Bass abudanza

Published 3:32 pm Saturday, May 5, 2018

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 29th through the 1st on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was a little high that first day, clear and 67 degrees. Air temps ranged from 40 to 78 degrees, it was very nice. I also took a lot of pictures this trip and we saw a lot of wildlife on the Moonpie Critter Patrol. To see those pics, go to the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard Facebook page.

One of the main goals on this trip was to get eyes on the baby eagle population this year on the river. I have good news and bad. The Cherry Grove nest site has two healthy juvies that will soon start getting ready to fly. Bad news is it looks like something happened to the Butler Farm nesting pair. I have not seen any adults on the nest and have not seen any baby eagles. Babies are now almost as big as the adults, so if there were any there they would be easy to spot. I will keep looking, but it does not seem promising at this time for that nest.

The fishing on this trip as the title of this article suggest, was GREAT! The bass are moving to the shallows preparing to spawn. I caught eight to 2-½ pounds; all were caught on a blueback AC Shiner in very shallow water. On the same lure I also caught a small striper, a catfish, a white perch and several very small yellow perch. I also caught a bunch of chain pickerel, which is what I was really fishing for ‘cause they are the yummiest to eat.

Trash on this trip was … interesting, we will say. I really did not pick up that much, but it was what I found that was strange. I got about a half a bag of the regular stuff, but I also pulled a baby stroller out of the river minus the baby, thank goodness. One of those big plastic-type things, which of course was full of water and weighed like 40 pounds. Getting it in the boat was very tough for me, and of course it had 10 gallons of nasty swamp water in it that ran out all in the boat and all over me. It still stuns me over the years how many of these large items like this can make it into the Franklin storm water ditches, then travel all the way through that system, then make it through a swamp full of cypress trees, then end up in the Blackwater River. Of course it doesn’t bother Moonpie, over the years she has acquired a yard full of toys and vehicles to play with.

I also was back behind the SW Rawls building on Bowers Road in Franklin. That location is situated right along a beautiful part of the scenic Blackwater River. People who work there have even set up chairs out back of the place to enjoy the view. What stunned me, though, is that only 100 feet away, right behind another part of the building, someone has thrown a storm door down the hill there on the riverbank, a big white highly visible (from the river) storm door. There was some goings-on at that location a few months ago whichlooked like renovation work being done. I guess that door just got away from someone.

In any event, it looks terrible from the river, and I’m sure folks who are enjoying the river on that pretty stretch wonder why on earth is there a door out here on one of the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

To contact JEFF TURNER about river issues email him at