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  • The Fishers of Men National Team Trail, NC Piedmont Division kicked off the 2011 season on the steam plant waters of Belews Lake outside of Winston-Salem, NC on Feb 19th.

    The evening before the tournament had the teams meeting at Edgewood Baptist Church on Reidsville Road and all of the anglers had a great night of fellowship, food and fun.

    The morning of the 19th brought breezy conditions and clear skies for the 37 teams testing the waters of Belews. When all was done, a number of bass were weighed in, and everyone had a good time.

    Finishing in first place was the team of Stephen Singleton and Bradley Singleton with a 5 bass limit of 11.85 pounds and taking home $1066.00. Second place was taken by the team of Bill Kohls and Joe Nieser bringing 10.82 pounds to the scales and earning $600 for their efforts.

    Taking third place was the team of Robert Mixon and Steve Sink with 10.76 pounds and wining $578.50. The team of Joseph Ratcliff and Josh Akers took fourth with 10.50 pounds, including the big fish tipping the scales at 3.86 pounds and earning $622. Fifth place was won by James Allred and Clarence Brickey with 10.22 pounds giving them a check for $401.50.

    Sixth place went to Dean Collins and Ray Furr with 10.20 pounds putting $266 in their pockets. The final paying spot of $200 went to the seventh place team of Joel Richardson and Neal Stockton with 9.66 pounds.

    23 of the 37 teams weighed in 5 fish limits and all but two of the teams brought fish to the scales. What a great tournament!

    February 23, 2011 at 8:17pm

    The recent warmer days have turned on the bass on Lake Norman.

    Anglers are reporting good catches of numbers of both spotted bass and largemouth as the fish are moving toward the spawning areas.

    Jerkbaits and small crankbaits are catching lots of fish, with anglers targeting the boat ramps and the docks stationed on secondary points. If there is wind, the anglers are catching the bass on the points that the wind is blowing across.

    White colors for the jerkbaits are the most successful and for the crankbaits, crawfish colors are taking the better fish. The concrete of the boat ramps warm with in the sun, attracting the largemouth to the ends of the ramps. The better docks are those with the wood pilings that drop into the water. The sun warms the wood and the heat is carried down the pilings into the water below, attracting fish.

    McCrary Creek, Stumpy Creek and Rocky Creek are good places to start looking and then use the patterns found there to move around the lake to find more bass.

    Spring is around the corner! Take advantage of the warmth!

    February 23, 2011 at 7:46pm

    Winter is here and the bass have been moving deep, at least many of them, and right now anglers are reporting catching them using jigging spoons.

    Anglers are reporting nice catches of bass by locating schools of baitfish with their electronics. Use the electronics to pinpoint the bait that is holding close to the bottom for the best results.

    Locating the schools of bait is the key, but they can be several places. Some anglers start on the main lake points and cruise over 25 to 35 feet of water looking for the shad. They keep covering points until the shad are located and then drop a ¾ ounce jigging spoon into the schools and jig them up and down.

    Other anglers are following the creeks with their electronics honed in on the bottom and are locating the schools of shad. Any of the major feeder creeks are potential targets for these bass.

    It sometimes takes a while to find the schools, but when you do, it can pay off big!

    January 28, 2011 at 10:29pm

    Winter is here and the bass have been moving deep, at least many of them, and right now anglers are reporting catching them using jigging spoons.

    Anglers are reporting nice catches of bass by locating schools of baitfish with their electronics. Use the electronics to pinpoint the bait that is holding close to the bottom for the best results.

    Locating the schools of bait is the key, but they can be several places. Some anglers start on the main lake points and cruise over 25 to 35 feet of water looking for the shad. They keep covering points until the shad are located and then drop a ¾ ounce jigging spoon into the schools and jig them up and down.

    Other anglers are following the creeks with their electronics honed in on the bottom and are locating the schools of shad. Any of the major feeder creeks are potential targets for these bass.

