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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hisheirs, scooteri and I got out on the Cape Fear just below Buckhorn Dam (near Moncure NC, I suppose) on Tuesday in our kayaks. Its pretty shallow right now with an easy flow - no problem paddling down or upstream, but you touch lots of subsurface rock with the bottom of the yak.

We headed downstream a couple hundred yards to the head of the exposed rocky section. Lots of gar breaking the surface early and as it got toward dusk the bass started more actively feeding on top. The Cape didn't yield her treasure easily, but everybody caught a little something (emphasis on little...). Hisheirs got a couple of small bass on a just-barely-subsurface crankbait, scooteri got a cat on gulp maggot under a bobber and at least one bass (not sure on what). I got one small bass on a yo-zuri minnow and had a horny toad get chewed up pretty good on the paddle back - no hook ups but lots of blow ups.

I hadn't ever been there before and it was a lot to take in. I was most surprised at how wide the river is - 100 yards? maybe more? Not sure I identified any particular spots that seemed to have deeper pools or different fish holding structure than anywhere else. If/when I go again, I'll probably want to spend a little more time closer to the dam and/or get a little deeper into the rocky section. Mostly seems like the kind of place you need to get familiar with before it will share its secrets.

The gravel portion of Buckhorn road is great for the first 2 miles, but that last 100 yards looks like the lunar surface. Good spot to launch kayaks from once you get down to the water. Great place to paddle & see some nature.

Here's the pics:

Hisheirs at the launch:


Scooteri in front of the dam:


Downstream into the rocks:


Cape fear treasure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Jeff .. you did get the big fish .. :)...
I doubt it - in this case I think my (lack of) camera skills are helping me. That fish wasn't 2x as long as that little minnow, and would have fit nicely on top of my foot, with plenty of foot left visible...

I did make sure not to get any pics of anybody else's fish, so I will claim the prize for biggest photo'd fish!
 

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Yup, that's the buckhorn dam. It is pretty wide there in that part of river, at least 100 yards if not more.

Great pix! thanx for the report and your right about that landing down there.. did you drive down the little hill to get to the water? how ya like all them busted up bricks! ;)

Thanx for the report
 

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I had been hoping some of you guys would do something like that. It always makes for a good experience when you can get away from the jetskis and power boats even if the fishing is slow. Rivers are great for the soul. I never have felt like I was missing out on being somewhere else while floating a river. Most of the wildlife is unconcerned with your presence as long as you aren't too close to the bank. You can see some interesting things during a day on a river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
... did you drive down the little hill to get to the water? how ya like all them busted up bricks! ;)
I was the last to arrive and the other two had already taken the plunge so there was no chickening out for me. Hisheirs made it fine in his SUV and somehow Scooteri got his oldsmobuick down there. He got it back up too. Must have some kind of hover-power underneath! No problems for me and the truck...

I was happy to see the bricks - they're better than eroded mud, at least dry.

The pot holes on that last section are so big that they're pretty easy to get navigate. I wouldn't want to try it wet, but even Lefty's Saturn should be able to navigate it dry.

I think getting there is part of what sinker man is talking about - driving that long downhill gravel stretch on Buckhorn gives you a chance to "shed" your urban hangover, and the elevated risk factor of the last couple of yards really opens your senses. Then you see the dam - its like being dropped in another world, but your still only minutes from Fuquay and Apex.

Now if somebody can figure out what makes the fish happy down there we'll be in business!
 

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Ya gotta love the Cape Fear ...
My two most recent trips has produced a fair number of fish (24+) .. mostly fingerlings .. but hey where the small ones are there's got to be big ones (doesn't there ???) ...
more importantly I've been left w/ 2 life experiences .. nobody will ever beleive ...

1. Tuesday nite I get a hit close to the boat .. hook into a fish for less then a second .. lure goes flying through the air .. lands on the other side of the boat where I immediattly get another hit .. 2 chances .. no fish .. but a story ..

2. Yesterday I hook into what I thought was a sizable fish .. drag is singing .. when I get it to the boat I discover I have two fish .. on one lure .. one on the bottom hook .. one on the rear .. what are the odds ...

3. I also had been periodially hooking into some REALLY sizable or strong fish .. but couldn't keep them on hook .. finally got one to the boat .. another 1st for me .. it was a small Gar (18") .. figure the other fish I couldn't hang onto were as well .. probably couldn't hold the hook in their boney bills .. never had to deal with a fish before that WANTED TO BITE ME !!!

I know from dealing with Northern Pike and Catfish there are handling procedures w/ fish that have nastys .. just what is the recommended procedure for unhooking Gar ..
a shotgun ??
 

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Red X Angler
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I have given more than one rig to a gar but I always tough it out to get a lure back..LOL
Years ago Dad carried a .22 pistol with rat shot, that makes them more agreeable..LOL, but you can't do that nowadays so I try to hold them up with the line and work the hooks out with needle nosed pliers letting the fish fall away when he comes loose. Often the line is wrapped around the snout. When that happens I work my hooks loose so the lure will drop off and cut the line...
 
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never had to deal with a fish before that WANTED TO BITE ME !!!
Could you have gotten a gripper like Jeff's onto his jaws? They're only $10-$15 and have a great reputation.
 

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Red X Angler
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Who owns that property where you launched? If the area is that good you might want to see if you can raise funds/volunteers from fellow yakkers and fishermen to fix the road.....?
 

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I have given more than one rig to a gar but I always tough it out to get a lure back..LOL
Years ago Dad carried a .22 pistol with rat shot, that makes them more agreeable..LOL, but you can't do that nowadays so I try to hold them up with the line and work the hooks out with needle nosed pliers letting the fish fall away when he comes loose. Often the line is wrapped around the snout. When that happens I work my hooks loose so the lure will drop off and cut the line...
Just as a thought .. bring a sledge hammer .. :)
took me 10 min's getting it off ... a real pain avoiding those teeth .. but oh so much fun reeling it in .. can't imagine the fight of a sizable one .. though with the hook sets I attempted I have a good idea ..
 

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Could you have gotten a gripper like Jeff's onto his jaws? They're only $10-$15 and have a great reputation.
The jaws aren't the issue .. it's the "snakey" end flopping the jaws around that makes it difficult. Their extremely strong and IF you manage to get a hook into their bill (I must of hooked into 5 of them yesterday, but couldn't keep them on) it's a real pain getting it back out. I'm most certainly not going to drag one into the kayak to get a good grip on it either ... not with THOSE teeth .. :)

I know ... the salt water guys are laughing at me ..
 

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Who owns that property where you launched? If the area is that good you might want to see if you can raise funds/volunteers from fellow yakkers and fishermen to fix the road.....?
I'm not sure ... but I'm thinking it's Progressive Energy .. leastwise the "If the horn sounds" sign as you enter the area would imply as much ...

don't let the description of the road scare anyone off .. it's navigatable .. leastwise as long as it hasn't rained.

If 'WE' really wanted to fix an access point .. I'd target the Deep / Old Hwy #1 ..
I was entertaing the thought of getting a bunch of cheap bags of premixed concrete and just throwing them in the ruts / potholes ..
 

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I figured "if the horn sounds" meant that you're within such-and-such radius of the power plant...
 
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