Moving water is akin to ringing the dinner bell for fish, as Maynard Edwards of Yadkin Lakes Guide Service and a number of his fishing buddies have discovered for the past two weeks while fishing in the Badin Lake tailrace below Tuckertown Dam, catching white bass, stripers and largemouth bass.
“When the gates open and current runs around the rocks below the dam, get ready for action,” said Edwards, who has shared the fun with Coy Hamilton of Lexington on one trip and with Jason Heitman of Lexington on another.
Edwards and his cronies have caught their fish in the current, which stirs the forage that attracts bigger predators. The fish haven’t been trophies, just “fun-sized,” said Edwards, who is from Lexington.
“Fishing has been poor this season throughout the Yadkin River chain because of all the rain and muddy water,” said Edwards (email@example.com). “Recently, we’ve had a reprieve from the downpours, and Alcoa (which operates hydroelectric dams up and down the Yadkin) has been pulling water from its lakes in earnest.”
On one trip, Edwards tossed a Zara Spook that had stripers knocking the bait in the air, but he couldn’t stick the fish. On his most-recent outing, Edwards and Heitman encountered stripers and white bass. Edwards used a downsized Alabama rig to catch his fish. He never considered trying the Zara Spook because of swift water.
“The water was being pulled so hard that the flood gates must have been opened,” Edwards said. “If I tossed a surface lure, the current would take the lure by me before I had a chance to work the bait. I backed a fair distance from the dam before tossing the Alabama rig.
“I’d lob the rig out, hold my rod high, and reel like crazy to keep the rig from snagging in the rocks. A standard Alabama rig would have got hung in the rocks.”
Edwards and Heitman caught stripers in the 2- to 4-pound range and some dandy white bass. On an earlier trip with Hamilton, a big largemouth and some stripers came into the boat.
The water behind the dam has cleared up considerably from the ugly brown water that was there several weeks ago. Badin Lake has also dropped a couple of feet, so anglers should approach the waters near the dam with care and heed any warning siren at the dam.
“At times, the water comes pouring out, and you don’t want your boat banging around in those rocks,” said Edwards.