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Gooooood Morning, I'm new to this site and thought I'd check it out and try and get more involved as I'm eager to learn and getting the itch this year waiting for conditions to get better for fishing. Being new I might not be browsing the site correctly but I think it would be helpful to have some sort of forum that gives more detailed info on places that people fish around the Raleigh area and what type of setups they've had the most 1st person success with. I'm relatively new to fishing and understand people don't always like to "give up the goods" but people could share as much or as little as they'd like. I think it would be a good spot for people to learn from and sometimes YouTube videos aren't always specific to my area or conditions. Does anyone know if this already exists? I'd be happy to start one in a different area to get the ball rolling as well, example below:

Lake: Umstead upper and lower lake
Favorite Rig(s): Texas-rigged ~4" lizard on 3/o hook with 1/16oz - 1/8" non-pegged tungsten bullet weight with 1 clear glass bead
Color Preferences: Green pumpkin with red flake
Sizes Caught: I've caught lots of 1-3 pounders with this setup and a couple maybe closer to 4
Presentation: I typically fish from banks here around anything downed in the water or on points, I've had a lot of success with medium speed hopping mixed with occasional steady retrieve in. Most success with this bank fishing around spawn time and in summer when fish are closer to the banks.

**For bigger fish: I've been with some friends who are big fans of lipless crank baits, best success with chartreuse and orange/red. I get more numbers with my setup above but he's hauled in a couple big guys probably closer to 6-8lb range. Presentation has been burning it back with couple pauses every couple reels or so.
 

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Welcome. I'm over in Chapel Hill, so we probably fish some of the same areas. Maybe we can meet in person one of these days. Especially once the COVID thing starts to wind down, if it does.

I think you'll find there's a very wide variance on this site, in terms of how interested people are in actually sharing details of how/when/where they fish. Some people are really open about where they fish and what they catch fish on, others try to be as vague as possible. And for good reason.. nobody wants a mob of people rushing to their "honey hole" and then suddenly the fish are super pressured and the hole is burnt.

Me, I'm a pretty crappy fisherman anyway, so even if I was on a "honey hole" I'd be lucky to catch a fish. As a result, I tend to be pretty open about where I fish and what I use. Also, I pretty much only bank fish and wade fish in streams and creeks, so there's less of that whole mob mentality for me than there is with the guys who fish the big lakes and do tournaments and what-not. I mean, no huge crowd is going to rush to King's Highway Park to catch one measly 17" bass on the Eno River. But the guys who are fishing on the big lakes that are swamped with bass boats, I can understand why they don't want to be too specific about where they fish. :)
 

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Hey all, I’m kind of newish too. Been reading posts but haven’t posted myself. I live in Chapel Hill too and fish all over Orange, Chatham and Wake county. Community ponds, small creeks, rivers or lakes, don’t matter, I fish it. I will say my go to in any body of water in this area is a craw on a ned rig. Orange Green pumpkin or anything with red flakes. I’ve caught bluegill, bass and catfish on that set up.

and actually thanks Mindcrime! I saw your post over the summer about Eastgate Crossing and the Starbucks. Can’t say I caught anything yet at that location but it sure was an adventure!
 

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Hey all, I’m kind of newish too. Been reading posts but haven’t posted myself. I live in Chapel Hill too and fish all over Orange, Chatham and Wake county. Community ponds, small creeks, rivers or lakes, don’t matter, I fish it. I will say my go to in any body of water in this area is a craw on a ned rig
Awesome man. Hit me up with a PM sometime and maybe we can arrange to meet up.

