By Darin Brown
April is a prime month for catching slab crappies. As the water temperature climbs into the high 50’s they will move into shallow water to spawn. Crappies usually spawn in water depths between 18 inches and 4 feet on the Yadkin river Lakes, although in clear water they may spawn deeper. The traditional method of casting small jigs or minnows below a bobber still catches a lot of fish during the spawn. Slow trolling or drifting multiple crappie poles (spider rigging) out from a potential spawning area is another great way to fill the live well. This is the best time of year to catch crappie from the bank. Several public bank fishing areas that seem to consistently produce fish during the spring spawning season are: Stokes Ferry road bridge across Riles Creek and the two bridges on River road (River road runs from Stokes Ferry Road to Bringle Ferry Road) on Tuckertown Lake, Bringle Ferry road bridge area next to the NCWRC boat access area on High Rock Lake, on Badin Lake the Old Whitney Public Access area on Old Whitney Road (off of Hwy. 740).
Largemouth bass will be moving into the shallow water to spawn. This usually occurs just as the crappie are finishing there spawn. Just prior to the spawn the fish will be very active and will chase a lot of different lures. Small and medium size crankbaits such as the Strike King KVD 1.5’s and Rapala Shad Raps in size 5 and 7 are great lures during this time. As the fish start to make spawning beds a jerkbait like the Rapala Shadow Rap or the Lucky Craft Pointer can be a great tool. Several new rigs and lures are working well. The new Tokyo Rig uses a swim bait such as the Zoom Fluke or Keitech Swing Impact attached to a 3 1/2” solid wire with a worm weight attached. The rig is held together by a split ring with a swivel attached. The weight ticks along the bottom or other structure and the swimbait stays just off the bottom. River2sea came out with the Whopper Plopper a few years ago and it has become one of the best “go to” top water baits around. This year River2 Sea has introduced the Double Plopper which is basically a floating buzz bait that uses smaller versions of the Whopper Plopper as the blades. Since It floats it can be used like a traditional top water bait or cranked like a buzz bait. Check out the Hwy. 49 Sporting Goods Face Book page for more details on these new baits.
Striped Bass will make they’re annual false spawn run on Badin Lake up to Tuckertown Dam this month. Good numbers of striped bass have been reported caught over the winter months and we are expecting a good spring run up behind Tuckertown Dam. The annual run up to Tuckterown Dam always depends on the water clarity. Striper’s do not like muddy water. If the water is clear or only slightly stained the Old Whitney area just down from Tucketeown Dam is a great area to fish. Try drifting the area with live shad for bait or trolling with bucktail jigs. If the upper end on the lake is muddy due to spring rains the fish may remain in the lower end of the lake. The Palmer mountain area or the Beaver Dam creek area down river usually has clearer water than the upper end of the lake.
Remember to check your fire extinguisher and life vests in your boat and replace them if necessary. Give us a call or stop in at Hwy. 49 Sporting Goods for the latest fishing information.
Darin Brown – Writes the forecast for High Rock, Badin & Tuckertown Dam
www.hwy49sports.com ~ 704-463-7053
Hwy 49 Sports is located in New London, NC on NC Hwy. 49 near Tuckertown boat launch area. Tuckertown lake is located between two larger lakes (High Rock and Badin Lake) on the Yadkin river chain. The area is very scenic and a great place to fish!
The store offers a huge selection of Fishing, Hunting, Camping and Marine items. Although they offer your more common outdoor products at great prices, our specialty is being able to bring you items not found in most large discount stores or outdoor stores.