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As the sun hits the water, Morgan advised switching to a Fluke or Senko, fished weightless. All inland swim beaches and swim areas remain CLOSED. The state parks system has plans to pave the short trail section to improve accessibility. Push the eye of the leadhead through the plastic and tie the line directly to the eye. Further east is a dam across the Linville River. With a 4-inch tube, the hook shank on a ¼-ounce leadhead jig may not be long enough to extend all the way to the tail. This section leads from Paddy's Creek to Canal Bridge. Fishing Pier blue easy 0.3 mile Fox Den Loop orange moderate 2.25 miles Lake Channel Overlook red moderate 1.5 miles Sandy Cliff Overlook white easy 0.5 mile. New Lake James Pier Attracts Both Fish and Fishermen. Unlike most impoundments, Lake James is created by three dams. Unless otherwise indicated, all campgrounds, trails, boat ramps, fishing piers, and restrooms are open. Not just at Lake James, but in a variety of smallmouth waters, tubes have been a most productive lure for me. Unless otherwise indicated, all campgrounds, trails, boat ramps, fishing piers, and restrooms are open. It’s unclear whether the bass and panfish would agree, but anglers coming to Lake James State Park have something to cheer about – a new, fully-accessible fishing pier which opened this week at the park’s new Paddy’s Creek Area. And it still works great. The most productive colors were green pumpkin or dark watermelon. The heavy forest absorbs rainwater and helps maintain a high level of water clarity and cool temperatures in the reservoir — ideal for smallmouth bass. At the west, less than a mile southwest of N.C. 126, a dam backs up the Catawba River. Change ). If the time stamp on this alert is more than 24 hours old, please feel free to call the park office at 828-584-7728 for the most up-to-date information. But in the last few years the two species seem to have become more evenly distributed. “I lived in Texas and fished there,” Morgan said. “The best color for the Fluke or Senko is green pumpkin,” he said. Playgrounds are open. It marked the initial development on a 3,000-acre tract purchased from Crescent Resources Inc. in 2004. This tiny crankbait has worked for smallmouth bass for me from Alabama to Ontario, Tennessee to North Carolina, including Lake James. Easy twitches or jerks makes the lure dance seductively near cover. Morgan said color doesn’t seem to make much difference with surface lures, and while people often have their favorites, that’s probably true. Since I fished it while at north Alabama a number of years ago, my favorite smallmouth crankbait has been the Fat Free Fingerling. Picnic shelters are available for casual use on a first-come, first-served basis. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. The wildlife agency’s Division of Inland Fisheries was instrumental in launching the idea, using funds from the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act. You lose contact with the lure as a fish gently picks it up. Those cooler nights triggers the bass into feeding heavily on the forage to fatten up for winter. Lake James is quite clear, Morgan said, compared to most southern reservoirs and that water clarity affected how an angler needs to fish. The access area on the lake’s north shore is becoming the epicenter for the only public park on the reservoir. My favorite smallmouth spinnerbait is the Classic Twin Spin from Mann’s. It requires no special twitching, no particular way to curl one’s lip. Live shrimp and croakers fished from the piers can be productive. Every year, tales of 6- and 7-pound Lake James smallmouth are reported but not that common. The Paddy's Creek park office and gift shop is open Thursday to Monday, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the mouth, is required to enter the park offices and other buildings. “With topwaters, I use bait-casting gear.” A 6 ½- or 7-foot bait-casting rod with a flexible tip permits long casts and the manipulation of the surface lure Morgan seeks. The jitterbug is one of the lures of most middle-age to older youths. A short walk to the Catawba River Area fishing pier. When that happens, set the hook and hang on. Rocky points surrendered several Lake James smallmouth. The Beavertail is a plastic grub-like ring worm variant with a flat, split tail. Entry and/or re-entry to the park is not guaranteed, except for campground reservation holders. While we fished some at the Catawba River arm of Lake James, most of the day we were at the Linville River arm, rarely more than a mile from the landing. On the clear water of Lake James, anglers may see a brown torpedo coming several feet to whack these lures. Ignoring such closures will cause permanent damage to the trail system and could lead to a citation and fine. However, 4- and 5-pound smallmouths are good prospects. The new pier is just west of the bathhouse and near a new trailhead. Favorite smallmouth surface lures during the last couple of years have been the Pop-N Image Jr. or Super Spook Jr. Even smaller ones may work. Try redear sunfish or threadfin shad with the Pop-N Image Jr. and red head/white body, black shiner and blue shore shad with the Super Spook Jr. Completed in 1923, Lake James captured water from two rivers, the Catawba and Linville Rivers. Raleigh, NC 27699-1615, COVID-19 information for parks under phase 3, Mountain Bike and Fonta Flora Trails CLOSED Today, Current status of facilities at Lake James State Park, Maintain a social distance of 6 feet, regardless of the behavior of others, Bring a mask or face covering; they are required to be worn inside buildings and when social distancing cannot be implemented, Share the trail — warn other trail users of your presence, step to the side or wait at the end of a bridge, Do not enter restrooms until others have cleared out and please be patient when staff is cleaning them, Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, Do not share equipment like phones or cameras with other visitors, If the park seems crowded when you arrive, come back another time, Stay at home if you are exhibiting symptoms. The two arms of the reservoir are joined by a canal that flows underneath N.C. 126. Visit Website. “There are lots of rocky points and ledges on the Linville River side of Lake James,” he said. Some anglers also target the walleyes at Lake James. “The wildlife agency came to us with the materials and manpower to put in this handicapped accessible fishing pier. Walk-up camping are available only at certain loops at Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake and at backcountry campsites with self-registration boxes at trailheads. There are no equipment rentals and concessions available. Those areas also had smallmouth we caught. When park rangers feel that the park has reached a safe capacity, the entrance gates may be closed. Taking notice: State parks projects and the staff who bring them to life, Ranger David Brown Wins Top Science Education Award, Taking notice: State parks projects and the staff who bring them to life, Ranger David Brown Wins Top Science Education Award, New Mountains-to-Sea Trail segment completes path from Clingmans Dome to Stone Mountain. Mike Goodman lives at Nebo, and when he’s not fishing the national bass tournament circuits, he’s at Lake James. Cast it out and crank it back. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. And they attract plenty of pre-spawn smallmouth. Particularly at the Linville River arm of the lake, major portions of the shoreline have been undeveloped. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Any color works, but my most productive shades have been citrus shad or Tennessee shad. During the pre-spawn period, many smallmouth strikes will be subtle. Bass fishing on Lake James will begin to pick back up after a slow month in September. Please check the park pages for more information about camping procedures. And, as you will see, it makes a difference. In addition to the smallmouth bass in Lake James, it also contains a healthy population of largemouth bass. Be advised that the directions of Tindo and Wimba trails have changed as of October 2 and are as follows; Tindo Trail is going in a counterclockwise direction, and Wimba Trail is going in a clockwise direction.

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