Largemouth fishing is tough right now at the three premier bass lakes around the Raleigh-Durham area - Jordan, Shearon Harris and Falls of the Neuse – but the bite should pick up as soon as water temperatures start to drop, according to guide Jeff Thomas of Broadway.

"It's really tough at Jordan right now," said Thomas (919-770-4654). "At the last tournament, the winning team had less than 10 pounds. I think it's a combination of things, probably caused by last year's mild winter.


"We didn't a big shad die-off, which normally happens in winter, and so all the lakes are just slammed full of shad. Shad are coming to the surface, and you can almost walk across the lakes on 'em.


"Shad spawn every time you have a full moon (during the summer), and we had two full moons in August, so there's more shad in those lakes than usual."


Thomas recommended Shearon Harris south of Raleigh as the likeliest spot to land a largemouth limit.


"Harris is where I'd go right now," he said. "It's got the best bite right now, but it's not a great bite."


He recommended casting soft-plastics at underwater grass lines at Harris in 8 to 10 feet of water.


Thomas is fishing Senkos and 10-inch Deep Creek plastic worms with a quarter-ounce Texas-rig weight. The top colors are junebug on cloudy days and green-pumpkin worms when the sun is shining.


"Bass are roaming a lot," he said, "and just about everywhere they go they can find shad to eat. Schooling activity is a little down at Harris, now too."


He expects fishing to get better as soon as the water temperature, which is in the 80s, begins to fall.


"That ought to happen pretty soon with the cool nights we're having," he said. "When the water temps start falling, that'll trigger the (bass) bite again."