Blewett Falls Lake cats get rolling in lower main-lake area

Big flathead catfish put on their feed bags in September in the lower part of Blewett Falls Lake.

Channel drops, proximity to dam are key factors in boating flatheads

Catfish guide Robbie Burr of Pee Dee Fishing Adventures said a strange thing happens this month in the Pee Dee River below Blewett Falls Lake and at the lake itself.

“September is by far the worst month for catfishing in the river. Yet the fishing for flatheads is pretty good at the lake,” said Burr. “I can’t explain why.”

Burr said anglers routinely catch flatheads from 10 to 40 pounds in the lower end of the lake. Occasionally, brutes weighing 50 to 60 pounds will also bite. That’s especially true for anglers targeting channel drops in 15 to 20 feet of water and close to the dam.

“When the lake is pulled, the fishing gets even better,” Burr said. “The water this month is pulled more during the day than at night. So I schedule my clients mostly for day trips.”

A few blue mix in with the flatheads. But the majority of blues are caught on the bottom with cut bait in 5 to 10 feet of water. The flatheads favor live bait fished around rocks in deep holes and off channel ledges. Burr said the flathead bite is stronger this month, so he targets flatheads.

Anchor down

Burr anchors to fish for flatheads, setting out several heavy rods around his boat using Carolina rigs. He said to leave your finesse fishing gear at home. The burly cats will destroy it.

Burr uses 7-foot, Shakespeare Tyger Ugly Stik rods paired with Abu Garcia 7000 reels filled with 100-pound Power Pro braid. To the braid, he ties a swivel, then attaches an 18-inch leader of 80-pound monofilament with a No 8/0 Gamakatsu circle hook at the business end. He pushes the hook into the back of 6- to 10-inch shad. This makes the bait last longer and dart frantically.

Burr adds one important wrinkle to his Carolina rig. He places a small cork 3 to 4 inches above the hook.

“The cork keeps the bait off the bottom, limiting snags, and makes the bait stay in motion where the fish can see it,” Burr said.

Click here to read about the crappie fishing at Blewett Falls.

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