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: August-September 2019
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 in August, anglers will have to get the lowdown on bass.
“On weekdays, if the water is moving, I look for bass down deep,” he said. “On weekends, when the water is not moving, I fish shallow docks.”
On the deeper drop-offs, deep-running crankbaits work best. At the docks, flipping jigs or casting spinnerbaits is the best tactic. Audacious skirt colors like orange, brown and green will get their attention. Green pumpkin is a good color for a jig head.
In September, crappie will school at 20 to 25 feet in Flat Swamp Creek. They will hit dropper rigs trolling jigs and minnows.
Blue and channel catfish will suck up cut shad trolled on the bottom at 8 to 20 feet. Flatheads will bite live white perch fished on Carolina rigs with no-roll sinkers.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Fishing Extreme Concepts, 336-249-6782) said grass beds hold bunches of bass.
“If you can find grass, bass will eat any buzzbait or floating worms you cast,” he said. “When the sun gets up, the fish head to the drop-offs, ledges and humps. When they are deep, I use Carolina rigs and deep diving crankbaits such as a Fat Free Shad or a Rapala DT6,10 and 14.”
Crappie will hit jigs and minnows trolled on long lines and tight lines.
Flathead catfish will bite live white perch and bream just outside Ryles Creek. Back in the creek, channel cats will hit cut baits and live shad.
Maynard Edwards (Yadkin Lakes Guide Service, Extreme Fishing Concepts, 336-249-6782) said Badin bass will blow up in September.
“Badin has some of the biggest schooling bass,” he said. “When they come up top, they will explode on anything. I use clear Zara Spooks, Whopper Ploppers, propeller lures and chuggers.”
When bass are in the grass, a shaky head worm is a good bet. Dock fishing is another pattern, where flipping a floating worm is a good tactic. The points also hold fish, where jigs and Carolina rigs are the best bets.
Crappie anglers can fill their coolers by towing tight lines baited with minnows. When baitfish show at 30 to 45 feet, crappie are sure to be there, too.
Blue and channel catfish will bite cut shad and perch on the flats. Catfish are shallow when power is generating and deep when the water is sluggish.
Rodney Crisco (Bait & Tackle, 704-982-8716) said anglers can sock it to bass with Spooks.
“When the bass come up top, a clear Zara Spook is hard to beat,” he said. “Floating worms, spoons, flukes and Senkos are also good lures for schooling bass.”
Anglers should watch for schooling activity at dawn and dusk around bridges, stumps and points. Jigs with plastic trailers work well when the fish head deep later on. For covering a lot of water, a Rapala DT-20 is a great crankbait.
Float fishermen will catch shellcrackers on red worms and night crawlers. Bluegill sunfish will bite crickets.
Stripers anglers should troll Preacher Jigs trolled on lead core line at depths of 15 to 25 feet. The best colors are white/chartreuse, blue/white and Sexy Shad. Anglers should be on the lookout for any surface action, ready to fire off a Preacher Jig or a Roadrunner with a willow leaf blade trailing a 7-iinch Snake Worm.
White perch anglers should troll ice flies on planers at 12 to 20 feet until they find schools. Once they are on the fish, they can crank them up on a Kastmaster spoon or Joe’s Special Waccamaw rig.
Blue catfish will eat cut bream and shad. Anglers can catch them by trolling, fishing from anchored boats or by rigging float rigs on water noodles.
Bait & Techniques:
Seasonal Fishing Features: