River time is mighty fine

Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2021

By Jeff Turner

I spent September the 26th through the 29th, four days, and Whispering Bear three days, on the Nottoway below Delaware. Then we turned around and spent October the 2nd through the 4th at the same place with Spirit of Moonpie. So, I spent seven out of nine days on the river. River time is indeed mighty fine. 

The water was normal level but terribly stagnant. On the second night of the second leg, it never moved while we were catfishing. Still, we caught a lot of chain pickerel and right many small bass during the day. I did catch one bass that was about 3-and-a-half pounds. Most of the fish were caught on a jerk bait. The first leg we caught four cats to 9 pounds. The second leg we were skunked both nights. I think the dissolved oxygen in the river is just pretty darn low.

Trash once again was nonexistent in the water, but we cleaned up a bunch of limbline trash that was left in the trees stretching for 3 miles from above Hercules downriver — nameless tags and string dangling from the trees looking like some hoodlum had been at work toilet papering the river. Why would somebody do that?

We saw right many critters on the Moonpie Critter patrol. We watched a big beaver watch us for a while. We also saw a muskrat and a bald eagle. And of course, there were the regulars like the kingfishers and great blue herons in abundance. We saw an egret also and glimpsed either a cormorant or anhinga, not sure which one it was. The hawks are really ramping up also. We could hear them screaming just about constantly every day. At night the owls serenaded us to sleep just every night, and it don’t get much better than that.

It has been a fun summer. I have really enjoyed showing Whispering Bear the river and getting her acclimated to life on the river. It’s fun but can be challenging also for someone not used to the snakes, bugs, heat, smells, etc. that come along with living out there. She has done well. It’s already getting cool at night, and soon it will be time to put the pontoon boat away and get ready for cold weather river time. But right now, global warming seems to be keeping us comfortable on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

Jeff Turner is the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard. To contact him about river issues, send him an email at blknotkpr@earthlink.net. He can also be followed on the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard Facebook page.