RIVERGUARD REPORT: Catfish were no-shows on latest patrol

Published 1:00 pm Monday, July 8, 2024

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Whispering Bear and I spent July 1-3 on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was a pretty normal level for this time of year, very clear and 83 degrees. Air temps ranged from 60 to 88 degrees. Pretty darn nice weather for July. Trash was not terrible, but we did pick up some large pieces of Styrofoam that a Sony TV came in. And much to Whispering Bear’s not happy surprise, there was a cottonmouth under one of the pieces. So that was her first pretty close encounter with one of those. I thought she handled it pretty well, actually. The deer flies, the green-face ones that sneak up on your ankles… they were awful. So bad, in fact, I had to put on long pants the second day to keep from getting bit. It’s a really good thing those pests are not the size of a hummingbird or you would have to go to the emergency room when they attacked you.

Yep, “Kitty Kitty No No” was the theme this trip. We didn’t catch a single catfish either night. Don’t think we even had a legitimate hit. The regular daytime fishing was just as bad. When you can’t catch a bream in two days, that’s pretty bad. I only caught two small bass and two shellcrackers out of the 9,000 casts I made, hhaaaa. In fact, it was pretty dead out there. Didn’t even see a beaver the entire three days. We did, from a long distance, see a bear swim across the river right close to Cobbs Wharf… Mudcakes. We also saw one eagle, but that’s about it except for the blue herons. Oh, we did see a mommy osprey and heard what I think were a couple of juvenile ospreys. They were doing a lot of talking, but we never could see the youngins.

Even though the fishing was terrible, it was still a great trip because of the wonderful break from the heat. At least we didn’t see any dead fish on this river, and it didn’t smell of dead fish like the lower Nottoway has been smelling. Hopefully we will keep getting enough rain to keep both rivers in good shape, which in turn will make the fish happier 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. Search for “Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard” on Facebook.