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tuckasegee river fishingThere are a LOT of small rivers running down the mountain passes in the Smokey Mountains. They are EVERYWHERE. And, the nice things are that most are very accessible and all appear to be full of fish!

We went north of Dillsboro, off highway 74, yesterday to try our hand wading for smallmouths in the Tuckasegee River. This is the same river trace where we visited Bear, Wolf Creek and Cedar Cliff Lakes earlier. However, at this point, the river is getting wide and, at times, 5-6 feet deep.

After a stop at the Outpost, a local tackle shop on highway 74, we drove a mile or so to the site of Uncle Bill's Flea Market. It ain't much of a flea market, friends. But, it does have parking in the rear that is right on the bank of the Tuckasegee River. Love that easy access.

smallmouth wade fishing With no one else in sight fishing or rafting, our fishing friend, Don Hitchcock, proceeded to be the first in the water. Before I got my feet wet, Don had racked up two smallmouths on a 4 inch white jerk bait.

I decided to use our Bitty Bite worm, since it was already tied on from a previous outing, and it proved to be a good choice. While Don targeted shallow white water around the rocks, I decided to work pools below the rapids, channalized water flow between rocks, and shaded tree overhangs. Both worked and we managed a dozen smallies in the 10-13 inch range. In a lucky moment, the Bitty Bite also found a nice 14 inch rainbow for the supper table. Sometimes 'beginner's luck' is great stuff.

north carolina river fishing Don rigged his small fluke-style jerk bait with a 1/16 oz. Jig head, while my 2 inch worm out 2 feet behind a couple of tiny BB-sized split shots. Don worked his jerk bait in the tradition jerk and pause manner, while I simply 'swam' my little worm with a steady retrieve. Towards the end of the afternoon, I did switch over to a ZOOM 3 inch Meathead grub and fished it like a jerk bait. It worked fine, too. But, as a lazy angler, I kinda like that steady, do-nothing retrieve.


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Pete and Tina Heinz / 9 South Mulberry St. / Fellsmere, FL 32948 / 772-571-9855

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