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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lake Mayo - Jack ( Chain Pickerel ) Capital of the World

Ok, here in North Carolina we Have the Rockfish Capital of the World but I also believe we have the "Jack" Capital as well. Jack (Chain Pickerel ) live in the Piedmont and coastal plain of  North Carolina. Usually they are more common in down east blackwater creeks and millponds but the Piedmont has some good Jack waters as well. Lake Cammack in Burlington is one along with some other Piedmont millponds but nowhere in NC (in my opinion) can you catch as many Jack as in Lake Mayo.  I am usually a river fisherman but do "stray" once in a while. Today was one of those days. Lots of rain had all my favorite rivers and streams running high.    I knew if I went anywhere today it had to be Lake Mayo as Mayo Creek that feeds it is not big enough to muddy the whole Lake. I used to fish Mayo a lot back in the 80's but only fish it ocasionally now. When I was 14 and 15 I  used to Rabbit hunt a lot of the land that is now underwater.

Heck, I almost didn't go.  Warm weather and then last night it dips into the 30's with Bright bluebird skies today 3.28.12. No way would I even get a bite today. After taking care of some family business today I almost went back home and didn't fish today.  But fish I did, Good choice though no lunkers were caught, the number of bites surprised me. I arrived at the launch at aprox 5pm and fished till dark at 8.pm . The water temp was 65 degrees and I decided to mainly throw a white booyah spinnerbait . I also threw a Rogue and a Mepps minnow  but all bites came on the spinnerbait. Here is the today's lure of choice.
Here is the first bass of 6 caught. I lost 2 dinks and 1 spinnerbait as well.































This is another bass caught ...most caught today were small like this one but still fun to catch!




This is one of 2 Jacks. I didn't notice the really red tail until I got home and looked at the pictures ..They must be spawning right now.  I probably had 10 hits from  jacks but all  hits not aggressive and only 2 hooked. I actually watched several hits near the canoe but couldn't get a hook set on them.

































Right at dark the air temp had dropped to almost 50 but I was still getting hits on the spinnerbait.  Thanks for looking,  Mack

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Eastern North Carolina Blackwater Paddle

Several of my places I like to fish were high so I decided to hit up my White Shad hotspot at first light.
2 hrs of fishing and I came up with one hit. Bummer. I then left and went to a Blackwater stream about 30 minutes farther east in Wayne County.  This was the first trip I have made here in a canoe so I knew it would  mostly be a recon trip.  The water here was slightly high which makes for tough fishing in any lowland  stream as the fish have much more room to spread out.

                                                        

Here is the view as I head upstream.


This is a fellow paddler I encountered on the way up. He was a very nice man who didn't even have a fishing rod with him?



I started off throwing a White Booyah spinnerbait and then threw a Black Bush Hog spinnerbait with only a few hits. The couple of hits I had may have been crappie as i did catch 1 Black Crappie on the spinnerbait.
Knowing they are not solitary, I then threw a chartreuse grub on my ultra lite and picked up a few more but it was nothing to write home about.  I still had a great time as this water has to be loaded with fish, I will just have to figure them out or get an earlier start.  

Here is a view of another stream entering this flow 
I also saw lots of birds including some loud Red Tailed Hawks.

Mack

Sunday, March 18, 2012

First Bass Float of the Year

Jeff (Fishwhisperer)  and myself have been planning a river fishing  trip for 2 years on a river we fish often, but  on a very hard to get in section and  a very difficult portage at the end. Yesterday 3.17.12 was the day and we got a very early start and  arrived at waters edge  at daylight  My game plan today was to  throw a white Booyah spinnerbait and only change if that wasn't working.  I ended up throwing the spinnerbait 95 percent of the time and the rogue 5 percent ...maybe......
The water was slightly stained and 63 degrees warm with an air temp of 56 to start out with. Immediately they were pouncing on my white spinnerbait. This was my biggest for the day  and 4th or 5th caught.

You can tell it is still pretty dark but the fish were hammering the spinnerbait at first light. This bite  lasted about 1 - 1.5hrs of the float and then it died.  I switched to a Roque for awhile and caught a small bass on it and a decent crappie.




another spinnerbait bass



Here is Jeff's best bass of the day. He was wearing them out on topwater and sometimes a spinnerbait.

Here are few more
 Jeff had gotten about 100 yards ahead of me and I heard him yell something about herons. I was thinking "hasn't he seen a heron before"??? Then when I get up to where he was there are all these Herons in a tree squawking at me. This is the first heron rookery I have seen directly on a North Carolina Piedmont flow. Usually around here they have their nest off the major water course in a swamp beside the river . The only thing i can fiqure is this section rarely gets floated so they felt comfortable nesting there. You can't tell it from the picture but these nest were in the process of being built as some were very small.


A couple other shots.

We saw lots of geese and wood ducks, 1otter, 1 eagle , 1 pileated woodpecker, and lots of herons. A pretty good day to start the year off bass fishing. A lot of bass caught with good company. The air temp after a chilly 56 deg start quickly went to 80 degrees. 
A very good day on the water that ended at aprox 3 pm and was probably the hardest I have worked getting a boat to the water and also out of the water and back in my vehicle. 
Mack

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Shad Fishing on the Roanoke River with the Boys

We had several choices today(3-3-12) with the weather and conditions. The choice today was to go back to the roanoke since the white shad may not be at the 2 places(quantity wise) where I have had good luck with them and also I would have 2- 15 year old's with me and Hickories are a lot easier to catch right now than Americans and I need to keep them occupied while fishing....I gave them the choice of catching a few big whites or more hickories and they chose quanity over quality......


We arrived at Weldon at 4 and fished until 6 and in those 2 hrs we caught 15 or so on 1/8 oz and 1/16 ox chartreuse and white curlytails......Last week they were hitting the white, but today with the water a little more stained most came off the Chartreuse.



Here is my 15 year old driving Up I-95



This is Nathan with his first ever  Weldon Hickory Shad
This is My son with his first Hickory of the year.

And here is some old fart with a decent Weldon Shad
We then ended the day off with some good eatins at Ralph's Bar-b-que.

The Shad fishing at Weldon should heat up fast with 50-100 shad a day possible in just 1- 2 weeks.
                          
Time to drive to Weldon and back for only 2 hrs of fishing----2 Hrs 40 mins

Cost of gas---aprox 30 bucks

Cost of Drinks and snacks 10 bucks

Cost of Ralph's Bar-b-que plus tip----46 bucks

Time spent fishing with son----PRICELESS