Have you ever seen the rain?

Published 5:07 pm Friday, September 27, 2019

By Jeff Turner


Impressed that this caught bass has survived with just one working eye, RiverGuard Jeff Turner released the fish back into the Nottoway. Submitted | Jeff Turner

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 24th through the 26th on the Nottoway below Delaware. The water was green, stagnant, 76 degrees and the dissolved oxygen was at 5.70 ppm. Air temps ranged from 60 to 85 degrees. Remarkably, the dissolved oxygen is doing okay so far during this period of drought.

I was listening to a CCR song that first night, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” and thinking just how bad we need a good soaking. The water in the Nottoway has got this weird color to it, yet it is actually really clear. If we don’t get a good rain soon, I fear we might start catching flounder again in the river like we did back in the 1980s that one time.

Trash on this patrol was practically nonexistent. I saw no other big issues with water quality or limb lines, noodles, etc., either. That was a very nice change. For once, I didn’t have to get all up in the snakes and spiders to unhang that crap.

The fishing on this trip was fair. I caught a few small bass on topwater, missed a good one, but hey, that’s fishing. I had several other hits, but it was like the fish were just kinda sluggish. One of the larger bass I caught was blind in one eye, which was the only fish that really hit aggressively. I guess the defected eye has made that fish a survivor with a greater resolve to flourish than the other fish. I released that fish for that belief.

The first night I caught a nice 11-pound blue cat, but that was it. The second night was a bust. I had been wanting to try downriver in the big water just down from Dockside. I only had one good hit the whole night. I had the right bait and the water was running out at a good clip, everything was right except the fish. Anyway, water temps are coming down, so I expect things will improve soon as long as we get rain. Have you ever seen the rain?

I found more alligator weed in the Blackwater, this time only a mile upriver from the forks of the river. That’s bad because as it migrates downriver, eventually it will get to the forks. It might not even need to get all the way there to get into the Nottoway. All its going to take is a tiny sprig to break off, float out of the Blackwater on an outgoing flow, then get taken up in the Nottoway on the next incoming flow. Then it will be a done deal. I’m going to really hate that when it happens, ’cause it’s going to happen. There are just some things even Moonpie cannot thwart on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

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