For the past two weeks, bass fishermen have had success at High Rock Lake by knocking on wood. Tree laps, tree roots, log jams, stumps and bushes have been yielding quality largemouths to anglers who prefer not to sight-fish for bedding bass as the spawn wraps up.

Matt Stanley of China Grove and Robert Mixon of Lexington knocked on wood in shallow water with plastics and jigs to win the recent Carolina Angler’s Team Trail event at High Rock with a 5-fish catch totaling 19.41 pounds, but they had to tour the lake to find the lumber and the fish.

“We started in Abbotts Creek, then fished about every major creek including Panther, One Bush and Crane creeks,” said Mixon.  “Matt caught most of the fish, but I put two 4-pounders in the boat during the final hours to help out.”

There’s another snag besides having the fish and the wood cover scattered throughout the lake.

The wood comes into play only if Alcoa, which operates hydroelectric plants up and down the Yadkin River system, keeps the lake near full pool.

In anticipation of last Thursday’s heavy rains, Alcoa lowered High Rock by more than two feet, taking much of the fish-holding wood out of play. Two days later, the lake was on the rise again. The Alcoa website ( indicated the water is expected to rise.

Whether or not High Rock will be up or down this coming week is anyone’s guess, so check the Alcoa website or local newspapers for the water level before trying to knock on wood for bass. Otherwise, you’ll just be knocking yourself out for nothing.