North Carolina Sportsman

Lexington guide exults in tremendous High Rock striper catch

Tony Garitta - May 29, 2014
Guide Jerry Hill of Lexington caught an 8-fish limit of striped bass on High Rock Lake this past Saturday that averaged better than 10 pounds per fish, anchored by this 11.3-pound fish.
Tony Garitta
Guide Jerry Hill of Lexington caught an 8-fish limit of striped bass on High Rock Lake this past Saturday that averaged better than 10 pounds per fish, anchored by this 11.3-pound fish.

Guide Jerry Hill of Lexington had an unforgettable Memorial Day weekend at High Rock Lake. On Saturday, Hill caught eight stripers totaling 81.4 pounds, with individual weights of 11.3, 11.2, 10.6, 10.6, 10.4, 9.4, 9.3 and 8.6 pounds.

Hill originally had a guide trip booked for Saturday, but when one client cancelled, his buddy also decided not to fish.

“They really missed out on something special,” said Hill.

Left to fish by himself, Hill set out Saturday morning trying to catch some white bass outside the mouth of Sailboat Neck.

When that effort failed, Hill motored near the mouth of Second Creek, where he put out his striper rigs.

By 11:30, he had boated eight big stripers using a combination of downriggers and lead core line, with his baits running about 14 feet deep.

During that feeding frenzy, Hill thought he had an enormous striper after one rod buckled and he couldn’t control the fish.

“It turned out to be a double with two stripers on the same rig,” said Hill.

Hill’s downrigger outfit consists of a rod and a reel spooled with 30-pound line with the line tied to a 3-way swivel. A 2 -foot leader is tied to one ring of the swivel; an 8-foot leader is tied to the remaining swivel. For the leaders, Hill used 20-pound line.

The short leader holds a 3/8-ounce homemade lime bucktail with a lemon/lime plastic worm, while the long leader held a 3/8-ounce leadhead jig with a Sassy Shad in chartreuse/glitter.

The lead core rig with 36-pound line had a similar arrangement, with a 3-way swivel and two leaders of different lengths holding bucktail and Sassy Shad. Hill let out three colors of lead-core line.

Hill is betting the next clients he has booked at High Rock won’t cancel once they hear of his recent catch.