I love the Netbait Paca Craw soft plastic craws on a shakey head jig. Those have worked really well for me.

and actually thanks Mindcrime! I saw your post over the summer about Eastgate Crossing and the Starbucks. Can’t say I caught anything yet at that location but it sure was an adventure!
The sad thing about Booker Creek at Eastgate is that it doesn't fish as well as it used to. They did that whole flood control project between Eastgate and the other shopping center, and as part of that they cleaned all the junk out of the creek and somehow all of that seems to have resulted in the water level dropping quite a bit, in what seems like it's going to be a permanent (or near permanent) way. I don't think the water is deep enough around there now to hold larger fish. I caught one decent 2lb or so LMB there last year, and a couple of 2lb range catfish, but I don't think those are going to be found there now. I may be wrong, but the last few times I've been out there the water was just so shallow it was sad.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey all, I’m kind of newish too. Been reading posts but haven’t posted myself. I live in Chapel Hill too and fish all over Orange, Chatham and Wake county. Community ponds, small creeks, rivers or lakes, don’t matter, I fish it. I will say my go to in any body of water in this area is a craw on a ned rig. Orange Green pumpkin or anything with red flakes. I’ve caught bluegill, bass and catfish on that set up.

and actually thanks Mindcrime! I saw your post over the summer about Eastgate Crossing and the Starbucks. Can’t say I caught anything yet at that location but it sure was an adventure!
Thanks for the input, I haven't tried any Ned Rigs before but I bought a fairly cheap "starter pack" during the winter months and told myself I was going to try that out a little more this year. From what I've gathered it seems like you want to kind of hop it off the bottom at varying speeds, seems pretty straight forward but like with many lures I'm sure there's some subtleties that help out. I haven't seen anyone use a craw on it either, mostly seen like the TRD's or small worm-shape soft-plastics. Have you tried any of those and if so how do they compare?
 

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Thanks for the input, I haven't tried any Ned Rigs before but I bought a fairly cheap "starter pack" during the winter months and told myself I was going to try that out a little more this year. From what I've gathered it seems like you want to kind of hop it off the bottom at varying speeds, seems pretty straight forward but like with many lures I'm sure there's some subtleties that help out. I haven't seen anyone use a craw on it either, mostly seen like the TRD's or small worm-shape soft-plastics. Have you tried any of those and if so how do they compare?
I like to pop a ned rig i dont vary speed jut pop and reel pop and reel. One unfortunate thing is sometime on the pop ya end up getting that exposed hook into a snag :). BTW there is a bank fishing forum and other forums for discussions on techniques etc. The community used to be more active and I haven't posted much lately since the fishing has not been as productive for me over the last year now. All this rain and mud is messing up my best fishing spots
 

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I like to pop a ned rig i dont vary speed jut pop and reel pop and reel. One unfortunate thing is sometime on the pop ya end up getting that exposed hook into a snag :). BTW there is a bank fishing forum and other forums for discussions on techniques etc. The community used to be more active and I haven't posted much lately since the fishing has not been as productive for me over the last year now. All this rain and mud is messing up my best fishing spots
Good to know on the retrieval tips, yeah any time you got the ol' exposed hook though you're bound to get something snagged occasionally. There's certain places I really try to stick to weedless presentations and then others I feel a bit more open to fishing exposed hooks. I've been contemplating getting a kayak for local lakes that way at least if I get snagged I have a better chance to keep the lure and break it free. I'll check out that bank fishing forum though and see if I can find any gems.

I have noticed I've seen a lot of posts between the 2009 and 2014 range. Also a couple people saying they caught like 20 fish in one day, pairing that with you saying the last whole year hasn't been as productive I wonder if a lot of the local areas have been "over fished" in the last 5-8 years. Normally everything I catch locally is catch and release and when I go down to the coast I might keep a couple to eat but I've seen a lot of local people catching and keeping buckets of crappie (not sure how that might effect the overall fish population).
 

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Good to know on the retrieval tips, yeah any time you got the ol' exposed hook though you're bound to get something snagged occasionally. There's certain places I really try to stick to weedless presentations and then others I feel a bit more open to fishing exposed hooks. I've been contemplating getting a kayak for local lakes that way at least if I get snagged I have a better chance to keep the lure and break it free. I'll check out that bank fishing forum though and see if I can find any gems.

