Mike Marsh Outdoors
Mike Marsh’s book, Fishing North Carolina, shares his best-kept secrets for fishing 100 lakes, rivers, ponds, sounds and piers.
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Piedmont Lakes Fishing Report: June-July 2022
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 striper action will be superb.
“In June, after they spawn, stripers will move downriver and you should come down the river with them," Edwards said. "I begin fishing at Swearing Creek and don't do a lot of still fishing. I troll with live bait on Plane Jane Planer Boards."
By July, stripers will spread all the way down to High Rock Dam. Anglers should troll bucktail jigs and E-rigs setup with 4-inch Zoom Swimmin’ Fluke Juniors or Sassy Shads, fishing different humps until they find a concentration of fish. Then they can switch to using live bait rigs.
White bass schools will churn the top and anglers can catch them with small, castable E-rigs, sometimes hauling in two fish at once. Spinners, spoons, and poppers also work well.
Crappie will suspend in creeks at 8 to 15 feet, where anglers can catch them with longlines and tight lines with jigs. The best jig colors are chartreuse and pink.
During the June spawn, blue catfish anglers should fish laydowns, boat ramps and docks. In July, the fish will roam freely, so trolling is a better tactic. A Santee rig with a 1½-ounce Extreme Fishing Concepts Glider Sinker baited with cut shad is great trolling rig. Anglers can double their effectiveness trolling live and frozen shad off to the sides on Plane Jane planer boards.
After coming off the beds, largemouth bass hit everything, everywhere. The best search bait is a medium-depth crankbait. Once a good concentration of bass is discovered, switching to a Carolina rig with creature baits, such as the Zoom Baby Brush Hog in Green Pumpkin or Pumpkinseed, will mine the fish. Other good lures to try are rubber jigs and topwater propeller lures and walking lures.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Extreme Fishing Concepts, 336-249-6782) said the biggest bass bite topwater lures.
"Bass will be shallow water so they will hit Whopper Ploppers and Zara Spooks cast to the rocky points and woody cover. Ellis Creek, also called the Newsome Area, is a great spot."
Clattering spinnerbaits and ricocheting crankbaits off rocks will catch bass when the sun gets higher. In current areas, such as Indian Ford, casting an E-rig works well.
Stripers will school downstream of Indian Ford to Cabin and Lick creeks. Live and cut shad fished on bottom rigs or slow-trolled on Plane Jane planer boards will catch stripers, largemouth bass and blue catfish.
Flathead catfish will bite live shad and bluegills fished along the ledges and humps of the river channel. Channel catfish will abound in Riles Creek, where bottom-fishing with cut baits should catch them. Trolling shad on Santee rigs with Extreme Fishing Concepts Glider Weights and Plane Jane planer boards is another great tactic.
Crappie will suspend at 12 to 18 feet in creeks. Long line and tight line trolling tactics work best bet where there is no brush.
Shellcrackers will bed in the coves in June. Worms are the best bait.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Extreme Fishing Concepts, 336-249-6782) said Badin's bass fishing will blast off.
"In the morning, I work long points and shallow humps with a Carolina rig with a Zoom Lizard or Baby Brush Hog on the hook,” he said. “Schooling bass may pop up anywhere, so I keep a rod rigged with a Buzzbait, Zara Spook, Pop-R or Whopper Plopper to cast to the visible fish.”
Stripers will hit in Gar Creek, at the trestle in the Old Whitney area. Trolling an E-Rig or bucktail jig will catch them, along with white bass, white perch and largemouth bass. Stripers will also hit E-Rigs, bucktail jigs and Hopkins spoons on the main lake humps.
Crappie will in creeks be at 40 feet or deeper. After finding them with their depthfinders, anglers can troll jigs or minnows on downlines to catch them.
Blue cats will bite from Tuckertown Dam downstream to the trestle if the water is flowing. Anchoring the boat fishing cut baits on the bottom is the best tactic.
Rodney Crisco (Joe’s Bait & Tackle, 704-982-8716) said bass move around a lot in summer.
"You have to move around to find pockets of active bass," he said. "Before dawn, fish buzzbaits around the grass. If you see schooling to top, casting a Pop-R or buzzbait to hook them up. As the sun gets up, you should look for bluegill beds and cast buzzbaits and Pop-Rs around them. When the sun is overhead, a Pop-R cast to the shade of docks works well. When the fish go deep, you can keep searching for them with a football jig or Carolina rig."
Stripers will be schooling at 10 to 30 feet. Trolling a deep running lure such as a Redfin is the best bet. Best colors are chrome/blue and chrome/black. Dropping live baits on down lines weighted with 3-ounce sinkers is also a good tactic.
Crappie will move down to 15 to 20 feet. Jigging the brush piles in the creek mouths is the best bet, but minnows also work well. Bobby Garland Baby Shad jigs in Lights Out color and Charlie Brewer Slider jigs in Mardi Gras color are the best bets.
White perch will fire up in summer heat. Joe's Waccamaw rigs and Kastmaster spoons, P-Line Laser Minnows and other jigging spoons will work well. White bass have recovered substantially and will hit the same lures and rigs.
Blue catfish will hit cut perch and gizzard shad. Drifting or anchoring along the river channel and fishing on the bottom with no-roll sinker rigs is the best tactic. Flatheads will hit live bluegills in the cover areas.
Bait & Techniques:
Seasonal Fishing Features: