Spirit of Moonpie & I spent the 4th through the 6th on the Blackwater around Franklin. The water was normal and 83 degrees. I kinda rolled two events into this patrol. I took a bunch of kids from Paul D, Camp Community College program “Kids College” on a Eco-Cruise the first day. Even though the wildlife did not cooperate to well, I think they had a decent two-hour tour. At least they got to see a couple of really nice red-bellied water snakes, some turtles and few Great Blue Herring. I don’t think Teri, who heads up the college program was all that crazy about lookin’ real close at the snakes! After I did the Eco-Cruise I went on with my usual three-day patrol. Fishing was not hitting on much. I caught a big two-pound shell cracker and a big speckle really quick. That was enough for catfish bait for the next two nights so I did not fish anymore for panfish. I guess I should have stayed with the Rebel cricket that I caught the panfish on. I then switched to bass fishing and that was just really bad. Though I must admit I did not try very hard as it was so hot. I did not even try different lures; I just stayed with topwater and only caught two little bass. Catfishing those two nights was not great either. I only caught two small cats the first night and NONE the next. So that’s pretty bad even though the first night I really was not all that attentive. At the City of Franklins Barrette’s Landing they were having their weekly “We Be Jammin'” on the waterfront and had a great band playing. So I hung around there checking out all the non-indigenes wildlife while kinda catfishing. Plus it was kinda hard to fish with Moonpie shaggin’ all around the boat. That’s a great place to go by boat to have a great time. The VDGIF boat landing is right there in sight of the place and with such a nice facility it is really easy to put in and take out at night. The music sounds great on the water and parking close is not a problem! The second night we watched a groundhog at dusk lounge around where the barges once unloaded at the mill. It would walk along the metal sheathing then just sprawl flat out and lay there looking at us. After awhile it would get up and go about three foot and then sprawl out again. I’d never seen a groundhog out at night before. Then later that night we saw a fat coon go across the train trestle that leads into the mill. Moonpie asked, “ Is that who is working at the mill now”? Don’t know I replied, might be the new Bull Gang!
Well even though the fishin’ was poor we had a great trip and hopefully will soon get some more rain that will spark up the fish on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.