Yadkin/Pee Dee River Reservoirs
High Rock Lake
Jerry Hill (Jerry’s Guide Service, 336-247-1265) 9-6782) said High Rock's crappie anglers catch the largest fish in Late Feb and early March.
"They are hugging bottoms in the creeks of bigger coves where they will be spawning," he said. "I put the lures right on the bottom by spider rigging with drop-shot rigs. Keep trolling until you get several marks on the bottom with your depthfinder then stop and fish. Minnows will work better than lures because they will have enough action to catch fish even when you are barely moving. I've found tipping a 1-inch tube jig with a minnow is deadly."
Stripers move to the major creeks. Anglers should look for big schools of baitfish in Crane, Flat Swamp and Abbotts creeks. Some big stripers, with some weighing into the teens, will be feeding in baitfish schools at 8 to 15 feet over 30-foot bottoms. Blue catfish will be biting on the bottom beneath the same baitfish schools.
In late February and early March, calm weather sends bass to the banks receiving the most sunlight. Flat Swamp Creek has the rockiest banks and clearest water and therefore, the best bass fishing. Anglers should cast suspending jerkbaits and medium-running crankbaits and work them with a slow retrieve.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, 336-249-6782) said Tuckertown has good crappie fishing.
"The crappie will be in 16 to 25 feet of water in the creeks at mouths of the large coves," he said. "We will be spider rigging and using drop-shot rigs."
Edwards uses two hooks or jigs on his dropper rigs and baits some or all of them with minnows in the colder weather.
Tuckertown's bass are big fish. Anglers should catch them by casting crankbaits parallel to the steep, rocky banks. In February, bass are in the creeks, with Riles Creek a hotspot. By March, they will be moving out to the main river, where a No. 5 Shad Rap cast parallel to the bank should entice them.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Extreme Fishing Concepts, 336-249-6782). Said if the water is clear, everything should bite well in February and March.
"I cast Alabama rigs on the points and humps in the main channel or back in the creeks," he said. "You never know what you are going to catch. It might be a 4-pound largemouth bass or a 10-pound striper. I use 4-inch Zoom Swimming Fluke Juniors on my Alabama rigs."
Crappie fishing in the clear water can be challenging because the fish can be very deep. The lake is full of 14-inch crappie so it is worth going to the extra trouble. The fish will be on the bottom in 35 to 40 feet of water. If there are fish marks showing that deep, the angler should drag jigs or drop-shot rigs baited with minnows through the marks to see if they are crappie.
The biggest fish catfish bite best in the coldest weather. The best catfish action should be the dam. Cut shad is the best bait.
Joe Aldridge (Joe’s Bait & Tackle, 704-982-8716) said crappie fishing fires off in February.
“The crappie will be schooling deep at 20 to 30 feet," he said. "Brush piles are the best places to fish and minnows will be the best bait. A lot of fishermen will use Kalin jigs in blue-back/chartreuse, Acid Rain and Wally World colors."
White perch will school on points at 20 feet. Anglers should use ice flies with spinners and cut shad fished on bottom rigs to catch them. Some of the best places to catch crappie and perch are Jacobs Creek, Mountain creek and near Randalls Church.
Bass fishermen should cast Alabama rigs and crankbaits to the banks along the main channel. Another good pattern is casting to piers in to 8 to 10 feet of water.
Stripers will be under the gulls. If the fish are visible, Zara spooks and chuggers will catch them. If they are deeper, casting a bucktail jig or trolling a soft shad lure or a Cordell Redfin on a No. 1 planer is a good bet. The best striper fishing will occur from Jim Garrison Bridge down to Hydro.