Winter slabs on High Rock Lake
Capt. Butch Foster of Yeah Right Charters said the crappie are biting on High Rock Lake as the calendar eases into February. But, he said some days are easier than others. That’s kind of par for the course this time of year though, when fluctuations in water levels and temperatures play a big role in how the crappie are feeding each day.
On a recent trip, the water temperature was 45 degrees and heavily stained, said Foster. The lake was also rising steadily thanks to Cube Hydro letting a substantial amount of water through the dam.
That was one of the tougher days. But to Foster, a tough day only means that it takes him a little bit of trial-and-error to figure out the best pattern for the day. He started that day off trolling, a highly effective method on most days this time of year. But it wasn’t producing results that day.
Next, he had his clients fish with short rods. They began fishing next to the main channel drops, which produced a small fish or two. Then he made his next move, which was the ticket for that day.
“We stayed with the short rods, and I went to the deepest area in Flat Swamp, where I have structure on some deep drops in 30+ feet of water,” he said.
The water was still muddy, but that didn’t stop the crappie from biting in the deep holes.
“Here we finally put the puzzle together. We caught some respectable crappie at 31 feet, along with several good, eating-sized catfish. We also lost a few fish here that just pulled the hook. We only kept two blue cats and released another one. And we caught enough crappies for a fish fry,” he said.
On some other days, Foster said spider rigging works just fine. But when it’s not doing the trick, deep structure is a good backup option. And on some days, you just have to pick and peck your way through different depths to fill the fish box.
“The water still remains very dirty to muddy, depending on which part of the lake you are on. Water temperature is still in the mid 40s and the crappies are still suspended in 20 feet of water, from around 10 feet down and scattered all the way to the bottom,” he said.
Aside from High Rock Lake, Foster also fishes Tuckertown, Badin, Norman and Jordan for crappie, catfish, stripers, hybrids and bream. Click here to check out his fishing reports, and contact him at 336-309-5900 to schedule a trip with him.
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