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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where is a good place to go bank fishing in or near Raleigh? I like to take my wife and 3 year old fishing and we don't know where to go. (we're new here)
We have so far been to Lake Wheeler, Lake Johnson and Umstead park by the airport. Been fishing everyday morning and evening and haven't so much as gotten a bite! So.....where are the fish? Whats the best bait to use?
 

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Welcome to the board

Lots of places around Jordan and Sheron Harris you can drive around to and fish. Best thing is get a Game Lands Map from your local sporting goods dealer and it will have the area around these 2 lakes and show the road networks around them.

tight lines <*)))))>{
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply!! Any particular areas we should head for? Might head over there tomorrow morning if we can dial in a place that is likely to be productive. What are the fish hitting on this time of year? Also had a few more questions to throw out there.
1) Falls Lake. I was originally thinking of taking them there tomorrow morning, but may opt for Sharon Harris (just googled it, never heard of it). Is Falls worth making a trip to? Where are some good spots?

2) I have heard of places around here you can fish at night. Where might those be and what's biting at night and what do they like to eat?
 

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you can fish anywhere pretty much at night, catfishing or crappie fishing using lights on the water, submerged lights, the lights attract baitfish and that attracts the crappie. Get some minnows and go get em.

tight lines <*)))))>{
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmmmm Jordan at night at the pier? sounds like a plan. Do they allow lawn chairs?

-Edit. I know about where Jordan Lake is, but have no clue where the pier is. Says on the website that the park closes at 8pm, but yet ppl still fish at night? Must be somewhere else than in the state park?
 

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He is takling about bells Church pier across from the marina. I think it is closed now for some construction. Opens back up in april I think. I hear its good there for crappie this time of year. Most people that bank fish Falls and jordan either fish from public fishing sites thaat the COE or city or county put in or just find a bridge where you can park and walk the paths that those before you made to the fishing spot. You will need to do some exploring to find some good spots. Many do this on Falls at New Ligiht road. There is a fishing pier at Beaverdam lake which is part of Falls. Thats off of Hwy 50. There is public fishing site off of hwy 98 and upper Barton creek on Six Forks rd and people park by the lower barton creek bridge and walk through the woods to fish. Camping and fishing is fun. You may check out Holly Point or Rolling view for that. There is also a long trail on Falls that is part of the Mountains to Sea trail system that you should check out. You have a lot of exploring to do and lots of fish to catch. lol Isnt moving to a new place fun. Its about prime time for crappie to hit the banks soon here. There is a world class striper fishery at Weldon which is unlike any other. Need I mention the coast? OBX is one of a kind as well. You lucky guy. Welcome to NC!
 

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Need I mention the coast? OBX is one of a kind as well. You lucky guy. Welcome to NC!
Well said!

The NC Wildlife Service runs three "Public Fishing Areas" at Jordan; the only one with a pier is Bell's Church. Take US 64 almost to the east side of the lake, turn north onto Farrington Rd, which is the one with the signs pointing to Crosswinds Marina and Crosswinds Campground. Pass both, cross the bridge, and immediately on your right is Bell's Church. There's a driveway off their parking lot to another parking lot down by the dock.

This time of year, the dock is usually pretty popular with Crappie fishers after dark. The times I've been out there late in the day, there wasn't room for lawn chairs -- too many wagons. The dock has railings all around and built-in benches, so as long as you can avoid the crowd, it's a plenty comfortable place for your family.

Don't know about renovations -- my neighbor had been heading out there fairly frequently a few weeks ago, he didn't say anything about renovations...

The other two Jordan PFA's are just somewhat-clear bank areas. The PFA's are not within park gates -- I've asked, and they are available 24x7.

