One angler who doesn’t need any convincing that Jordan Lake’s crappie fishery has returned to prominence is Freddie Sinclair, a guide from Clayton. He said slabs have recovered nicely from the 2011 fish kill and are biting along the main New Hope Creek channel in deeper water. 

“You’ll catch your share of 12- to 14-inch crappie,” Sinclair said. “They’ll be in the channel until next spring.”

Sinclair (919-553-4547) said fish are in 15 to 18 feet of water along the edges of the channel from the Farrington bridge all the way to the creek’s confluence with the Haw River. He’s slow-trolling 1/32- and 1/16-ounce jigs tipped with live minnows according to the “50-50” rule. If the fish are 20 feet deep; he trolls his lures at 10 feet.

“It’s the same technique as slow-trolling in the ocean you just downsize the bait, and it’s a lot less expensive,” he said.

Sinclair said that improved electronics has helped him be more efficient putting his baits in the right area. His boat has a Humminbird 998c depth finder, which allows him to troll exactly where he wants to with respect to the creek channel and its twists and turns.

 “I used to zigzag across the channel, and that’s not good when you’re trying to keep your baits at a certain depth,” Sinclair said. “Sometimes I’d troll too shallow for the fish and my lures would get hung on the edges. Now I can stay in the ‘slot’ as long as I want to. And I can fish humps coming up out of deep water where crappie like to school.