Too nice for fish

Published 3:34 pm Friday, June 9, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Jeff Turner

RiverGuard Report


Spirit of Moonpie and I spent June the 2nd through the 3rd on the Nottoway below Delaware. I had to cut my patrol short because the weather just wasn’t going to work out for night No. 2. However, the one day and one night I did spend was truly very nice… too nice, I guess. Air temps ranged from 55 to 80 degrees.

The trash on this trip was negligible. However, we did find some limblines that had been abandoned. It’s really hard for me to believe anyone that lives around here does not know the regulations concerning these fishing devices after all the effort I put out to educate the public about them. 

The fishing on this trip was pretty darn… bad. I had a hard time actually catching bait for the first catfish run in the pontoon boat of this year. Luckily Johnny Ray hopped on board just before dark. If it hadn’t been for his one fish, we would have been skunked. Don’t know what the problem was. I had great bait, and the river ran out the entire time we fished. There was no wind, and we had a nearly full moon. Water temperature was 67, and the river was pretty normal looking. Everything was perfect… except the catfish bite. Nothing but a couple turtles touched the monster catfish rig I run. The big gallon-size bobber suspended at 6 feet never took off. I believe that’s the first time I’ve never seen a gar or any fish touch that rig over the course of the night’s fishing. Johnny Ray was fishing on the bottom. It was eerily dead out there that night, though. Even when we headed back to the boat ramp later that night, there were no critters about, no eyes, nothing. I didn’t even hear the usual sound of gars rolling or beavers slapping their tails at my intrusion. We heard one splash from something, and that was it. The only other thing we heard was some strange noise we thought might be a rare Poutyface BigFoot, but after returning home I now believe it was the irrigation system at the turf farm that is alongside the river near the Narrows.

Oh well, I guess it was just too darn nice out there for the fish on one of 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 He can also be followed on the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard Facebook page. Just type in “Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard” in the search field on Facebook.