Maynard Edwards and Jason Heitman of Yadkin Lakes Guide Service caught quality crappie in High Rock Lake’s Flat Swamp Creek last week by trolling deep water. The two Lexington anglers didn’t deplete the crappie population, but they certainly had a more productive day than those crappie fishermen probing brush along the banks for fish.

“We caught about 19 crappie, and the majority of fish were nice keepers,” said Edwards (336-249-6782). “That’s unusual for the Rock, where most of the crappie caught recently have struggled to meet the 8-inch minimum size limit.”

Edwards and Heitman set out on a sunny day for Flat Swamp Creek, one of the few areas at High Rock Lake with fishable water. The creek was heavily stained, but in better shape than most of High Rock, which has been inundated with muddy water and floating trash.

“We started fishing for stripers but discovered that was a lost cause because of the dirty water,” said Edwards. “We decided to long-line for crappie and double-rigged our lines with 1/16-ounce Road Runners.”

The two fishermen were surprised by the size of the crappie they caught, though they didn’t catch fish in great numbers.

“The fish easily surpassed the size limit, and most were caught suspended slightly off the bottom in 18 feet of water,” said Edwards. “A couple of times while trolling, our lures nicked the bottom at that depth before catching fish.”

Edwards said more fish might have been taken using tight lines, but he didn’t have the right tackle on board since he had brought mostly striper gear. He also said surface debris limited the areas where he and Heitman could troll. 

“Several crappie anglers fishing the shallows saw us catch fish and asked us what we were doing,” said Edwards. “I told them to get away from the bank and start trolling.”