I have noticed I've seen a lot of posts between the 2009 and 2014 range. Also a couple people saying they caught like 20 fish in one day, pairing that with you saying the last whole year hasn't been as productive I wonder if a lot of the local areas have been "over fished" in the last 5-8 years. Normally everything I catch locally is catch and release and when I go down to the coast I might keep a couple to eat but I've seen a lot of local people catching and keeping buckets of crappie (not sure how that might effect the overall fish population).
I think the high lakes , muddy water and COVID all Impacted the fishing. There were days I would go to my local lake near my home and find 30 people fishing and there aren’t that many spots to,fish from due to dense trees etc. some lakes need to be bucket fished due to over population of small fish but generally what i see is people taking larger bass out . Sure keep the dinks and even 1-2# but saw way to many 4-5# on stringers.
 

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I think the high lakes , muddy water and COVID all Impacted the fishing. There were days I would go to my local lake near my home and find 30 people fishing and there aren’t that many spots to,fish from due to dense trees etc. some lakes need to be bucket fished due to over population of small fish but generally what i see is people taking larger bass out . Sure keep the dinks and even 1-2# but saw way to many 4-5# on stringers.
Yes with the COVID impact it seemed like (myself included) more people were looking for outdoor activities so there were more people out fishing as well. I haven't really seen many people keeping bass though but also I purposely try to position myself in fishing spots away from others so I wasn't always watching what they were doing. I've only started to eat fish in past couple years so this could be ignorance talking but I didn't really know that bass were a "good-eating" fish, I've heard Crappies are good but haven't heard people talking about eating bass. I don't fully understand the balance of the ecosystem yet nor how often places are stocked but that's a shame if a lot of the big one's are getting taken out of local lakes. Feels like that has to have some sort of negative impact or they wouldn't create "slot limits" with fish off the coast (recently learned that's to try and help control and prolong population of certain species).
 

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I’ve lived in the area for 10+ years now and have fished for just about every species around (bass, bream, catfish, white perch, bowfin, carp, etc). I would tell you that there are plenty of places to catch fish, both from the bank and from a small boat. I was a bank fisherman until about 7 years ago, when I decided to buy my first kayak, which opened up a whole new world of fishing to me, allowing me to explore spots that I would never be able to reach otherwise (deeper water / isolated brushy banks, etc) and experiment with more advanced fishing techniques such as trolling and issuing downriggers / planers.

A few tips to increase your knowledge / success ratio:

1. Read a lot on forums like this and ask questions. I’ve found that generally, most fisherman are happy to educate other fishermen on what works (and what doesn’t). While people are generally tight lipped about sharing their favorite spots publicly, they usually are willing to share techniques, rigs, and patterns, which require a lot of trial an error.

2. Spend time on YouTube. I “study” (lol...) a lot of there and have come away with some really good insight when I want to learn about a new species or technique. There’s nothing quite like watching a video demonstration to help things click.

3. Get the Fishbrain app. It’s mostly a fishing photo app, but many users do geotag their catches, so it makes it easy to scout out a new spot (or fishing area) to find out what is biting and where. You can also reach out to individuals on their if you have questions.

4. Get a kayak! It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive in the beginning. You just need something that floats and can get you around. If you like paddling, then you can get more accessories for it or upgrade to a fancier version. I’m currently on my second kayak (a pedal version) and seriously considering another upgrade sometime this year.

Good luck!


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I’ve lived in the area for 10+ years now and have fished for just about every species around (bass, bream, catfish, white perch, bowfin, carp, etc). I would tell you that there are plenty of places to catch fish, both from the bank and from a small boat. I was a bank fisherman until about 7 years ago, when I decided to buy my first kayak, which opened up a whole new world of fishing to me, allowing me to explore spots that I would never be able to reach otherwise (deeper water / isolated brushy banks, etc) and experiment with more advanced fishing techniques such as trolling and issuing downriggers / planers.

A few tips to increase your knowledge / success ratio:

1. Read a lot on forums like this and ask questions. I’ve found that generally, most fisherman are happy to educate other fishermen on what works (and what doesn’t). While people are generally tight lipped about sharing their favorite spots publicly, they usually are willing to share techniques, rigs, and patterns, which require a lot of trial an error.

2. Spend time on YouTube. I “study” (lol...) a lot of there and have come away with some really good insight when I want to learn about a new species or technique. There’s nothing quite like watching a video demonstration to help things click.

