But guide Joel Richardson is "playing" against "wolfpacks" every day he slides his bass boat down the ramp into Belews Lake, a 3,863-acre reservoir north of Winston-Salem close to the corner where Forsyth, Guilford, Stokes and Rockingham counties meet.
"There are bass cruising up and down steep banks from the mid-lake to the dam, in the real clear water," said Richardson (www.joelgrichardson.com). "I call them 'wolfpacks'. They're just cruising around, eating any minnows they come up on."
Richardson, a former pro bass fisherman from nearby Kernersville, ran into one such pack of bass late Wednesday afternoon, while fishing in the extreme back of a creek-fed cove.
He had just caught a chunky pound-and-a-half largemouth on a drop-shot rig off a brushpile out in the middle of the channel, when he pivoted the boat and headed for the bank.
"I heard a fish back there," he said, nodding at a bank marked by scattered laydowns.
He put down his drop-shot rig and picked up a Magnum Pop-R and began casting to the bank. In just a minute, a bass slashed through the clear water, smacked the bait and missed it.
"Here they come," Richardson said, continuing to work the bait as a dark-colored ball headed toward it – a handful of 3- and 4-pound bass.
Richardson hooked up, while the other fisherman in his boat vainly tried to find a floating worm to pitch into the fray, and moments later, he boated a 3-pounder.
"Man, that's just what I've been talking about," Richardson said. "They're cruising these deep banks in shallow water."
Richardson said one of the draws to Belews is that "you can catch fish 5 to 50 feet of water" and that they've been biting shallow and deep over the past week.
"Fish are schooling in the morning and evening out over deep water, we've had these wolfpacks of fish cruising the shallows, and there are still Carolina-rig fish to be caught in 15 to 25 feet of water," he said.