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Riverkeeper report: No luck capturing snow pictures on the Blackwater River

Published 9:48am Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent Feb. 17th and 18th on the Nottoway below Hercules.

The water was low, fast, clear and 43 degrees. Air temps ranged from 43 degrees to 60, which was very nice indeed. Trash was very light and the only water-quality problem I saw was an odd brown skim on the water at logjams. If disturbed it turned into strange-looking stringy stuff. I’m looking into it.

As for the fish, things are looking up. I caught two stripers that were 20 inches jigging a blade bait. While doing that I also caught three nice largemouth with one nearly going 3 pounds. I tried for shad but had no hits.

I saw a friend of mine out there and he was tearing up the speckle good fashion on minnows. I also heard from my buddy Dean that white perch are being caught at the mouth of the river right steadily, so evidently they are on the march upriver.

We came home to ride the snow out and then went to the Blackwater below Franklin the 20th through the 22nd. I was hoping to get some river snow pictures that first day. I wanted to see what Moonpie would look like out there with a snow background or at least find out if I could even see her. Her coloration is so light these days. However, when we got to Franklin I could hardly tell it had snowed and there was none at all at the campsite.

The water was 42 and really low. Air temps ranged from 26 to 60 degrees. Trash was light. Fishing was not that great, but I did catch seven different species of fish, which just shows the diversity of our rivers. I caught a 7-pound blue cat, two bowfin, three big speckle, one bream, one flyer and a pumpkin seed. Yes, that’s really a fish. All were caught on a Cotton Cordell blade bait. I also caught a nice 2-pound largemouth trolling a Smithwick Rogue. I have had a lot of people ask me where they can get the blade baits I use, so here is the link: http://drewdavisbaitcompany.com/VibeBladeBaits.aspx

I found a bunch of cat-lines in the river this trip that were not tagged. By law, cat-lines and limb-lines must be tagged with your name, address and phone number, and the lines must also be checked daily. Failure to do these things could result in the lines being confiscated and your getting a ticket from the man.

I report all such lines I find, and if I find them abandoned I will confiscate them. Not many things make me as mad as finding cat-lines or limb-lines with dead fish or other critters that got tangled up or hooked and drowned.

I also want to remind people that this time of year, a lot of people anchor and fish in the middle of the river.

In small rivers like the Blackwater and Nottoway that have a lot of blind curves, boat operators need to be mindful of that and back off the speed. Getting to your next fishing hole fast is not worth endangering the safety of others on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

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