Published 12:15 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent April the 6th through the 8th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was clear, fast, 55 degrees and a little high at 2.02 on the Franklin gauge. Air temps ranged from 39 to 70 degrees. It was very nice except for the wind and pollen. We ate so much pollen on this trip I didn’t have to eat or feed Moonpie!

The trash on this trip was HORRENDOUS. I picked up so much I was afraid I would not be able to get all my camping gear back into the boat… no lie! I even came upon three sheets of house insulation that I had to break up and lay on the floor of the boat. I was also stunned at the number of children’s toys and baby bottles and the like that I found amongst the piles of trash. How does that stuff get into the ditches from the southside of Franklin? I have seen some crazy stuff in the river over the 55 years I have been out there. But this time I think I have a new winner for the Weirdest Thing Found category. I found a Santa Claus jacket at Georges Bend. I guess it blew off when he was cruising over that way back in December?? Anyway, it truly was a mess out there… and still is as I could not come close to getting it all.

The fishing on this trip was FANTASTIC. I caught so many largemouth and jack (chain pickerel) that I lost count. The jack especially were on the attack. Two that I caught appeared to be gorged with Alewife in their belly and yet they still attacked my lure. I guess that’s why a large blue stick bait was so successful at catching them. I also caught the bass on that lure and a white tail Mepps did very good as well. I can only imagine how many fish I would have caught if I hadn’t had to spend so much time picking up trash!

It sure was a great trip, and it sure was nice to have the river back at a pretty normal level. All that water already seems to have done the rivers some good. I just wish people would not throw their garbage into the city ditches so I could spend more time fishing rather than picking up trash 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.