    It sometimes takes a while to find the schools, but when you do, it can pay off big!

    January 28, 2011 at 10:27pm

    Bass fishing on Lake Norman in January is quickly becoming one of my favorites, especially when my son can join me again!

    My son, was home from the Army over Christmas break and we never miss an opportunity to fish together. I put in at McCrary Creek access and rode into McCrary Creek I like this area in January, as well as the main lake pockets just south of the creek, because the warm water from the Marshall Steam Plant gets pushed across the lake, warming these areas and attracting the bass.

    We started out with our usual pattern of crankbaits and jerkbaits, through the course of the day, I switched to a super fluke and fished it slow…two slight twitches and then a long pause, letting the bait flutter slowly down a foot or so. Found the bass on wood cover in the main pockets and on the docks near the main points and secondary points. The bass hit the baits on the long pause, and made for some really nice action. My son, finally switched to the fluke and landed a couple bass.

    On this day, we put 10 in the boat in a half day of fishing and though they were not all giants, it was still a great day of fishing. What made it better was that it was another day on the water with my son!

    While the fish caught for this report started at the first of the year, recent trips fishing the flukes have yielded the same results, with a couple nicer bass ones along the way.

    The water in McCrary is hovering in the upper 40s to low 50s and it’s pretty clear. Even though it is clear, the baits have to be cast very near the cover to get the bass to commit.

    January 15, 2011 at 8:44am

    Winter has set in on central North Carolina but the bass can still be caught.

    Anglers are reporting catches in Lake Norman and Lake Wylie by targeting ditches and creek channels with rattle type baits and jigs. These baits, worked along the edges of the channels, have been successful in boating many nice bass lately.

    Anglers are also using jerkbaits on the points and when schooling fish are seen. Be careful in the backs of the creeks as ice has been forming overnight.

    With the air temperatures expected to rise toward the end of this week, expect the bassing to pick up as well.

    The hot holes on Lake Norman are also giving up catches of catfish, stripers and bass. Anglers are using cut bait and blood worms to land some nice fish.

    December 28, 2010 at 11:00pm

    The hot hole at the Marshall Steam Plant off of Highway 150 is starting to get a lot of attention from local anglers. The warm water discharge from the plant attracts schools of baitfish and in turn, attracts stripers, catfish and bass looking for an easy meal.

    Anglers are catching the fish using a variety of baits including jerk baits, worms and crankbaits. Bloodworms are taking catfish and stripers.

    For bank anglers, there is plenty of shoreline available to use along the discharge area, much of it closed to boat traffic. Be careful as you navigate the rip-rap, but for those willing to brave the cold, great fishing can be had.

    December 22, 2010 at 6:39am

    Try some of these to help light up your bass angler’s eyes…

    Koppers LiveTarget Frogs

    Kopper’s has redefined the frog as they carry the LiveTarget system to the top water market. The floating frog is more realistic and softer than other frogs in the category, making for more and better hooksets on hungry bass. The hard frogs are designed as top water walking baits with a super realistic look.

    www.livetargetlures.com

    Vertical Lures Tube-X

    Vertical Lures recently went through a company re-structure and has focused on the Tube-X and Creature-X baits as the anchors in their stable. These baits are different than other tube baits as they have four larger tentacles instead of multiple smaller legs. These tentacles displace much more water and add more vibration making them very appealing to bass.

    www.verticallures.com

    Mountain Khakis

    For durable outdoor clothing, Mountain Khakis are hard to beat. Constructed with heavy duty materials and reinforced in key stress area, MK clothes are well suited for tough, outdoor environments.

    www.mountainkhakis.com

    November 30, 2010 at 9:42pm

    Bass fishing in the fall is one of the best times to put numbers of bass in your boat because the bass tend to be fairly predictable. That predictability is dependent on the baitfish, and in most of the waters the bass inhabits, this means shad.