3. Get the Fishbrain app. It’s mostly a fishing photo app, but many users do geotag their catches, so it makes it easy to scout out a new spot (or fishing area) to find out what is biting and where. You can also reach out to individuals on their if you have questions.

4. Get a kayak! It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive in the beginning. You just need something that floats and can get you around. If you like paddling, then you can get more accessories for it or upgrade to a fancier version. I’m currently on my second kayak (a pedal version) and seriously considering another upgrade sometime this year.

Good luck!


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Thanks for the input and I'm definitely working on the "asking questions" part and been spending a lot of time youtube "studying" since last March. Feel like I've learned a lot in a small period of time but haven't had a large enough sample size to really justify or validate what I had success with last year. I'm most excited to test out my theories I learned last year this year to see how it compares. I'm also paying much more attention to time of year, where the fish are in their spawning cycle and where they should be based on that.

I've been very tempted to hop on the kayak life, I feel like the biggest thing holding me back is transportation and storage at this point. I just bought my first place so I at least now have somewhere to store it but I own a car so transporting it would require some sort of additional rig. I've seen some really cheap ones' but I'm a little skeptical of them but also don't know if I want to drop $1000 on a higher end one. How did you manage your first kayak, any tips or recommendations?
 

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I got my first kayak in the summer nearly 7 years ago. We had been invited to spend the Fourth of July holiday at Wrightsville Beach with some friends of my wife and the husband was a big fisherman. I was pumped! And then the whole weekend went by and he didn’t invite me even once to go fishing. I was pissed. Lol...

When I got back, I decided I wasn’t going to rely on others anymore to go out and fish, so I went on Amazon and bought a Perception Sport Pescador 12 kayak... it cost $600 at the time, so it wasn’t cheap, but I figured that it was far cheaper than buying a real boat. What people don’t tell you is that if you like kayak fishing and really get into it, it’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars (or more) on fishing accessories. Over the years, I bought (and upgraded) paddles, rod holders, fishfinders, and various holders for my vehicles....

However, if you’re not sure if you’ll like fishing out of kayak, buy an relatively inexpensive one for $200-$400 on CL or FB marketplace (usually they’ll already have a paddle and sometimes a lot more). Get out and try some new spots that you haven’t been able to reach from the bank. Use the Fishbrain app and explore some of your local lakes and rivers.

I don’t fish from the bank that much anymore, simply because I can access so many more spots (and fish!) when I take out my kayak or canoe. I’ve seen some amazing sunrises and sunsets on the water and it’s my own bit of sanctuary when life gets hectic. Give it a try... you might find it was one of the best fishing purchases you ever made. And if you buy one and want to go out sometime, send me a PM and I’ll show you a local spot or two.


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I got my first kayak in the summer nearly 7 years ago. We had been invited to spend the Fourth of July holiday at Wrightsville Beach with some friends of my wife and the husband was a big fisherman. I was pumped! And then the whole weekend went by and he didn’t invite me even once to go fishing. I was pissed. Lol...

When I got back, I decided I wasn’t going to rely on others anymore to go out and fish, so I went on Amazon and bought a Perception Sport Pescador 12 kayak... it cost $600 at the time, so it wasn’t cheap, but I figured that it was far cheaper than buying a real boat. What people don’t tell you is that if you like kayak fishing and really get into it, it’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars (or more) on fishing accessories. Over the years, I bought (and upgraded) paddles, rod holders, fishfinders, and various holders for my vehicles....

However, if you’re not sure if you’ll like fishing out of kayak, buy an relatively inexpensive one for $200-$400 on CL or FB marketplace (usually they’ll already have a paddle and sometimes a lot more). Get out and try some new spots that you haven’t been able to reach from the bank. Use the Fishbrain app and explore some of your local lakes and rivers.

I don’t fish from the bank that much anymore, simply because I can access so many more spots (and fish!) when I take out my kayak or canoe. I’ve seen some amazing sunrises and sunsets on the water and it’s my own bit of sanctuary when life gets hectic. Give it a try... you might find it was one of the best fishing purchases you ever made. And if you buy one and want to go out sometime, send me a PM and I’ll show you a local spot or two.


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Thanks for the feedback man and you painted quite the good picture, I've got a couple renovations going on at my house right now but those should be wrapping up shortly and the next thing on my list is a kayak. I rented one down in Swansboro last year to try it out, granted I was in much bigger waters but I paddled a long ways away and got in a really beautiful area where it would be very tough for a boat to be in a caught a couple flounder. It was a great experience and would love to have access to fish more spots in some of the local lakes here. What kind of vehicle did you tote it around in and what did you use to attach it to the car?
 

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I started out with a RAV4 and have had a Highlander the last few years. The J cradle style holders work fine for the smaller / lighter kayaks (65 lbs and under), but once I upgraded to a longer / heavier kayak, I found that I struggled to lift them onto the top of the car by myself. I actually got a pretty serious injury 2 summers ago when I crunched a vertebra in my neck attempting to balance my kayak above my head. It resulted in a pinched nerve and I had to get physical therapy for 6-8 weeks for it to get better and still have occasional flare ups.... so moral of the story is don’t try to lift heavy kayaks over your head by yourself!

I had to re-think my kayak transportation after that and found that loading heavier kayaks from the rear was much easier. I got a Malone SeaWing cradle set and just use a non-slip bath mat on the rear spoiler of the roof to minimize scratches... put the nose of the kayak onto the rear of the vehicle, then lift and push into place. I do something similar with my 14’ canoe, which I take out whenever I bring friends or family to fish with me.

If you just have a car without a roof rack, you can use some of those foam kayak blocks and slide it on the back (or lift onto the top. Whatever you use, in addition to strapping the kayak to the roof or rack, make sure you use front and rear tethers to keep the kayak from blowing around while driving, especially when traveling at high speeds on the highway. And if you get some J cradles, watch 1–2 videos on YouTube before putting your kayak on. I have some dents on the side of my Highlander from where my kayak came loose and turned over while I was driving (with the Scotty mount denting up the side panel pretty good.... ugh...)

Hope that helps!


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I started out with a RAV4 and have had a Highlander the last few years. The J cradle style holders work fine for the smaller / lighter kayaks (65 lbs and under), but once I upgraded to a longer / heavier kayak, I found that I struggled to lift them onto the top of the car by myself. I actually got a pretty serious injury 2 summers ago when I crunched a vertebra in my neck attempting to balance my kayak above my head. It resulted in a pinched nerve and I had to get physical therapy for 6-8 weeks for it to get better and still have occasional flare ups.... so moral of the story is don’t try to lift heavy kayaks over your head by yourself!

I had to re-think my kayak transportation after that and found that loading heavier kayaks from the rear was much easier. I got a Malone SeaWing cradle set and just use a non-slip bath mat on the rear spoiler of the roof to minimize scratches... put the nose of the kayak onto the rear of the vehicle, then lift and push into place. I do something similar with my 14’ canoe, which I take out whenever I bring friends or family to fish with me.

If you just have a car without a roof rack, you can use some of those foam kayak blocks and slide it on the back (or lift onto the top. Whatever you use, in addition to strapping the kayak to the roof or rack, make sure you use front and rear tethers to keep the kayak from blowing around while driving, especially when traveling at high speeds on the highway. And if you get some J cradles, watch 1–2 videos on YouTube before putting your kayak on. I have some dents on the side of my Highlander from where my kayak came loose and turned over while I was driving (with the Scotty mount denting up the side panel pretty good.... ugh...)

Hope that helps!


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Very helpful thanks! I drive a ford fusion and it unfortunately has an antenna about 3/4 the way towards the rear directly in the center... I think I could still probably finesse a way to tote a kayak on there but it's not exactly ideal conditions. I've had thoughts of looking into small trailer and getting a hitch put on the car or buying a cheap truck but having two cars to me just seems unnecessary. Once I get closer to the purchase I'm going to get more serious about figuring out a method, maybe even trading my car in and just switching to a truck or some sort of SUV that I could put a roof rack on would probably be ideal. Where there's a will there's a way!
 
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