Piedmont Lakes Fishing Report: August - September 2018

Mike Marsh’s book, Fishing North Carolina, shares his best-kept secrets for fishing 100 lakes, rivers, ponds, sounds and piers.


To order:

Fishing North Carolina ($26.60),

Inshore Angler – Carolina’s Small Boat Fishing Guide ($26.20),


Offshore Angler – Coastal Carolina’s Mackerel Boat Fishing Guide ($22.25)

mail a check or MO to:


Mike Marsh

1502 Ebb Drive

Wilmington, NC 28409

or visit www.mikemarshoutdoors.com for credit card orders.



What to expect when you head out to fish the lakes of the Piedmont over the next few weeks. Get a clue from noted outdoor writer Mike Marsh.

Catawba Reservoirs


Lake Hickory

Randy Moose (Lyndon's Riverview Sports, 828-632-7889) said bass should be biting better as the water cools down.


 "In August, the bass will harder to catch because the water is so hot," he said "But, as soon as the weather cools down in September they will start biting on the points."


 Early in the morning, the bass will hit topwater lures like the Whopper Plopper,  Zara Spook and Sammy. A good soft plastic lure is a Super Fluke fished on a heavy jig head. Another is NED Rig worm with a Yamamoto or Senko soft plastic. When the fish are deep, the deep diving crankbaits like the Bill Norman Deep Little N are good bets."


 Stripers will also hit Super Flukes cast to surfacing fish. They will also hit the same topwater lures as bass. When stripers are deeper, bucktail jigs will catch them. One of the most reliable ways to catch them is fishing live shiners and shad on live bait rigs and planer board rigs.


 Crappie will be in the deepest brush piles in the lake. Anglers should use Bobby Garland jigs and minnows to catch them.


 Catfish anglers can catch flatheads by locate baitfish with their depthfinders and fish nearby drop-offs. Live white perch and bream are the best baits. Blue cats and channel cats will bite cut perch, shad and bream, Magic Bait, stinkbaits and chicken livers fished at night.



Lake Norman

Capt. Gus Gustafson (Fishing With Gus, 704-617-6812) said bass would school in September.


"Water temperatures will be high until the end of September," he said. "When the water temperatures start dropping, the fall season fishing starts on Lake Norman. The bass will be schooling on points and humps and moving into backs of coves and to the lay downs and brush piles."


Skipping wacky worms and swimbaits under the docks is a good tactic. The fish will also be on the points, with the Catawba river a great place to try. When it is hot, the best times to fish are at night early in the morning.


Hybrids increasing and they could be schooling anywhere in the lake, chasing baitfish. Anglers can find them from Mountain Creek up to the Lookout Shoals Dam. Some good places to look are Stumpy Creek, Hicks Creek and around all the islands. The fish may show on top or down below, so anglers should watch their deptfinders. Good baits for hybrids include shad, herring and medium sized shiners. Good lures include spoons, spinnerbaits, Alabama rigs and Rat-L-Traps.


Crappie will school in the brush piles and at the bridges. They will move shallower and bite better later in September.


Catfish will bite chicken parts laced with garlic scent, cut perch and bream. Channel cats will bite stinkbaits or night crawlers fished on float rigs in less than 10 feet of water.


Flatheads will be around the perch schools. Dropping a live white perch on a Carolina rig just off the bottom in a perch school should draw a hit. Blue cats will bite cut perch dropped on right on the bottom in perch schools. Blue cats will also be suckers for trolled slinky sinker rigs with floats to keep perch fillets just off the bottom




Lake Wylie

Jerry Neeley (Carolina’s Fishing Guide Service, 704-678-1043) said the topwater bass action should be topnotch.


"The bass will come up around Seven Oaks and South Fork bridges," he said. "I fish with buzzbaits and Pop-R's early when the fish are on top. After the sun comes up and the fish go down, I use a crankbait or spoon."


In small creeks, bream beds will attract bass. Bass anglers should fish small topwater lures, small crankbaits, worms and lizards near the beds. Bream fishermen should toss wax worms, earthworms and crickets on float rigs into the beds.


In September, bass will move to the secondary points. Anglers should hit the stumps and rocks with Shad Raps and KVD DD-22 crankbaits in Parrot, Natural Shad and Bone colors. On the main lake points and piers, a Zoom lizard or shaky head worm fished in 12 to 20 feet of water will do the trick.


Crappie will begin biting during the last full moon in August. Anglers should hit the brush piles and docks at 6 to 8 feet with jigs and minnows. Another tactic is lighting up a bridge piling at night to attract crappie.


White perch will school at 20 feet. Sabiki rigs trolled at one-half mph will snag them. Anglers can find the fish with a depthfinder and crappie may mix with the perch.


Catfish will bite better in August. The fish will be at 20 to 25 feet on the main lake flats and river channel between Mill Creek and Still Creek.




















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