    During the fall, the shad migrate to the backs of the creeks and pockets to feed on the algae that has grown through the warmer months and the bass follow.

    Look for the bass on the points and using any available cover as ambush points to catch the shad moving through the area. Bass will also use the pockets to corral the shad and then rush into the shad schools.

    Stumpy, Rocky and McCrary creeks are prime areas to start your search for the schools of shad.

    Many types of lures can be successful this time of year but they should all have shad colors and profile. Crankbaits, jerkbaits and swim baits are top choices and soft plastic baits can also be used to put some of these fish in the boat.

    As the water continues to cool, the shad will move back to the deeper water and so will the bass. As this transition happens, the bass can be caught with deeper running crankbaits and jerkbaits.

    Basically, fall bassing means following the shad to find the bass.

    November 22, 2010 at 9:46pm

    The Piedmont Division of the Fishers of Men finished the Fall Series on High Rock Lake in North Carolina and some nice limits were weighed in.

    On the line, was the Fall points championship and the teams of Side and Seagle and Sink and Whicker were nearly tied for the lead.

    A cool, frosty morning greeted the field as 13 teams launched from Tamarac Marina. As the air temperatures warmed, the anglers found the bass and some good fish were brought to the scales.

    Wining the tournament was the team of Sink/Whicker with 18.96 pounds and the big fish of the day weighing in at 6.14. The win also gave the team the overall point championship for the Fall trail.

    In second for the day was Weddington and Smith with 17.20 pounds and in third was the team of Vanhoy and Vanhoy with 16.74 pounds.

    The balance of the field was:

    Johnston/Singleton 15.34
    Needham/Payne 14.57
    Morgan/Eller 12.22
    Sides/Seagle 11.26
    Peyton/Hardee 4.36
    Brawn/Lewis 3.94
    Hooker/Templeton 3.56
    Brown/Needham 3.46
    Jones/Houchins 3.02
    Snincak/Snincak 1.90

    The top five teams for the Fall Series were:

    Sink/Whicker 446 Points Champs
    Sides/Seagle 440pts 2nd
    Morgan/Eller 432 pts 3rd
    Johnston/Singleton 431 pts 4th
    Vanhoy/Vanhoy 427 pts 5th

    What a great 2010 season! We are eagerly looking forward to what God will be doing for the 2011 season!

    November 15, 2010 at 8:34pm

    Bass anglers are reporting numbers of bass being caught on the main lake points and secondary points of Lake Norman.

    With the water temperatures starting to fall and the lake level doing the same, the bass are becoming very active on the points that give them access to deeper water.

    Jerkbaits fished in 4 to 20 feet of water are accounting for good numbers of bass on the points, especially points that have docks associated with them.

    Rocky and Stumpy Creeks are among the top producers with a surface temperature around 67 degrees and clear water with a nice green tint.

    As the weather cools, expect the fishing to get hotter!

    October 29, 2010 at 11:07pm

    The date for the Warriors On the Water tournament has been set for April 29, 2011 and will be held once again on Jordan Lake.

    This event features tournament anglers from all across the region being paired with active duty military personnel for a great day of fishing and festivities. Military personnel from Ft Bragg and other bases are invited to be teamed with experienced tournament anglers.

    The event will be kicked off at Sports USA located on Ft Bragg. The participants will be treated to food, prizes and special guests. At the 2010 event, Kevin VanDam and Woo Daves were the two professional guests and other great names are expected this year.

    The Warriors On the Water event was set up for the military in appreciation for their service. The tournament anglers volunteer to be teamed with a military member, working together for a great day of fishing.

    For more information, visit www.warriorsonthewater.org.

    October 28, 2010 at 4:36pm

    The North Carolina divisions of the Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail will be headed to Charleston, West Virginia to take on the Kanawha River for the Eastern Regional tournament.

    The top 20 teams from each of the four divisions in NC have been invited to compete in the Eastern Regional for a chance to qualify to compete in the National Tournament scheduled for Lake Guntersville in Alabama.

