Lake Blue Ridge Fishing Report July 2013
Blue Ridge: Level: Full pool. Temp: 78-82 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Good. Guide Eric Welch reports, “We are catching some fish in the mornings on Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg and flukes. We are also catching fish on drop shots and shaky heads. The fish are scattered around on main-lake points and around any laydowns or brush. Also fish a Strike King Bisty Tube on rocky points and banks for smallmouth. This month you should start catching them on deep, rocky banks on a drop shot. Also keep a eye on your electronics for fish in the 20- to 35-foot range.” Guide Eric Crowley reports, “Summertime on Blue Ridge is a great time to be fishing. I like to break the day down into sections—early morning, midday and afternoon. Early morning is the best time for topwater or sub-surface fish, as it is the coolest time of day, and the fish will be chasing the bait that is up feeding shallow at dawn. I like to throw noisy, large-profile baits that draw lots of attention. Smack Tackle Smack Jacks in herring color, Zara Spooks in blue or silver or a magnum Super Fluke in white or pearl-shad color. Braided line and fluorocarbon leaders are a must in the clear water. We use 10-lb. Power Pro line, and I have really had good results with the 10-lb. Stren Flourocast for leader material. This is a sight fishing technique, and you will have to run the main lake to find these fish. Good places to start are the penstock tower at the dam, the area directly out from the marina and Morganton Point. Smallmouth bass in the 2- to 4-lb. range have not been hard to find like this. Look for this bite to last till around 9 a.m. After the topwater bite slows down, I like to switch to a smaller bait and a slower presentation. This is a great time to fish a drop shot—3/8-oz. weights and 6- to 8-lb. leaders tied to the same 10-lb. braid are key here as sensitivity is what you’re looking for. Use 1/0 drop-shot or finesse wide-gap hooks with a Gulp Minnow, Super Fluke Jr. or a bluegill-colored finesse worm will work great most days when fished around rip-rap shoreline cover in the 12- to 25-foot depth range as well as submerged structure like the fish attractors and rock outcroppings common on Blue Ridge Lake. I like the area around points 1 and 2 and the DNR structure off point 2 particularly. This is a efficient way to help with the removal of the spotted bass in this body of water. In the afternoon, the fish are trying to beat the heat and find shade. Docks, big over-hanging trees and stationary house boats are a good place to start. This is where I like to fish fast. Warm water will have them willing to chase, so I like to roll up, make four or five casts under the docks, and move on if nothing is there. I might overlook some fish and could probably sit there and pick them off the cover, but I am looking for the more aggressive larger fish, and they will usually eat first. This is where your largemouth bass—as well as some spotted bass—will be around or after lunch time. Flukes, Trick Worms or live baitfish is the way to go here. We have had some impressive days following this method in the past few weeks boating some nice five-fish limits at the end of the day.”
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