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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where are all the mountain lake reports at are we to afraid of giving a tip here and there? I am new to this site and I have been to James about 10 times the past two months never getting more then 3 a day, I'm not looking to steal your magic but does anyone have any ideas or want to talk about there recent trips?
 

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I am looking to going out to Fantana soon I havent been on that lake before. Do you know anything about the smallmouth fishing out there?
I have not fished Fontana since the 70's, but I liked fishing the big creeks that come down from the Smoky Park. There always seemed to be Smallmouths haunting the creeks' mouths at the main channel. We sometimes fished jigs tipped with minnows. Often we trolled Bomber and Hellbender plugs quite swiftly so they'd dive deeper. I don't think they make Bombers anymore. They still make Hellbenders but only in the largest size and in various white and white with black stripes patterns, yuck! I used the smallest size Hellbenders in brown and green. I thought that they portrayed crayfish really well. When we went back into the creeks, we often trolled out. I purposely got my deep-diving Hellbender into the shallow banks on the creek turns or if one side was shallow. I lost some plugs but when that Hellbender was kicking up sand with it's front lip, the fish would take it for a crawfish. We got quite a few Smallies and some Rainbows too doing this. Sometimes, when the plugs were in really shallow water, I'd even see the fish come after it. There's plenty of diving lures that look like crawdads out. Sometimes we'd cast our diving lures across the dirt banks instead of trolling. All those stumps we got snagged on must be softer or gone by now. We did get snagged a bit.

I hear there's less Smallmouths and more Spotted Bass these days....
 

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Bronzehog, I've been to Lake James several times over the last few weeks with mixed results. This time of year we normally start out on main lake humps and points throwing topwaters for smallmouth. Occasionally they'll be bunched up and every now and then come to the surface chasing shad, otherwise we just blind cast topwaters in water as deep as 30 feet. The lake is so clear the fish will come from the depths. Once the sun gets up, the heat and boat/jet ski traffic make it a bit more difficult. Often times you can get a largemouth or 2 by running the back of pockets where you can find some shade. Otherwise, we may grab some minnows or use a drop shot on main lake points, even better if there is a channel swing nearby. Usually we won't fish unless we at least mark some bait in the general area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I understand mixed results went out today on the water by 5 and didn't get a nibble all day. I do t have the electronics that I need to find those spots def have to upgrade in that department. I mainly stay on the Linville side and I kinda of hav a general idea of where some spots are like that just by watching other people as I pass by.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah I understand mixed results went out today on the water by 5 and didn't get a nibble all day. I do t have the electronics that I need to find those spots def have to upgrade in that department. I mainly stay on the Linville side and I kinda of hav a general idea of where some spots are like that just by watching other people as I pass by.
 

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I have been doing some research on Lake James. I am looking at spending a week there with the family next summer. There's plenty of videos on youtube. Looks like the fishing is good.

I do agree that you need something to figure out possible spots. I was looking and I can't find a lake map to ponder over. The Navionics map is well defined though.

If your looking for electronics I suggest a dual FF/GPS unit. That GPS piece really helps.

mikeski
 

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just wondering why no one wants to talk about James on here.
Been like that for as long as I have been watching this section. Might be relatively fewer people that fish it compared to other lakes who are on this forum. I have no knowledge of it. Best of luck to you!
 

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I really like Lake James...when I am there, I stay in the Catawba River section of the lake and target main lake points and small cuts off the main lake for the smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Year round, I have good success for smallmouth with jerk baits. Period. Soft and hard, they put a lot of fish in the boat for me when I am there.

I like crankbaits for the largemouth, but when I am at James, I really like to target the smallies and it's all about the jerk baits.

Water Vertebrate Smile Lake Outdoor recreation


This was a Lake James smallmouth caught off the rip rap near Mountain Harbor Marina.

Atlantic Mapping makes a great map of Lake James. Best I've seen other than the Navionics chip. Together, they give a pretty accurate layout of the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah I like the smallies to I like the way the fight its a lot better then a largemouth but it doesn't matter to me i'll take whatever wants to hit, I have fished that rip rap a lot and caught a few out of there. That is a nice one you have there I have caught several in the 3 to 4 range, the best I have gotten out of there is a 6 and that was a pig. I have no problem with the quality of the fish just need more of the quantity but don't we all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hit up Lake James this morning, on the water about 5 am nice cool morning temps were about 59 when we got there warmed up really quick around 9. A lot of action on top water around us but no luck on getting what ever was jumping to hit. Picked up two LMB on the Linville end. One was a nice keeper prob going 2 lbs the other prob in the 1lb maybe a little over range.
 
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