    The NC teams will compete against other top teams from the states of WV, VA, MD, DE, PA, NY and NJ and there are estimated to be between 150 and 200 teams competing.

    The Kanawha River is a tributary that feeds into the Ohio River and is home to largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, as well as a number of other species that are likely to take the angler’s offerings.

    Keep an eye here for updates on the regional tournament.

    October 11, 2010 at 1:20pm

    Badin Lake is really on fire for bass fishing right now.

    Anglers are reporting catches on almost anything tossed into the relatively clear waters. The recent Fishers Of Men tournament was won with buzzbaits and Tube-X tubes by casting them on main lake points.

    The winners bagged 15.38 pounds and second was just over 13 pounds, confirming the large fish have become active with the cooler weather.

    Schools of shad are moving into the pockets and creeks and the bass are feeding on them. Small crankbaits, like the Koppers LiveTarget Shad or the Rapala Shad Rap are taking good numbers, as are spinnerbaits fished in the wind.

    The water temps are in the mid to upper 70s and the water is fairly clear.

    October 07, 2010 at 12:38pm

    The fall season is one of the best times to fish for bass, if not the best time to chase the green fish!

    With the shad moving into the creeks feeding on the algae, the bass follow. During this time of the year a number of baits can be used successfully, but one of the top producers is the simple jig and plastic trailer.

    A bass jig is nothing more than a head molded around a stout hook with a rubber or silicon thread skirt tied around the base of the head. When paired with a plastic craw or other suitable trailer, a bass magnet is born.

    Depending on the color, jigs can mimic several of the foods that bass eat. A white jig can be retrieved steadily to appear like a fleeing shad. Black and blue or brown and green jigs resemble crawfish and green and blue jigs look like bream. Any of these combinations can be deadly in the fall, but swimming a white jig can be dynamite.

    Medium heavy to heavy casting gear is needed to adequately handle the weight of the jig. A 7 foot, medium-heavy action rod paired with 20 to 25 pound test line is a good start. If fishing in heavy cover, 50 pound braided line will take the punishment of the thickest of cover.

    Jigs have different head designs suited for different applications, but the Arkie style head is the most popular and can be used when fishing the various cover and structure. Football headed jigs have recently become a favorite when fishing deep structure because the head design helps prevent hanging up. It also allows the bait to “walk” along the bottom, mimicking a crawfish.

    With patience and practice, jigs can become a powerful weapon in your arsenal for catching bass.

    Email me with questions and comments…wes@lewisfishing.com.

    September 29, 2010 at 7:47pm

    The water level at Badin Lake has been dropping a bit, but anglers are still catching bass.

    With the falling water, the bass are moving closer to the points and the deeper pockets where they can ambush the shad.

    Schools of shad are gathering in the feeders and the bass are feeding on them. Anglers are using top water baits in the mornings and then switching to crankbaits as the sun gets up. The cold snap working across NC will certainly pick things up and the lower water will concentrate the bass more.

    The water temperatures before the cold were in the low 80s and the grass was all but completely out of the water. The water has been pretty clear for Badin…about 3 to 4 feet of visibility.

    Alcoa is predicting the water level to remain the same at about 4 feet below full pool. When boating, use extreme caution, as the shoals are exposed.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:43pm

    The two largest lakes on the Yadkin River system, located in central North Carolina, are running a bit on the low side, due to the summer season water fluctuations.

    High Rock Lake and Badin Lake are about 4 feet below full pool and caution is advised for boaters cruising on the waters. While most hazards are marked, boaters should certainly be on the lookout for anything near the water surface.

    For anglers, the falling water means that bass will be moving toward points and coves that are close to deeper water. The twist is the shad are still moving to the shallows, and the cool weather coming up will amplify that movement.

    Look for the bass to become increasingly active as the surface temperatures start to drop with the cold front passing through North Carolina.

