

On the second day, I traveled waaay downriver and really got into the shad. I guess I caught about 65 before the day was finished. The fish were still biting when I left, but I had a long way to go back upriver to get to base camp. With the water running against me and only being able to idle along because of the low water, I knew it would take a long time to get back, and I didn’t want to get caught in the dark out there in that dangerous water.

On the Moonpie Critter patrol we saw some swamp deer and a couple of black snakes swimming the river. Also a couple of muskrats, two cormorants, an osprey, great blue heron and some angry beavers, which swam around the boat slapping their tails having fun with Moonpie and me. I have never seen beaver in water that fast before. It did not seem to faze them one bit. In fact, I was stunned at how far they could travel underwater with the push of the fast current.

The trash on this trip was surprisingly light. Usually this part of the river below Courtland is the worst place on the entire part of the river I am regularly on. Not this time though, thanks to a group that went out with John Barksdale the other day. They did an EXCELLENT job around the Courtland area. The two big bags I collected came from waaay downriver. There was a LOT of Styrofoam mixed in with the other trash and that scourge is moving on downriver. So, thank you, Team Barksdale for being such good stewards of our rivers. Good help like that sure does make my job more easier (and gives me mo’ time to fish) on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

To contact Jeff Turner about river issues email him at blknotkpr@earthlink.net.