Fishing Reports

This month the catfish will begin to move out of their winter staging areas in search of food to prepare for the upcoming spawn. As the water begins to warm this month shad schools will begin to position themselves along long points and flats. One good area to start your search for catfish is the area between Wilson Lake Shores and McKeirnan Creek. This flat should hold good numbers of fish. Start your search in 40 to 50 feet of water and move shallower until you locate fish. Other good areas to try are the large flat behind Hog Island, the mouth of Town Creek, and the flats in front of Turtle Point Country Club. Search for isolated cover, rock or wood, then fish just above or beside the structure. Best baits will be cut bait, chicken livers, live shad minnows, or shrimp.

For trophy fish I like the area in front of Wilson Dam. Both ledges of Jackson Island extend over a mile upstream and have several steep drops where big fish should be located. Slowly troll whole shad or large chunks of skipjack about two feet off the bottom along the ledges. Deep holes along the bluff walls on both sides of the lake will be good places to try. Search for holes that are five feet or deeper than the surrounding bottom and fish straight down in the deepest part of the hole for trophy fish. The big fish are later moving shallow in the spring than the smaller fish will be so they will still be in their winter patterns for most of the month.

March is absolutely the best month of the year to land a trophy smallmouth bass on live bait in the Wheeler and Wilson Dam tailraces. Last year we caught fish over 7 pounds drifting live shad. Live shad can be caught in cast nets in the flats in the back of most coves and at most boat ramp areas. Keep them lively in a well oxygenated tank by adding one pound of salt for every twenty gallons of water. Search for fish in eddy pools and back currents from just below the dams to a mile or so downstream. Ten fish limits of thirty pounds and more are very common this month.


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