Published 12:30 pm Saturday, March 23, 2024

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent March the 18th through the 20th on the Blackwater above Joyner’s Bridge. The water was clear, high and fast at 7 feet and 58 degrees. Air temps ranged from 32 to 70 degrees. I saw no water quality issues. I did see my first skeeters of the year!

Trash was pretty bad downriver from the bridge. A lot of it was old trash, which is to be expected since we just had some of the highest water in that river in a right long time. Whispering Bear came out the first day and helped me clean up. Fifty pounds of trash was the total for the trip. The water had even gotten in my campsite up there, which is very unusual, and it was quite a mess. 

The fishing on this trip was terrible. I was really hoping to get into the shad heavy up that way. In past years I have done really good up there… but this time it was sad for the shad. I’m not sure if the high water this year made the anadromous shad go upriver earlier or what. I only caught two the entire trip. I tried jigging for stripers and had nary a hit. I tried fishing for speckle and only caught a large, egg-filled white perch… which was really weird for up there. I only cast bass for about an hour the second day and caught one 6-inch fish on a 6-inch lure! So, yea, the fishing was not good at all. 

Even though the fishing was terrible, it was nice to get Whispering Bear on the river for a little while. We saw a barred owl and a muskrat enjoying the nice weather and a couple of blue herons. And that’s always a good thing 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.