A retired wildlife enforcement officer and former marina owner, Barry Joyce of Leesburg, N.C., has always been in touch with the fishing community at nearby Hyco Lake, and he said cooler water and weekdays are the ticket for summer bass fishing.

On weekends during the summer, Hyco, a 3,750-acre reservoir in Person County about 10 miles west of Roxboro, bustles with recreational boating traffic. 

“Your chances for success are much better during the week,” Joyce said. “I do most of my fishing in the creeks where the water is cooler than at the main body.”

Joyce recommends fishing the South Hyco area and targeting underwater shelves, the ends of points and ledges in 10 to 12 feet of water.

He said most fishermen have success dragging Carolina rigs with 8-inch Zoom lizards or 6-inch Zoom Brush Hogs.

“Hyco usually has clear water, so plastics in natural hues are the most effective,” Joyce said.

Joyce uses 14-pound monofilament for his main line and 10- to 12-pound monofilament for his leader. His Carolina rig is of standard design with a bead, swivel, weight and hook, except that for a weight, he prefers adding a bell sinker above the swivel instead of the conventional worm or egg sinker.

Joyce said dragging Carolina rigs produces fair numbers of  2- to 3-pound bass, with a chance for a hefty bass in the 7- to 8-pound class.

Though Joyce favors dragging the creeks for bass, he said some locals with patience and experience will jig vertically for bass on the main lake in 15 to 20 feet of water using Hopkins spoons and other jigging baits.

“It’s not my preferred way of fishing because you’re in the midst of all that main-lake boating traffic, but some fishermen catch them that way,” said Joyce.

Hyco’s clear water also offers a good topwater bite in the mornings and evenings. Joyce said Pop-Rs, walk-the-dog lures and Live Target topwaters draw surface action from fish weighing 11/2 to 2 pounds.