Winter hangin’ on

Published 12:22 pm Monday, May 2, 2022

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent April the 27th through the 29th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was low most of the trip because of the wind blowing it all out, clear and 66 degrees. Air temps ranged from 39 to 65 degrees — Old Man Winter was sure hanging on this trip. With a steady 15 mph wind, it was pretty darn chilly.

The trash on this trip was nearly non-existent… I know, that’s crazy, right? It must not have rained much from that big blow we had the day before I left. Regardless, I have rarely seen it that clean on that part of the river. I did see a lot of sawdust on the water, but there were some terrible winds the day before, so I’m guessing the dust got by the newly installed dust control measures at the mill along the river. I saw no other water quality issues. 

The fishing on this trip was pretty darn good. I caught a bunch of chain pickerel, five largemouth to just over 5 pounds, two 16-inch stripers, three white perch (trolling that was weird), a giant shellcracker, two bream, two mudgappers, a speckle and a gar! Eight different species — that ain’t too bad! Diversity, baby! Most of the fish were caught on a new lure I was trying called a 6th Sense Crush 50X Squarebill Crankbait… in Shad Burst color. I picked this lure to use ’cause it looked like a small white perch… it worked!

The Moonpie Critter Patrol saw a lot of animals again… but maaannn, it’s frustrating taking wildlife shots. I’m just glad we have digital film nowadays ’cause I’d surely have burned up a bunch of film. Anyway, I did the best I could do without beating the camera to death. But you know, sometimes I just need to put the camera down and look at the beauty before me just for me and personally, FOR ME, enjoy it out there 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.