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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Penny's Bend White Bass 3/24/11

I went to bed last night with monster bass on my mind. I would get up at 5:30 and make the drive to my monster bass hotspot. It had rained a little in Cary last night but not a lot. I was hoping for good water conditions but that would have to wait to be seen because the  USGS has no gauging station on this flow.
I arrived at this place at aprox 7 am and the water was high and muddy. I turned around and headed back to Wake County, and on the drive back I figured that the Eno drainage may not have received as much rainfall so off to Penny's Bend it was for the spring White Bass Run.

You know it's time for the spring White Bass run when the Redbuds and Dogwoods are blooming.

Had to throw in this pic of my dogwood in my front yard. All of my neighbors talk about how nice this tree is.

Conditions. Air temp-50's on up into the 60's by the time I left. Water temp 62 degrees,and slightly up and stained.

I tried my usually dependable chartreuse jigs and nada. I then switched to a mini trap and it was on! Not really,  but 11 or 12 fish isn't too bad after last nights front. I heard they wore them out yesterday but I was pleased with these fish caught in 2 hrs or so after a front. Wish I could of hit it right before the front.

Here is the first of the day

probably the biggest of the day at 1.25 lbs

One that is full of eggs. The above one was also loaded with eggs.

A view downriver

and a view upriver

Most of these fish will run from 3/4 lb to 1 1/4 but there are bigger ones here.

Here are some of the lures I use for White Bass during the spring run on some of North Carolina's rivers.

Clockwise from top- Heddon Tiny Torpedo, Teeny Pop-R in bone color, Shyster, Cordell spot, Blue Fox #1 spinner in chartreuse(#2 is good and chrome is also good), and last is the lure they were hitting today is the Mini-trap.  Lots of other colors in these lures are good but I like chrome and chartreuse for White's.
Left out were the pink headed jigs I use alot (see "Poor Man's Tarpon" Sept 2009 ) http://mackinncblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/poor-mans-tarpon.html  regular Pop R's and  1/8 oz Gold Little Cleo spoons which are murder on White Bass in clear water.

I have 4 main spots I fish for Whites. Two I don't mind mentioning as they get a lot of pressure and I don't think my blog will cause them to get hammered anymore. Penny's Bend and the Haw River just above Jordan.  The other 2 IMO are the best so I will not mention them but almost any lake having a population of White Bass with a decent flow coming in will have a run.   ADDED. How could I forget a really good White bass spot?.....I don't know but Jordan dam is good April thru June.....

Here is probably my biggest white ever, You cant really tell the size in the picture but the lure is a Rogue that is 5 and 1/2 inches long so that will show you its a good fish, This fish weighed 3 lbs even and my next best one went 2-15 . One thing you can tell by the picture is how long ago I caught this fish is by looking at the Reel I was using!  1980's!!!   I will try to  get my 2-15 lb White Bass put on CD and post it soon.
 This fish is well over 3-1/2 times the length of the Rogue.

Since this is about White Bass I will throw in my favorite fish picture of all time(without my son)- my favorite is him smiling with a big Flathead.


Piedmont River Float for Bass 3/18

I couldn't find anyone to fish with so I called up my good friend Steve to see if he could go, LOL......Anyway, we hit up a local river to see what was up with this stretch and found some good spots. We didn't fish alot as were we mainly running and gunning checking out spots,  if you can call it that with an electric motor as our power.
The water was slightly stained and up with a water temp of 60 degrees. All fish were caught on spinnerbaits except one on a Cordell Spot.

Here is a nice Bass Steve got with a spinnerbait

Here is Steve with a Jack (Chain Pickerel ) that crushed his spinnerbait.

Look at this Bass, It's tail is half gone!

A nice view of the River

Another oddity for today is this Bass's bright red eyes. They were actually more red in person or is that more red in fish?......

We probably caught 8 bass but could of caught more but we were pre- fishing for an up-coming tournament and once we found fish we moved on to find other concentrations of fish. Today we probably found 5-6 really good spots but we will probably fish the Catawba river as that is where we crushed them last week.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whats in A Name ? The Little River (s) of North Carolina

So you hear they are wearing out the stripers  in the Roanoke River. No problem, easy to find the Roanoke and info on it. What about the Cape Fear?. You heard rumors of some monster catfish being caught out of this river. No problem either, everyone knows the Cape Fear and where it is. So now you hear someone mention the Little river. Crap!! where is the Little River? So the question is,  Whats in a Name?Wow. Everything  if you are a river in North Carolina and your name is the "Little River".  Which Little River? Well there are ONLY   7 Rivers in North Carolina with this name.