    The Yadkin River system is a series of four lakes run by Alcoa Power Generating Inc. and consists of High Rock Lake, Tuckertown Lake, Badin Lake and Falls Lake.

    To follow the lake levels and trends, visit https://www.alcoa.com/yadkin/en/lakes/reservoir_data.asp by copying this link into your browser.

    If you have any questions or comments, please email me at wes@lewisfishing.com

    September 26, 2010 at 8:25pm

    Saturday, September 25th, is the annual day set aside for the National Hunting and Fishing Day.

    The NHF Day was set up as a day of thanks for all the conservation efforts hunters and anglers contribute to the wildlife and the lands of the United States.

    It was an idea originally acted on by the state of Pennsylvania when Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe’s Gun Shop, suggested PA set up a day of thanks to the sportsmen of the state. In 1970, PA governor Raymond Shafer declared “Outdoor Sportsman’s Day” in Pennsylvania.

    The idea caught wind and in 1972, both houses of Congress voted to set aside the fourth Saturday of every September as “National Hunting and Fishing Day”.

    As President Nixon signed into effect the first proclamation of the day, he was quoted as saying, “I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations.”

    Today, the National Hunting and Fishing Day is still the most effective grassroots effort to promote outdoors sports and conservation.

    Celebrate conservation and the outdoors…go fishing!

    Visit www.nhfday.org for more information.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:35am

    With the end of summer in sight, many anglers are looking forward to fall bass fishing in the state of North Carolina. One of the signs that the fall bassing is ready to start is the movement of the shad.

    As you read this, shad are moving in the lakes across the region in tightly packed schools on the surface and the bass are finding them.

    For the past several weeks, shad schools have been forming and they have been migrating up the creeks and rivers and the bass have been following. This year, however, the shad have been smaller. It is believed this is due to the extended winter that blanketed the southeast that forced the spawning of all of the fish to be delayed.

    Because the shad are smaller, it is best to use smaller baits to mimic them better. Rapala #5 Shad Raps and the smaller bodied Koppers LiveTarget Shad are taking a number of fish when worked across the points. Bass seem to be hanging out on the points waiting for the schools to move past them.

    There have also been a number of bass working the shallows…the boat ramps of Norman, the boat docks of High Rock…just about any place a shad might happen by and most of the bass I have put in the boat have been spitting up those little shad morsels.

    In all, the time is getting right for the bass the start really getting aggressive and before you know it, the fall bite is on!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:37pm

    Most of us hold to the time worn thoughts that bass fishing is only good during summer in the early morning or the late evening.

    The PAA/Bass Pro Shops bass tournament on Lake Norman proved out that bass can be caught all day with a bit of persistence and a lot of sunscreen.

    Edwin Evers won the event by fishing for bass hanging around boat docks. To be more specific, he targeted the brush that was in a little deeper water in front of the boat docks to catch over 15 pounds on the final day and capture the win. For that, he earned a $45,000 purse that included a new Nitro Z-8 bass boat.

    Many of the PAA pros told of catching fish in 25 to 35 feet of water by marking them on their depth finders and then dropping a drop shot rig or shaky head jig to the bass.

    Ott Defoe, the second place finisher, went up the river and targeted the bass in the cooler, moving water of the Catawba River where it winds into Lake Norman. Defoe caught most of his fish on the third day using a Berkley Power Worm rigged Texas style with a 1/8th ounce weight. He cast behind the fallen trees and anything else that deflected the current.

    Lake Norman bass are still very catchable in the summer, just be careful of the heat. Drink plenty of fluids and use plenty of sun screen and you can put some nice bass in your boat, too.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:29pm
    A comment titled: Sweet in response to a report titled: 8 pounder

    Nice bass! Swimbaits are always a good option for the big ones...

    January 02, 2013 at 1:57pm
    A comment titled: Nice doormat! in response to a report titled: Second Cast Wins Cape Fear Flounder Classic

    Thats a nice flounder! Congrats!

