August 24th through 26th Nottoway Trip

27 Aug
August 27, 2009

Freezing Deer, Spirit of Moonpie & I spent the 24th through the 26th on the Nottoway below Hercules.

The water was low and stagnant with a dissolved oxygen (DO) level of 3.5 ppm at the surface. It was around 2.5 at 12 foot. So the fishing on this trip was not fantastic. HOWEVER, I did catch a citation 14lb. 8 oz 46 inch long Gar the first night bout one in the morning. That thing really put up a fight and it took all three of us to pull it in. I caught a few bream on the fly rod, but because of the low DO the fish just were not active. Gar take oxygen from the water like normal fish but they also sorta have a lung and can gulp air into their swim bladders to breathe. This makes them not as susceptible to low DO conditions like other fish and thus keeps them active. I did not see any water quality issues other that what I have already mentioned. Trash was non-existent for the most part though we did remove a VDOT barrel from the river and placed it on shore at Round-Gut. Even though the fish did not bite and the water was like a bath tube it was nice to get back on the river after being out of commission with a bad back. We got to hear the river spirits screaming and calling both nights so that was really cool. We did have bit of a scare the first evening since we are not quite use to the new capabilities of Moonpie. After eating a couple a big T-Bones I grilled out there I tossed one of the big bones over side for the turtles to munch on. Immediately Moonpie dove over the side of the boat head first and disappeared under water. That in itself stunned us bad enough but a minute later whilst still standing there with our mouths open we really got freaked out. All of a sudden the river water went a boilin’ up next to the shore. The next thing we saw was a giant snapping turtle walking backwards up the bank. We starred in amazement as the next thing wee saw was a T-Bone in its mouth with Moonpie attached to the other end of the steak bone! It was a mighty tug of war. The turtle looked like it was winning so I headed the boat that way scarring the turtle into letting go when the bow of the boat got close. After getting everybody calmed down and back in the boat Moonpie said, “ I had the bone ya know, and would have won that battle. Just next time how bout not throwing the bone in 20 ft water, that’s mighty deep” I looked at Freezing Deer and said “ Yep, it does seem things are getting mighty deep out here on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.”

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