For the past two weeks, plenty of striped bass in the 10-pound class have been caught at High Rock Lake by fishermen slow-trolling bucktails or using live bait. 

Guide Jerry Hill of Lexington had a big day recently, bring in three stripers that weighed almost 30 pounds between them, with the biggest fish weighing 10.15 pounds.

Hill caught his fish using downriggers while trolling bucktails with blue plastic worm trailers outside the mouth of Second Creek.  He said the blue trailers made all the difference.

“Earlier in the week, I couldn’t get a bite fishing bucktails with green or white plastic trailers, so I experimented and used a blue worm trailer,” said Hill. “On Saturday, I fished exclusively with the blue trailers and caught three big stripers.”

For Hill, the fishing was the way it ought to be. Earlier, he had taken a lot of flack from his fishing buddies one day when they saw him using live bait, but he had an excuse: he’d sold his boat, was fishing with someone and using the tactics that fisherman wanted to use..

Since then, Hill has purchased a boat and returned to his old ways.

“Live bait fishermen catch a lot of fish, but I like to catch fish my way,” said Hill.

Live-bait fishermen are doing just fine, thanks. Steve Shoe and Danny Frazier landed three stripers that weighed 25½ pounds the same day that Hill had his big catch, and Allen Dick landed a 10¼-pound striper

This past Saturday, bucktail lures paid off again.

Lexington’s Russ Mitchell, who lives on High Rock, caught a good number of stripers; his three biggest fish weighed 10.5, 10.7, and 12.15 pounds. Mitchell caught his fish trolling bucktails with green/white plastic trailers on lead-core line.

Hill’s been tracking the stripers that High Rock has given up recently.

“The amazing thing about the striper fishing,” said Hill “is that the majority of fish being caught weigh more than eight pounds.”