March’s best fishing bets

North Carolina

What: Black crappie

Where: Badin Lake

How: During the prespawn, look for crappie to move into the backs of creeks. Most fish will be found from halfway back to the shallow flats at the back of the creek. Long-line troll 1/16-ounce curlytail jigs behind the yak at a slow, even paddle — .9 to 1.2 mph if you have GPS.

Launch: Fish Tales Marina and Circle Drive ramps will put you within reach of the back of several good creeks and coves.

Insider tip: When long-lining from a kayak, use rods of different lengths with the longest toward the front of the boat, decreasing length as you move toward the stern. If paddling, leave enough space between the last rod to get a decent paddle stroke in.

South Carolina

What: Black, white crappie

Where: Lake Marion, upstream from I-95 bridge.

How: The shallows above I-95 is stump infested, hand-to-hand, jig-pole fishing. Using a 9- to 10-foot pole, lower a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce jig around any standing or submerged timber.

Launch: Santee State Park, Low Falls Landing and Sparkleberry Landing will put you in the right areas

Insider tip: A brown jig with an orange head is a hard color combination to beat at Santee during the prespawn and spawning periods. The color mimics small crayfish that prey on nest eggs and fry and really tick nest guarding male crappie off.

SC/NC Border

What: Black crappie

Where: Lake Wylie

How: Shooting docks. Pick an area with a number of floating boat docks and shoot 1/24- or 1/32-ounce jigs as far back under docks as you can reach.

Launch: Pick your spot from the list at

Insider tip: This is a line-watching event, so fluorescent blue line helps you to see a fish inhale your jig as it is slowly falling through the water column under the dock.

About Phillip Gentry 821 Articles
Phillip Gentry of Waterloo, S.C., is an avid outdoorsman and said if it swims, flies, hops or crawls, he's usually not too far behind.

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