Saturday at Claytor Lake


We have some friends who keep a "party barge" at a marina on Claytor Lake; they very kindly invite us to take a cruise with them now and then. I must say that his boat is one of the best fishing platforms I have ever seen.  Stable, roomy, and comfortable, none of which terms apply to my Old Town square-stern canoe.  I'd never buy one myself—they're unsuited to the New River where I do most of my fishing, and even less suited to the coast of North Carolina—but they're great to fish from.

I caught this 20" catfish on a nightcrawler, and took another one about half that size as well. This fellow did NOT want to come in, and it took a while to get him close enough to the boat to be netted. Luckily we got him up on the deck before he broke my 6-pound-test leader. He dropped onto the boat and not back into the water. I'm not much on cleaning or eating fish, actually, so he went back in right after getting his picture taken, as did the smaller one.

Claytor is an artificial lake with very steep banks:  ten feet offshore you're in 40-50 feet of water.  But the sides are in places vertical cliffs of sedimentary rock, and in one spot there seem to be some rock "shelves" below the water, and the fish hide in them. I found a spot where they seem to hang out.  This was a little ways downstream from the Coast Guard Auxiliary station. It's hard to read a lake, but I'm slowly beginning to learn Claytor a bit. 

Also caught a couple of decent green sunfish, but no bass.  Normally when I go out with these friends I get skunked, but this was an exception.