Summer heat is good for Tuckertown bass anglers

When the water is flowing at Tuckertown, bass fishing can be lights out on even the hottest days of the year. (Picture by Shane Floyd)

Running water keeps Tuckertown bass biting

The hotter the weather, the better the bass fishing at Tuckertown Lake. That’s primarily because of the effect of the current that’s generated when water is released from High Rock Lake Dam. Hot weather increases the likelihood of the lake being pulled.

The current stirs up the forage, which triggers a bass bite that can be phenomenal upon a strong pull.

The quality bass bite is verified by Bo Russell’s summer wildcat tournaments at Tuckertown. The winning weights, ranging from 14 to 16 pounds, appear rather modest. But Russell has a three-fish tournament limit for summer events. In other words, the winners are bringing in three bass each weighing 4 pounds or more.

Anglers can assess the flow on their way to the Flat Creek Landing.

As they travel along Bringle Ferry Road, High Rock Dam will come into view. If water is gushing out of three or four gates, that’s a sign to have a net handy. The strong current should result in excellent fishing.

Fishermen can also check the buoys near the tailrace. If they are leaning over, the lake is being pulled.

The stretch from Cabin Creek to High Rock Lake Dam is influenced the most by current. This rugged area features stump-ridden ridges, rocks and eddies. And the fish come alive with moving water. Jigs, shaky heads, plastic worms and shallow-running crankbaits provoke the most bites.

Unfortunately, this shallow area is treacherous to navigate and a graveyard for props. Fishermen should motor about with care and note the channel buoys.

A strong pull can also improve the fishing throughout the lake.The mouth of Riles Creek to Badin Dam harbors deep structure including rocky points and ridges, an old railroad bed, stumps and tree laps. It’s also much safer to fish.

Anglers use jigs, shaky heads and plastic creature baits to fish tree laps, algae pockets and stumps, frequently removing algae from their baits as they fish.

Some anglers, like Orlando Giles of Lexington, combat the algae by becoming frog tossers. Giles fishes the SPRO frog in shallow algae-infested pockets during the hottest of weather, contending that’s the best time for catching big bass on a frog.

“It takes a big bass to blast through those algae mats to grab a frog,” said Giles. “You won’t get many bites. But the bites you get will be from big fish.”

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