Managing Mother Nature

Published 1:54 pm Monday, April 6, 2020

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The water heater was then shepherded two miles downriver and was finally getting close to Joyners Bridge and the boat landing in Franklin. — Submitted Jeff Turner

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 26th through the 28th on the Blackwater above Joyner’s Bridge. The water was high at 7 feet on the USGS gauge at Burdette, clear, fast and 55 degrees. Air temps ranged from 46 to 80 degrees. I saw no water quality issues. Trash was pretty bad, lots of 40-ounce beer bottles, so that was a heavy bag. I also removed a water heater from the river or something that had enough Styrofoam insulation in it that I floated it two miles downriver to the boat ramp. Thank you, Mr. Shore Fisherman who helped me, get it up on shore that day and thank you Billy D. for hauling it away.

The fishing on this trip was not too great, however, it was fun because I was testing a new tactic for catching shad. I saw a really cool video by gunnfishtv on YouTube where he was catching shad on a small stickbait. So, I tried that with a broken back chartreuse rebel. Lo and behold, it was the only lure I could even catch the shad on. I have tried many other lures throughout my life for shad, spinners etc., but had never tried a rebel type lure. So, thank you Mr. Gunn for teaching an old dog a new trick. People, you definitely should look the gunnfishtv video up, titled “Sometimes a Color Change Makes all the Difference.” It’s also on that Facebook page.

It was really nice this patrol that I didn’t have to deal with any illegal limb lines or abandoned catfish noodles etc, which was really nice. I hate finding that stuff and having to report it. I still can’t believe in this day and age people claim they don’t know the regulation for these devices. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it. I have to obey the regulation when I set limblines and so do you, Mr. Son, who borrows dad’s boat a couple times a year to fish. My point is, regardless if you’re a person who fishes every day or a person that fishes twice a year, know what the rules are.

The weather was really nice this trip. I had meant to bring my big tarp on this excursion because there was a chance it was going to rain that second day. By the time I got to the river and set up the chance had increased to 50 percent for that night right about my campfire time. Being that is really the whole purpose I do what I do anyway — hhaaahhaa — that threat of ruining campfire time dictated I take drastic measures and alter Mother Nature’s plan. So, I put a call in to Freezing Deer to bring me the tarp. Sure enough, after delivering the tarp and taking the time to deploy it and all that is involved with a seriously handicapped person doing that by themselves, the rain chances that night magically dropped to 20 percent. It did rain, but that happened after I was already done with campfire time and snug as a bug in my tent.

So now you too know how to manage Mother Nature on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

To contact Jeff about river issues, email him at