It’s That Time Of The Year

By Capt. James McManus

With May’s arrival, the fishing is at its usual spring peak. Gone are any nasty cold fronts and most of the high wind and rainstorms, and what we are left with is the easiest time of the year to load the boat here on Fontana. It is not unusual to just randomly pick a bank, hopefully not one of your favorites, and just start fishing. I am a big one for looking before you start, after so much striper fishing it is customary to look for fish on the sonar before starting to fish…you ain’t gonna catch ‘em where they ain’t. This time of year though, offers an opportunity to become a blind pig and just fish anywhere with good chances of connecting on an acorn or two. Several of my favorite banks have been found this time of year just randomly stopping and fishing as most fish are oriented towards the bank, sometimes actually touching it. Later in the year or even years later, I will remember that area and return to find it loaded with fish. It is also an excellent time to take novices or, in my case, my dad, who doesn’t care to stand in a cold driving rain pitching jigs under overhanging limbs or working a jig 80 feet deep with the wind blowing thirty.

I was raised fishing. My dad built an 8 acre pond on my granddaddy’s farm when I was about 7 or 8. To this day, he apologizes to my wife for introducing me to the thing that has taken so much of my time from her. That being said, it has also made me a sweeter boy as nothing calms my soul like time spent on the water. We had really good crappie fishing in our pond; occasionally catching them up to 3 pounds and many were caught on a fly rod while sculling our little jon boat in the open water near the dam. It has been a pleasure to take my dad recently, catching these same tasty fish in a totally different environment. Not sure why but Fontana has had a resurgence in the crappie population the last couple of years, at least it seems like it this time of year. There are also tons of spotted bass to be caught on the banks.

After a very slow winter, the fish seem to have returned from who knows where and the size has been really good also. The only thing not showing, are the walleye and I think we have to wait for NCWRC to keep stocking to bring them back. So, now is an excellent time to take your kids, your wife or parents when the catching is at its easiest. Nothing gets a beginner hooked like a little success. Try and fish up close to the rivers but don’t hesitate to try brand new areas you have skipped in previous years, you might find a new hot spot. Enjoy God’s gift, be safe and give me a call if you want to go. Later, Capt. James

Capt. James McManus is the Owner of 153 Charters. Give him a call for a great day of boat fishing!