Fishing during a January speckle moon

Published 7:19 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 8th through the 10th on the Blackwater above Joyner’s Bridge. The water was up at 6.8 feet on the USGS gauge at Burdette, clear and 40 degrees. Air temps ranged from 26 to 60 degrees and was terribly windy that first day. I saw no water quality issues. Trash was worse than usual for up there, but most of it was old glass bottles. Like two-liter soda bottles that are truly heavy to pick up with 42-inch litter-getters.

The fishing on this trip was pretty good. I went really to fish for blackfish (bowfin) but caught nary a one. I did, however, catch right many speckle and several bass and a few catfish all jigging a blade bait. The bite was light though. The fish were really cold and often it was hard to tell a fish was hitting. In fact, I caught most of the fish not even really jigging I was just suspending the lure barely moving and the fish would hit it. The bass were so cold they were white-looking and did not even fight. It’s been awhile since I caught the blackfish out of that deep hole like I have in the past.

One thing I noticed on this trip was that there seems to be a grass there now on the bottom that was not there before. I don’t know what kind it is right now, but I am wondering if this grass is the reason for the lack of the blackfish action usually going on this time of year there.

Didn’t see hardly any critters this time ‘cept for squirrels. Lordy! I never seen so many obese tree rats. There would be eight sometimes on these floating matts in the log jams. I finally saw what was going on. These floating piles of stuff are millions of seeds, nuts and tupelo dingle berries — hhhaaaa! — of some type. These smart squirrels have figured out these mats are floating squirrel feeders. The mats are so thick the squirrels can walk out on them where they just sit and gorge themselves. Truly the fattest squirrels I ever did see. Shame I didn’t need some for my Brunswick stew I make each year.

Anyway, the January Speckle Full Moon provided some good fishing, and it’s nice that the little critters are being well fed this winter on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

To contact Jeff about river issues, email him at