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Harris Lake

1680 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  phillip puryear
Anyone have tips, warnings or etc for catfishing on Harris Lake? Thanks.
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There is really nothing to hit in Harris except maybe a hydrilla mat if you get to shallow. The cats in that lake are tough to catch this time of year due to the grass. The best way is to float live bream over flats near grass edges. Anywhere there is a break from 13-15 feet up to 5-6 feet is a good spot. They are scattered and it's hard to have a night with alot of Fish. I know alot of specific spots on that lake and if you need more info, let me know.....There are some big Channels in there and I would't be a bit surprised if a few state records are swimming there due to the fact they are the top predator with tons of great baitfish........The bass in the lake grow big and fast and so do the cats.....
harris also does have flatheads but almost no one knows it.......i have caught some and there was a guy on the old site who had caught alot......the state has also shocked up a few in their surveys there......most people dont catch the flatties there because they are using the normal smallcat baits.......also as i have posted in the old boc..... jordan doesnt have many big cats but will soon,,,,,,not that i endorse it..but some apex guys have been putting blues from gaston into jordan and some alamance co and guilford co boys have been putting flatties into the haw from the dan river.......several flatheads ...1 37 lbs and 1 32 lbs were caught in the haw in ala co this year wont be long before there are tearing up jordan....i'd say from 3-7 years......mack
I started fishing Harris around 1985 or 86 I think.
i remember I first started putting all over that thing in a 10 foot jon. Boats were a rare ocassion in those days on that lake.

After years of fishing it compared to other lakes it is the easiest to fish for almost any species.
It's the absolute most perfect lake to use a topo map on with good to awesome results. That lake was such a confidence builder for me over the years.

on 95 degree days I have pulled out the map, found where creek channels intersect each other in 25 feet of water and started yanking cats out one after the other. Virtually any concept I have of where I think fish are supposed to be by looking at a topo map have been there or close by.
Doesnt mean I have always caught them but I may be marking them.

Harris just has so much structure to fish if you take the time to find it and utilize fishing it.
If you are having a hard time at night, try fishing it in the day with a good map. utilize the deeper water, the channels, and flats.
Use large bass minnows, live bream, threadfin shad, eel, shrimp or liver to probe these areas.

Fish will use those feeder creeks and creek channels to travel by just like a highway.
I've marked and caught alot of fish all up and down those channels in places where you never see anyone fishing.

There were big flatheads in Harris in the late 80's. I had seen several 30-40 pounders pulled out before I started getting into them. Several of the state and local sportman's magazines had pictures of Harris flats in the the late 80's early 90's. I probally still have some of those issues.

One of the best nights me and the wife spent on Harris We got there with the boat , 10 gallons of soured corn, and a bushel of peas.
We'll shell peas while waiting for bites.

I chummed 5 spots scattered around the lake about 6pm.
The theory was I chummed 5 spots all differing in their makeup. some shallow as in 1-5 feet . One on an expansive flat with ocassional stumps, another may be rocky bottom.

That night I fished two holes. Before dark I had boated 3 flats ranging from 17-25 pounds. 2 caught on large whole unshelled jumbo shrimp, one on a large bass minnow.

You'll find those big flats with a topo map and a depth finder.
The key is creek channels and intersecting channels close to a flat.
we already know those shallow flats have hydrilla and are holding baitfish.
Put a line next to a channel, put one on a shallow flat, and put a 3rd in a transition zone between the two like on a deeper flat.
On a high moon or full moon I can already tell you pretty much you are screwed until that moon falls out over the horizon.

Keep the light to the minimal required by law for the boat. Don't run a lantern unless you havent had any hits. In this case I hang a lantern about 4 feet off the side of the boat right down on the water. A ball of threadfin will show up hopefully with a few catfish in tow.

Been out there many times all night without a bite until maybe 4am and every rod in the boat gets bent at the same time and its fast and furious for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Definately the best local lake in my opinion for catfishing of any kind as far as numbers and what I call chunk fish. 10-20 pounders.
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MarkJ, thanks for the info. We live just minutes from the lake but have never fished for cats there. We always go to riverside or buckhorn. I'll talk my buddy into trying harris. thanks
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