There's a map on ncwildlife.org of their Public Fishing Areas, but I wasn't able to put my cursor on it right now... but I did find this booklet, it looks promising as well...
http://www.ncwildlife.org/pg03_Fishing/pg3f_piedmontstreams.pdf

If you're close to Wheeler and Johnson, you're not far from Lake Raleigh on NCSU's Centennial Campus. I've heard good things about Johnson and the Big Lake at Umstead, but haven't spent much time on either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We were at the big lake at umstead last evening for an hour or 2 before dark. I was fishing a powerbait 7" worm texas style and my wife was using a night crawler and a bobber. Had several bites but nothing really grabbed ahold. Think we are going to skip today as it is a little chilly to take the little one out. Might go to Dicks or something later and browse around.
Lake Johnson hasn't been nice to us at all. We have fished the bridge next to avent ferry road and the docks with nothing to speak of. We have used crankbaits, spinners, nightcrawlers, powerbait texas rigs and nothing. Same goes for lake wheeler. Why do they not let you fish the banks there except in a few spots anyway?

We found a nice little spot at lake wheeler that we thought was very promising, but it turns out it's just a pond that isn't even attached to the lake and we were fishing for the wrong kind of fish there.
 

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Why do they not let you fish the banks there except in a few spots anyway?
My first guess would be that they've had litter problems... the "few bad apples" syndrome...

While you're poking around NCWildlife.org -- the map of PFA's also includes CFP sites -- Community Fishing Program -- lakes on which they stock catfish and even loan tackle. I live near Bond Lake in Cary (High House road). At least once it gets warmer, along the dam you ought to be able to catch catfish on two-hook bottom rigs baited with cheap hot-dogs. Not sure about the cooler temps.

I've spoken with the management at Bond Lake - you're welcome to fish from anywhere you can reach, except along the boat dock. The west bank is awful steep.

There's a playground and a big play-field if you want to bring a frisbee (or a kite) for a reconnaisance trip. I'd offer to show you around, except that my calendar goes wall-to-wall today in about 30 minutes...
 

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As far as live bait I often find Red Wigglers work better than Nightcrawlers for Panfish. Nightcrawlers for cats. Crappie and Bass are quicker on Minnows and Crickets can force a bite when nothing else will!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
crickets.....hmmmmm....i also hear that after rain is the best time to go.
Since its raining now, we are going to fire up the GPS and head to the lakes and see if we can find any promising spots. I may even jump out of the van and drop a line if I find something I can't resist. Also planning on going to Dick's and getting one of those books mentioned above. Will report back later.
 

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I did get confirmation from my neighbor that the fishing dock at Bell's Church is closed for renovation. He's pretty excited about the renovation -- overhead and underwater lighting, apparently! (But if they install all that, where will everybody toss their propane canisters??)
 

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I was thinking that was a good thing but I bet you will not be able to find a spot to stand on that pier especially with these renovations. I have been there before and it is a very popular place. If you want to fish there at night you best plan to get there early and clame some territory for yourself. I have seen people take up a good portion of space there in the past with their multiple rods clamped to the railings.
 

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Last time I fished there, Kelley and I went out, I think it was March... we may have left about 4:00 - the temp was starting to drop off... We made a point of not looking back when we stepped away from the railing 'cuz it sounded like two guys were about to throw down over the spot we opened up...

This was about two years ago... Things may have changed since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow. I guess its better to get there early and once we find a spot stay there!
Still haven't found any fish. Still trying new spots as well. We have been to the big lake an Umstead with no results. It is a very good looking lake with lots of opportunity. Went up and explored Falls Lake. Not bad either. Are you allowed to fish the dam at night? (downstream side). The wife and I are considering going out tonight and dropping some lines. Went to Dicks and the guy at the counter said to get some 1/8 oz white jigheads with white grub tails to get crappie. Hasn't been productive yet. Still hanging in there. It's only a matter of time. Just might be later than sooner. Also, where is a good bait store around the Raleigh area? I'd like to find some maggots, waxworms, minnows, and good quality night crawlers. Not the gas station ones that are almost dead. Would love to find some nice big fat lively critters.
 

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I've actually been satisfied with the lifespan of the nightcrawlers I've bought at walmart in Cary. They don't have much in the way of selection, though. At most, they'll have nightcrawlers and red-wigglers. Not sure I've ever seen waxworms around here, but I haven't looked very hard.
 
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