Mike Marsh Outdoors

Mike Marsh’s book, Fishing North Carolina, shares his best-kept secrets for fishing 100 lakes, rivers, ponds, sounds and piers.


To order:

Fishing North Carolina ($26.60),

Inshore Angler:

Carolina’s Small Boat Fishing Guide ($26.20),


Offshore Angler:

Coastal Carolina’s Mackerel Boat Fishing Guide ($22.25)


mail a check or money order to:


Mike Marsh

1502 Ebb Drive

Wilmington, NC 28409

or visit www.mikemarshoutdoors.com

for credit card orders.



Piedmont Lakes Fishing Report: August-September 2020

What to expect when you head out to fish the lakes of the Piedmont over the next few weeks. Get a clue from noted outdoor writer Mike Marsh.

Yadkin/Pee Dee Reservoirs


High Rock Lake

Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Extreme Fishing Concepts, 336-249-6782) said the fall feed will include white bass.


"Our white bass have returned,” he said. “They will be hitting on the surface where Pop-Rs, Spooks, blade baits and crappie jigs will catch them.  Fishing Extreme Concepts Plane Jane planer boards baited with live shad will also work."


Largemouth bass will chase baitfish in the shallows. A spinnerbait, Rat-L-Trap, square-bill crankbait or topwater lure will catch them. On colder days, they may move to very shallow water.


Crappie will also be along the banks, where a tossing float rig with a jig or a minnow or casting a jig should get their attention. Fishing anywhere in one of the creeks is a good bet, but the best spots have rocks sticking out of the water.


Anglers can troll cut baits for catfish and live baits for stripers at the same time by using Plane Jane planer board rigs and float rigs in 12 feet of water. Dragging some Santee sinker rigs on the bottom at the same time will up the odds for catching catfish.


Badin Lake

Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Extreme Fishing Concepts, 336-249-6782) said Badin is a superior striper lake.


"Badin has lots of 6- to 10-pound stripers,”: he said. “I catch them by trolling bucktails, spoons and E-rigs. White bass, striped bass and largemouth bass will all hit the E-rigs. In Gar Creek, the area below the railroad trestle is always a good place.”


Largemouth bass will also hit lures and shallow crankbaits anywhere there are rocks in shallow water. Spooks and Whopper Ploppers are good topwater choices. Cast to the main lake points, they will catch both largemouth bass and striped bass.


Crappie will bite best in November when they will move 8 to 12 feet of water. Long line and tight line trolling methods will catch them.


Blue and channel catfish will be on the flats, where anglers trolling live shad or cut perch on Fishing Extreme Concepts Plane Jane planer board rigs and Santee sinker rigs will haul them in. The best place to find catfish is near the upstream dam in the Old Whitney area.

Lake Tillery

Rodney Crisco (Joe's Bait & Tackle, 704-982-8716) said bass would be in transition.


"Bass will be moving to the points,” he said. “Alabama rigs with Charlie Brewer Swimbaits will work best. A Rat-L-Trap or a crawfish color jig will also catch them. They be chasing bait and moving back into the creeks where they will hit a clear Super Spook Jr. with a feather tail or a Tiny Torpedo.”


Stripers will hit early and late. Trolling live gizzard shad or blueback herring is the best way to catch them. Anglers should use six lines, with a pair of down lines off the front of the boat, a pair of Pro-Motion planer boards set to the sides with 50 to 60 feet of line and two flat lines with split shot rigs off the stern. The best speed is 1.0 to 1.5 mph.


Anglers who prefer trolling with lures should use a No. 7 Shad Rap, Smithwick Deep Rattlin' Rogue, Cordell Redfin or other deep-runner. The lure that fires up the bite has been a Roadrunner head in Sexy Shad color, a chartreuse/white or blue/white dressing and a 7-inch white Striper Sniper worm trailer. A Preacher Jig bucktail with tinsel-and-feather dressing trolled on lead core line will also catch stripers when they are deep.


White perch will bite Joe's Waccamaw Rigs weighted with Nungesser spoons, cut bait and minnows. The fish will be hug to the bottom when the water cools.


Crappie will follow baitfish into the creeks. The best bet is slow trolling Kalin's jigs, with Acid Rain a good color in dark water and Tennessee Shad the best choice in clear water. Tipping a jig with a minnow increases strikes. When the water turns colder, crappie will pile up in brush piles at 15 to 20 feet where vertical jigging will catch them.


Blue catfish will hit live and cut white perch and shad trolled on Pro-Motion planer boards and down lines. Anchoring along the channel edges and fishing cut baits on multiple rods will also work.




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