BFL anglers running it back on High Rock Lake for North Carolina Division event - Major League Fishing
BFL anglers running it back on High Rock Lake for North Carolina Division event
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BFL anglers running it back on High Rock Lake for North Carolina Division event

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High Rock Lake will once again host BFL competitors on June 15, this time in the North Carolina Division. Photo by Josh Gassmann.
June 3, 2024 • Tyler Brinks • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

LEXINGTON, N.C. — Just one week after the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division anglers take on North Carolina’s High Rock Lake, the North Carolina Division anglers will visit the storied fishery. While things can change quickly this time of year, the fish should be firmly in their postspawn and summer program, and the offshore bite should be hot.

Tournament details

Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine North Carolina Division

High Rock Lake

Lexington, NC

June 15

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About the fishery

High Rock Lake is a popular tournament venue that has hosted just about every level of bass tournament over the years. But, according to Tackle Warehouse Invitationals pro Derik Hudson, who has two Top-10 finishes in Phoenix Bass Fishing League competition on High Rock to his credit, the 15,180-acre lake has evolved through the years.

The lake was created in 1927, but its primary structure has since changed. There is a dearth of natural cover, and manmade objects are now the focus.

“It’s an older lake that doesn’t have a lot of natural structure. You can idle in the back of creeks and you will not see many laydowns or stumps anymore,” he said. “The focus now is manmade brushpiles, docks, old bridges and rocks. That’s typically what plays here because it’s an old, silted-in river impoundment, but it still has a lot of good cover to attract bass.”

Since the lake is a popular tournament hot spot, Hudson expects some popular creeks to play — Second Creek and near the takeoff at Southmount Abbotts Creek Boat Access.

“Those are two big creeks that are right across from each other, and both are hubs for tournaments, where a lot of fish are released,” he said. “They are good because of all the fish that get dumped there, but there’s also plenty of water to fish. You could practice in one of them for a few days, fish the BFL and still not fish half of it.”

What to expect

Derik Hudson expects offshore tactics to play a major role when the North Carolina Division takes on High Rock Lake. Photo by Cobi Pellerito.

Hudson believes that the conditions will play a role in determining whether this event is won in shallow or deep water, but his feeling is the offshore bite will be strongest. As long as the water levels remain stable, the fish should be firmly in their summer patterns and holding around offshore cover.

“I think you’ll see guys finding success with deep-diving crankbaits, and if the water is relatively clear, it could be a scrounger head and jighead minnow,” he said. “The finesse bite could also be strong for those who head offshore to the brushpiles and rock. A drop-shot, shaky head and even a Texas rig could be very good.”

Hudson said there’s an opportunity for those hoping to stick to shallow targets, especially if rain comes into the system.

“The water levels and color are such a big player that one or two thunderstorms can change the place quickly,” he said. “I’ve been on an excellent offshore bite and then couldn’t get a bite the next day, but you go down the bank, and it seems like they are on every piece of shallow cover in the lake. It fishes like a river and can change overnight.”