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Are big bass lying in wait in Union County?

Are big bass lying in wait in Union County?

Almost annually, three municipal lakes in Union County – Lee, Monroe and Twitty – yield lunker-size largemouth bass shortly after they reopen from being closed for the winter.

Anglers who visit the impoundments near Monroe are avidly anticipating March 1, when fishing on them begins anew.

The lakes have been off limits for fishing since last fall.

“I sure can’t explain it, and I doubt anyone really can,” said Ronnie Norton, who supplies bait and lures to the three through his family’s Catawba Cricket Hatchery of Charlotte. “Maybe it’s that the big fish haven’t been spooked nor seen a lure or bait in four months. Or maybe the opening simply coincides with when they stir out of winter lethargy and start feeding again.

“For whatever reason, all three lakes often report bass weighing over 10 pounds being caught very early in the season.”

Last March and April it seemed an almost-weekly occurrence.

Cane Creek Park Lake, a fourth Union County reservoir, remains open year-round.

Here’s info on the other three, where boats are restricted to less than 20 feet in length and outboard motors to 20 horsepower:

Lake Lee: Located at 1700 Pageland Road, southeast of Monroe. Covers 175 acres. In addition to bass, it holds bluegill, catfish, crappie and shellcrackers. Rental boats are available. Closed on Thursdays. 704-282-4668.

Lake Monroe: Located at 2102 Medlin Road, southeast of Monroe. Covers 125 acres. Has same species as Lake Lee. Limited number of rental boats. Closed on Tuesdays. 704-291-7135.

Lake Twitty: Located on Camden Road just off Olive Branch Road, east of Monroe. Covers 473 acres. Has same species as the others. Limited supply of rental boats. Closed on Mondays. 704-292-7794.

Nominal fees are charged at all three for bank and boat fishing, plus launching. State regulations on creel and size limits apply. Each of the lakes has a small bait and tackle shop. And, of course, scales for weighing whoppers. Tom Higgins

N.C. no-wake zones on boating map

No-wake zone boundaries for all public water bodies in North Carolina now can be found on the Wildlife Resources Commission’s interactive Boating Access Area online map.

The information recently was added to the site. It can be accessed even while boaters are on the water via a smart phone or other mobile device.

They can be found simply by zooming in on a particular body of water. The zones, depicted in tan, can be selected to find more information about them.

No-wake zones are areas where vessels are required to travel at a speed that creates no appreciable wake. They have been established to promote safety and prevent damage around public access areas, marinas, swimming sites and so forth.

During summer the Wildlife Commission’s officers patrol waters to police boating. Those charged with violating no-wake rules face fines if found guilty. Observer News Services

Catches of the week

• Limits of crappie at Lake Norman by brothers Bo and John Crutchfield of Denver, N.C. The two caught the crappie, plus a few largemouth bass, while fishing as snow fell last week. The fish hit black Slicktail grubs cast to boat docks.

• Five largemouth bass weighing 23.67 pounds by the duo of Thomas Hardwick and Tommy Williams to win a Carolina Bass Challenge tournament at Lake Murray. They earned $10,000 in the S.C. Division competition.

• Approximately 40 sailfish in two days by Kenny Clark, a skipper-fishing guide from Ocean Isle, while angling off Los Suenos, Costa Rica.

• A blue catfish of approximately 30 pounds at Baldin Lake by youthful Evan Marshall.

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