• Freshwater Fishing

    The edges of weed lines are great places to find nice summer bass that aren’t in deep water.

    Brush are holding crappie at Santee

    August delivers “crappie consistency” to the Santee Cooper lakes. With water temperatures near or at the zenith for the year, slabs are ganged up around identifiable underwater targets in both Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie.

    Yesterday at 9:19pm
    Trout like this one are easy pickings for anglers who don't mind getting their feet wet in mountain streams.

    This 1 tip will help you catch more mountain trout

    I lived in western North Carolina for two years some time ago. While living in the little town of Bakersville, which sits on the other side of the Roan Mountain from Unicoi, Tennessee, I mastered the art of fishing the small blue ribbon trout streams that ran through the area. The problem was, I only mastered it a few days before moving away from there.

    August 15 at 8:38am
    Blue catfish will strike baits at a variety of depths during the summer, but keep several baits off the bottom to make sure you’ve got the water column covered.

    Terminal tackle tips for big catfish

    Zakk Royce’s terminal rigging includes more bells, whistles, and innovations than one might shake a Big Cat Fever rod at. Each component is vital to the whole, and when combined, the end result is a system that rarely hangs up or tangles.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    A Sabiki rig, with multiple tiny lures, is a fish-catching machine, especially for anglers who need white perch for catfish bait.

    Pick a perch for Gaston cats

    Despite the alluring aroma of gizzard shad, blue catfish at Lake Gaston have another item on the menu to choose from in late summer.  While those gizzards are the building blocks of trophy catfish, blues will sometimes overlook them in lieu of the white perch, a more-fortifying meal when they’re worn down from summer heat.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Zakk Royce landed this 90-pound blue catfish on Aug. 10.

    Murfreesboro angler catches 90-pound catfish

    In an attempt to locate cooler, more oxygenated water, Zakk Royce of Murfreesboro headed up lake from his hot spots on the lower end of Lake Gaston to the upper, riverine stretches. There, he found temperatures 5 degrees cooler in the old river channel and a solid bite that led to a 90-pound blue catfish on Aug. 10.

    August 14 at 11:24pm
    Low water conditions have plagued fishermen on the Tuckasegee River most of the summer.

    Hot + dry = tough fishing

    A successful trout-fishing outing during hot and dry summer conditions depends on three factors: when you fish, where you fish and how you fish.

    August 12 at 9:00am
    Brett Meager poses with her personal best, 88-pound catfish, that she recently caught on Kerr Lake.

    Creedmoor female angler catches 88-pound Kerr Lake catfish

    As the owner of NC Marine Fabrication, Austin Sartin of Burlington has placed ample thought into the kind of rod holding systems that help people catch fish – including his own. While enjoying some down time at Kerr Lake on August 7th, Sartin tested his outfit while putting Brett Meager of Creedmoor on her personal best blue catfish, a beast that stretched their scales to 88 pounds.

    August 10 at 10:42am
    Once Lexington’s Chris Brown discovered Lake Thom-A-Lex, he made it his go-to lake for bass fishing for reasons like this chunky one.

    Little lake, big bass - Little municipal lake has answers for North Carolina bass anglers

    For years, Lexington’s Chris Brown traveled 45 minutes or more to big, well-known lakes, including High Rock, Badin and Norman, to fish for largemouth bass, all the while bypassing a small body of water teeming with bass almost in his own back yard.

    August 10 at 10:32am
    A beautiful, wild brook trout is one of the real joys of fishing on tiny, isolated wild-trout streams in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    The wild, wild west - Wild trout are many a fisherman’s ultimate target, especially in western North Carolina

    For most residents of North Carolina, the summer’s heat and humidity are givens. Fishing one of the state’s trout steams designed as “wild trout” is a great way to make an end run around the elements.

    Jake Rash, a biologist at the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission’s hatchery at Marion, said that of the 5,300 miles of public trout waters within the state’s boundaries, around 4,300 are designated as wild-trout waters. For the most part, these streams are in high country, cooler than places most of us live.

    August 01 at 7:00am
    Enormous blue catfish are being regularly caught at Lake Gaston, where multiple state-record fish have been caught in the last nine months.

    Summer cats, top to bottom - Catch Lake Gaston’s summer catfish

    Zakk Royce became a household name in the fishing community this past December when he broke North Carolina’s state record for blue catfish, not once, but twice in a period of less than 24 hours at Lake Gaston — first with a 91-pound fish and then a 105-pounder he connected with soon after shuttling the first fish back to its original location to be released.  

    August 01 at 7:00am
    Hungry blue catfish recovering from their spawning activities are a good bet for fishermen dragging cut bait around mussel beds on the lower end of Kerr Lake.

    Shell out for Kerr catfish

    Midsummer marks the end of the blue catfish spawn at Kerr Lake on the North Carolina/Virginia border. While going unnoticed by many anglers, Wes Jordan of Creedmoor patterns the tail-end of their reproductive cycle, heading to the lower side of the lake where mussel beds abound to drop in on blues recuperating after their duties.

    July 29 at 4:16pm
    Current seams, where two different currents meet, are often marked by surface bubbles knows as “foam.”

    Smallmouths are at home under New River’s foam

    What’s the best way to approach raft, canoe or kayak fishing for smallmouth bass in a mountain river with moving current, as opposed to a reservoir.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Once protected and publicized, the beautiful New River in northwestern North Carolina became a haven for anglers and paddlers alike.

    Long battle over New River set precedent to save streams

    The successful, 14-year battle to save the New River in North Carolina and southwestern Virginia in the 1960s and 1970s created a coalition that local residents, environmental groups, conservation organizations, anglers, businesses, state agencies and politicians have used to preserve natural resources elsewhere.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    When summer slabs get extremely deep, small jigging spoons are a better method for drawing strikes that fishing with jigheads and soft-plastic artificials.

    Head upriver for Kerr Lake crappie during drawdown conditions

    It’s no secret that Kerr Lake’s status as a flood-control reservoir makes it subject to excessive pooling during wet seasons,  but since Lake Gaston downstream began furnishing water to the Virginia Beach area in 1998, Kerr also has the potential to see major drawdowns in summer droughts.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    In low-light or stained-water conditions, a silver jigging spoon can becomea gold with an application of  Spike-It’s lure dye.

    For quick color fixes, pull out that container of dye

    Ask two anglers for their opinion on lure color, and you may get two different answers. But the general consensus is that silver or chrome spoons perform best on bright sunny  days with clear conditions and gold or painted spoons are best for cloudy days or stained water.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Fried, baked or grilled, trout are easy to prepare and easy to cook.

    Make a meal of trout

    To keep or not to keep a trout is sometimes a question and sometimes a dilemma.

     Conservation-based groups such as Trout Unlimited are militant in their approach to trout fishing: release, never keep. As a long-time member of Trout Unlimited, I appreciate its diligence in preserving trout and untiring work to improve trout habitat. I just don’t embrace the strict catch-and-release policy.

    July 12 at 9:00am