Yadkin/Pee Dee River Reservoirs
High Rock Lake
Jerry Hill (Jerry’s Guide Service, 336-247-1265) 9-6782) said stripers should swarm the dam.
"I make and sell my own bucktails and shad-tail lures," he said. "I troll a three-way swivel rig with a white or chartreuse bucktail with a white or chartreuse worm on the 3-foot top leader. On the 8-foot bottom leader, I tie a white or chartreuse bucktail with a white or chartreuse/glitter shad tail. I use a 3/8-ounce jig head when fish are deep."
Stripers will school in the river channel and on the humps. Anglers should fish in at least 20 feet of water, running three colors off their lead core line to take jigs down to 16 feet. Downrigger lines set at 10 and 12 feet with 50-foot leaders will drop jigs to the same depth.
The fish will be in the main channel and along the sides, upstream of the dam to a distance of about three miles. Anglers should watch their depthfinder for signs of baitfish and check the sky for seabirds.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, 336-249-6782) said Tuckertown has great cool weather largemouth bass fishing.
"Fish the bridge riprap and bluff banks with shallow running crankbaits," he said. "Lots of striped bass will be at the upper end near the dam. As the water gets cooler, stripers move to the creek mouths. Trolling with live bait helps keep your line from hanging up."
Crappie will bite jigs cast to fallen trees along steep banks. As it gets colder, a good bet is trolling tight lines baited with minnows.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Extreme Fishing Concepts, 336-249-6782). Said Badin's stripers are abundant.
"Striper fishing is excellent in fall and winter," he said. "The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission stocked lots of stripers over three years and nobody is fishing for them because the fishing had been poor. I have been catching lots of 4 to 6 pounders."
Pulling bucktails with lead core line works well down river. Above the trestle, trolling live baits is a better bet.
Badin's clear water makes it a bang-up topwater bass lake. A clear Zara Spook is a good lure. If they won't hit it, switch to a floating worm or Zoom swimming fluke with little or no weight. Edwards makes a lightweight Alabama rig with Zoom Super Fluke Jr. soft lures that works even better.
Dunking minnows in the brush will catch big crappie. In fall, crappie move shallow then head down to 30 feet when it turns cold.
Joe Aldridge (Joe’s Bait & Tackle, 704-982-8716) said casting a buzzbait for bass for the best action.
"Until the water cools, casting a buzzbait along the shorelines is the way to go," he said. "In winter, drop off deeper and use a crankbait to fish the deeper shorelines and deeper piers."
White perch will offer some hot schooling action. A slow-fished topwater lure or casting cork trailing an ice fly or small jig will catch plenty of them. An ice fly on a heavy weight, dropped to 20 feet is also a good bet. But to really load the ice chest, anglers should fish one of Joe's specially made Waccamaw Rigs with a ¾- to 1-ounce weight and three ice flies. In a pinch try a tidbit of shrimp or cut bait fished on the bottom.
Crappie will be schooling on flats 15 to 25 feet of water. Anglers will catch them hovering above the tree laps by dropping minnows.
Seagulls will show the locations of feeding stripers are feeding. The striped bass will cover the lake from one to the other. For stripers, anglers should drift live baits, cast topwater lures like spooks and poppers or bounce bucktails.