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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After getting the mower out for the first time this year, I managed a trip up to the Eno this afternoon.

First stop was the canoe launch off Redmill Rd (south side). That's an absolute disaster area. People have been dumping stuff back in the parking lot (bed, boat, trash, deer carcasses) , the smell of rotting deer lingers, and its about a 6 foot muddy drop to get down to the water. I would not call it a launch-friendly access. A handful of shore fishermen seemed to have no action going on at all - saw no stringers, coolers or buckets. Water was pretty muddy, but not running very fast.

From there I decided to visit Penny's Bend. Hadn't ever been there before but that looks much more promising for fishing, but maybe not kayaking. Short portage down from the parking lot - would be doable with two people. Not sure there's much paddle-able water though. Riffles start just above the parking area. Not sure about below. BUT the water was much clearer, the river rocky in that section - looked like a wade-fishing paradise. Lots of pools & riffles, boulders and the like. I need to get back up there for a land-based attack. That'll definitely be where the white bass run out of room to swim upstream if water stays at current level.

Since I had the kayak I headed back downstream to the Eno Boat Launch (north side). It must have been packed this morning as trucks & trailers were parked all over the place, but by 3ish when I got there many of the close spots had been vacated. I launched & headed upstream to investigate. Stopped to fish all the rocky shorelines and a few of the countless downed trees. Looks like it could be really bass-y back there when the temps are right and the water's been at a consistent level. I doubt there's much up there yet. Nobody I talked to was catching fish. Eventually ran into a pair of canoeists who had caught 1 catfish between them.

I kept moving upstream doing more paddling than fishing, trying to see what was around the next bend. It looks like I got about 3 miles upstream according to Google. Needed to go another 1.5-2 more to get to Penny's Bend by water (if its even reachable). Caught nothing all tye way up. Even tried the old standby tiny yo-zuri floater and couldn't even find a bluegill. I was starting to think that maybe the fish really haven't returned to that portion of the river yet, since it was unreachable for 6 months or so. I turned around at about 5:30 to head back.

Right at 6:00 I finally got a fish - 14+ inch white bass. Caught on a firetiger shad rap, size 5.

Seined the area with the shad rap and had nothing else nibble.

Talked to a couple more folks on the way back - 1 boat had been out all day and had 2 small cats.

So I did manage to find a sporting fish, and sort of proved that the whites are working their way upstream. Beautiful day - not much wind to deal with down in the Eno Channel as its pretty well protected. Still not in love with that stretch of river yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forgot to mention one of the highlights - managed my first "treble stuck in the tender inner thigh area". That part of the story starts with a nice enough day to bring out the winter-whitened legs in shorts. I lipped the fish, but wanted to put it on the grabber for the pic. I went to grab the grabber but it was all tangled up in its lanyard and wouldn't reach and I couldn't untangle it with just my left hand. So I automatically reached my right hand down there to help (fish and shad rap came along)... got it a little too close, the fish got excited and I had an uneasy tug-of-war going on for a minute. Tiny Rapala hook came right back through its entry and exit points. Some blood and perhaps a neat little reminder...

Rest assured, I took no pics!:)
 

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Nothin' worse than a treble in the "sweet meat"..LOL!!!
 

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i worked this exact same area last weekend -- didn't catch a thing, and couldn't get upstream past the redmill rd bridge because of a logjam there. would be great to get all the way up to where little river runs into the eno -- lots of white bass have been caught up that way recently.

i didn't know about the ncwildlife boat ramp on the north side of the eno downstream from redmill rd -- was very pleased to find it.

i talked to a guy who bass fishes that area and confirmed that it is a supposed to be a decent area for catching LMB later in the season.

// joel
 

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Jeffonc,

That area can have some pretty good white bass runs. A couple of years ago I went to Pennys Bend on the Eno to attempt some wading and fly fishing for the whites. The place was a mad house, a real zoo, especially near the parking lot and bridge at PB. I think every meat fisherman in Durham county was there that day lined up on the shoreline slinging a hook. I was the only one wade fishing and not putting my catch in a bucket (Imagine that!). Eventually I walked downstream of the bridge to escape the onslaught, but there were not too many good places to safely access the river and wade below the bridge, but probably because the water was kind of high and off color that day. There were lots of big white bass being caught, saw some females in buckets that could have gone 4+ pounds. That area looked like it would good for yak fishing downstream of PB, but never made it back to give it a try. Where is the best place to launch downstream of PB and paddle your way upstream?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
couldn't get upstream past the redmill rd bridge because of a logjam there.
The logjam was soft on the left hand side headed upstream - just loose floating junk. Looked like somebody had chainsawed the biggest tree laying across the river there, but the flotsam just wasn't pushing through. I probably wouldn't have even tried to get through except for a group of paddlers that had just come through from the upstream side as I got there.
 
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