Break from heat was mighty neat

Published 8:16 pm Tuesday, July 30, 2019

By Jeff Turner

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 24th through the 26th on the Nottoway below Delaware. The river was normal level, little muddy and 86 degrees. The dissolved oxygen level was 5.03 ppm. Air temps ranged from 69 degrees to 85 and it was a quite nice break from the heat of temps being in the three- digit range as they had been.

Trash on this patrol was non-existent and we saw no other water quality issues other than the water being so hot. We did see a couple of dead fish, but I was not able to determine if the cause was the high-water temps or something else. D.O. levels were not low enough to cause a problem so it might have just been some natural cause, plus it was only two fish.

We saw plenty of wildlife on this trip and several would have made great photo opportunities. However, the camera gods were not with me on this trip and every darn pic I tried to take there was some issue. So, I am only left with verbally telling you about the beautiful two eagles we saw, or maybe the same one at two different places. One at Checkerboard Corner and one sighting was at Monroe Bridge. Both were too far away to get the great picture. I also had a pretty orange belly water snake swim right up to the pontoon boat. Great chance for pic there, but the camera never got into focus. Next up was as we were idlin’ down the river I saw a gar swimming just below the surface with a bream in its mouth, cool chance for a shot there again, but couldn’t get the boat stopped fast enough. I finally gave up taking pics!

The fishing on this trip was pretty good I thought for the water temps to be so high. I caught a few bass on topwater, all small. I caught plenty of bream on the flyrod for catfish bait. I also caught four cats to six pounds. So, all in all not too bad. I still have not caught a monster blue cat this year. A 35-pounder was caught out of the Nottoway by a friend of mine just a few days before this patrol, so they are out there and biting

The only bad thing I encountered on this patrol was on Thursday evening late about 7:30. A red Ranger bass boat came screaming downriver and nearly could not slow down quick enough to avert a collision with me or a huge tree top in a very narrow section of the river near the pump station for the turf farm. The boater came close enough to me I was able to deliver a warning about his speed in that dangerous part of the river. Obviously, that made no impression on him because an hour later at 8:30 when it was nearly dark, the same boat came through an even more dangerous place dead in the middle of the Narrows below Hercules running 40 mph AND had no night time running lights on. If I or another boat had been making way through there at that time there would have been a terrible accident. It’s a damn shame there are those few people that use the river that have no regard for the safety of others that want to utilize that wonderful resource for recreation. It’s a damn shame that if this guy continues his reckless disregard for the boating public’s safety that he could kill someone or a family one day. A family that when they left home all they wanted to do was have a safe and fun enjoyable day on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

NOTE: If you know who this person is that on July 25 at approximately 7:30 p.m. was on the Nottoway River launched from Hercules Boat Landing and drives a red fiberglass Ranger bass boat, please get in touch with me so this guy can be reeled in.

To contact Jeff about river issues email him at