Falls Lake is my nemesis and I need help
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Thread: Falls Lake is my nemesis and I need help

  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Falls Lake is my nemesis and I need help

    I've been to Falls Lake 3-4 times with one largemouth to show for all those trips. I thought for sure today would be the day. Cloud cover, water temps 66 degrees, wind to chop up the water. I threw a white spinnerbait with a keitech trailer which is usually money for me. Not a single fish. I swear, I read so many good things about this lake but to me it's a desert. I usually fish lower lake near the dam, specifically Horse Creek and surrounding areas.

    Anyone have any tips? I fished Horse Creek, New Light, went pretty far back but no luck. Tried Carolina rig, shakey head, and spinnerbait. What makes this trip especially frustrating is that I thought I was doing everything right. Like if I had a second chance I really wouldn't change anything. Maybe I should've concentrated on main lake instead of the creeks? Maybe my baits are wrong? My experience and intuition tells me what I did was right, but I'm open to any suggestions.

    I swear this lake frustrates me to no end.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Durham
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    I share your pain. Falls can be tough when itís not on. I mainly fish the very top end because thatís where I live but itís feast or famine for me on either end. This was a very good day.

    Late Feb thru mid-April can be magic with big fish up shallow. Things get tough for me starting now before summer patterns start up. I just donít know where they go or what theyíre doing.

    Right now, to catch a good one or two, Iíd be out before sunrise to fish a frog or buzz bait or vibrating jig along shore lines until 8 or 9. But after that, Iím lost.

    I noticed the carp are feeding on shad eggs from the last full moon shad spawn (I didnít really believe in all the full moon stuff until watching the shad respond to it). An early morning visit with a new or full moon might still catch some early morning shad spawn. The bass really get on that.... for an hour or two anyway. The shad make a big commotion up against the shoreline and the table is set.

    Iím a shoreline guy. Iíve learned just a couple of spots where I can get them deep later but frankly I can go to Kerr and do much better when they are deep.


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  4. #3
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillinDurham View Post

    I share your pain. Falls can be tough when itís not on. I mainly fish the very top end because thatís where I live but itís feast or famine for me on either end. This was a very good day.

    Late Feb thru mid-April can be magic with big fish up shallow. Things get tough for me starting now before summer patterns start up. I just donít know where they go or what theyíre doing.

    Right now, to catch a good one or two, Iíd be out before sunrise to fish a frog or buzz bait or vibrating jig along shore lines until 8 or 9. But after that, Iím lost.

    I noticed the carp are feeding on shad eggs from the last full moon shad spawn (I didnít really believe in all the full moon stuff until watching the shad respond to it). An early morning visit with a new or full moon might still catch some early morning shad spawn. The bass really get on that.... for an hour or two anyway. The shad make a big commotion up against the shoreline and the table is set.

    Iím a shoreline guy. Iíve learned just a couple of spots where I can get them deep later but frankly I can go to Kerr and do much better when they are deep.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Those are some awesome fish! I feel you on the feast and famine part. I wonder if the pressure from anglers factors in. It's not exactly a huge lake, but it gets a lot of fishermen. I mainly fish the lower end because it's my wheelhouse (deep, clear water and rock). So the shad spawn is already happening or almost over? I thought it happened in May. I'm fishing these lakes for the first time and still learning the timings. I've never fished the upper lake before but maybe I need to start trying. They must move out to deep structure, but getting them to bite is another story. Would you say by time the sun comes out it gets very tough?

    If you see an asian on a Falcon bass boat with a Suzuki outboard, that'll be me.

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  6. #4
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    Sep 2017
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    Lexington
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    Quote Originally Posted by th365thli View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BillinDurham View Post

    I share your pain. Falls can be tough when it’s not on. I mainly fish the very top end because that’s where I live but it’s feast or famine for me on either end. This was a very good day.

