Since mid-September, Russ Gobble of Churchland and his fishing buddies have enjoyed excellent striped bass fishing at High Rock Lake. Now they’re waiting to see if the effects of Tropical Storm Karen will rain on their parade.

Before Karen’s predicted arrival on Oct.7, Gobble and other striper fishermen found plenty of action at High Rock.

During a September outing, Gobble and Jim Merritt of Asheboro caught four stripers ranging from eight to 13 pounds. They caught the fish probing depths from 10 to 15 feet using six planer boards, two downlines, and two freelines with live shad at the end of their rigs.

“We caught the fish in the upper reaches of the lake where many fishermen are hesitant to go,” said Gobble. “I have a Riverpro jet prop on my boat, so I can motor just about anywhere without getting stuck.”

Gobble said he and Merritt caught their fish from 9 to 10:30 a.m. off the sides of humps along the river channel with the lake near the full mark. Their gear consisted of medium-heavy rods and Ambassadeur 6500 reels spooled with 14-to 17-pound test line.

“I got a call from one of my buddies, and he and his partner caught some nice stripers Friday morning,” said Gobble, who had boat trouble and didn’t leave the ramp for his usual Thursday trip. “When I was at the lake Thursday, I noticed several striper boats trolling the main body, so the word is out that the fish are biting.” 

Gobble hopes expected rains from Karen won’t turn High Rock into a mud bowl and kill the striper bite.

“I’ve never had much luck catching stripers when the lake is muddy,” said Gobble.

If High Rock weathers the storm, Gobble said the river and the creek mouths are the places to fish.

“Years ago, few anglers fished for stripers at High Rock Lake or even knew the fish were in the lake,” said Gobble. “Fishermen have discovered that High Rock is one of the better striper waters in the state with good numbers of big fish.”