Catch more Lumber River bass with these tips

Mike McSwain shows off the type of bass that is typical along the Devils Elbow stretch of the Lumber River.

Devils Elbow is hotspot for largemouth

Just below Fair Bluff, N.C., and above Nichols, S.C., a place known as Devils Elbow sits on the Lumber River. This series of sharp turns on the river has the Lumber running parallel to itself, and the flow of the water here offers fish an abundance of what they’re looking for in a place to make their home. And when fish congregate, anglers will find success if they’re willing to put in the time.

Strangely, anglers like Daniel Haywood, who lives just north of the two state’s border, find this area is fished much more lightly than he believes it should be, especially for bass, which is his usual intended quarry.

“I don’t mind it, trust me, but I am surprised at how few people I see fishing here,” said Haywood, who accesses this section of the river from a private landing just upstream of it.

“I see some guys fishing for catfish a good bit, and some bream anglers too, but I rarely see guys fishing for bass here,” he said.

Haywood said he focuses on the two biggest bends, and has the most luck in the last (down current) turn in the first bend, and deep in the middle of the second bend.

“At the end of that first bend, I have a lot of luck fishing along the bottom. I anchor away from the bank, cast toward it, let my Texas-rigged worm sink all the way to the bottom, and I just slowly reel it in. I keep my rod at about a 45-degree angle, and I just crank the reel slowly, easing the worm along the bottom. Sometimes it gets nailed hard, sometimes I don’t even feel the bite, but can see the line start moving in one direction or the other when the fish picks it up,” he said.

Haywood uses a different approach when fishing in the middle of the second bend.

“There’s a little feeder creek that runs into this bend, and there’s a cut in it too, and it forms an eddy in a pretty big area. I love fishing spinnerbaits in here, and I catch bass on them in a variety of depths,” he said.

“I don’t really have a favorite spinnerbait, but I mix it up a good bit in here. I like to throw a purple double-bladed spinnerbait in 5/8-ounce, a white 1/2-ounce spinnerbait, and a chartreuse one in either size. I will usually have one of each tied onto three different rods, and I’ll rotate every other cast. I think showing them so many different lures all at once really turns them on. It just seems like the activity and the different looks get them more active than just throwing the same lure over and over,” said Haywood.

About Brian Cope 2783 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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