    Late Feb thru mid-April can be magic with big fish up shallow. Things get tough for me starting now before summer patterns start up. I just don’t know where they go or what they’re doing.

    Right now, to catch a good one or two, I’d be out before sunrise to fish a frog or buzz bait or vibrating jig along shore lines until 8 or 9. But after that, I’m lost.

    I noticed the carp are feeding on shad eggs from the last full moon shad spawn (I didn’t really believe in all the full moon stuff until watching the shad respond to it). An early morning visit with a new or full moon might still catch some early morning shad spawn. The bass really get on that.... for an hour or two anyway. The shad make a big commotion up against the shoreline and the table is set.

    I’m a shoreline guy. I’ve learned just a couple of spots where I can get them deep later but frankly I can go to Kerr and do much better when they are deep.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Those are some awesome fish! I feel you on the feast and famine part. I wonder if the pressure from anglers factors in. It's not exactly a huge lake, but it gets a lot of fishermen. I mainly fish the lower end because it's my wheelhouse (deep, clear water and rock). So the shad spawn is already happening or almost over? I thought it happened in May. I'm fishing these lakes for the first time and still learning the timings. I've never fished the upper lake before but maybe I need to start trying. They must move out to deep structure, but getting them to bite is another story. Would you say by time the sun comes out it gets very tough?

    If you see an asian on a Falcon bass boat with a Suzuki outboard, that'll be me.
    You bet the pressure affects it. Place gets absolutely hammered every single day. Used to an incredible fishery. The big ones are still there but the boat loads of 2-4 pounders are nowhere near as plentiful. All 3 of those Raleigh lakes are the same these days. Too much pressure. If I lived in Raleigh I would probably quit fishing. Right now The fish are still shallow. I really like fishing the grass on the upper end near ledge rock, but so does everyone else. If you will fish the grass slowly with a Texas rugged creature bait or a shakey head then you will get more bites. As long as the lake is full and not down they love that grass until early to mid June then it gets tough. It has incredible offshore bite, or at least it used to before everyone had the technology to find the offshore areas that the old schoolers only knew about from years of experience. It used to be my most favorite lake, now I rarely fish it. It isn’t what it once was sadly enough.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb_rn View Post
    You bet the pressure affects it. Place gets absolutely hammered every single day. Used to an incredible fishery. The big ones are still there but the boat loads of 2-4 pounders are nowhere near as plentiful. All 3 of those Raleigh lakes are the same these days. Too much pressure. If I lived in Raleigh I would probably quit fishing. Right now The fish are still shallow. I really like fishing the grass on the upper end near ledge rock, but so does everyone else. If you will fish the grass slowly with a Texas rugged creature bait or a shakey head then you will get more bites. As long as the lake is full and not down they love that grass until early to mid June then it gets tough. It has incredible offshore bite, or at least it used to before everyone had the technology to find the offshore areas that the old schoolers only knew about from years of experience. It used to be my most favorite lake, now I rarely fish it. It isn’t what it once was sadly enough.
    Plus with this virus all the lake are getting pressured to death . My little,lake I love I don’t fish anymore since I will count 30+ people on the banks and there are not that many open spots. So now I get in the car and drive 30 minutes to find spots to,fish.
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  8. #6
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    May 2015
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    I fish Beaverdam which is basically Falls Lake. I have a love/hate relationship with that lake. Spring and fall have been my best times. Multiple bass days and usually a good one or two. After that I’m lost. I have tried fishing the ledges and points with a Carolina rig to no avail. Crankbaiting and drop shotting gets the occasional fish.

    I usually end up trolling and catching white bass and perch.

