Largemouth bass, crappie and catfish are biting at Lake Wylie, according to guide Jerry Neeley.

"You can take your pick because we've been catching all three species," said Neeley, of Jerry's Fishing Guide Service, who had a recent party hook 35 bass on floating worms and get 20 of them to the boat.

 

"We used pink or black floating worms fished in the shade along the banks," he said. "The bass wouldn't hit worms that weren't (cast) in the shade."

 

Neeley (704-678-1043) noted the largemouth bass spawn had nearly ended at Lake Wylie with only a few female fish still on the beds.

 

"Pretty much after this week, the spawn will be over at Wylie," said Neeley, who said he'll change up and start fishing topwater baits, including buzzbaits or prop baits, at visible cover such as stumps and piers on the main lake.

 

"The bass are just coming off the beds, and that's where they'll go," Neeley said. "A few weeks after the spawn, they go to piers near deep water and hang up on the backs of those piers, from the shoreline with a rocky bank to the first two or three pilings. The best lure to throw will be a Zoom lizard rigged Texas style, "but they'll also hit small crankbaits cast at secondary points and that run 10- to 11-feet deep."

 

Most of the bass caught will be males near bass beds, Neeley said.

 

"They'll run from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds and are pretty active protecting the (bass) nests," he said. "You may catch a 5-pounder though."

 

The crappie spawn also has ended at Lake Wylie, Neeley said.

 

"They're off the beds and have gone to areas with lots of docks or pilings at secondary points or main river points," he said. "The other day, we caught 50 crappie off docks. They'll be on the sides of the docks that have some cover, such as underwater brush."

 

Neeley has been using small 1/32-ounce hair jigs that fall slowly.

 

"You want a lure that stays in the strike zone longer, and light jigs fall slowly," said Neeley, who uses ultra-light spinning tackle and 4-pound-test line. "I like jigs with a green or red head and white body, if the water's fairly clear. If it's stained, I'll use a chartreuse body and red head."

 

Crappie sizes are ranging from 1/2 to 1 1/4 pounds, he said.

 

"Catfishing is really good right now, too," Neeley said. "We're mostly drifting for blue cats in the 20- to 30-pound ranges."

 

His catfishing technique is to drift at one-half mph and bounce cut perch or bream off the bottom with a Santee rig.