‘Snakes alive!’

Published 7:51 am Friday, April 15, 2022

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent April the 9th through the 11th on the Blackwater above Joyner’s Bridge. The water was clear, fast, 58 degrees and 5.77 on the USGS gauge at Burdette. That’s still a little high. Air temps ranged from 35 to 70 degrees, and it was cool feeling with all that wind out there.

The fishing was pretty good, especially the first day. I caught 30 or so shad downriver from the bridge. On day two they practically had vanished. I also caught one small striper on the shad lure and a 10-pound catfish… on the shad lure. The catfish was nuts. I had the pink jig just dangling over the side of the boat when that big fat fish grabbed it. It was quite a fight on ultralight equipment, let me tell ya. That catfish had so many herring in it that it was about to pop. Speaking of being gorged with fish, I also saw a cormorant that was so fat it couldn’t take off until it regurgitated an entire shad! That was a first for me. Moonpie thought we should eat it since it was already scaled from stomach acid. Needless to say, I declined that suggestion. Yea, I know, yuck, right? I did not try casting for bass on this trip.

I was extremely disappointed to see that people are still treating the boat landing there like it was a dump. On the first day someone dumped three bags of trash up in the parking lot. I saw that as I rode by in the boat. On the way back past the landing, I found that someone had tossed one of the bags of trash into the river. Then on the second night, someone dumped a recliner at the boat landing. What kind of person does that? 

“Snakes alive,” Moonpie hollered as she noticed a large watersnake hanging over our head in a bush we were going under to get trash. Moonpie has never been too keen on going under them even though I’ve done that thousands of times and never had one drop in the boat. We saw three on this trip, and that usually means it’s warm weather here to stay… usually. Hey, they are as good if not better than the weather people on TV. Hhhaaaa.

So, it was a really nice trip this time except for the trash dumpers. People who abuse those facilities should never be allowed 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 blknotkpr@earthlink.net. He can also be followed on the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard Facebook page. Just type in “Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard” in the search field on Facebook.