    My next outing I’m bringing my catfish gear and I’m going to try drifting some cutbait.
    ~JOE~
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  9. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    Durham
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I never fished the upper lake, guess I'll have to join the crowd and give it a shot. I know there's big fish in the lower lake, but they seem impossible to catch. Just gotta keep grinding I guess. Fishing is fun when it's you against the fish. I already tournament fish, I don't need to have all my trips feel like I'm fishing against other people.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by th365thli View Post
    Those are some awesome fish! I feel you on the feast and famine part. I wonder if the pressure from anglers factors in. It's not exactly a huge lake, but it gets a lot of fishermen. I mainly fish the lower end because it's my wheelhouse (deep, clear water and rock). So the shad spawn is already happening or almost over? I thought it happened in May. I'm fishing these lakes for the first time and still learning the timings. I've never fished the upper lake before but maybe I need to start trying. They must move out to deep structure, but getting them to bite is another story. Would you say by time the sun comes out it gets very tough?

    If you see an asian on a Falcon bass boat with a Suzuki outboard, that'll be me.
    I havenít been out in the early morning this year but my memory (and fishing log) tells me that the shad have been spawning the last few weeks and will for another couple. Depends on stuff Iím not clear on but like I said, there seems to be a moon phase tie. A couple of years ago at Upper Bartons I watched a couple of guys catching Ďem off the dock in the pre-dawn moonlight. Shad were thrashing around the launch ramps and the bass were pigginí on Ďem. Iím not sure there was moonlight at that time but there was a full moon that night.

    I fish for carp on the fly occasionally and pay attention to what they are doing. They seem to feed on what I believe are shad eggs that stick to grass and weeds. When they are bottom feeding they make a mess of the upper lake but I noticed they are sucking stuff off the grass now and not making a muddy mess. BTW, they are very hard to catch during this period - no fun.

    If I could get myself out of bed, Iíd be hitting the lake very early with top waters and whatever else up shallow. This was from 5/6 last year, early in the AM (skip the 2nd half):

    https://youtu.be/bTp5Jv9pdI4


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  11. #9
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    I find Beaverdam a very, very tough lake area to fish. I have had some good fish there, but many a day with dinks or nothing. I don't get out there often enough to figure out the patterns, but they definitely have lock jaw quite a bit.

  12. #10
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    Feb 2019
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    Falls is a super tough lake. I have been gone home many a day without not even a bite. I can see them and know where they are but getting one to take a lure is a very different story. The lake has massive bait balls so why would a bass go after one little lure when it can just run through the bait ball and get a belly full. I have seen this happen more times on my fish finder than I care to talk about. Agree that the early morning bite is probably your best chance. Throw the lure into the jumping shad and the shad disappear leaving your lure. The upper lake is the better than the lower to catch fish but monsters do live in the deeper water closer the dam. They are big because they eat lots of those shad ball. Just my opinion. I drive a Champion 210 with a Merc 250. I usually go twice a week but not weekends.

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  13. #11
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    Welp, I went out today. I figured middle of the week is the best time to beat the crowd. Still a fair amount of boats at Upper Barton. It's just the reality of fishing pressured lakes. I'm not gonna let it get me down. People still catch them as evidenced by tournaments, so it's up to me to figure it out.

    Managed 4 fish on a variety of lures. Had a big one shake me off near shallow stumps, and we saw a big one flash on my partners worm. So they're there. It's been frustrating trying to pattern them, I think the wacky spring we've had has something to do with it. I think most of the fish have just finished spawning, with maybe a couple of stragglers. But I don't think they're active yet, they may still be recuperating. Either that or they only feed early in the morning. I live an hour and a half away so put in around 8am. Maybe that's too late. The weather recently has been chilly, and today there was absolutely no wind. I'm hoping the next few warm days will cause it to pick up. Shad are definitely active.

    The water level is also pretty low, they must've had a draw down recently. A lot of the shoreline cover is gone now. We fished mostly lower lake. We went to Ledge Creek to flip some grass, but the water was so shallow. It sort of threw a hamper on our plans to fish the upper lake, as so much cover was now out of water. This is why we eventually went back down to lower lake. Just another piece of the puzzle to figure out. They must go somewhere in the upper lake.
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