Bass fishing on the Raleigh-Durham area’s three big lakes — Jordan, Falls of the Neuse and Shearon Harris — is just about to settle into a normal summer pattern, which means deep water.
But guide Jeff Thomas of Broadway, who fishes each of these impoundments, said anglers still are landing fish if they target active areas and water depths.
“The water level has dropped at all three lakes, and it’s had the biggest effect at Jordan Lake because it’s pulled back out of the grass and brought fish with it,” said Thomas (919-770-4654). “The water temperature also is rising, so bass are starting to move toward deeper water. But this is happening a little later than normal because we had a late spring and late spawn. Before the cool snap just before Memorial Day, some Jordan bass still were spawning.”
However, with a succession of 90-degree days, the lake’s water temperature has climbed to 77 to 78 degrees, he said.
“But that just means bass have pulled back a little off the banks,” he said. “You might find a really early morning topwater bite if baitfish are on the banks, but it’s gonna be for a short time. Most bass have pulled out to 8- to 10-feet deep, but they’re still in easy (casting) range.”
Thomas has been fishing 6-inch curlytail worms in junebug color either Texas- or Carolina-rigged, crawling them across the bottom. Stumps and rocky points have been ideal spots to use them, he said.
Thomas targets some points near deeper water and old road beds near drop-offs a few feet from spawning flats.
“I like a ¾-ounce football weight for my Carolina rigs with an 18-inch leader with Trokar 3/0 extra-wide-gap hooks,” said Thomas, who spools his reels with 17-pound Vicious fluorocarbon.
“The water is as clear at Jordan as I’ve ever seen it,” he said. “You need line and leaders that are almost invisible. But bass are having the post-spawn blues, so they’re not going to chase hard baits aggressively.”
Later this month, Thomas will likely change from soft plastics to crankbaits that can reach down 12 to 14 feet.
“When they shake off the postspawn, they’ll chase crankbaits,” he said.