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Jerry's Fishing Guide Service

Background Information

Employment History

Carolinas Fishing Guide Service

Web References (22 Total References)

"We've been catching a good many ...

www.northcarolinasportsman.com [cached]

"We've been catching a good many crappie at Wylie," said guide Jerry Neeley of Jerry's Guide Service.

Jerry Neeley said this kind of ...

www.northcarolinasportsman.com [cached]

Jerry Neeley said this kind of stringer of crappie has become

Jerry Neeley said this kind of stringer of crappie has become "common" at Lake Norman in the past two or three years.
"Five or six years ago, you could catch crappie at Lake Norman, but not many - a good day might be about 15, but they'd be real slabs," said Jerry Neeley of Carolinas Fishing Guide Service. "Now, a good day is 100 fish, and a fair day is 50 to 55. And it's not unusual to catch 2½-pound crappie at Norman. Last year, I caught seven or eight over two pounds one day at the end of March when they were so shallow you could see them up against the bank in the back of coves."
Neeley said the uptick in crappie fishing started at about the same time that striper fishermen brought in alewifes, a non-native baitfish, and did a little "bait-bucket stocking" in Norman to try and improve the striper fishery.
"I thought what happened was, when they put all that bait in there, it meant more forage in the lake for crappie and other species," he said. "I think it's been a great benefit for them."
But Neeley's guiding partner, Chris Nichols, points to another facet that Neeley also mentioned: a rise in Norman's overall fertility.
"At the end of February, I start watching my temperature gauge," Neeley said.
As the water warms through the low- to mid-50s, Neeley said you can follow crappie back into creeks toward the coves where they'll eventually spawn. The best fishing will arrive when the water temperature is in the 59- to 65-degree range, when fish will be spawning.
When they get to the bank, Neeley said it's a matter of going down the bank with a minnow or mini-jig a foot under a cork, "stopping and popping" the bait down in front of every little piece of visible cover that might be holding a fish.
"Last year, I caught seven or eight fish over two pounds the same day at the end of March when the water was 60 degrees and they were so shallow you could see them in the back of the coves."
But the fishermen who waits for the spawn to arrive misses most of March's great action, which takes place a good ways off the bank.
Neeley and Nichols focus on the lower end of the lake, which has had the reputation of being less fertile and less "productive" than the upper end, above the NC 150 bridge, but only because it's more convenient to their homes in Gaston County.
According to Neeley, they're not as common on Norman as they are on other lakes up and down the Yadkin or Catawba systems, where crappie-fishing is something akin to a religious experience during the spring.
Neeley said that brushpiles he's found or put in - along with Nichols' brushpiles - he can jump from pier to pier and brushpile to brushpile, catching a few crappie at each stop; he calls it his "sugar run.
"If you've got a depthfinder on your boat, you can go find brush around piers," he said.
Neeley said he starts in early March looking for places where crappie will stop as they move into a creek. He'll find the first secondary point back in the creek and fish the two docks closest to the point on either side. "One of those docks will be holding crappie," he said. "When they're getting ready to spawn, they stop there going back in. You need to fish the biggest and widest parts of the dock and the parts with brush. And they'll get stronger and stronger on those piers before they move farther back in the creek."
Neeley said that he catches more black crappie than white crappie on Lake Norman, but that whites seem to be more prevalent in Mountain Creek, a major tributary on the lake's western shoreline.
"The white crappie are usually bigger, and if you find them, usually you'll catch all of them," he said.
Jerry Neeley said it's no longer unusual to catch slab crappie in the 2-pound range as the spring spawn approaches.

Largemouth bass, crappie and catfish are ...

www.northcarolinasportsman.com [cached]

Largemouth bass, crappie and catfish are biting at Lake Wylie, according to guide Jerry Neeley.

"You can take your pick because we've been catching all three species," said Neeley, of Jerry's Fishing Guide Service, who had a recent party hook 35 bass on floating worms and get 20 of them to the boat.
"We used pink or black floating worms fished in the shade along the banks," he said. "The bass wouldn't hit worms that weren't (cast) in the shade."
Neeley (704-678-1043) noted the largemouth bass spawn had nearly ended at Lake Wylie with only a few female fish still on the beds.
"Pretty much after this week, the spawn will be over at Wylie," said Neeley, who said he'll change up and start fishing topwater baits, including buzzbaits or prop baits, at visible cover such as stumps and piers on the main lake.
"The bass are just coming off the beds, and that's where they'll go," Neeley said. "A few weeks after the spawn, they go to piers near deep water and hang up on the backs of those piers, from the shoreline with a rocky bank to the first two or three pilings. The best lure to throw will be a Zoom lizard rigged Texas style, "but they'll also hit small crankbaits cast at secondary points and that run 10- to 11-feet deep."
Most of the bass caught will be males near bass beds, Neeley said.
"They'll run from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds and are pretty active protecting the (bass) nests," he said. "You may catch a 5-pounder though."
The crappie spawn also has ended at Lake Wylie, Neeley said.
"They're off the beds and have gone to areas with lots of docks or pilings at secondary points or main river points," he said. "The other day, we caught 50 crappie off docks. They'll be on the sides of the docks that have some cover, such as underwater brush."
Neeley has been using small 1/32-ounce hair jigs that fall slowly.
"You want a lure that stays in the strike zone longer, and light jigs fall slowly," said Neeley, who uses ultra-light spinning tackle and 4-pound-test line. "I like jigs with a green or red head and white body, if the water's fairly clear. If it's stained, I'll use a chartreuse body and red head."
Crappie sizes are ranging from 1/2 to 1 1/4 pounds, he said.
"Catfishing is really good right now, too," Neeley said.

"We've been targeting Arkansas blues on ...

www.northcarolinasportsman.com [cached]

"We've been targeting Arkansas blues on both Lake Wylie and Lake Norman," said Jerry Neeley of Jerry's Fishing Guide Service.

"We've been targeting Arkansas blues on ...

www.northcarolinasportsman.com [cached]

"We've been targeting Arkansas blues on both Lake Wylie and Lake Norman," said Jerry Neeley of Jerry's Fishing Guide Service.

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