RiverGuard Report: One more time

Published 3:51 pm Monday, May 22, 2023

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent May the 17th through the 19th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was normal, very clear and 71 degrees. Air temps ranged from 54 to 76 degrees. It was very pleasant weather. Skeeters are getting pretty bad, though. I thought I was done for the year staying on shore, but the River Spirits said it was not time to change to the pontoon boat yet, so I jumped on the chance to have two more campfire nights. 

The trash on this trip was not too bad. I picked up a half of a bag and one large cooler and one large 10-gallon water jug. I also found the smallest basketball of all the dozens I have found in the river. The only water quality issue I saw was some pretty nasty looking water coming from the Franklin City stormwater canal. Once again, I want to report that the gator weed is really getting a foothold. There are now dozens of large, floating mats of the stuff downriver from Franklin. With the milder winters we keep having, I think eventually it’s going to be a problem since it does not seem to be getting killed off in the winter.

The fishing on this trip was very slow again. This time I’m blaming it on the very clear water. I missed or lost 12 different chain pickerel on this trip. It’s like the fish would not commit. I saw several mouths open just about to eat the lure then at the last second veer off like they were seeing the boat. I did hook one, though, that jumped right into the boat. That would surely be nice if they all did that, hhaaaa. So, I ended up with four chains and four largemouth, a very large shellcracker (that I fileted) and a really big black bream. But that was a lot of casting for those fish, I’ll tell you that. To catch those few fish, I had to rely on help to tell me where to go. I tried every pattern I know; finally I started catching fish after following this osprey that was out there. I’d take off down the river and look up, and the osprey would be flying above me. Every time it would land, I’d stop and start fishing. That’s not the first time I have had to use their help. 

So, it was a very good trip, and I was glad to get another shore trip in before it gets too hot. I also want to thank Mr. or Mrs. Osprey for helping me find some fish to eat 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.