Here is a listing of these and I will to the best of my knowledge tell you what I know about them. I won't get specific on spots and access areas as that is best researched with a canoeing book or the NC Atlas  and Gazetteer.  I have fished 4 of the 7 and plan on fishing all of them.

l. The Little River that flows into Albemarle Sound.

This river is 21 miles long. From Albemarle sound to where Halls creek enters is 10 miles. This section averages 1 mile in width.  Noted for good Bass fishing, and bream fishing along with Striped Bass and White perch during certain seasons.  From Halls creek until the origin is 11 miles and this section averages 50' in width and is more noted for pickerel fishing and bream fishing.  Several of the tributaries have excellent fishing for Black Crappie , Chain Pickerel and Bream. Basically this is a small blackwater stream at first, then it broadens out as it reaches the sound.  I have not fished this one.

2. The Little River of the Catawba basin.

This river is truly a  "little" river.  It is a tributary of Jacobs Fork and from where it flows into Jacobs Fork to its origin is only 5 miles. This "river" averages only 6' in width and the fishery mainly consists  of rainbow trout.
I have not fished this river.

3. The Little River of the French Broad basin.

This Little river can be broken down into 3 sections. 1st is from The French Broad river to Cascade Lake. This section is 5  miles  with an avg width of 45'.  The fishery mainly consist of Rock bass, Redbreast , and Smallmouth bass. Looks like a very interesting section.
Cascade lake is aprox 150 acres and has Smallmouths, Largemouths, Rock Bass, Bream and some Rainbow trout.  The section from Cascade Lake to the origin is 11 miles and avgs 25' in width. This reach  has Rainbows and some Brown trout.  This section also looks very interesting. I have also not fished this river.

4. The Little River of the Neuse Basin. 1st one,  as the Neuse Basin has 2 Little Rivers!

I have fished this river. Only once recently and some quite a few years ago. This river is a tributary of the Eno. Its is more known  for one of Durhams water supply lakes, Little River Reservoir.  This Little river joins the Eno 3 miles above its confluence with the Flat(now underwater). It is 10 miles long until the confluence of the North and South forks of the Little, The reservoir is in this stretch. The average width is 33' and the fishery consists mainly of Redbreast, Largemouth and an occasional Roanoke Bass. The North fork goes on for another 12 miles with an avg width of 12' and the South Fork for another 13 miles until its origin with an avg width of 16'.  Both Forks have good fishing for redbreast but that is about it. Access is very limited on this river.
There is one park on this river, a cooperation between Durham and Orange Counties. Here are the links to The Little River Park.

Here are a few pictures of this river.


Below is a double on redbreast caught on a tiny torpedo. This is my 3rd double on fish. My first ever was a 4 lb and a 2lb bass on a single lure at Jordan and then several years later a small bass and a white bass on a single lure at Jordan.
Note: I caught another double on Redbreast 6 days later on the Little that flows into the Pee Dee..see below.

5. The 2nd Little River of the Neuse Basin.

I have fished this tributary . This tributary flows into the Neuse near Goldsboro and from there to its origin is 92 miles. It is one of the biggest tributaries of the Neuse (Contentnea creek being the biggest). That being said it is still a small flow and canoeing this river will mean a lot of dragging and portaging. The average width in the lower reach is 70 ' , the middle reach averages 45' in width and the upper 25 ' in width.  The fishery consists of Largemouth Bass, Redbreast, Bream, Shellcracker, Gar, Bowfin, Yellow Perch, Chain Pickerel, and  Hickory and American shad  mainly in the lower reaches during the spring run . Also,  there are a few Roanoke Bass in this river but your odds of catching one are near zero.  Don't count on catching any monsters in this river but it is a nice river .  There are not any impoundments on this river other than a couple of old small mill dams but Raleigh does have an 1100 acre water supply planned for this river set to be completed around 2019. This impoundment would be located just above Hwy 64.  Mitchell Mill State Natural Area is located just above the proposed reservoir. There are way too many bridge crossings to mention here so for info on access please refer to A PADDLERS GUIDE TO EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA by Bob Benner and Tom McCloud.

