• Freshwater Fishing

    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
    Win $10,000 in this weekend's Tim Hill Memorial Trout Tournament in Cherokee.

    Win $10,000 this weekend for catching trout in Cherokee

    What’s better than fishing in the beautiful surroundings of the Southern Appalachians? How about winning $10,000 for catching a fish there? You can do it this weekend by fishing in the rivers of Cherokee’s Qualla Boundary, if you catch the right fish.

    July 11 at 10:55am
    The smallmouth are biting in Western N. C.'s rivers, and these tips from Slippery Friction Fishing will help you catch your share.

    Catch more Western N.C. smallmouth with this unconventional tactic

    Western North Carolina’s rivers are keeping anglers busy and happy, especially those fishing for smallmouth bass in the New and French Broad Rivers. While anglers are catching their share of river bronzebacks on a variety of lures and techniques, the topwater bite has been especially good. 

    July 08 at 1:05pm
    Guide Marty Schaffner shows off a nice New River smallmouth bass that hit a topwater popping bug.

    Fish North Carolina’s “river of bronze”

    Last July, the New River appeared similar but also different than 42 years earlier, the last time I floated the stream in a canoe. It was 1974, and local residents and conservation organizations were fighting a plan to dam the pristine river that crosses the northwestern corner of North Carolina. Back then, no guides carried fishing parties on the river, and no businesses catering to anglers and paddlers had sprouted along its banks.

    July 01 at 7:00am
    Hot weather and hot crappie fishing go together at Kerr Lake, at least for guide Keith Wray, who concentrates on deep brush piles.

    Brush up on Kerr slabs

    Not everyone awakens on a balmy, summer morning excited about crappie fishing, but if you do, chances are you are privy to a selection of deep brush piles that are sure to be laced with prime panfish when they evacuate shallow water in search of cover. 

    July 01 at 7:00am
    Guide Rodger Taylor won a midnight battle with this big Lake Wylie catfish.

    Wylie flatheads thrive after dark

    Flathead catfish in Lake Wylie are growing in both numbers and size, and in the middle of summer, the best time to fish for these monsters is well after dark for three good reasons, according to guide Rodger Taylor of Rock Hill.

    June 28 at 4:07pm
    Gus Gustafson said nice blue catfish dominate the landscape at Lake Norman once summer arrives.

    Summer stirs up Lake Norman’s cats

    Guide Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures said fishing for blue, flathead and channel cats heats up in July at Lake Norman.

    June 28 at 3:12pm
    15-year-old Landon Evans of Benson set the new North Carolina record for blue catfish Saturday with this 117.5 pounder.

    Benson teen topples blue cat record

    Last Saturday began like many others for 15-year-old Landon Evans of Benson, but it became special that evening when he caught a 117.5-pound blue catfish that is the biggest ever taken from Lake Gaston, the biggest ever caught in North Carolina waters, and possibly a line-class world record and junior angler world record.

    June 16 at 11:58am
    Freshwater grass shrimp are common around Shearon Harris’ grass beds, and they’re a killer bait for shellcrackers, but not readily available at bait shops.

    Freshwater grass shrimp are a killer bait for shellcrackers at North Carolina’s Shearon Harris Lake

    It may be common knowledge to some, but it’s probably safe to say that most anglers are unaware that the grass beds in Shearon Harris Lake are literally teeming with freshwater grass shrimp, which make an excellent shellcracker bait, according to guide Greg Griffin.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    Periods of falling barometric pressure will encourage mountain trout like this brown to feed.

    Expert tips will help trout fishermen

    After decades of observing and studying, Lance Milks of Greensboro is an encyclopedia of trout knowledge.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    The tenkara style of fishing for trout will be on display at the two-day Tenkara Jam this October in Cherokee.

    Tenkara Jam set for October

    The third-annual Appalachian Tenkara Jam is scheduled Oct. 15-16 in Cherokee, with tenkara fishing lessons offered by the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    White perch are a bonus for fishermen trolling spoons and plugs for Lake James smallmouth bass.

    How are white perch, herring changing Lake James’ fishery?

    Guide Colt Bass said that Lake James is developing and changing as a freshwater fishery because of the presence of two species and the reappearance of another.

    June 15 at 7:00am