If you’re not tossing a spinnerbait at High Rock Lake, you’re not fishing.

That was proven last weekend in a tournament on the Yadkin River reservoir, when the top three teams in a 24-team field checked in with 5-fish limits weighing more than 20 pounds – the great majority caught on spinnerbaits.

There is no need to get up early, either. Most of the fish were caught from 10 a.m. until noon. The fish also favored wind-blown areas and the upper reaches of the lake.

The anglers having the most luck are fishing the upper reaches of the lake, though fish are being caught elsewhere, too. With High Rock about three feet down, fishermen should navigate with care if they attempt to fish any stretches above Swearing Creek.

The successful anglers are targeting blowdowns and working the spinnerbaits through the branches of the trees.They’re also targeting any shallow cover in their path.   The spinnerbait bite exploded about two weeks ago with dropping water temperatures at the lake and a slight drop in the water level.  Most of High Rock remains stained to dingy, perfect water conditions for a spinnerbait bite.

Chuck Hughes of Linwood and Dwayne Hughes of Lexington had the winning bag, 21.61 pounds, including a 6.41-pound linker that was the biggest fish caught in the tournament. Spinnerbaits were their bread and butter.

“We caught our fish from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.” said Dwayne Hughes. “The cold front affected the spinnerbait bite to some extent. We had to toss 3/4-ounce models to get our fish.”

Howard Bean of Salisbury and Marty Williams of Thomasville finished second with 20.65, including the second-biggest fish caught, a 5.65-pound linker.

“We used spinnerbaits and jigs to catch our fish,” said Bean. “We caught six to seven bass in one spot and about five fish at another spot. Most of our fish came after 10 a.m.”

The frigid weather this week may kill the bite or keep fishermen off the lake, but warmer days are ahead. The forecast calls for temperatures to return to the lower 60s, so untangle those spinnerbaits and get prepared for action.