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Found myself with some comp time and a clean calendar today. After all the recent talk about power plant lakes I just couldn't bring myself to dump in right here at cold Falls Lake, so I made a mid-day run up to Hyco from the triangle today. Left home around 10:30.

Talked with the ranger for a while to get some more info on the lake. It has 3 hot water discharges, with the primary one being in the main lake and two others feeding the 1st and 2nd fingers (coming from the SE). I had gone upstream from the ramp and through the canal into the 2nd finger in my only other trip there last year so I thought I'd try the main lake and head for the hot hole this time. Got the skinny on the no fishing zones - all of the no wake zones on the lake are also no fishing zones for boats. That includes the canal and under all the bridges.


Launched around 12:30, just as the low cloud bank was starting to get blown out. Water temp was around 60, a little warmer in the channel and as I moved downstream toward the plant. I found some water closer to 50 as I headed W along the south side of the Hwy 57 dike toward the corner away from the channel. Can't put too much faith in my temp readings as they are through hull. What was really noticeable was the way the warmer water temp helps to take the bite out of the wind as it moves across the water. There's a lot to like about power plant lakes.

The only concentrations of fish & bait I saw on the finder were in the channel, just below the Hwy 57 bridge, right in the middle of the no wake/no fishing zone:(. Otherwise saw a handful of blips on the graph, most of them 20' down in 21 feet of water. Maybe 2 suspended 12 feet down in 20+. Surely didn't paddle over many fish.

I hit a protected cove and fished some dock pilings with a Spot Remover shakey-head & [-]green pumpkin[/-] watermelon pepper finesse worm. (something else to like about Hyco - I don't have any docks to fish here in the Triangle - good clean fun!). Lost a fish right away but wound up catching several like the one below - typical Hyco runts.

Crossed the lake to get closer to the warm water and the rip rap dike that closes the 2nd finger, but the wind had ratcheted way up and was blasting in there. I knew the ride home was going to be slow so I started back a little early into a serious headwind and chop. I thought about ditching the gear at the restaurant at Hwy 57, but I was inspired by the recent "Hardcore" talk and found the will to go on. (and I didn't want to leave that much gear unsupervised while I waddled back to the park in waders).

Wound up having a great drive through the country, learned a little more about a good winter fishing spot, caught a few fish on a new technique for me, and got a really good workout. Wouldn't mind finding a better class of fish up there, but all in all its a pretty good trade for some late night work.
 

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Red X Angler
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Sounds like a great day for this time of year. Probably some nice crappies in those deep schools. get some small jigs and try it sometime...
 
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Maybe this is another topic for your how-to series but...
what's the difference between "shakey head" and "worm on a jig head"?
Can you do shakey-head with plastics besides worms? crawdads, creatures, etc....
 
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Alot of the shakey heads hook to the head different. The ones I have hook directly to the lead with a little corkscrew instead of running the shank thru it. Also shaped flat to help it stand up which is the real answer to the question. A short hop and it will immediately go right back to the bottom and stay vertical. Shorter finesse worms work better. A jig will pop like that just not good at staying up and waving the tail around.Just like a lot of things it started when they slayed em on the B.A.S.S. circuit. Last year or year before. So everybody wanted some, me included.If you hop one of those around in the shallows it`s pretty cool to watch and way different than a texas rig.Suppose a crawdad would be another good choice.
 
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