Todd Harris of Clemmons took advantage of the “dinner bell bite” to win the June 21 Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament at High Rock Lake.
What locals call the “dinner bell bite” occurs after noon when the heavy boating traffic pushes baitfish into deeper water, which repositions the bass around the lake’s countless piers.
“By 12:45, I had my limit, but they were all small fish,” said Harris. “I then made a decision that gave me a chance to win the tournament.”
With more than 20 years of experience fishing at High Rock, Harris waited for the dinner bell bite and put on a surge in the last hour that produced a five-fish limit totaling 19.01 pounds that paid $3,679.
“I saved my best piers for last because of the dinner bell bite,” said Harris.
With only one hour to go before the 2 p.m. weigh-in at Tamarac Marina, Harris decided he had better flip those piers.
Targeting specific piers in Abbotts and Second creeks, Harris caught bass big enough to cull four times to boost his catch to its winning weight.
“I began and ended the day flipping,” said Harris. “I caught my fish with blue and black plastic worms in 5 to 7 feet of water. One keeper came off of rock; the other keepers came from piers.”
Runner-up Terry Trivette of Shoal also made an adjustment from practice to tournament day that enabled him to weigh-in 18-13 and collect $1,840.
“I practiced Friday and caught only small bass,” said Trivette. “I fished the same places Saturday and caught quality bass. The only change I made was switching to black-colored baits.”
Trivette tossed a black buzzbait for the morning bite, then used black plastic worms during the day.
Tommy Jones of Salisbury placed third with 16-1 and banked $1,225. New London’s Kevin Chandler took the big-fish prize of $480 with a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass that struck a jig. Robert Barrett of Youngsville finished first among the co-anglers with 13-04 and received $1,840.
Most of the boaters in the 96-man field struggled on a cloudy day at High Rock where only 20 limit catches came to the scales.