Triangle-area anglers are finding that even with torrid temperatures, they can catch a largemouth bass at one of the three premier lakes in the region. Jamie Olive, a guide from New Hill, has concentrated his efforts at Falls of Neuse Lake, an impoundment north of Durham that stretches into the western city limits of Raleigh, and he's been doing well.

"We're catching bass on a typical summer-time pattern," he said.  

That doesn't mean super-deep fishing, but at channel edges and drop-offs.

"We've been fishing parallel to the ledges, sitting on them and casting our lures down the sides and working them really slow," said Olive, who operates Haulin' Bass Guide Service (919-625-0707). "Sometimes you don't move the lure but just a hair to have a bass pick it up."

Most of Olive's largemouth catches, he said, have been coming on Carolina-rigged soft plastics and Texas-rigged plastic worms. 

"For the Carolina rig, we've been throwing a 6-inch Deep Creek M/T plastic worm in black and purple," he said. "It's kinda like a Junebug color, and just really slow draggin' them. With the Texas rig, I've been using the Deep Creek 10-inch  paddletail worm in black or red-shad colors." 

Crankbait fishing, a favorite method to probe deeper waters, hasn't produced any consistent bites, according to Olive, who said one trip last week produced nine bass for his clients, including a 4-pounder and a 6-pounder.   

Olive said fishermen in tournaments on Falls Lake have been regularly weighing in 5-fish limits between 15 and 20 pounds. 

"Those boys have been landing some nice fish at Falls, so they're there," Olive said. "It's just a matter of finding them, then getting the right lures to them at the right depth."