Nada peaceful easy feeling

Published 2:21 pm Saturday, December 22, 2018

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 17th through the 19th on the Blackwater below above Burdette. The water was high and fast at 8 feet on the USGS gauge at Burdette and 45 degrees. Air temps ranged from 28 to 60 degrees. Both rivers have had elevated water levels nearly the entire fall and it looks like that’s the way its going to be through the end of the year.

The RiverGuard caught this bowfin, which weighed 9 pounds and measured 29 inches long. If it had been an inch longer or a pound heavier, it would have been a contender for a trophy. — Submitted | Jeff Turner

Trash on this trip was very light; however, I did not venture far downriver to the big logjams where it is typically horrible. The water was just too fast and dangerous to mess with trying that. I will get to it at another time when the water is not screaming so fast.

Because of the way the water was I only fished for blackfish. I caught about 10 with one almost being citation size. They either have to be 30 inches and 10 pounds or both, and mine was 9 pounds and 29 inches long. Oh well! Maybe next time.

I did see a fellow that was catching plenty of speckle and small bass using a grub. I was actually surprised to see another human on the river as cold as it was. I thought I was the only person crazy enough to go when it’s that cold. And, believe it or not, I also saw a few turtles both days. That had to be some cold reptilian booty.

I had a disturbing occurrence happen to us on the second night at camp. My camp sits on a strip of land bordered by the river on one side and a beaver pond on the other. I like that because at night I only have to defend from two directions, not four.

That second night about 8 o’clock I was just doing my thing when I suddenly heard this loud slurping/lapping of water sound. This is over top of the music I had playing and the noise of the fire I was practically having to sit in to stay warm. I looked around to see if it was Moonpie, but it was not — she was asleep in the tent.

The drinking sound was coming from the beaver pond side to my left, but I could not see anything. I had a lantern going and a solar floodlight. Still, with my eyes straining I could see nothing. I reeled a couple of shots off into the ground and whatever it was stopped or left or both.

I never heard crashing through the woods and even odder the water in the beaver pond was not disturbed that I could tell. I gotta tell you that sent a chill up my spine! I was thinking like, oh great, ghost bear or something!

Eventually I eased back into my nighttime routine, but for sure when I went to bed that night I had one of the most seriously ‘nada peaceful easy feelings’ on one of the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

To contact Jeff about river issues, email him at