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 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 stripers will swim deep.
“The stripers will be on the points and humps in the main river channel at the mouths of Second and Abbott’s creeks,” he said. “Trolling bucktails and spoons on lead core lines is the best way to cover the most territory. I also troll live shad and bucktails on Plane Jane planer boards.
Another good method is trolling my E-Rigs (Alabama rigs) with 4-inch Zoom Swimmin’ Fluke Juniors or Sassy Shads.”
Crappie should bite jigs fished on long line rigs in June. When the water gets hot, they will head deeper, where tight line rigs will catch them. They also bite minnows and jigs in the deep brush piles. The best jig colors are John Deere Green and Popsickle.
When blue catfish spawn in June, they get finicky. Anglers should fish rock piles and holes by anchoring their boats and dropping cut baits on bottom rigs. In July, the bite picks up because the fish are moving again. Dragging a Santee Rig with a 1½-ounce Extreme Fishing Concepts Glider Sinker baited with cut shad is the best tactic. Anglers double their chances by trolling Plane Jane planer boards to the sides.
Bass will come off their beds and feed ravenously. If the water is not moving, the fish will be on the docks. If it is moving or falling, they will strike best along the main river. Anglers can cast Carolina rigs, crankbaits, jigs and topwater lures with equal good results.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Extreme Fishing Concepts, 336-249-6782) said some grass remains upstream.
“If you can find grass, a buzzbait or a floating worm will catch nice bass,” he said. “Herbicide applications have reduced the grass, so you may have to search a lot of water.”
Bass anglers will have some great fishing at the Indian Ford downstream of the High Rock Dam or anywhere else that has lots of rocks. When the water is moving, banging spinnerbaits or crankbaits off the rocks attracts attention. Another good bet is casting a lightweight E-rig in the current.
Stripers will be feeding downstream of High Rock Dam. Anchoring in the tailrace and fishing live and cut baits on bottom rigs or Plane Jane planer boards is a great method. Blue cats will hook up on the same setups.
Flathead catfish will be on the ledges and humps, where live shad and bream will entice strikes. Riles Creek will have good fishing for channel cats. Trolling shad on Santee rigs with Extreme Fishing Concepts Glider Weights and Plane Jane planer boards is the ticket to success.
Crappie will move from the channel to 12 to 18 feet in the creeks. Long line and tight line trolling tactics will catch them.
Shellcrackers will bed in the backs of 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 bite will fire up.
“In the morning, I work the long points and shallow humps with a Carolina rig with a Zoom Lizard or Baby Brush Hog,” he said. “For schooling bass, I keep a rod rigged with a Zara Spook, Pop R or Whopper Plopper. The fish can come up on a point or high spot any time.”
Fishing the bass beds with a buzzbait or floating worm works well. Another good tactic is flipping a Carolina rig with a Zoom Trick Worm in Green Pumpkin or June Bug color. A Bagley DT-6 or DT-10 in a shad pattern cast to a point will also churn up some commotion.
When the water is moving at the dam, an E-Rig will catch white bass, stripers, white perch and largemouth bass. Stripers will also swarm the main lake humps in 15 to 30 feet of water, where E-Rigs, bucktails and spoons will catch them.
Crappie anglers should fish tight line rigs with minnows or jigs. The fish may be as deep as 40 feet in the river channel and deeper creeks.
Blue cats will bite from Tuckertown Dam downstream to the railroad trestle when the water is moving. Anglers should anchor near the dam and fish cut baits on bottom rigs.
Rodney Crisco (Joe’s Bait & Tackle, 704-982-8716) said bass are clobbering Carolina rigs.
“I like bigger soft plastic baits like the Zoom Ol’ Monster,” he said. “A Zara Puppy or Strike King Sexy Dawg works great when they are feeding on white perch.
Early in the morning a Strike King Double Take Buzzbait will catch them in the backs of the coves. Up in the day, an E&L Lures jig with a Bizz Baits Killer Craw will catch them on the rocks and docks. The best colors are a black jig with a Blue Oyster trailer.”
White perch will school at creek mouths and along the main channel at 15 to 25 feet. They will hit Nungesser spoons, cut perch and Joe’s Waccamaw Rigs.
Shellcrackers bite best during full moons. Worms, crickets, Beetlespins and popping bugs catch them.
Stripers will strike trolled white bullet-head bucktails with tinsel flash tied into the tails. Live bait anglers should dangle shad just above the stripers and baitfish schools they see on their depthfinders. Stripers may come up any time, so a rod should be rigged with a Zara Spook for a fast cast.
Catfishermen should find flatheads in stumps and rocks. Anchoring the boat and casting float rigs and bottom rigs baited with live white perch and bream is the best way to catch them. Blue catfish will strike cut or live white perch baits drifted on Carolina rigs or trolled on no-snag bottom rigs.
Bait & Techniques:
Seasonal Fishing Features: