Outdoors report: Muddy water can mean trouble on lake
Water conditions on the Yadkin River lakes continue to be muddy to heavily stained with water levels at near full.
Flood gates at High Rock dam were in operation for most of last week as continued rainfall filled the lake. A fair amount of logs and other floating hazards are scattered across most main channel areas of High Rock Lake. Boaters should maintain a sharp lookout when traveling the main channel, and it is strongly recommended that before you pull skiers or tubers, you should criss-cross the area you plan to use and look for these hazards, which many times float just below the surface.
Although thunderstorms and heavy rain were common many evenings, fishermen found fish ready and waiting in most areas.
Surface action has been great on High Rock Lake as white bass, largemouth bass, white perch and small stripers chase and bust schools of fry shad. Areas that are active most days include the mouth of Dutch Second Creek near Cow Island, Bean Island near Black’s Bottoms and the mouth of Panther Creek. Early morning and late evening are the best times to try. Use rooster tailed spinners, small surface plugs and jigs with curly tail action.
Hot weather has moved mid-day largemouth bass to deep water. Pig and jig, crank baits and Carolina rigged lizards are top choices for fishermen. As the water clears on the main channel, fishing spots there will improve. Places to consider that have clearer water now include the submerged road bed in Abbott’s Creek just before N.C. 8 bridge. The one danger buoy closest to the southeast side of the creek marks the submerged concrete bridge pillars at about 25 feet deep. The “S” curve in Flat Swamp Creek has rocky dropoffs that are on both sides of this narrow channel, which hits 25 feet deep. Bass weighing up to 4 pounds are commonly caught, with several over 5 pounds reeled in this past week.
Crappie fishing has remained steady with catches up to one pound common. Many smaller fish are likely to be caught before a slab crappie takes the bait. During the heat of the day try under the shade of various highway bridges. Crappie can be found in concentrated schools near bridge supports and drop-offs. Night fishing is also paying off with good catches, low heat and very little boat traffic except on the weekends.
Boaters fishing near and around bridges are reminded not to anchor or tie a boat in a manner that blocks the normal navigation of the often narrow waterways in these areas.
Catfish have been hitting great on High Rock and across the other Yadkin River lakes. On High Rock, channel catfish are the most commonly caught, with large ones hitting 10 pounds. On Tuckertown Lake, flathead catfish over 30 pounds are seen regularly throughout June and July. On Badin Lake, blue catfish are caught in good numbers, with fish over 30 pounds seen regularly.
On Badin Lake and Lake Norman, only one blue catfish over 32 inches can be kept per fisherman.
– Jug fishermen must place their name and address on each jug or “noodle.” This also is required on limb lines, set hooks and trot lines.
– A maximum of 70 jugs per boat may be used.
– No live bait may be placed on jugs, trot lines, set hooks or limb lines.
– When catching bait with a cast net, all game fish must be immediately returned to the water. Letting those bluegill “rest” in your live well before throwing them back will usually result in a citation if caught.
Saltwater fishing licenses
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is urging beach-bound anglers to purchase a saltwater fishing license, also known as a Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL), before leaving home to avoid potential long lines at tackle and bait shops, sporting good stores and other wildlife service agent locations along the coast.
You can purchase a license by:
– Calling the Wildlife Resources Commission at 1-888-248-6834. Hours of operation are: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 7 days a week;
– Visiting a local Wildlife Service agent. Most are located in bait-and-tackle shops, hunting and sporting good stores and larger chain stores;
– Going to one of six Division of Marine Fisheries offices located along the coast. For locations, visit the agency’s Web site, www.ncfisheries.net.
A license is required for anyone 16 years and older to fish recreationally in the state’s coastal fishing waters, which include sounds, coastal rivers and their tributaries out to three miles into the ocean. Recreational anglers who catch fish from three miles to 200 miles offshore also need this license in order to transport fish back to the shore.
Prices vary depending on residency, age, duration and type of license purchased. For residents, the annual cost for a CRFL is $15; for a 10-day license, $5. For non-residents, the annual cost for a CRFL is $30; for a 10-day license, $10.
Dam repairs close Trout Lake
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding anglers that Trout Lake in Ashe County remains closed to public fishing.
The popular angling site, which is owned by the Ashe County Wildlife Club and managed by the Commission as a Delayed Harvest trout fishery, was closed in February due to needed repairs to the dam.
However, dam repairs, as well as a broken water control structure, are still pending the approval of necessary permits and have not begun. Commission biologists expect work to repair the dam will begin in July, although the actual start date will depend on when the necessary permits are approved.
Repairs to the dam will be completed first, and Trout Lake will re-open to public fishing temporarily so that anglers can harvest as many trout as possible before the lake is partially drained to fix water control structure.
Hunting season changes
Although some rules were approved by the N.C. Wildlife Resources commissioners, and were to go in to effect this summer, they have now been placed on hold due to written opposition by some sportsmen or groups.
A rule requires proposed regulation that has 10 or more written letters of opposition to be reviewed and approved by the General Assembly. Since that has occurred, the following proposals are not going into effect:
– Sunday hunting proposals (bow and arrow and falconry). No Sunday hunting (bow and arrow and falconry) will be allowed this fall. The earliest the proposals could go into effect are the fall 2010 season. Only the General Assembly can change the law to allow firearms hunting on Sunday.
– The proposal to allow crossbows without a Wildlife Commission permit is subject to Legislative review. Therefore, only hunters holding a disabled crossbow permit may hunt with a crossbow.
– No changes to the deer season based on proposals presented in January will take effect until there has been a Legislative review. The muzzleloader season remains at one week, the daily bag limit is still in effect, the Northwestern deer season isn’t extended to Jan. 1. The earliest the proposals adopted by the Commission could go into effect is the fall 2010 season.
– Live foxes and coyotes taken under a depredation permit may be sold to controlled hunting preserves. The Wildlife Commission’s proposal to prohibit this practice is now subject to Legislative review.
– Deer taken under a depredation permit may be used only by the landowner or given to a charitable organization with an officer’s written authorization. The proposal to loosen this rule is subject to review.
– Upcoming deer season dates for 2009-2010:
Eastern: Bow and arrow- Sept. 12 to Oct. 9
Muzzleloader- Oct. 10 to Oct. 16
Gun- Oct. 17 to Jan. 1
Central: Bow and arrow- Sept. 12 to Nov. 6
Muzzleloader- Nov. 7 to Nov. 13
Gun- Nov. 14 to Jan. 1
Northwestern: Bow and arrow- Sept. 12 to Nov. 13
Muzzleloader- Nov. 14 to Nov. 20
Gun- Nov. 21 to Dec. 19
Western: Bow and arrow- Sept. 7 to Oct. 3 and Oct. 12 to Nov. 21
Muzzleloader- Oct. 5 to Oct. 10
Gun- Nov. 23 to Dec. 12
n n nE-mail Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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