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Outdoors report: Stripers, crappie among the fish biting these days

Fishing has hit high gear on High Rock and the other Yadkin River lakes.
Crappie have moved shallow and can be caught often in less than 3 feet of water near most any structure.
Minnows are the top choice of most bank fishermen. Consider File Road on the Alcoa gamelands that border Crane Creek, and Bringle Ferry Road near the bridge closest to Tamarac Marina.
Boaters are doing well with a variety of jigs, catching fish in spots lakewide.
Fishing at High Rock dam has been fast and furious, with striped bass drawing a daily crowd of early morning fishermen. Stripers weighing from 8 to 12 pounds are common, with one caught on last Wednesday that hit a whopping 30 pounds. It was caught on a 1-ounce lead head with a white sassy shad plastic lure from the wall on the Davidson County side of the tail race.
Mornings and evenings are the best times, although anytime throughout the day works as stripers move up to the dam to spawn. The next two weeks should be very productive at both High Rock and Tuckertown dams tailraces for stripers.
White perch are hitting all day at High Rock dam. Fishermen using worms and cut bait are literally carrying them out by the cooler and bucket full. For the best action, fish on the Davidson County side on the wall at the High Rock dam tailrace. Cast directly in front of the railing, about 10-30 feet from the wall. Use up to 2 ounces of weight to hit the bottom in the swift current. The water must be flowing from the power plant discharge for the best fishing.
Channel catfish have been hitting as well in the same areas. Fish up to 5 pounds are common and can be caught on a wide variety of bait.
Follow the rules
Important legal requirements:
– Fishing licenses are required in all public waters in North Carolina.
– Children under 16 are exempt from fishing license requirements.
– Different lakes have different creel and size limits on certain game fish. Check regulations for the specific lake or river you intend to fish before keeping a questionable fish.
– On the Yadkin/Pee Dee River from Idols dam to the South Carolina line, including all the lakes in between, a minimum 8-inch size limit is in effect on crappie. A total maximum creel limit of 20 per fisherman, per day is allowed.
– It is against the law to remove the head or tail of any fish that has a creel and size limit so they cannot be measured while fishing/on the lake. This does not include when you return home to clean your catch.
– All game fish must be immediately returned unharmed to the water when caught with a cast net while catching baitfish.
Snakehead in Lake Wylie
McAdenville angler Gary Upton caught a 31-inch northern snakehead from Lake Wylie on April 19.
He was fishing the Paw Creek arm in Mecklenburg County when he caught the fish, which weighed 12 pounds, 7 ounces. An N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission fisheries biologist initially identified the fish as a northern snakehead. Dr. Wayne Starnes, curator of fishes at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, confirmed the identification.
The capture of a northern snakehead is potentially bad news for the Lake Wylie fishery, as well as Lake Wylie anglers. Northern snakehead, which are native to eastern Asia, can cause undesirable impacts on native fish by competing for food and habitat. The Wildlife Commission passed a regulation in 2004 making it illegal to transport, purchase, possess or sell live snakeheads in North Carolina.
Women’s weekend getaway
The deadline to register for the upcoming Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) weekend retreat is 5 p.m. on May 8.
Scheduled for May16-17 at McDowell Nature Preserve, a pristine forest along a scenic lake near Charlotte, the event offers comfortable rustic accommodations for the overnight stay and a fun, educational opportunity to learn outdoor skills.
Basic fishing, archery, lake and stream ecology, kayaking, basic camping and backpacking, and outdoor cooking are among the activities planned.
“This weekend event will explore a wide array of outdoor experiences for skill levels that range from beginner to advanced,” said BB Gillen, outdoor skills coordinator for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “You’ll learn from expert instructors, who share in the fun and camaraderie.”
Participation is open to women 18 and older. Registration is $85 and covers the cost of materials and accommodations. Contact BB Gillen at 919-218-3638 or bb.gillen@ncwildlife.org to register.
Threadfin shad stocked
To enhance fishing opportunities on three reservoirs in western North Carolina, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission stocked more than 40,000 threadfin shad in lakes Santeetlah, Rhodhiss and James.
Threadfin shad, which range in size from 3 to 7 inches as adults, are an excellent prey species for most game fish.
Despite sensitivity to cooler water, biologists consider threadfin shad a more suitable fish for stocking in freshwater impoundments than other forage fishes, such as blueback herring and alewife.
n n nE-mail Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources at huntfishguy66@aol.com.

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