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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I usually kayak in MIL, and last year fished the lake a few times as well. I usually put in at the Gar Creek landing, in the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. Then I will paddle west into the main body of the lake, then northeast, and fish in one of the inlets on the east side that is across from the small island in the northern part of the lake.

I'm looking for other kayakers/anglers who paddle and fish MIL to answer a few questions:
  • Is there a better place to put in?
  • Where is the best fishing?
  • What are the best techniques, baits, lures, etc. for MIL?
  • Are there any species of fish in MIL that are safe to eat and worth keeping?
  • Are they any others out there that meet up to paddle and/or fish MIL?
Thanks in advance!

P.S. - I am planning to paddle and fish MIL next Sunday, weather permitting.
 

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I have also kayaked Mountain Island Lake a couple of times last year. I usually put in at the Latta Plantation access. I have found the fishing poor. I may have been my fishing ability. I have be teaching myself to fly fish and I didn't do well fly fishing. I have tried fishing with bait. That will probably something I will try this summer. I know there is plenty of fish activity about 40 feet of the canoe access about 4;30 P.M. this past summer. Where are you going to put in nest Sunday and when. I might be able to fish it next Sunday. If I can I will make it. I paddle a tan Olde Towne Diago 12 footer.
 

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We`ll get something together for the weekend. Lean toward sun. I may have to work Sat. You guys post how you feel about Sun. ? Morning or afternoon.? We could do Latta, but there are much better spots. We don`t normally decide til FRi. nite. (depending on who`s heard what or thinks something will be happening somewhere.) If neither of you have seen it yet, you`d like the dam at Mt. Holly.(top of wylie) It`s about 4 miles round trip. Can be a hot spot. You just head upstream and could quit anytime if you decided to, or wanted to stay in a spot. They`ve been killing the perch recently. We`ll talk about it. Don`t feel bad if we don`t do it this time. Some weekends we`ll go twice on sat and sunday alot of times. Anybody who paddles is always welcome to tag along with us. The river aint goin anywhere.
 

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Will send you guys some more detailed info on spots and answer those questions tonight.
Kayakdoc-----coolest avatar I`ve EVER seen!
Ton of info on here . Be sure you search around.-------------------stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Stu...I saw the design on a T-shirt and "borrowed" it for my avatar. I have found some of the info you have posted in the past about MIL, but look forward to any new stuff you are willing to share.

I was targeting Sunday, however I also promised my two boys I would take them out with me. I don't want to slow you guys down with the kids. If I can take them out Saturday, maybe I can meet up Sunday solo.
 

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No problem with the kids. I have 2 boys-11 and 4 yrs old. The oldest is already a decent kayaker. Better yakker than fisherman at this point. I had taken both of them out before they turned 2 on the floor between my legs.
MIL has 4 public launches. 3 fairly close together bout midway up. (above the bend) And 1 on the bottom end. From top to bottom they are:
1-Neck rd access. This is a big landing in a cove not far from main channel. OUt of Latta take a left,next intersection (beatties ford rd.) take a left, follow a few miles to Neck rd, turn left, go few more til you see access sign and turn left onto gravel.Farthest north you can launch. Just below Mc Dowell creek which has big shallow flats and creek. Good spot to check for spawn. Lot of nature here too.
2-Latta plantation.There are 2 spots inside latta. One not too far in the park. Take a right,can`t remember if it is the stable road or next one. Ends in a gravel circle. This one puts you pretty much right on the main channel. Other one near back of park, take a right at the powerline. Big parking lot. This is Gar creek. Paddle right to channel or left to go in the creek. Lot of shallows in back. Had some good luck in there. Good place to check on soon.
3-Riverbend steam plant access.This is at bridge at hwy 16. Bottom of the river. Can go to top of the dam from here or the hothole (discharge) This is our favorite launch. Espescially mine it`s 2 min from my house.
2 spots we like on the very top of Wylie. MIL ends at the dam.CAN put in below the dam. It is bank access, not TECHNICALLY a launch but we do it. INvolves a short carry. Very good fishing though. Current can be pretty fast here. If you take a left off of hwy 16 (same rd that leads to landing) follow up hill to next left (hwy 273 to MT. Holly). Follow til you see water tower on left and turn left . This takes you to the dam.
You can put in aprox. 2 miles down in Mt. Holly and paddle up to the dam or downstream to the whitewater center. Go past dam til you hit a big intersection ( hwy 27) take a left, turn left at church, then next right. Big launch, cost a buck. Just upstream on the left is Dutchmans creek. You can go WAY back in the creek and there is a park right near the mouth that the kids might enjoy depending on age.
OK, gotta work and my carpal tunnel is kicking in. That`ll give you a start.
I`ll see to it that at least a few of us can go Sun. afternoon. We can private mess. the details. Just thought I`d put all this out for everyone to see.
Now, GET OUT THERE!:)----------stu
 

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Got a little lunch left so I thought I`d add some general MIL info, maybe answer some of the questions. MIL is sandwhiched between Norman and Wylie. Has 60 miles of shore compared to Normans 600. It`s called a lake, but no locals call it that. It`s just "the river" .Closest MIL comes to a lake is the bottom near the dam. Deepest there at around 60 ft. Most of the rest is fairly narrow and can have a pretty good current when they run the dams. You really need to know where you`re running in a powerboat if you head up past "the bend". MIL has a big elbow in the middle. Past the sandbar up north is the most narrow and dangerous to run. Channel isn`t always where you`d think. MIL is the water supply for Charlotte, and will never have any marinas on it due to this.
MIL is known for it`s clarity but not size of it`s bass. A 6lber is a trophy on MIL. It is a good fishery. Wylie better for bass. Norman better for stripes. MIL has some good crappie holes and big cats.Few duck hunters around, and like anywhere it gets crowded in the summer. MIL has all the types of spots you want, you just have to learn where,and decide where you you think they are for the season/what you`re after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stu,

Thanks again for all of the info. One last general question about fresh water fishing here in the piedmont. What native/local species are safe to eat (and worth the trouble). My wife loves to fish, but only when there is the possibility to bring home dinner.

We lived in South Florida most of our lives, and mostly fished the ocean and intracoastal. That meant that we always had a decent chance to catch something edible. Now that we live here, I am trying to get her interested in fresh water fishing, since the ocean is too far for regular trips.

Thanks again...

P.S. - I got your PM.
 

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Can check the NCWRC website for consumption advisories but to my knowledge there really aren`t any on the catawba chain. What most of the advisories are when there is one is basically saying "you might not want to eat fish from here EVERYDAY FOR YEARS. And some advise that pregnant women (as opposed to pregnant men) should not consume. I wouldn`t worry about the occasional fish fry. If there are toxins , an older fish will have more. For this reason some people may steer clear of the really big cats. For MIL work on your crappie fishing, and white perch. They`ve been catching perch 2 at a time recently at the dam. They are small but very tasty. When it gets hot I always have 1 yearly "bream Massacre". If you find the shellcrackers bedding they are excellent. I haven`t eaten a bass in a LONG time. Just can`t seem to do it, but nothing wrong with them either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey guys...sorry I have been scarce the past few days. I had a last minute business trip dumped on me, so I am not going to be able to get on the water for 2 weeks!

I'll get back in touch when I get back in town.
 
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