It’s one of the interesting things about High Rock Lake that when the lake level falls, fishing success rises. Maynard Edwards of Yadkin Lakes Guide Service said his clients have been having some tremendous catfish trips as the lake is drawn down for an NCDOT construction project.

“Everything’s starting to bite now,” said Edwards (336-249-6782). “The lake’s down 5 feet now and dropping more each day.

“We got channel cats, flatheads and even some blue catfish showing up everywhere around the lake,” he said. “We went out last Saturday night and stayed in the main-lake channel, and in three hours, we caught 12 flatheads in the 18- to 25-pound range. There were only two of us in the boat, and we had three on at one time.”

Edwards said that last weekend, two anglers in a catfish tournament at High Rock weighed in three fish that bottomed out the scales at 88 pounds.

“They had ’em in the boat after 30 minutes,” Edwards said, “so they’re bitin’.”

Edwards, who invented the “strolling” method of fishing for spring crappie and stripers, has adapted the technique for catfish. He uses a 3-foot leader of 50-pound monofilament with a crappie cork threaded on halfway between the leader and a three-way swivel. To the other eye of the swivel is tied a 1-ounce “glider” weight made by Extreme Fishing Concepts that glides his baited rigs above and through High Rock’s snags.

“Everything’s on the bottom right now,” he said. “The catfish are hanging out just off the breaks of the ledges, mostly in 18 to 25 feet of water.”

The flatheads prefer live bait, so Edwards has been dragging white perch on the bottom.

“Channel cats and flatheads are eatin’ (live baits) up, and when I’ve put on cut bait, the blue cats hit that,” he said.