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Some of you that fish Jordan, Wheeler, Johnson etc on a regular basis from someone that doesnt do a lot of area fishing could you rank them and list why you like them for those reasons? thanks
 

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Here's my crack at this quiz - I'm sure we can find somebody who will disagree with every point, but that's what makes the world of internet message boards go 'round...

Size (of fish): not sure. I hear the most about Falls & Harris, though I've seen pics of double digit hawgs from those two as well as Jordan and Wheeler. At Jordan you have the possibility of tying into a Hybrid or Striper, which is a nice bonus (but not to be counted on). I would lean toward smaller, less pressured lakes for pure big fish catching opportunity, which probably means Johnson & Wheeler.

Bites: again, no idea. I've fished Falls extensively(100s of trips), Jordan and Harris just a handful of times (<5 each). Never fished Wheeler or Johnson. I've had the least success at Jordan. Harris has been surprisingly good to me, given how few times I've been there. 4 trips, caught fish on 3 of them. My trips to falls are purely based on location - I've lived a few minutes from Falls for the last 15 years and usually don't have the time to allocate whole days to fishing. Can't be driving an hour each way if you've only got 3 hours to fish.

Ease: smaller lakes are going to have fewer different habitats and/or their different habitats will be closer together. Bigger lakes have more different places to fish with different habitats, but it makes choosing where to start harder. The Eno River end of Falls fishes vastly differently than the lower end by the Dam. It would also be unusual to make the full 18 mile run - you're either going to fish upper, middle or lower end, maybe 2 of the 3. Busy lakes are harder to fish than empty lakes - turbulence/disturbance of both the fish and the fisherman, plus there's somebody on every point already.

Speaking strictly of the fish-ibility of the water, I'd choose Harris. Its got the deadfalls, points, coves, flats and riprap like Jordan and Falls, but it also has the weeds. I love the weeds as both a sediment filter and as structure/cover for the fish. You also get lilly pads at Harris.

Things not to like:

Falls gets really muddy after the rain. Durham must be a couple feet below sea level by now because every time it rains all the [-]topsoil[/-]clay in the region washes into the lake.

Falls, Jordan and Harris are nuthouses on the weekends through the nice weather seasons - too many people, not enough water or parking or ramp spaces. I generally stay away, though now that I've gone the Kayak route I can just go find some otherwise unreachable backwaters and fish in peace. Save the main launches and main channels for weekday morning outings.

Harris has a lousy and remote ramp & parking lot (but we appreciate Progress Energy making it available to us :)).

Wheeler and Johnson are controlled access, limited hours (I think - could be wrong on that one).

Falls is very narrow in spots, especially through the midsection - pretty much just a long skinny river. Can make for dangerous passages at busy times. Nothing like fishing a point and having a jetski cut between you and the shore. Or a steady stream of 24foot cruisers running back & forth, or water skiers, etc...
 

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Personnally I've only fished Falls and Kerr. Of the two, I'd rather drive an hour to Kerr than 15 minutes to Falls. Mainly that is because I fish weekends, and Falls is a zoo on weekends, starting a few weeks ago when it got warm and running until it gets cold. Basically Falls is a crappie and bass lake, I've never seen a decent cat come out of it, the striper are pretty much gone since they stopped stocking, and the white bass and perch are hard to track down.

Kerr is far enough from the RDU area that it is still pretty easy to find parking (unless you happen on a bass tournament). It is also a much larger lake than Falls. Still known for bass and crappie, but has the added attraction of a self reproducing striper population, large catfish population to include monster blues and flatheads, and some odd balls like gar, freshwater drum, white bass, and white perch. Still not easy to just walk in and catch fish, but there appear to be more of them and they run bigger. If you stuck to the smaller coves and creeks, you can use a small boat, but if you have a big one, there are miles and miles of water to run on and it can get rough (2' whitecaps) if the wind is running up or down the lake.

Jordan looks nice from Farrington landing and when I have driven over it, but it is a few miles further for me to go than Kerr (also more traffic) and offers the same species, so I just go to Kerr.
 

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Could maybe put this in a poll format...??

I catch fish on Jordan and Shearon Harris.. love Harris but not too happy with the ramp access there. Jordan is very accessible, good ramps.. fishin seem's a little better on Harris, but it doesnt have the variety or coverage Jordan offers.

Big fish on both lakes, more water to cover on Jordan. More traffic on Jordan than Harris.. but I'd have to give the edge to Jordan due to accessability and variety of fish to be caught, even though I like to fish on Harris best.
 

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Harris gets a lot of play in the magazine articles as the lake for big bass, but it seems most of the folks here are catching the hawgs at Jordan or Falls. Curious as to why we haven't heard alot about Harris on this board or the others that I've checked for that matter.

Dave- I like your idea about a poll format. I'll go a bit further, I wonder if we could formulate a score card format and allow members to rate the lakes with the above tenets.
 

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Good idea Backlash

reason folks dont talk too much about Harris (my thoughts only) is the competition up there. Lot's of talk on the Bass Fishing Homepage about Harris though.. daily/weekly reports.

Love Harris, just dont like them 6 ft long docks ya cant tie up to and that nasty drop off at the end of the ramp where all them guys powerload the boats.. then again.. not usually normal for a 25 ft CC to be on the lake there... :)

Since already hijacked the thread.. the parts I like on Harris are the back east finger where the old loggin road in that 10 ft of water is and that first rocky point on the right (Holloman's Xroad finger that runs down into the lake). The warm water discharge area in the north has been good to me for crappie, but with this boat I cant squeeze under that north bridge anymore. Left side or west side of the lake with all those coves and lilly pads and some flats are great for bass.
 

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Wheeler and Johnson are controlled access, limited hours (I think - could be wrong on that one).

Johnson is definitely restricted- only non-motorized and have to be able to carry your own to the water. Additionally, there is a $4.00 (I think) fee. They do rent jon boats with trolling motors, but also have paddle boats- a distraction to deal with. Have fished there once from my kayak and caught a few. Nothing to write home about.
 

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well when you look at what you are fishing for i love to fish for stripers and as for the lakes i've fished.well here goes "jordan""High Rock""Badin""Buggs Island""Hickory""Gaston""Murray SC""Norman""Smith Mountain""Claytor Lake VA""
now the best lake i love is Lake Murray SC but it has a good 3 hour ride for me but you can still fish any of the other lakes and have some success with about any kind of fish. you just need to know where to fish on the lakes. i dont think this thing could handle me telling something about each lake but all of the above lakes has its good points and its bad points. so i guess you could say my favorite lake in nc would have to be jordan lake.
 
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