RIVERGUARD REPORT: Nottacatfish on the Nottaway

Published 5:46 pm Monday, October 9, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Whispering Bear and I spent October the 4th through the 6th on the Nottoway below Delaware. The water was in perfect shape after getting a good flushing earlier last week and was 67 degrees. Air temps ranged from 57 to 80 degrees; it was very nice weather for the last three-day pontoon trip of the year. We saw only a couple pieces of trash and no water quality issues. We did not see any dead catfish either.

Oddly, though, the fishing was terrible, at least for the catfish and chain pickerel. No catfish either night, and I don’t think we even had a good hit. Also, I fished for chain pickerel both days we fished and only caught one and missed two. Usually this is the time of year I stock up on those. So, I don’t know what the problem was. I caught several largemouth and actually one little smallmouth. Most of the bass were really small. All were caught on an inline spinner. I also caught a few bream. I just don’t know what the problem was this time; great water conditions, great weather… I don’t get it. I’m submitting a letter to the state to get the river renamed Nottacatfish, hhaahhaaa.

Also, pretty weird, the first day we didn’t see hardly any wildlife, no great blue herons, no kingfishers and no ospreys. However, there were gar all along the shore, just laying around treading water. I caught one that was like 8 pounds and had several more hit my lure. Finally, on the second day after getting downriver around the Bronco Club, we finally started seeing wildlife. Even saw a bald eagle and a couple of juvenile otters acting all otterish. 

So even though it was sort of a strange trip, it was still a nice patrol, even though this year we did not catch a giant blue catfish on the pontoon boat. That’s the first time in many years. But that’s okay, there is always next year. Anyway, I’m looking forward to starting my land-based trips to finish out the year. I may even finally break my camping record 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 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.