Here is a picture in the lower reach of this river.

A couple of pics to be added soon>>>>>

6. The Little River of the New River Basin.

This tributary of the New River can be broken down into 3 sections. The first section is 10 miles long with an average width of 75'. This is Smallie and Rock Bass water with a few Trout. The next section is 4 miles with an average width of 26' , This is mainly trout water with some rock bass. The upper section is 3 miles with an average width of 15'. This upper section is all Trout water.  I have caught all 3 kinds of trout in this river and also some river chubs.

7. The Little River of the Yadkin (Pee Dee) River Basin.

This Little river flows into the upper end of Blewett Falls Lake. Mile 25 of the Pee Dee River.  This river is a tad under 60 miles in length.  The lower section has some spots over 100' wide and the middle section averages 70' in width. The upper section averages 30 ' in width. This river is a very nice scenic river to explore but don't count on many lunkers unless you fish one of the mill ponds in the middle section of this river near Troy, NC.  The fishery is a great place for Redbreast sunfish, Some other fishes found here are  Largemouth, Jack, Smallmouths (non -native), Roanoke Bass (non-native) Crappie, gar, and Flathead's.
This river has too many places to mention for access so refer to Bob Benners book for info on that.

Here are a few pics of this stream.

Below is my 4th double ever on fish and my 2nd in 6 days!.  The double 6 days before this one were caught on the Little River of the Eno/Neuse basin...see above

So now do you really  want to fish the Little River?.....oh almost forgot,  There is an Upper Little River and a Lower Little River of the Cape Fear Basin and And Upper Little and Lower Little Rivers of the Catawba Basin...maybe I will do some reporting on the Cape Fear tributaries soon.

Just be glad you don't wish to fish Bear Creek in NC...only 30 bear creeks in NC, or how about Big Branch Creek? only 38 of them in NC! or how bout Laurel Branch?..only 41 Laurel Branches in NC!!!!  or how bout Mill Creek?.....just 60 Mill creeks in NC!!!!.......

The winner if you want to fish a waterway in NC with the most is Long Branch......there are only 74 Long Branch's  in NC.......yes! seventy-four..........

So, Whats in a Name???????????......

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shad Fishing Trip Turns Into Bass Fishing Trip

Wanted to catch  my first shad of the year but I had a problem. My son had early release from school today (11:45) so I could either wait on him and fish closer to home,  or leave out early and fish by myself way down east where I know the shad are. I chose to fish with him but that presented another problem. Leaving after lunch meant that we couldn't  reach my hotspot on the Neuse River without being limited on fishing time and the shad may or may not be  far up the Neuse yet, but I would take that chance rather than to not spend time with him.

We arrived at the private ramp at aprx 1pm and the journey was on. The main river was slightly stained but not bad.  We threw rigs consisting of 2 pink headed chartreuse jigs,  the bottom weighing 1/8 oz and the top 1/16 oz. Water tempature in the river was 52 degrees and after trying several spots and then the mouth of a tributary without any hits we headed up the creek which was a toasty 56 degrees.

Here we are making our way up this tributary. Larry Dalberg can plug Jack Links Jerky so what the heck,  here is my son plugging Old Trapper Jerky! 

This creek is pretty unique as it is blackwater with some cypreess trees and  also has areas of rocky bluffs. I spent many afternoons on this creek in the 90's after work catching Bream, Bass, Cats and Shad.
Here is a nice Bald Cypress tree as we head upstream.

After getting no hits on my shad rigs I decided to start throwing a spinnerbait for bass. This was my reward on my second cast!

I then put on a Yellow Shyster hoping to get a Jack ( Chain Pickeral ) out of this creek and this little guy hammered it.

After heading back downstream to the river I pulled this little guy out of a ditch feeding the river.

No Shad today but I would  rather spend time with my son vs catching alot of shad. There is always Weldon and Wiggins Mill.  Almost forgot, we saw 5 deer feeding along side the river and several wood ducks and I personally saw 1 of the woodies up close as he about took my head off zooming down the creek!.