Shad blitz

Published 10:54 am Monday, March 28, 2022

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent March the 21st through the 23rd on the Blackwater below Joyner’s Bridge. Whispering Bear came out on day two to help pick up trash and fish for shad. The water was high, fast, clear, 60 degrees and 6 feet on the USGS gauge at Burdette. Air temps ranged from 41 to 70 degrees. The skeeters are here, so pack your bug spray!

The trash on this trip was bad enough. We picked up one fat bag that was easily 40 pounds with all the big glass. I did not see any water quality issues. One untagged catline was removed per Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources instruction, and the six slightly emaciated catfish that were on it for the three days I was out there were released. Boy that irks me! 

The shad fishing was FANTASTIC. It was much better way downriver from the bridge. I tried upriver but only caught a few. The hot pink twister tail was the bait of choice.

It is a very nice time of the year to take the family out on the river. Lots of shad and white perch that are easy to catch lends itself to a great opportunity to get the family or a newbie interested in the sport. So, get out there and enjoy the sunshine and those two beautiful gems we call the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers.

Jeff Turner is the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard. To contact him about river issues, send him an email at He can also be followed on the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard Facebook page. Just type in “Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard” in the search field on Facebook.