    January 02, 2013 at 1:56pm
    A comment titled: Nice cats! in response to a report titled: Cape Fear Catfish

    Nice fish! How were you getting them to bite?

    January 15, 2011 at 8:42am
    A comment titled: Great shot! in response to a report titled: Rage In The Cage at 70yrds.

    Excellent report and congrats on the harvest! It is truly an awesome experience to take a deer with a bow and that was a great shot.

    November 15, 2010 at 8:43pm
    A comment titled: Way to go!!!! in response to a report titled: Hannah's first buck

    Nicely done Hannah! That is a great deer!

    November 10, 2010 at 7:16pm
    A comment titled: Nice fish! in response to a report titled: Randleman Reservoir, Oct 1

    Great report...looks like there ARE some nice fish in Randleman already. Way to stay with them...

    Any color in particular more successful?

    October 05, 2010 at 12:28pm
    A comment titled: Chatterbaits... in response to a report titled: Jigging for fall bass

    I agree that the chatterbait is a great lure...adding that blade to a jig really made a difference when swimming them! It's really a good option when the bass are active and when they are not, just swim the jig...

    Thanks for the nice comments...

    September 30, 2010 at 8:43am
    A comment titled: Sweet deer! in response to a report titled: 10 year old Kevin Stricklands first buck.Taken with crossbow

    Nice start! That is a great deer and you showed very good judgment waiting for the perfect shot. We can all learn from that! Nice job!

    September 29, 2010 at 7:45pm
    A comment titled: Nice cat! in response to a report titled: Fishing on Badin Lake

    That's a great fish! They should be moving up again with the rains. The water came up half a foot based on Alcoa's level postings.

    September 29, 2010 at 7:36pm
    A comment titled: A swimming cat... in response to a report titled: High Rock Bass

    I'm thinking that cat probably didn't want to be in that water!

    Nice report. Are the docks still in the water or is it pretty skinny under them?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:31pm
    A comment titled: Nice report... in response to a report titled: Kerr Lake Fishing Report

    Nice report. Sounds like a nice day on the water. My wife hasn't been brave enough to try the baitcaster yet, but maybe one day.

    Good luck in the BWS!

    September 24, 2010 at 10:26am
    A comment titled: Nice wall decorations! in response to a report titled: Wall Of Fame

    That's a wall a sportsman could love...that's for sure! Nice mounts...

    September 24, 2010 at 8:34am
    A comment titled: Good pic... in response to a report titled: Another nice bass at farm pond

    You've got the swim baits down...nice fish...

    September 20, 2010 at 10:19pm
    A comment titled: ok..ok... in response to a report titled: nice bass

    I'm officially in awe of that pond! Nice catching, too!

    September 20, 2010 at 10:17pm
    A comment titled: Nice! in response to a report titled: Nice Night Bass

    Swim baits at night...great combination and great fish!

    September 20, 2010 at 10:14pm
    A comment titled: Nice reds... in response to a report titled: Pamlico Sound Drum

    That's some nice reds! How are you getting them?

    September 20, 2010 at 10:08pm
    A comment titled: Another good one... in response to a report titled: another nice bass

    You've got quite the spot to fish in...keep the pics coming!

    September 20, 2010 at 10:07pm
    A comment titled: Was that the missing pic? in response to a report titled: another big un

    Wass this one the report witht he missing picture? If so, glad to see the fish! I think you qualify to have a scale with you at ALL times!

    September 15, 2010 at 10:26am
    A comment titled: Good timing... in response to a report titled: citation cobia

    You definitely have some good timing on finding nice fish! Keep the posts coming...

    September 15, 2010 at 10:24am
    A comment titled: Can't pass up those nice days... in response to a report titled: Saturday in the Skiff

    Great post! It's hard to pass up days like that...

    September 15, 2010 at 10:21am
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