With much anticipation, this year's family camping trip to Arrowhead Campground, located in the El Dorado area of North Carolina's Uwharrie National Forest, started for me last Thursday. After making the hour trip back home to Conover to pick up my boat and meet my grandfather, who was pulling the camper, off we headed down I-40, Highway 70 and eventually Highways 49 and 109. We arrived at the campground around 1:00 pm once we had to gotten our fill of food from the grill of the El Dorado Outpost and by 2:00 pm we were on the water fishing for crappies.
So I alluded to using hair jigs in my fishing trip recap the other week and never really explained how I have grown up fishing with them. The jig itself is probably one of the most effective fishing lures ever used and can catch anything that swims; it is all about matching your color to the conditions and how you fish it. Today the focus is just on using tiny hair jigs for crappie fishing, so sit back and take a minute to learn one way of putting "slabs" in the frying pan.
"Your dad wants to know if you want to go fishing tomorrow with him and Paw D?" Now anyone with any sense will obviously not say no to that offer, so when my mother asked me that last night, of course I said yes (after having to check with the soon-to-be wife that there were no plans for Sunday morning/early afternoon; I would like to live to see other hunting and fishing adventures you know). I talked my buddy Seth into tagging along, though that wasn't hard at all, and the stage was set to fish until 2 pm today. So this morning, with gas prices rising rapidly and water clarity an issue at our favorite crappie spot along the Yadkin River, we headed out on local Lake Norman to try and catch a few "papermouths".
In the upper reaches of both Hager's and Mountain Creek, the fishing was NOT hot and furious earlier today. We used our fly rods to pitch hair jigs (I'll be posting a video blog on this setup and technique sometime this week) of different weights and colors and threw Panfish Assassin soft plastics on small jig heads with ultralight spinning rods; I even did a little bass fishing with my 6'-0" spinning rod using both a watermelon seed-colored finesse worm and a green pumpkin/chartreuse tail-colored baby brush hog on shakey head jigs. The result for those 4.5 hours of fishing? 2 fish total (my bream and my grandfather's crappie) and 3 or 4 bites resulting in missed fish. After dropping off Seth and I back at the boat landing, my dad and grandfather headed back out and up the lake in search of some fish that were willing to bite, though I am not holding out much hope that they catching a limit right now. Even if they don't, it was good to get back out on the water and enjoy a rain-free and sunny NC March day.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, check out this eHow article on how to tie your own hair-jig. Or if you prefer soft plastics, head on over to the Bass Assassin website to see what they offer in their panfish line. Until next time, tight lines!
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