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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had some fishing time this weekend. Wanted to get Linda out of the house, I think she needed it; she had mentioned wanting to go fish at Belews with me sometime soon, so I arranged child care and we took off around 930am for about a 6-hour fishing excursion. I was excited to try to get her into some of the schooling action I'd found the last two trips.

Wow. What a downer. The 'hot' hole wasn't hot this weekend. I don't mean the fishing, I mean it wasn't hot. The water all over the lake was an even 52-53 degrees (usually it's in the high 50's to mid 60's depending how close you are to the discharge), and while there was current flowing out of the discharge, it wasn't heated. It was the same temp as the rest of the lake. No smoke from the stacks at the power plant (there has always been white steam or smoke billowing out of the stacks whenever I have been there but not today), and they turned off the heat. Either the fish didn't pay their power bill, or maybe Duke Energy had some problems. I've only been fishing there about 3 years, but I've never seen the hot-hole well.. not hot.




So I turned to some old standby areas and just got a big ole' nothin... well next to nothin. I did get a good hit pulling a shakey head through some big stumps on a creek bend-drop off bank that gave me several good pulls to indicate a nice fish before it rudely shook the hook. Had I known that was going to be my only hit all day, I would have been even more sick than I was at the time. Ended with a nice day on the water with the wife, but it was a bit cold for her Florida blood and the lack of fish was disappointing. I was bummed. I was really bummed, actually. I don't always catch a lot of fish out there, but it's been a good while since I have been skunked... we all have to be humbled sometimes, but it just had to be the day I finally got my wife out to fish that it happened; guess them's the breaks. I really mainly felt bad for her. :confused:

So Monday I was off work, and had planned to have the day to fish Belews... I was torn because I wanted to conquer the challenge, but I also had been meaning to find time to hit another lake. I figured if the water temp at Belews was about the same as any other lake, this would be a good time to do what I'd been meaning to do and hit Badin to test its reputation as a 'good winter time lake.' I mean, I know only what I have been told and what I could dig up on the forums about it for Winter, but it would be hard to do worse than 0, right?

I prepped the gear Sunday night, and was on the road before dawn. Ate breakfast at Rick's in Denton and hit the water around sunrise. Had to be careful not to slip when moving around the boat from the ice and frost on the hull. Was chilly but bearable. I tried a couple areas I was familiar with from Summer, no love. Tried a couple of the islands that had been suggested to me, nothing. I threw mostly jerk bait (Pointers and occasional X-rap) and occasionally a jig or shakey head.

Air temp: 29 degrees at launch warming to pleasant high 50's late in the day
Surface temps: 46 degrees at launch, warming to 50 degrees by early afternoon in several areas
Clarity: About 4 to 5 feet visibility, clearer around Shoreline drive and a little more stained up near Old Whitney

Found a school of something tightly schooled on sonar about mid morning near a main lake point, looked too small to be striper, but dropped a red-eye shad down to the area where they were; jigged and jerked and let it fall a few times, and got hooked up... perch! Caught a handful of them just to feel the rod bend, couple of them were actually a decent pull.


But I was here to catch bass, so I moved on. Went around to the Western half of the lake where I'd found some nice drop-banks on the Navionics maps, started hitting some of the spots I'd scoped out on my pre-planning the night before, and after 4 hours, got the first bass on a Pointer. Wow. Made the whole day worth it! The reputation of few but good bites proved true. Started with this 5 1/2 lb chunk on the pointer,



then a 2lb'er and a 1lb'er on a C-rig speed craw on a steep slope near a shallow hump in the upper end about 3 hours later, and one more 14 incher on a Pointer near where I got the first one.



4 fish over the course of 8 hours. The pictures make it look like it was hot action, but there were a LOT of stretches of nothing but the beautiful weather...
Cloud Water Sky Water resources Atmosphere
Cloud Water Sky Atmosphere Natural landscape


Considering that I was on a lake with which I have very little experience fishing for Winter bass, and that other than the unusual circumstances of Belews, I have almost no experience with winter bass in general, I was quite pleased! I have had a couple slow days there, but overall considering my lack of experience with 'The Jewel of the Yadkin Chain' as Jerry calls it, Badin has really been good to me in the handful of times I have been there. I left near sundown tired, but very happy with my day.

Hope you guys got outside this weekend, and even better, got a line or two stretched!
 

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My experience at Badin in the winter months is tough fishing. Some of the locals know where to go and what to do for big bags but my winter tactics that seem to work alot of places dont work very well there. Last year we had a BFL there in June, totally different lake in the summer, 20 fish days easy and they would bite almost anything I wanted to throw.
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DP are waiting for a part for the power plant. I saw a post about it on BBC. Rumor is they will be up and running on 12 /23.
Oh, thanks for the update Charles. I would have to wonder if the fish will react positively with the sharp rise in water temp. Could be interesting.
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've had my best days at Badin, as far as winter fishing goes. It's tough to beat that Pointer down there.
Your advice was duly noted, Jerry. Sorry you had to work, I would have liked to have been able to take you with me. The spot where I caught those two fish I had tried on a general tip from a man whose name I don't know that I ran into at Belews on Sunday. We were chatting after take-out and we had both had a tough day of fishing. I shared what I knew, as did he, and we talked about Badin. The area was one he suggested had been good a week prior so I spent some time there and it paid off. I tried the island you and I talked about, and another like it. While the location didn't happen to deliver, the technique did... the pointer was responsible for 50% of my fish, and >75% of my total weight. I also recall it caught you a fish at Belews in a situation where there was not an aggressive bite going on. I got it hung on some rocks once and I spent quite of bit of effort getting it back. Little piece of gold that day, and I won't forget it. I also won't go fishing without a spare one next time out. :D

Once again, talking to other anglers and sharing knowledge for mutual benefit pays off, and NCAngler is again responsible (directly or indirectly) for good fishing. I never fished Winter before I found this site, and I thank every single person on this site that has ever shared their knowledge. It all adds up.

Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope the holidays bring joy and good fortune to you all.
 

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Red X Angler
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3,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My experience at Badin in the winter months is tough fishing. Some of the locals know where to go and what to do for big bags but my winter tactics that seem to work alot of places dont work very well there. Last year we had a BFL there in June, totally different lake in the summer, 20 fish days easy and they would bite almost anything I wanted to throw.
Based on my limited knowledge, cranks of choice on steep rocky banks around the western sections (main river channel to capitalize on ambush fish facing the current) would be a good tactic for Winter. All these fish were caught between Uwharrie Point and Old Whitney on that section. Two on steep rocky 'bluff' type banks, and two on a rise from the channel to a submerged hump. The 5.5 and the last barely keeper were at about 6ft but on a sheer rock bank that went very quickly from 0 to 50 feet depth ( in the same spot, several hours apart), and the the other two were within 20 minutes of each other in the same spot on a rapid rise from the channel to a submerged hump in roughly 10 to 15 feet of water, where I was casting from shallow to deep to keep the C-rig tight on the bottom. With a little homework you could probably get real close to both spots within half a day's fishing. :rolleyes:
 
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