September 19th through the 21st Nottoway Trip

21 Sep
September 21, 2008

Moonpie & I spent the 19th through the 21st on the Nottoway at Cypress Bridge.

The water was 4.3 foot on the USGS gauge, clear and 72 degrees. Trash was pretty bad but it had been a long time since I was there last, so the bag I picked up was understandable. The fishing was fantastic! I caught over 20 largemouth and one smallmouth from 2 ½ pounds on down. Most were caught on topwater. I also caught a few red throats but they were all small. I never seem to catch any decent red throats anymore. They are such an aggressive feeder I guess people have just fished the big ones out. I also saw plenty of snakes including a beautiful 4 foot Northern Watersnake that let me get so close you can see the sun glinting in its eye in the picture I took. To bad water snakes are not good to eat. The water level was just barely high enough for me to get where I needed to though some spots were extremely treacherous for a 15 ft boat with a 40 Hp motor. Most of the time I could see the bottom and the going was really slow, but I just had to get to a sand bar I knew of to camp. After making it there and setting up I knew the water level would continue to go down throughout the next two days, so I decided we would see how far upriver we could get, then float back. We made it right far, going over trees and limbs and fighting some seriously fast water I would not recommend any beginner boater try. Of course you always want to go further as the fishing seems to get better the farther away from the readily accessible water you get. We finally got to one spot where it looked impassable for sure. It was in a curve and the water was a torrent coming through one gap in a logjam. There were two 8-inch logs blocking the gap a few inches under water. Moonpie said, “ come on, we can’t give up now, ram it, ram it.” Well, I wasn’t going to do that, kinda, but I did drive the boat up onto the logs. The water was running so fast when I cut the boat off it would push back off the logs. I wanted to try to saw the logs in half, so I plowed the boat up on the pile again and left the motor running and in gear to hold the boat in place. I grabbed the handsaw and started sawing. The first log went after about 20 minutes and I heaved it out of the way. The other log just would not cooperate. The water pressure kept the log pinching the saw and I was getting nowhere. We need a lever Moonpie yelled over the din of the motor. Well I don’t have one in my pocket right this minute I yelled back annoyed and straining to hold onto to the saw now stuck in the log. How bout this was the next thing I heard and then in the reflection of the water I saw my shotgun appear, the barrel plunging into the water and under the tree. Just about the time I was getting ready to throw somebody overboard, Moonpie heaved on the stock of the old 20 gauge and the tree rose out of the water and the notch in the tree I was sawing opened up. In about 10 more minutes I had the tree in two pieces and after towing the two ends out of the logjam, we finally made it through. It took an hour to breach that jam. The bad thing is around the curve only 100 yards further ahead was another jam and this one was totally impassable for the boat we were in. Frustrated and tired I looked at Moonpie and said “ all that work for nothing!” No, not really Moonpie snapped back, just think, now because of my brilliant engineering feat using the shotgun on the logs, you will have something superbly interesting to write about for another one of our great adventures on the two rivers we call the Nottoway & Blackwater.

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