Published 10:03 am Monday, November 7, 2022
Spirit of Moonpie and I spent November the 2nd through the 4th on the Nottoway below Delaware. The water was low, stagnant, clear and 60 degrees. Dissolved oxygen levels continue to be very low. I hope we get some significant rain soon before the tons of leaves now in the river start decaying and could possibly drive the oxygen levels to fish kill levels. Air temps ranged from 51 to 75 degrees. It was very pleasant except for the fact that the skeeters were rampant.
The river, as I said, continues to suffer from the drought we have been experiencing. But I saw no other glaring water quality issues. Yes, it’s stagnant, but I saw no dead fish on this patrol. I did pick up an unusual amount of trash on this trip, mostly down around Monroe Bridge. It was very concentrated, like it had been tossed out of a boat or off the bridge.
The fishing on this trip was pretty slow. I did manage to catch four small bass, a couple of chain pickerel and right many bream. The bass were caught on a fat crankbait, the jack and bream on a Mepps Minnow. I tried for speckle but caught nary one. However, I heard from a friend that said he mopped up on specks. So once again, I guess I just don’t know what I’m doing, hhhaaaa. It should not be too long before we start seeing some striped bass in the river. Also, one other thing that was pretty weird — one of the largemouth I caught had pretty well-developed eggs in it. I don’t remember seeing eggs in a bass this late… or early, however you want to term it. Don’t know if all this warm weather is causing that or what? And the leaves… wow, it was impossible to fish topwater lures. “Leafy” was truly the word for this trip. I couldn’t even run but about a half mile at a time without having to stop and clear leaves from the outboard prop. That gets pretty aggravating, not to mention it really wastes a lot of gas.
We saw right many ducks, but what was really crazy was the number of squirrels we saw. Of course, I was not tree rat hunting this trip, which is why that was, I’m sure. Seriously, I bet we saw 100, and they were just lollygagging along the shore, not paying attention to us in the boat at all. Oh, well, that’s the way it usually works out.
Hopefully in the next two weeks we get some measurable rainfall. The upper rivers especially need it. I cannot even get to my spots up there right now because of low water conditions. It’s ’bout time for colder, more seasonable weather also, and I’m truly ready for the skeeters to be gone 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 email@example.com. He can also be followed on the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard Facebook page. Just type in “Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard” in the search field on Facebook.