Outdoors report: Keep fishing, if you can stand the heat, humidity
Fishing on High Rock Lake has been great for those willing to brave the hot, humid days and the evening thunderstorms.
Two fishermen checked last week used six dozen minnows in two and half hours trolling on main channel sandbars. Fishermen are catching crappie just under one pound and large numbers of white perch.
Night fishing continues to produce good numbers and fair sized fish. Places to try include the mouth of Crane Creek, troll just off the danger buoys on both sides of the mouth of the creek, where it goes into the main channel.
White, pearl, and yellow colors are working well most days, although for a sure thing use minnows or tip jigs with minnows. On windy days, consider placing up to one ounce of weight on the bottom of the rig, then troll with the weight bouncing across the bottom.
Other areas to try include the mouth of Dutch Second Creek, Abbott’s Creek on the left side just before you enter the narrowest section of the mouth, near the danger buoy and areas off Bean Isle, before Eagle Point park.
Catfish have continued to be active feeders most days, with channel cats easily caught across the lake and Yadkin River. Fishermen using jugs are almost always successful catching fish up to 10 pounds most every trip. Early mornings and late afternoon into the night is the best times to try this method. Remember regulations require name and address on each jug, with a maximum of 70 jugs per boat in use.
White bass, largemouth bass and small stripers have been found surface feeding in the early mornings and late evenings across High Rock and Tuckertown lakes. If fishing in the mornings, plan on hitting the water at daybreak and fishing until about 9 a.m. After that, the heat ends most surface activity.
In the late evening from about 5 p.m. until dark, look for feeding schools of fish off most shallow points, creek mouths, sandbars and shallow coves. Top water plugs, rooster-tailed spinners and an assortment of plastics that mimic small shad often prove to be the top choices. White bass up to 2 pounds, largemouth bass under 2 pounds and lots of white perch are commonly caught, with a few small stripers under 18 inches most days.
Fishing below High Rock Dam
Fishing at the tailrace of High Rock Dam has been productive most days the past several weeks. Crappie, white bass and stripers have been seen most everyday that water is discharged from the power plant.
Although times are not published and each day may differ by several hours, lately the discharge of water has started around 10:30 a.m. and usually lasts until about 8 p.m. This can greatly vary according to electric demand and operating schedules. One thing for sure, when water is discharged the fishing can be great.
The Davidson County side of the lake appears to be the best place to try most days. The closer you can get toward the dam the better. On the Rowan County side, the rocks closest to the swift water produces the best action.
Use caution when moving onto distant rocks, especially when the water is not being discharged from the plant. Water will rise quickly once the discharge begins, and rocks will be submerged. Listen for the sirens that sound off several minutes before activation of the power turbines. If fishing and the power plant stops the discharge of water, the water level will drop quickly, exposing numerous rocks and new places to fish from.
Use caution when moving to freshly exposed rocks. Take it from an experienced “expert,” they are very slippery. It is wise to dress and be equipped with things you don’t mind getting wet, because coming or going on the rocks can easily result in an unexpected dip in the lake.
Wear a life jacket (PFD) when wading or fishing from the rocks.
– Choose footwear that has good traction and ankle support.
– Do not take small children out onto the most distant rocks. Sudden raising or lowering of the water level can occur and could be dangerous.
– Limit the amount of gear you carry. It can be difficult enough just jumping from rock to rock, even without trying to carry a 120 quart cooler. A small backpack is usually the best choice.
Hunting season dates
Dove: Sept. 5 – Oct. 10
Daily Bag limit 15
Season opens at noon on Sept. 5, then 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset thereafter
Canada geese: Sept. 1-30 statewide
Daily Bag limit 15
The area west of U.S. 17 only, expanded hunting methods are allowed for Canada geese. These include:
– shooting hours are extended to half hour after sunset,
– unplugged guns are permitted,
– electronic calls are permitted in this area only during September.
Teal: Sept. 12 ń Sept. 30 (East of U.S. 17 only)
Daily bag limit four, including blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal.
Deer: (Archery) Sept. 12- Nov. 6 (Eastern,Central,Northwestern season areas)
Sept. 7- Nov. 13( Western Deer Season only).
Youth hunters challenge
Teams and individuals from North Carolina topped the competition at the Youth Hunter Education Challenge at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, N.M.
In he 24th annual national championship, Yadkin County’s two Forbush teams took first place in both senior and junior divisions. Park Ridge Sharpshooters of Stanly County came in third in the junior division.
Austin Warner, of West Montgomery High School, took first place in the overall senior individual division.
The Youth Hunter Education Challenge is a week-long series of events, featuring shooting competitions in .22-caliber rifle at knock-down targets, muzzleloader at knock-down targets, shotgun on a sporting clays course and archery at three dimensional game targets. The non-shooting competition tests consist of orienteering skills, wildlife identification, a written hunter responsibility and ethics exam, and a hunter safety trail test.
Some 350 youth competitors, adult coaches and parents attended this year’s event. Some 50,000 young people take part in a youth hunter safety and skills competition events across the United States and Canada annually. Hunter education is required for all first-time hunting license buyers. For more information, go to www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0031.
North Carolina schools involved were Forbush, Fall Creek, Park Ridge, Farmville, Jones County, Davidson, South Stanly and West Montgomery.
E-mail Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources at email@example.com.