Lake James

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by Salthart, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Salthart

    Salthart New Member

    Messages:
    1,264
    State:
    North Carolina
    Being new, I haven't seen where anyone has posted about Lake James. Does anyone ever fish it for catfish ? I talked to a biologist about 10 years ago about where to catch cats in NC. I was told about Hickory and Norman and the Cape Fear etc but he also said that someone had slipped Flatheads in James and that with the sunfish population there, They should do quite well.
    Like I said, That was 10 years ago (I've just started fishing again) and its not like I know what I'm doing or anything but I have caught my first flatheads. No size yet but I have much to learn about when where and how to catch them..

    Lake james is deep and its deep over a large part so finding fish can be a problem (at least for me) I don't know where to start really. Do you target a temp layer ? Or fish close to the river ? I read where people talk about the fish being deep, How deep is deep for a flathead ? Lots of James is over 100 feet

    If anyone knows anything about catching them in this lake please let me know. Or if anyone is interested in giving it a try.
    Thanks
     
  2. BIG_D

    BIG_D New Member

    Messages:
    8,107
    State:
    Batchtown IL.
    welcome to the boc Marty i was raised in NC. i have crappie fished that lake 100s of times but never catfish'd it you are right there is flatheads in it i worked with a guy that did fish it for flatheads befor i got into catfishing i cant realy help you but i hope some one hear can i look forwerd to hearing about your fishing from my old stomping grounds
     

  3. Catgirl

    Catgirl New Member

    Messages:
    13,546
    Hey bro....I can't give you much advice about fishing James, sure is a lovely lake though. I never knew flatheads were introduced to it, and I know some folks who have a house there. I've never heard of THEM catching a flathead, so I dunno about that. Mostly whites I think. Maybe you can tell ME......what's the difference, between whites and flatheads? Flatheads need a higher water temperature to thrive?
     
  4. Salthart

    Salthart New Member

    Messages:
    1,264
    State:
    North Carolina
    Catgirl, I wish I could tell you something about the white cats But really, I have very little understanding of them myself. My PB white was around 7 lbs but I caught it on a crappie minnow that I allowed to drift near the bank just left of the powerhouse intake.

    I was never much of a catfisherman. I bass fished and crappie fished and I fished the sounds and jetties around Morehead City. I had always thought that all catfish tasted like some of the "Farm raised" I had bought one time. Very musty and muddy. Until one day I was forced to try some or hurt a friends feelings. It was cold water caught and fried with lemon pepper WOOT ! Been hooked from then on ! But before I could more than get started I was hurt in an accident and it took years to get to the point where I could try and fish again.

    I am much better now and looking forward to getting into catfishing. I have a lot to learn and my equipment leaves a lot to be desired, But I have the will and the want to to learn. Maybe that will count for something :') I have only taken a few flatheads from James so far ( the only flats I've ever caught) and they were small But the jutting lower jaw and the spot on the tail fin let me know they were in fact Flatheads and they seem longer and more slim for the weight than a White.
     
  5. baitnwait

    baitnwait New Member

    Messages:
    159
    State:
    North Carolina
    Welcome to the BOC Marty. I've never fished James myself. But concerning depths I have caught a 30lb flathead earlier this week at Norman out of 55' and a 27lb flathead last November out of 65'. I was fishing for blues during the day though and would not recommend targeting flatheads at those depths. My advice would be to fish were the bait is. That might be in a few feet of water near shore where bluegills hang out, 18 to 20 feet near a brush pile where crappie might be, or 20 to 30 feet where schools of white perch might be, etc. Hopefully someone who has been successful on James can let you know what works there. Good luck!
     
  6. McDreamy

    McDreamy New Member

    Messages:
    279
    State:
    nc
    one of the fellas i work with said to find a cove bait it up real heavy a day or 2 before u fish it and ull catch more catsthan u could think about. but that is here say. i say find log jams in about 12 to 18 ft of water and try it everybody tells me lake james is the dead sea
     
  7. BIG_D

    BIG_D New Member

    Messages:
    8,107
    State:
    Batchtown IL.
    the ones telling you lake james is the dead sea is dead wrong i grew up there it is fare from dead:wink:
     
  8. James Bentley

    James Bentley New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    N.C.
    Helo Salthart.Lake James is called the dead sea because a lot of people do not know how to fish it ,it is a deep clear lake,I have fished it several times and caught fish,but there have been as many times that I did not,as far as cats go look on page #35 of the N.C. regulations digest,State record White cat was caught there in 1990,so there is cats there,what kind,you need to catch some and tell us. welcom aboard:roll_eyes:
     
  9. Salthart

    Salthart New Member

    Messages:
    1,264
    State:
    North Carolina
    I went to Lake James last night. Got a late start and knew I'd have trouble catching bluegills so I stopped at the bait shop and bought bass and crappie minnows.

    I headed to Blackbear access to launch and from there right to the river to try first. I fished rock walls and I fished points. I fished the river channel and I fished against the bank. I fished log jams and I drifted the flats.

    At last I gave up and moved to deeper water and tried the whole thing again. nada...(

    I fished in the dark and I fished with lights. When I put out my float light I got plenty of bait fish under them and every now and then something would run some of them across the top of the water so I know SOMETHING was eating ! LOL

    I fished a bass minnow under a bobber and another on a carolina rig and then had a crappie minnow strait down and worked all depths.. Nothing. And it was a great night to fish. The rain held off and the sky even cleared for a while. So was it me or the fish ? LOL

    In the words of Arnold.. I'll be back ! ( After a break, going to Hickory next LOL )
     
  10. James Bentley

    James Bentley New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    N.C.
    Hickory,now thats a ho new story,I fish Hickory for the Blue gills and crappie,at times my wife and I catch some cats and white perch,keep us informed on James,I may have to go back,good luck at Hickory:big_smile:
     
  11. snal

    snal New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    nc
    Salthart...if you find those cats at James then let me know! I've never fished for them there, but do pretty well on crappie around the big island and just north of the moose lodge.
    We have a camper at Lake James Landing (just around the bend from Black Bear)...but I haven't had much time to fish this year.
    One positive note;
    I went to look at a boat 2 years ago, and the seller told me that James has some monster cats! I need to go back and pick his brain a bit, but he told me that the left bank (1/2 mile to 1.5 miles up from the Catawba) was deep and full of timber. He mentioned the use of very heavy tackle to get them out of there...but they are there!
    2 years ago, when the water was very low, I could see huge cats at the mouth of the north fork of the Catawba (right in front of our campground)...and no...it wasn't carp.
    James is also loaded with walleye!
     
  12. Salthart

    Salthart New Member

    Messages:
    1,264
    State:
    North Carolina
    So far I have caught 2 flathead on James. The drive is almost the same for me to get to Blackbear as to get to Hickory so I tend to fish hickory because I seldom ever leave Hickory without a fish. James ? Thats a whole nother story.

    Last time I fished James I got there early afternoon and fished half the night and not one bite . I fished every way I could think of and nother. But I still don't plan to give up..

    Just gotta get my ducks in a row.
     
  13. carolinakid76

    carolinakid76 New Member

    Messages:
    609
    State:
    oklahoma
    good luck to you brother.:big_smile: