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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe a longer trip than I typically have the time to make, but I have this persisting craving for trying to catch some smallmouth while minimizing to whatever degree possible the length of the road trip. I am interested in a lake setting at this point for a variety of reasons, mainly due to my boat setup and other factors.

From High Point to decent to good smallmouth fishing... am I looking at a couple hours or is there something closer that's got pretty good quality fishing?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have tried Smith Mountain Lake, Claytor Lake and Philpott in VA and failed at all 3 in the quest for my first brown bass. Guess I am better suited for green fish in brown water than brown fish in green water.
LOL having fished SML and the lakes around here, that description sounds pretty much on the money. I have actually caught a few smallies at SML this past summer (no big ones, just 1 to 2 pounds) by happenstance, but I am by no means proficient at it. I have considered that Smith Mountain may be my best resource within the 2-hour mark (it's right at 2 hours drive time, not including load / launch time) but I wanted to check and see if there was something else I might be missing.

To be honest, I"m not sure I even have the time to pursue it, but I really do like the idea of chasing smallmouth and figured it was worth posing the question.
 

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You have a craving, appear to be seeking bigger smallmouth, but are limiting yourself to inferior habitats that are further from the Triad.

All said, you can catch "big" smallies in rivers, all within 1 hr from you. You just have to broaden your horizons and let go of that expensive bass boat for a few hours.

If you must fish a lake, Kerr Scott has smallmouth, as should the far upper reaches of High Rock and Kerr (Staunton), and Badin/Tillery tributaries. However, in all cases smallmouth are not the primary black bass species, mainly due to habitat.

I don't think mountain clear lakes in our region have the forage or habitat to produce pig smallies. Unless those lakes are feed from large fertile flows, like Claytor.

Overall, if you want bigger smallmouth near High Point, you're best bet is the Yadkin or Dan and it's not in a bass boat.


-Jeff
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another good Smallie lake is Watauga Lake just inside the Tn line outside of Boone NC on (321 I think). Very deep clear and really good crappie/bass/small mouth
I want to check out Watauga one of these days, I've heard it's beautiful.

Thanks for the input, folks. I think I sorta knew the answer but thought I would pose it anyway. Fishscalz, I did not realize the fishing at Philpott was good for smallmouth... that's about 20 minutes closer to me and a smaller lake than SML. I'll have to consider that, thanks for the mention!

Jerry, I know the New has good fishing and I want to sample that, but my interest is more specific to a lake at the moment for my current purpose.

All said, you can catch "big" smallies in rivers, all within 1 hr from you. You just have to broaden your horizons and let go of that expensive bass boat for a few hours.
Jeff, in this instance it's not about my horizons or 'letting go of that expensive bass boat;' I don't even have a bass boat, but thank you. I also don't yet have a canoe, but that's coming in the future. What I do have is a 15 year-old (inexpensive) center console that is currently my best option for combining what my family likes to do and what I want to try to add in to the equation. That is the reason for specifying a lake environment; we can do a few different things in a day's outing - tubing, sunning, keeping up with a busy 2 year old, etc. If it were only about what I want, then I could (and at some point will) pursue the river fishing and my horizons.
 

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If you do get a canoe or kayak I'd be happy to try and figure the whole smallie thing out with you this summer. I plan on putting a lot of time in on the area rivers. I also want to try fishing some of the bigger area lakes, so I'd come with you if you didn't mind towing me and my yak around to good spots :p
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will keep that in mind, cmckearney. The canoe is not as much a question of 'if' but rather 'when.' As for lake fishing in general, I don't make it down your way much, if you ever find yourself in my area feel free to let me know, I'm happy to try to find a chance to get you out on some lake-bound bass.
 

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There are a few in Kerr but pretty rare for the most part. They are becoming a little more common in Lake Gaston. I got a buddy who caught one around 4 lbs and have heard of several being weighed in during tournaments.
 

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Red X Angler
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Sam I have a spare yak, and we can find contacts to help with the search out this way.
I would enjoy a chance to get out on the New, Dan or Yadkin this spring, RaymondWells and Froggy would be good sources of info and could probably be talked into guiding a trip. I have also wanted to fish a stretch of the Uwharrie

Some of the nicest smallies that I have seen in the last few years have come from a flow just across the line in SC. PM if interested and I'll tell what little I know and see if we can get some more info.

Darrell
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That sounds like a fun trip, Darrell, and I'll let you know if I can get free for something like that.

There is just so much fishing to be done, and too little time to do it all.

You fish Belews a lot, right? I'm in Winston (Raleigh for school), so I can definitely get there during the summer.
I fish Belews a fair amount from November till about mid March but I don't typically go out there after that time frame. The CNCBA tournament in early to mid March has been the last trip out there for me the last few seasons. That's mainly because once Spring is sprung, I am much more focused on my real favorite fishing hole which is Randleman Reservoir.

Summer boat traffic and the very warm water is a deterrent for me for Belews once things start warming up, but if you're in the Triad during Summer I definitely know some places I can put you on some fish.
:D
 

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I've caught literally hundreds from both Philpott an SML over the yrs. they ain't large mouth, thats the first thing ya gotta understand. My best presentations have been a 4 inch slider worm an Shad Raps. Location has to be figured out. the area around the dam on both lakes has been best for me. Trollin the Shad Raps has showed me the places to concentrate when castin. I do best in the early season fishin the banks, laydowns can be great then. Later on I catch a lot of them trollin leadcore with small silver spoon or Roostertails. we've caught over 30 a day at Philpott doin this.
 

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Surfrider and DBeam, I live in High Point, travel often to the Hickory area, and have several yaks to play with. My passion is smallies and I'd love to take you guys smallmouth fishing any time. My faves are the New and the Yadkin, and the upper Dan if you're feeling adventurous.
PM me if you're interested...
Clay
 

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Are you determined to use a boat, or can you fish from the bank on smaller waters?

There is a campground pond near Stone Mtn State park full up with smallies in the 2-3 lb range.... And the Boy Scout camp Bud Schiele in Rutherfordton has a pond with many other smallies in the same range.

The boy scout camp would require permission to fish, and would be C&R only. If you want me to go through my old camping info and find out about the pond in the campground, I can do that if you wish. You could probably walk up and fish it without issue, as it's not marked for campers only, and it's on the road border of the park (at least it wasn't marked a few years ago)
 
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