The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with N.C. B.A.S.S. and the Lake Thom-A-Lex Lake Authority, recently opened an educational fishing trail on Lake Thom-A-Lex to help anglers learn how to catch largemouth bass and other sport fish during different times of the year.
The N.C. Fishing Trail at Lake Thom-A-Lex consists of 13 fishing sites scattered around the 650-acre reservoir, which is located in Davidson County. Each site is enhanced with fish attractors to attract largemouth bass and other sport fishes.
“Largemouth bass and other sport fish use different habitats throughout the year,” said Mark Fowlkes, the Commission’s Piedmont Aquatic Habitat Coordinator. “These seasonal movements and habitat patterns are instinctive and triggered by changes in water temperature, daylight hours, spawning and feeding.”
In the spring, prior to the spawning season, largemouth bass congregate in areas such as in river and creek channels near shallow flats. When fish begin to spawn they will move into shallow coves, onto flats and around points, in about 1 to 7 feet of water. They will spawn then slowly move into areas with cover or that have access to deeper waters to reside during the heat of the summer. As water temperatures decline in the fall, largemouth bass often move to the same creeks where they were found in the spring, searching for food. In the winter, they move to deeper water because of the short days and cold water temperatures.
“Teaching anglers about seasonal movements of fish can help increase their angling success and make fishing more enjoyable,” said Bill Frazier, conservation director for N.C. B.A.S.S. “These principles can be used on other reservoirs, but it is important to remember that each reservoir is unique.”
Construction of the N.C. Fishing Trail at Lake Thom-A-Lex was spearheaded by Daniel Pell, of China Grove, who was assisted by members of N.C. B.A.S.S. Pell, a Boy Scout with Troop 328, found local sponsors to provide the materials for the fish attractors, helped survey the lake and select site locations, solicited volunteers to build the attractors, and helped deploy the attractors as part of his Eagle Scout Service Award project.
The Commission paid for buoy markers and designed an informational pamphlet using money from the Sport Fish Restoration Program.
The fishing trail is one of three the Commission has developed in cooperation with local governments and N.C. B.A.S.S. to teach anglers how to catch largemouth bass and other sport fish during different times of the year. The other two fishing trails are the N.C. Fishing Trail at Oak Hollow Lake, located in High Point and the N.C. Fishing Trail at Cane Creek, located in Waxhaw.
For more information about freshwater fishing in North Carolina, including an interactive map of public fishing sites across the state, visit the fishing page.