Frozen RiverGuard

Published 11:48 am Tuesday, April 5, 2022

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent March the 28th through the 30th on the Blackwater below the Steel Bridge. The water was very high at 8.81 on the USGS gauge at Burdette, clear, fast and 53 degrees. Air temps ranged from 26 to 65 degrees and windy, very windy. It was an uncomfortable trip to say the least, especially during the day in the boat.

The fishing on this trip, as expected, was not too great due to the river conditions. I caught a couple of shad, a largemouth bass that was the same size as my lure, and that was it. I tried the stripers, blackfish, speckle and shad, and nothing was fruitful. My main mission on this patrol was to see if I could catch as many shad that far upriver as people do downriver. The answer was a resounding NO.

The trash on this trip was unbelievable. I picked up 150 pounds worth. Over half of it was big glass stuff — half-gallon liquor bottles etc. that really total up weight fast. I want to thank Joe and Vonnie for taking two of the heavy bags for me, as the boat was riding pretty darn low in the water on day two. I picked up 22 plastic fishing bobbers to add to my collection. I don’t count cork floats. I have nearly a full hamper of plastic bobbers now at home since I began collecting them in 2000. 

I saw a bald eagle near Stringwood and a bunch of deer in the flooded swamps. I don’t know if it was more deer than normal or the fact that with the water in the swamps, I could hear them, which alerted me to their presence. Hopefully that was the last really cold weather for the year. 

The snakes will be out soon getting ready to mate, and the fishing should really take off. I’m really looking forward to a shiverless trip next time out on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

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.